The F2000 Championship Series roars into Mosport this weekend with Canadian Remy Audette, from Sainte-Anne-du-Lac, Quebec, on top of the points’ standings with three wins in eight races, and a worst finishing position of seventh this year in his #21 Audette Racing Van Diemen/Zetec. A tentative entry lists stands 27 cars strong.
“We want to repeat 2010, we want to win on Canadian ground,” said Audette, who won one of two F2000 races at Mosport in 2010. “It will be a big challenge to win on the dry track. Last year we ran in the rain, and the track is much different in the dry. This year, though, with the car we have and our team, we should be very fast early in the weekend.”
Eight races down, six to go (two of those are at Mosport this weekend), Audette leads American rookie Kyle Connery by 67 points. Connery also has three wins this year in his #91 Van Diemen.
“With three wins and four poles, we are looking forward to Mosport,” said Connery, who drives for CC Autosport and James Lee Racing, with support from Afterburner. “I’ve never been there, but simulations have been helping me get up to speed all season and try different setups and other variables.”
It’s another 21 points back to Robert La Rocca, a rookie from Venezuela with a rookie team in HP-Tech, and the highest placed of the new RFR chassis cars with the #10 entry.
“This will be my first time at Mosport,” La Rocca said. “They tell me that this track separates the men from the boys.”
Fourth in points is Masters Class (a class for drivers 40 or older) veteran Tim Minor, who is always a threat for an outright win in the #88 Ski Motorsports Van Diemen. Minor has five podiums this year and was two corners away from a win at Road Atlanta before Connery snuck past him.
“I had never been to Mosport until two years ago and now it’s on my top list of tracks,” said Minor, who is also the last driver from the Masters Class to score an outright win, which he did at Summit Point in 2009.
“I expect to be fast, but I believe Remy is still the guy to beat. I want to win, but need to keep in mind it will only take one bad weekend from other people for me to move up in the points,” said Minor.
Rounding out the top five in points is second-year racer Chris Livengood, who won in dominating fashion at Mid-Ohio just a few weeks ago in the #37 Work Racing Van Diemen.
Alegra Motorsports, the 2010 Series Champions, has two rookies driving for the team in Angel Benitez, from Venezuela, and Gustavo Rizzo, from Brazil.
Alegra used the three week break in between Mid-Ohio and this weekend’s doubleheader at Mosport to win a pair of GT1 races at Watkins Glen International with a Trans-Am spec Jaguar.
Meanwhile, HP-Tech ventured north of the border to the streets of Toronto during the break where they took home the Best Team Performance Award in Ferrari Challenge, winning a F430 class race and keeping the overall points lead.
Audette Racing also found itself on Toronto’s street course, finishing second in Canadian Touring Car with Remy’s brother Mathieu.
Perhaps the biggest story line of the year is the new chassis in the Series, which has been dominated by Van Diemens for the last decade. The RFR chassis debuted in April, finishing second in the hands of La Rocca in Virginia and is a constant fixture on the podium with the Ft. Lauderdale-based HP-Tech team.
La Rocca added: “We figured out some things on the new car at Mid-Ohio that fixed the handling issues. Unfortunately, we figured them out too late into the weekend, and we were unable to try it on my car. I'm crossing my fingers that we can finally show what this car is capable of and take a win this weekend in front of the ALMS crowd.”
Another new car, the Radon, is also scheduled for debut at Mosport. The Radon will be fielded by GTP Motorsports and driven by Blake Teeter, who last competed at VIR in 2010.
Other chassis expected to be represented this weekend include Citation, Piper and Mygale.
All F2000 cars entered for Mosport run the Ford Zetec powerplant, which is a sealed engine putting out approximately 155 horsepower, but the Pinto is still legal under the SCCA Pro Racing rules the Championship utilizes. All F2000 cars, which feature various aero packages and trick wings, run on a spec tire from Hoosier and a controlled fuel.
F2000 events are doubleheader race weekends. 2011 opened at Virginia International Raceway, where Nathan Morcom and Remy Audette both tasted victory. In May, Kyle Connery swept at Road Atlanta, then it was Audette’s turn when he took both races at Watkins Glen. At the beginning of July, Chris Livengood and Kyle Connery split the wins at Mid-Ohio.
Now it’s onto Mosport before the season closes with a trip to Lime Rock in September and one more set of races at Watkins Glen in October.
Stay up to date with the latest from Mosport by logging onto www.F2000Series.com, or following live pit notes from the Series on Twitter @F2000.