Mahopac, NY – SMR is back for a sophomore season in F2000, teaming with F2000 Championship Series veterans GTP Motorsports for a two car effort with American Tim Paul in the #06 Van Diemen/Zetec. Paul drove his rookie season for SMR in 2010 alongside fellow rookie Stevan McAleer, who may return to the second Van Diemen entry pending sponsorship.
Paul was one of the big storylines coming into the 2010 season as an American rookie along with SMR which left the sprint car and midget circle-track ranks to come to open-wheel road racing and the F2000 Championship Series.
“For 2011, the goals are simple, I want a top-five finish in the standings and a couple of top-five qualifying efforts,” stated Paul, who is attending Franklin Pierce University, majoring in English.
“I’m looking to make a huge improvement from last season. With GTP, I will be able to really concentrate on my job in the car, and I think everyone will see a big jump in finishing positions and overall competitiveness.”
Paul said that teaming up with GTP was an easy decision. “They are experienced, professional and dedicated,” he explained “They know the cars inside out, and Glenn (Phillips – GTP team owner) has a long history in F2000. I need to thank Tad Uzzle and Michael Witson of the Race House team for their support in 2010, as they will continue to be part of our 2011 program.”
The SMR squad battled a tough rookie season that saw some strong runs with McAleer, from Scotland, taking multiple podiums highlighted by a near-win at Lime Rock Park in July. Paul battled through ups and downs, including a high-speed suspension failure while running in the top 10 at Road Atlanta.
Coming back for another year in F2000 was an easy decision for SMR. CellMark Paper will return for 2011 to sponsor Paul, and the team will continue to support SOS Children’s Villages.
CellMark will also sponsor a Series Hard Charger award for F2000 and the new F1600 Formula F Championship Series, along with an end-of-year “Flying Monkey” award.
“Why wouldn’t we continue running in F2000?” Paul said. “We haven’t talked about doing anything else. It’s the best Series out there, with the greatest tracks and a great group of people. We’ve got some things to prove this year. I can’t even put into words how excited I am for 2011.”
Over the next months, both Van Diemen SMR chassis will be rebuilt from the ground up at the GTP Motorsports shop in New Hampshire.
The 2011 F2000 Championship Series opens its sixth consecutive season with a double-header weekend, like all the events, at VIR, April 8-10. The Series next heads to Road Atlanta with the highly-popular Formula Drift tour, May 6-7. Rounds five and six come at Watkins Glen, June 3-5, with Grand-Am. June 30-July 2 sees the Series visit Mid-Ohio before pairing up with ALMS at Mosport, July 22-24. The season starts to come to a close with the NASCAR Modifieds at Lime Rock Park, September 16-17 and finishes at Watkins Glen, October 14-16, with what is appearing to be a year full of massive car counts and a variety of new chassis, teams and drivers.