The USF2000 National Championship will make its debut this weekend as part of the “Road to Indy” development program when it takes to the Streets of St. Petersburg for the opening round of the 2010 season.
I should probably clarify the above statement by noting that the series will, in fact, be re-emerging in 2010 as it was initially created in 1991 by Mike Foschi and Dan Andersen. The duo ran the series for a little over 10 years. For a lot more detail on the history behind F2000 racing, make sure to read my Junior Formula 101- F2000 article.
This gets pretty long, so I’ll post the rest of the preview after the jump.
The current entry lists consists largely of rookie drivers without any previous car experience or at least not a full season worth of car experience, so it will be real interesting to see how this group develops over the course of the year. Most of the drivers entered in the 2010 championship have a significant background in karting so I’m not too worried about their ability to make the jump to a full-size race car.
Current Entry List
- Ardie Greenamyer- AcceleRace Motorsports
- Martin Scuncio- Pabst Racing Services
- J.R. Smart- Pabst Racing Services
- Anthony Furfari- AIM Autosport
- Patrick McKenna- Cape Motorsports
- Josh Fielding- Cape Motorsports
- Sage Karam- Andretti Autosport
- Matt Powers- Liberty Motorsports
- Terrick Mansur- Liberty Motorsports
- Ben Searcy- ZSports Midwest
- Mikhail Goikhberg- JDC Motorsports
- Raphael Abbate- JDC Motorsports
- Martin Sala- JDC Motorsports
Drivers to Watch
Well, this is where things get interesting. I haven’t seen all of these guys drive and with the series being new to both drivers and teams it’s tough to make any sort of accurate predictions.
With that in mind, here is my list of a few drivers to watch and a brief explanation of why I feel that way. Standard Disclaimer: If you didn’t make the list it doesn’t mean I don’t think you’ll be successful.
Terrick Mansur- I have a feeling Terrick will stand out a bit due to his experience in relation to the rest of the field. However, as the season goes on I don’t think it will take long for the rest of the drivers to close that gap. Mansur is a talented driver and should do well as long as he has good equipment. Liberty Motorsports has brought a really solid group of individuals together and they should do quite well this season.
Sage Karam- Sage has always been very impressive in the karting ranks (for some strange reason it feels like I’ve said that before) and he had a really good year of development last season in Skip Barber National competition. On top of that he’s had the opportunity to test both a Formula BMW car and a Star Mazda car over the past year. Let’s also not forget that he will be driving for Andretti Autosport… which really can’t hurt.
Ben Searcy- Ben Searcy is another talented karter-turned-car racer and he did a great job last season in the F2000 Championship. He will be driving for ZSports Midwest- the same team he drove for last season. So, he won’t need any additional time to gel with the squad. He has a ton of potential and if he is able to put everything together this season, I fully expect him to be successful.
Patrick McKenna- Patrick brings a lot of experience with him to the series. Last season, he competed in the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain and produced some very admirable results. I know a lot of the tracks will be new to him but he should be able to adapt fairly quickly given his background. I think teaming up with the Cape was a pretty wise move. Time will tell.
Mikhail Goikhberg- Mikhail did really well in his F2000 Championship debut last season finishing 6th in Race-1. Despite limited experience with downforce he was able to drive from 23rd to 12th in Race-2. Under the guidance of John Church and JDC Motorsports I think he will adapt to the car/series very quickly this season.
Anthony Furfari- Anthony was one of the first drivers to commit to the USF2000 National Championship and he has a lot of testing experience. He will be driving for AIM Autosport in 2010. Prior to this season, he has competed extensively in karts and also ran a few Skip Barber Regional events. In addition to his racing experience, he has logged a fair amount of testing miles in a Star Mazda car alongside his older brother Michael.
Martin Scuncio- Chilean driver Martin Scuncio was a last minute addition to the Pabst Racing Services squad. He will bring quite a bit of car experience with him, having raced in F3 Chile and Formula Renault 2.0 (Italy and Switzerland). Given his experience level he should come up to speed fairly quickly.
My Championship Picks
It’s early and a lot can change but I know people enjoy this sort of thing, so I figured I’d post my just-for-fun picks.
My top-three for the 2010 Championship are:
- Sage Karam
- Terrick Mansur
- Patrick McKenna
I’m really looking forward to this championship. If the racing is as close and competitive as I expect, I have a feeling that the series will help generate more exposure for today’s junior formula drivers looking to embark on the “Road to Indy”.