Sharon, CT – After two nail-biting Championship showdowns in 2011 and 2012, the F1600 Formula F Championship Series appears to be set for an even more dramatic 2013. New teams, more new cars, and a record number of new drivers, coupled with National Champions and a stacked field of talent, meet at VIRginia International Raceway, April 11-14, for the first two races of the 12-race season.
2012 Champions Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing are back with a Spectrum/Honda package for 17-year-old Jake Eidson, the 2012 Skip Barber Summer Series Champion.
Losing out on the title by a handful of points, Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) with Curb/Agajanian (BHA) returns for a full on factory Mygale assault, expanding to three cars for aspiring racers Ayla Agren, Sam Chastain and Adrian Starrantino.
Driver of the No. 96 Mygale/Honda,19-year-old Ayla Agren hails from Slemmestad, Norway. The 2012 season marked her first in open-wheel cars after a decade of karting in Europe.
Sam Chastain, 20-year-old grandson of former IndyCar team owner Tom Chastain, will be driving the No. 97 Mygale/Honda prepared by "On Track Sports" in a joint effort with BHA.
Eighteen-year-old, California native Adrian Starrantino returns to BHA to drive the No. 98 Mygale/Honda, after filling in as a substitute driver at Watkins Glen during the 2012 season and finishing second.
Enter another factory support Mygale team as WISKO Race Engineering adds a duo of F1600 cars – with Paul Alspach (starting his season at Road Atlanta in May) and Aaron Telitz, a Skip Barber Race Series and scholarship winner.
If that isn’t enough, the FF reigning National Champion and 2011 Championship runner-up Tim Kautz has entered VIR in his Piper DF-3D/Honda package.
Jeremy Grenier, who finished third in the 2012 title fight, is looking for more success in 2013 with an updated Citation/Honda.
He is joined by SCCA standout Lew Cooper, driving a quick Van Diemen/Ford for Polestar, and having finished inches behind Kautz at the Runoffs in 2012.
There are more: Japan-native Haru Tanaka returns after one event in 2012 for Quantum Mechanics in a Van Diemen/Honda, and Caitlin Johnston is back after racing in Canada in 2012.
Art Foster moves to a Spectrum/Honda package for the 2013 season, having won at Lime Rock in 2011 and running competitively in 2012 in a Van Diemen/Ford.
Jim Goughary has put a target on the Drivers Championship as well. The SCCA veteran won the first ever race in Series history, at VIR, by some five inches in 2011. Goughary is joined at Raceworks by Spec Racer Ford ace, 27-year-old Franklin Futrelle in a similar Van Diemen/Honda.
Fans can keep track of the VIR weekend with live timing and live audio, available on F1600series.com – as well as on Twitter @F1600Series. Thursday, April 11 features a full test day at the 17-turn VIR, followed by practice sessions on Friday, and qualifying and racing on both Saturday and Sunday. A highlight show will be available on YouTube from the VIR event in early May.