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Mar 26

Heading to Virginia: Series Growing

The expanded 2012 schedule is a response from a season-ending survey sent out by Series officials.
 
Just over two weeks away, the second edition of the F1600 Formula F Championship Series is set to grow in 2012, adding another race weekend (six in total, for 12 races) and more teams, drivers, chassis and engines.

The biggest news since Bill Valet edged Tim Kautz for the Series crown during the season finale at Watkins Glen last year has been the addition of Bryan Herta Autosport, which has committed to running two cars with Honda power, and is the North American Mygale chassis importer.

Valet will not contest a full season in 2012, focusing on his career instead. Kautz has yet to confirm his program but could be a Championship favorite, mounting a possible return with a rumored Honda conversion in his Piper chassis.

Third place in the 2011 title and the winner of the first ever race in Series history, Jim Goughary, also remains a question mark as the veteran looks for a ride.

The provisional entry list also shows more young aspiring racers than ever before, highlighted by 15-year-old Jeffrey Bartz, and a sophomore campaign by Colin Thompson. Bartz will contest a Van Diemen/Honda and Thompson a Swift/Honda.

Also on the entry list is 15-year-old John McCusker, the son of Jeff McCusker, a long time F2000 driver. John will race in Jeff’s F2000 Van Diemen, which has been converted to F1600 trim with Honda Fit power.

Cape Motorsports is expected back with its racey Spectrum/Honda chassis, which had a habit of finishing second consistently in 2011, although no drivers have been confirmed to Series officials yet, similar to Primus Racing, which has a storied history of fielding the next generation of the pros.

Quantum Racing Services, which won all four races they entered in 2011 with Wyatt Gooden, will field Brazilian Roberto Lorena in a Van Diemen/Honda, and could add more entries before the season starts on April 12 with a test day, during a race weekend that features more than four and a half hours of track time in Southern Virginia.

Quantum will also transfer Gooden up the team’s internal ladder, fielding the aspiring racer for a full year in the F2000 Championship Series in a Van Diemen.

2011 race winner and racing veteran Art Foster is expected back in a Van Diemen/Ford.

The expanded 2012 schedule is a response from a season-ending survey sent out by Series officials.

The 2012 campaign will open at VIR, April 12-15, followed by a trip to Lime Rock in May, with New Jersey, Mid-Ohio and Summit Point following for a summer swing, before the season ends October 12-14 at Watkins Glen International.
 
source: Monty Mathisen, mathisenmedia.com