Mahopac, NY – Ending his 2012 F2000 Championship Series campaign with a pair of strong finishes in a 38-car field, Tim Paul of Mahopac, New York, found himself sixth in the final points tally for the 2012 season. The season was highlighted by 14 well-driven races by Paul and the Stupid Monkey Racing and GTP Motorsports team.
For Paul, a Franklin Pierce University student, the season opened with seven straight top ten finishes before his lone DNF, received in dramatic fashion while fighting for second with eventual Series Champion Robert La Rocca at Mid-Ohio on a restart.
While Paul also finished sixth in the 2011 Championship, the 2012 edition featured bigger fields and more competitive racing near the front. The increased level of racing and sheer volume of cars on track left the GTP Motorsports crew, with engineer Michael Witson, a steeper hill to climb.
"I'm proud of the season we ran. We chased setups all year, and that hurt us, but everyone worked their asses off for us, and I'm proud of what we were able to accomplish with the resources we had," said Paul. "Michael Witson and Glenn Philips, Cellmark and S.O.S., JDS Photography and Jose Rosado, and all the other people that make up a successful racing effort, all helped us immensely throughout the year. I wish we had finished higher in the points, but the last third of the season was tough, and the standings unfortunately reflected that."
Added Team Owner Rick Paul: "From a team perspective we had a good year. Crew Chief Michael Witson, driver coach and advisor Tommy Byrne, Glenn Phillips and all the crew at GTP, Jose, Monty, John and dozens of others gave us amazing support all year. We had a blast racing with all the other GTP drivers – Tom Fatur, Peter Gonzalez, Jim Hanrahan and all the other competitors at every venue. Over 60 different F2000 drivers raced with us in 2012."
The schedule started at VIRginia International Raceway in April, before moving to Road Atlanta with Formula Drift in May and spending Memorial Day weekend at Lime Rock Park. In late June, a tornado rolled through the paddock at New Jersey Motorsports Park, leaving the No. 06 team without shade or an awning, and no power on a 100-degree blistering day. Paul would add two more sixth place finishes that weekend.
"Through the first half of the year we had a shot at a top three championship finish," continued Rick Paul. "It was clear we all had our hands full chasing HP-Tech's Robert LaRocca. He had an unbelievable run and congratulations to the champ!"
Then it was onto Mid-Ohio, where there was another top ten finish and the news-grabbing clash with La Rocca. A road trip south to Summit Point in West Virginia was the weekend to forget, with a 11th place effort in race one before pouring rain on Sunday left Paul a handful of laps down with a broken race car.
"The rain at Summit Point was the highlight of the year," Paul continued. "As badly as we finished, we actually ran very strong until we got stacked up behind a lapped car, and I spun on the brakes. Rain is always exciting, and it was pouring that day. I don't know if we should have actually gone out at all, and looking back at the results maybe I would have pushed harder not to, but I have to admit it was pretty exciting."
Watkins Glen went a bit better, despite an ill-handling race car and destroyed front tires, Paul was able to produce a pair of top 15 finishes in the biggest field the Series had seen since 2008.
Highlighting the progress of the No. 06, carrying sponsorship from CellMark Paper, is the fact tha Paul added an additional 55 points compared to 2011, despite the same amount of races. Those 55 points amount to a single race win in the F2000 Championship Series.
For 2013, the goal is to provide better cars for Tim and another possible driver, said the team boss and Tim's father, Rick.
"Better feedback and focus should improve our results – hopefully by about five spots! Lots of racing is in store next year, as another goal is to race more and continue to build our team experience."
About SMR: Stupid Monkey Racing (SMR) was initially formed back in 1994 to run karting events in the northeast by Rick Paul for his son Tim. After incorporating in 2003, the team initially ran sprint cars and midgets in conjunction with the Race House team. In 2010, the focus became road racing in the F2000 Series. With ongoing sponsorship from CellMark Paper USA the team continues to support driver Tim Paul and also provide series sponsorship through Hard Charger and Championship awards each year. In 2011, SMR partnered with Glenn Phillips and GTP Motorsports for engineering and logistics support resulting in a sixth place finish in the championship standings. Scotsman Stevan MacAleer continues to provide coaching services and run selected races for SMR when not racing in the MX5 Cup, where he was recently crowned 2012 Champion. Look for the bright green and orange cars at a track near you.