F2000 Field Set for Road Atlanta

May 4, 2011
Audette leads the field by nine points over Morcom heading into Atlanta

New York, NY – Canadian Remy Audette, coming off a dominating win at VIR, leads a competitive 31-car F2000 Championship Series field at Road Atlanta this weekend for Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2011 Series, supporting the popular Formula Drift tour.

For Audette, it will be the only new and unfamiliar track of the year for his Audette Racing team as he comes off his third career F2000 win.

“It looks like Mosport a bit, where I won last year, so it should be fun,” said Audette, who leads Nathan Morcom by nine points.

“The goal is to do my homework, learn the track and just concentrate on myself and the car. The result will just be what happens. Just because we’re leading the points we won’t change our strategy,” he continued.

Australia Morcom won the other VIR race, but in much more dramatic fashion. The rookie survived a downpour on slicks and somehow stayed on the track to take his first career victory in his first ever start for Primus Racing.

“If anyone had told me before VIR that I would win one of the races, I would have thought they were joking,” Morcom said. “My goal for this race meeting is two podium finishes, but I’ll go for wins if they’re possible.”

La Rocca had a strong debut for HP-Tech and RFR

Two points adrift of Morcom is fellow rookie Robert La Rocca, from Venezuela. La Rocca drove to a second and fifth place finish at VIR for HP-Tech in the new RFR chassis.

“We want to have another strong weekend at Road Atlanta,” commented La Rocca. “We definitely want to improve and be able to fight for the top spot on the podium. I think with what we learned at VIR can only help us in Atlanta.”

Joining La Rocca at Road Atlanta in the RFR chassis will be teammate Giancarlo Potolicchio, also a Venezuelan rookie.

Americans Chris Livengood, driving for Work Racing/John Walko Racing, and Jonathan Scarallo, for Primus Racing, both looked promising at VIR and each have one F2000 win to their credit.

Livengood, who won at Mid-Ohio last season was able to come away tied for third in points, while Scarallo will have to make up some ground, currently listed 18th in the standings.

Karting standout Kyle Connery came away from VIR with a pole and a top five, and looks to factor in at the front of the field in the #91 Van Diemen.

Alegra’s Angel Benetiz scored a solid fourth place finish in Virginia and expects to run at the front this coming weekend in Braselton, Georgia.

“The expectations are always to be at front, and I don't know the track, but, I have been watching video. The biggest challenge will be learning the track, but I will fix that during testing on Thursday. I’m positive that we can finish the weekend with good points for the championship, that’s the goal,” commented Benetiz, from Venezuela.

Brazilian Gustavo Rizzo will partner with Benetiz at Alegra, with both drivers in Van Diemens.

The Miami-based team will add a third car for Road Atlanta, a new RFR, for Brazilian Fabio Orsolon, who drove for the squad in 2009 and 2010.

“My goal is to run in the top five, and when we have time to develop the car, we want to fight for wins,” added Orsolon. “I am sure the chassis has potential because La Rocca did very good with it at VIR.”

Brian Tomasi will also enter the new RFR chassis for Afterburner Racing. The fifth RFR on the entry list comes from Series veteran Brendan Puderbach, partnering with John Walko Racing in his first race since Lime Rock in 2010.

"The new car looks fantastic, Ralph (Firman) and company did a bangup job at the factory on the new design and Walko has been kicking butt getting her prepped and ready. We're all really excited about running and developing it,” added Puderbach.

Masters Class points leader Tim Minor scored a podium in Virginia and is hunting for a win in Atlanta.

“My goal always is to win,” said Minor. “With the new tire we are going to try a different setup based on VIR. I have always posted decent results at Atlanta, and it will be important to be up front in qualifying with the big field. There will be a lot of good cars there, but I still think Remy (Audette) is the man to beat.”

Tim Paul broke through to his best career finish at VIR, ninth, running as high as second in the first race of the weekend. Paul comes into the weekend with more points than he scored in all of 2010, but the former sprint car and midget driver will be starting a bit behind, as he will miss Thursday testing due to exams.

Scheduled to make their 2011 debuts at Road Atlanta are Ethan Ringel, in a sixth RFR for McLaughlin Motorsports, Zach Craigo, Jose Gerardo (with Pinto power) and Dwight Rider, for Front Range Motorsports, and Thomas Schwietz, in a Piper/Zetec.

The weekend gets going with testing on Thursday May 5. Fans can follow live qualifying and race updates on F2000Series.com or @F2000 on Twitter, on Friday and Saturday. Friday begins with an 8:10 am practice session, followed by qualifying at 11:00 am and the first race of the event at 2:15 pm. Saturday follows with an early, 8:00 am practice, 10:30 am qualifying, and 1:00 pm race. All times are eastern.