From Ovals to F2000: SMR Announces Two Car Team
New York, NY – SMR Motorsports announced today the formation of a new two car F2000 Championship Series team. SMR took delivery of two Van Diemens in 2009 and is vigorously preparing to contest the full 2010 schedule. 24-year old American Timothy Paul will drive the team’s #06 CellMark Paper Van Diemen/Zetec. Paul moves to the F2000 Series after years of success in sprint car and midget racing.
“The first and most important expectation is to get comfortable in a new cockpit,” said Paul. “I want to do well in the series but I’m not putting any emphasis on points standings or position right now. I want a general feeling at the end of the day that I did everything behind the wheel that I could and am happy with my performance.”
Paul admits there are some differences between his background and the F2000 Series: “The biggest changes between the two cars are pretty obvious: right turns and a gearbox. Am I particularly worried about either of these things? The answer is no. I am however aware that I’m wet behind the ears, and just prepared to keep my eyes and ears open and learn as much as I can as fast as I can.
“There are some benefits too. I’m comfortable in traffic; I’m comfortable racing at wide open throttle or wheel to wheel. I enjoy it. There’s really no feeling like getting out of the car after a back and forth battle completely exhausted. After using every little trick you know and seeing what the other guy has. I love it.”
Paul was set to be joined by established oval-track veteran Tad Uzzle in the #69 Race House Van Diemen/Zetec. Those plans are on hold as Uzzle is sidelined by a work related injury. The team is committed to finding a deserving midget or sprint car shoe to put in the #69 for the beginning of the 2010 season.
Michael Witson will be the lead crew chief for both cars, with some engineering support being lent by GTP Motorsports as SMR gets adapted to the Van Diemen.
SMR is putting its effort toward a successful F2000 campaign, but also plans to contest some midget races on F2000 off weekends. As for the team crossing over from the oval track ranks, Paul underlines that it was an easy decision: “F2000 is simply the most cost effective, best bang-for-your-buck formula car series right now. The performance capability is so high and the series is so accessible. It was a very easy decision for SMR to choose the F2000 series when we started looking at formula cars.”
The team’s primary sponsor, CellMark Paper, is the largest privately-owned marketer of forest products in the world. Based in Gothenburg, Sweden and with offices worldwide, they have been a long-time supporter of Timothy Paul. CellMark, Inc. recently donated $100,000 to various charities to aid the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Additionally, SMR and CellMark Paper, USA are supporting the SOS Children’s Villages in 2010. SOS Children’s Villages have provided homes, education and support for thousands of orphaned and abandoned children in over 130 countries for over 50 years.