New York , NY – Jonathan Scarallo will become a sophomore F2000 Championship Series driver in 2010 as the teenager recently signed with R-Sport for the full 2010 season. Scarallo will pilot the #22 Van Diemen with backing from Vredestein Tires, GroupAWheels.com and Bertil Roos Racing School. He joins R-Sport teammate Keith McCrone for the full seven-weekend, 14-race 2010 tour.
“The first goal this year is to get my first podium and a win, and if possible, do them both in the same race. Then after that the plan would be to do it consistently,” commented Scarallo, who is the 2008 Bertil Roos F2000 Series champion. “If we can do that the points will take care of themselves and hopefully we will be on the top of the standings.”
“Paul Rieffle (R-Sport Team Director) has been around forever and no one in the paddock has anything bad to say about him,” Scarallo continued, “he used to drive too, so between his engineering expertise and his driving abilities, and the team’s work ethic, I will have a great program surrounding me to push forward for a championship-caliber effort.”
After a rough rookie start in 2009 driving for Group A Racing, Scarallo is hoping to put the bad luck behind him. “It’s not a secret that 2009 was a very tough year when it came to race results. Just about every event we went to we had top 10 or even top five lap times, but things out of our control would keep happening during the races to take away potential results. DNFs kill you, so this year I need to be more careful about picking and choosing my battles. I might need to take it back a notch to make sure I finish and get points, and not go for a couple points, risking 30 or 40.
“Last year I was a rookie driver so every single track was new to me and I had to learn it, but this year I know most of them. So during the first practice session, instead of learning the track, we can get straight to work on getting a good balance on the car,” continued Scarallo.
The 18-year old ended up a distant 15th in the final point standings, but showed flashes of speed. At Watkins Glen, Scarallo qualified a solid fourth before an incident during the race ended his day. At Lime Rock, he was able to hang in the top-five with a fading brake pedal.
“I am looking forward to the five tracks that we raced at last year because I see them as an opportunity to get some revenge,” Scarallo added. “There are two new tracks on the schedule this year, Road America and Road Atlanta, that I haven’t raced at, but those speak for themselves. In particular though I am most looking forward to Lime Rock Park and Watkins Glen because those are my home races and we will have a lot of sponsor guests, family and friends come out and support us.”
Scarallo, an up-and-coming American hopeful, admitted that after driving and working for GroupARacing, a team owned by his immediate family, in 2009, the move to R-Sport for 2010 would be a step in the right direction: “With our team, I was in the shop six days a week, all the time, with the guys. The move opens more opportunities for me to do things with my sponsors and work with potential sponsors without having to worry about getting the car ready. It also leaves my head more clear and gives me more time to think about the driving aspect, and not worrying about whether we did a good bolt check on the grid.”
As far as coming back to the F2000 Championship Series for 2010, Scarallo admits it was a pretty easy decision to make, “The F2000 Series was really a no brainer. The series does an incredible job of putting on a terrific show for the competitors, taking us to some of the best tracks in North America along with high profile events, and they manage to keep the budgets way down at the same time.”
The 14-race, seven-weekend 2010 F2000 Championship Series gets going on April 9 at VIR, followed by Road Atlanta in May and Mosport in June. Then it’s Watkins Glen with IndyCar and Lime Rock with ALMS in July before Road America in August and the season finale at Mid-Ohio over Labor Day. The F2000 Series posted the highest average car count on the open wheel development landscape in 2008 and 2009 with an average of 30 entries per race.