New York, NY - Over the Fourth of July weekend, the F2000 Championship Series will visit Watkins Glen for the biggest even of the season with the Indy Cars. The first ever pairing of F2000 and Indy Car will give the large contingent of F2000 drivers and teams an opportunity to be seen on a worldwide stage at one of the best race tracks in North America.
The F2000 drivers and teams will not only be showing off for the Indy Car teams, but for thousands of open-wheel racing fans as well, as estimated attendance figures for Indy Car weekend at Watkins Glen puts attendance in the 35,000-50,000 spectator range, according to Joyce Julius & Associates.
In the past, F2000 has run in support of ALMS at Mosport and Champ Car at Cleveland, but with the recent reunification of open wheel racing, this pairing with Indy Car will be the biggest F2000 event to date.
“As an aspiring open wheel driver, running in support of the IRL will be good for exposure,” commented American driver Matthew Inge, who currently leads the F2000 points standings coming off his first career win at Mosport in the #02 St. Clair Motorsports Van Diemen/Zetec. “Hopefully we can put on a good show for them.”
Chris Miller, who sits second in the points, seven points back from Inge, is equally as excited to share the track with Indy Car. “Running alongside Indy Car gives the drivers a chance to showcase their talent and the series a chance to showcase its high level of competition, on the biggest stage for open wheel racing in North America,” said Miller, who drives for JDC MotorSports.
“Many F2000 graduates have progressed to Indy Car and it's likely this trend will continue,” added Miller.
“Caitlin Johnston, Benjamin Searcy and the whole ZSports Midwest operation are looking forward to supporting Indy Car at the Glen,” commented Ron Boltik, who owns the ZSports team. “We’re going to do our best to make sure we and the entire F2000 Championship Series are the worst kept secrets in North American open wheel racing.”
American Benjamin Searcy has already won two races this year in impressive fashion after basically coming straight out of karting with very limited formula car experience. “The Glen is just awesome,” said Searcy, who is sitting fourth in the points. “We’re really excited and looking forward to the publicity. I’ve been there before, winning a Skip Barber race last year, it would be great to win in front of the big guys.”
Searcy’s ZSports teammate, Canadian rookie Caitlin Johnston, is looking very forward to the pinnacle event of her 2009 season. “The opportunity at Watkins Glen will be huge. It gives me as a driver in the series a chance to really show my stuff in front of a lot of potential sponsors and team owners.
“It’s an excellent chance for me to learn how to network, work with the fans as well as the media on a large scale. I’m really looking forward to watching the Indy Lights race, as well as to be able to go through their paddock and talk to the drivers and the teams, since that is the direction that I would like to head in.”
Alegra Motorsports driver Fabio Orsolon commented: “It’s going to be really fun. All my Brazilian friends will be there including guys like Rafael Matos, who I’ve karted with; it’s very good for us and the series to race on the same weekend as the Indy Cars.”
The thoughts about going to Watkins Glen with Indy Car are unanimous around the F2000 paddock. Jonathan Scarallo, who drives the #22 car for Group A Racing, said: “Watkins Glen is going to be a great experience. Just racing at the Glen alone is great but the fact we are with Indy Car is just incredible.”