November 18, 2010

R-Sport is planning to run both F1600 Formula F Championship Series and F2000 Championship Series programs next year, according to Paul Rieffle, who runs the team. The Pennsylvania-based squad recently built a Swift DB-6 for Tim Dunn, powered by the Honda Fit motor.

Dunn has driven for R-Sport before, contesting numerous F2000 Championship Series races over the years.

“We put his Swift DB-6 together with the Honda in it, took it to BeaveRun to test, shook the car down and it ran without a hitch,” said Rieffle.

 “Then, we wanted to do a hardcore shakedown so we took it down to Road Atlanta. Everything went great but unfortunately we had a small incident in the race.”

Rieffle commented that it was “probably the newest DB-6 on the planet.”

“We took it down to the frame, re-powdercoated it, everything. The car literally looked brand new. We spent 350 hours on it.”

Rieffle added the new motor from Honda should revitalize the Formula F class. “You hit the starter button and it starts,” he explained. “But it’s like the Pinto/Zetec situation. Some people hated that transition and some people loved it. In  terms of chassis and engine conversation, it went relatively smoothly.

“We literally had no issues with the conversion,” continued Rieffle. “The biggest thing was figuring out the gear ratios because of the new map and restrictor – but you can figure out the gearing pretty quickly at a track.”

2010 Season

R-Sport had an up-and-down 2010 season in the F2000 Championship Series with drivers Jonathan Scarallo and Keith McCrone. Both the entries showed speed all year but numerous incidents usually kept the team up well into the nights.

As the season developed McCrone was a threat for the Masters Class championship and Scarallo being a threat all year long, eventually taking his first win at Elkhart Lake.

Rieffle said that Road America was the highlight of 2010.

“Elkhart Lake made the season. Jonathan was able to win one and Keith finally found his way to the podium. That was a lot of fun. That was the kind of weekend we work towards with a happy team, happy drivers and both cars at the front and on the podium.” 

2011 Plans

“We’ve agreed to be limited to three or four cars,” Rieffle revealed. “As soon as you go above that it gets complicated. Back in day we were taking five and six cars to the track and then someone can get the short end of the stick.”

The R-Sport team boss said that he liked the fact a team can show up in the F2000 paddock without a big rig and huge support crew. “It helps keep the costs down, you can bring the dually and win races.”

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