Junior Open Wheel Talent

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Archive for the ‘ Signing ’ Category

After winning seven races — and the title — in the 2012 USF2000 National Class, Henrik Furuseth will graduate to the USF2000 Championship Class in 2013.

Furuseth, 16, will join PRL Motorsports in 2013 after thoroughly impressing team owner Patrick Linn during the 2012 season. The young Norwegian will join teammate Michael Epps on the squad’s roster.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Sage Karam will join Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the 2013 Indy Lights season. (photo: IndyCar.com)

Sage Karam will join Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the 2013 Indy Lights season. (photo: IndyCar.com)

While concern was building due to a lack of announcement from Mazda Road to Indy driver Sage Karam on where he’d be racing in 2013, perhaps Karam was just waiting for his wrestling season to end before making the big announcement. Or, perhaps not.

Either way, we now know where Karam, a standout racer in the USF2000 and Star Mazda Series and a pretty solid wrestler for the Nazareth Blue Eagles, will be racing in 2013: Indy Lights with Schmidt Peterson Racing. The announcement comes just days after Karam’s 18th birthday and six days after he saw his wrestling season come to an early end, after narrowly dropping a match that eliminated him from moving on to the PIAA State Wrestling Tournament.

A true competitor, Karam simply tweeted: “Just went for a 5 mile run to let loose of the frustration of the loss I just had in my wrestling match.” His next tweet indicated that it was time to transfer his focus back to racing.

After an outstanding career in karting and Skip Barber Racing, Karam moved up to the USF2000 National Championship in 2010. He won the championship, driving for Andretti Autosport, with 11 podiums including nine wins. The next two seasons were spent in the Star Mazda Championship where Karam continued to develop his skill set, finishing fifth in 2011 and third in 2012 — a stretch that included five wins and 14 podiums.

This season, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Karam will join teammates Jack Hawksworth and Gabby Chaves for the 12-race schedule that begins March 23 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. He made his first appearance with the team during an Open Test at Sebring International Raceway on March 7-8 and will participate in an Open Test on March 11 at Barber Motorsports Park.

This is a good signing for Karam, who hopes to climb the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder all the way to an IndyCar ride.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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ArmsUp Motorsports announced its four-car lineup for the 2013 USF2000 National Championship today, which is set to kick-off next week at Sebring International Raceway.

Regulars for the squad will be James Dayson, Felipe Donato, and Andrew Hobbs. Joining for a two-race effort will be Tim Paul.

Dayson, 34, returns to ArmsUp Motorsports after winning the USF2000 Winterfest National Class with the team.

Donato, a rookie from Brazil, will look to build on his karting experience this season as he moves up to regular-season USF2000 competition for the first time. In 2011, he competed in the Formula Future Fiat Championship and this past winter he made the jump to the USF2000 Winterfest, earning two top-10 finishes and a fifth-place finish at Palm Beach International Raceway.

Hobbs, 18, grandson of David Hobbs, will graduate to USF2000 competition in 2012 after proving himself in the Skip Barber Racing ranks. In 2012, Hobbs competed in the Skip Barber Summer Series, compiling two wins and six podiums.

Paul, a F2000 Championship Series regular, will run two events with ArmsUp Motorsports while also competing in the F2000 Championship, where he earned nine top-10 finishes in 2012 — including a fifth at VIR and Mid-Ohio.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Brandon Newey

Brandon Newey

Brandon Newey will drive the No. 98 Afterburner Autosport USF2000 car in 2013, with assistance from Bryan Herta Autosport.

Newey graduates to USF2000 and the Mazda Road to Indy after an extremely successful season in the 2012 Formula F1600 Championship Series. He finished second in the championship points standings and achieved four wins, five second-place finishes, and two pole positions including a new track record at Watkins Glen.

Newey, 20, a freshman at Purdue University, will make his USF2000 debut with Afterburner Autosport during the season-opener March 13-15 at Sebring International Raceway.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Goncalvez returns to Belardi

Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:10 am Indy Lights, Signing Comments

Jorge Goncalvez will return for his third season in Firestone Indy Lights with Belardi Auto Racing, the same team he drove for in 2011 and 2012.

After driving much of the 2011 season with a broken leg, Goncalvez came on strong, earning a podium in four of the final five races of the season. The late season success left the young Venezuelan with high hopes heading into 2012. Unfortunately, the results didn’t come as expected in with Goncalvez being denied a podium finish, despite logging six top-10 results. His best finish was sixth at Iowa Speedway after starting the race 11th.

With a return to Belardi Auto Racing for 2013, the high hopes for a strong season return. Goncalvez, 21, will again partner with teammate Peter Dempsey as they work to propel the team to the front of the pack. Working with Dempsey and having the team familiarity with Belardi should be a recipe for success in 2013.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Luca Forgeois announced he will join ZSports/Team E Racing for the 2013 USF2000 National Championship.

Forgeois, 17, returns for his junior season in USF2000 competition having won the 2011 National Class (6 wins, 10 podiums) and earned three top-10 finishes in the 2012 Championship Class.

The New York native will join RC Enerson on the ZSports/Team E  roster. Both drivers should be fun to watch this season as they embark on a full-season battle for the USF2000 crown.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Peter Portante

Peter Portante

Peter Portante announced he will join Belardi Auto Racing for the 2013 USF2000 National Championship.

Portante, 16, joins the squad having won the Skip Barber Champion Shootout in December at Road Atlanta. He will look to continue his ascent of the Mazda Road to Indy driver development ladder after earning a $200,000 prize in the shootout.

Portante completes the four-car USF2000 roster for Belardi, who has already signed American Matt McMurry, Canadian Daniel Burkett and Brazilian Danilo Estrela. Portante developed his racing skill on ovals, competing in both karts and late model stock cars before making the jump to Skip Barber Racing to develop his road racing skill in a formula car.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Chaves joins Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Posted February 19, 2013 at 6:53 pm Indy Lights, Signing Comments

It was announced last week that Gabby Chaves will join Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the 2013 Indy Lights season.

Chaves’ signing adds considerable depth to the SPM roster as the team has now signed the top-two finishers in the 2012 Pro Mazda Championship. Chaves, 19, joins previously announced teammate and ’12 Mazda champ Jack Hawksworth.

After winning the 2009 Formula BMW Americas championship, Chaves moved to Europe competing in Italian F3 and GP3 before returning to the United States and entering the Star Mazda Championship. Last season, driving for JDC MotorSports, Chaves earned 10 podium finishes, including two wins — Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta — in the final two races of the season.

This is a good signing for SPM. Chaves and Hawksworth will push each other and if they can adapt to ovals quickly both will likely be championship contenders.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Danilo Estrela pilots the No. 14 Belardi Auto Racing USF2000 car during a test session.

Danilo Estrela pilots the No. 14 Belardi Auto Racing USF2000 car during a test session.

Belardi Auto Racing today announced it has signed junior formula standout Danilo Estrela to its US2000 roster.

Estrela, 19, will join Matt McMurry and Daniel Burkett for the 2013 USF2000 season.

After developing his craft in karting and winning the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout, Danilo Estrela impressed onlookers in the Skip Barber Regional Series. In 2012, the Brazilian driver earned an impressive six wins en route to a runner-up finish in the championship.

Estrela is a good addition to the Belardi squad and certainly adds even more depth to the young USF2000 roster.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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Diego Ferreira will return for his sophomore season in the Pro Mazda Championship, driving for Juncos Racing. The 18-year-old Venezuelan will pilot the No. 57 car.

Ferreira earned “Most Improved Driver of the Year” in 2012 thanks to 14 top-10 finishes en route to sixth-place in the drivers’ championship. He wrapped up the season with five-consecutive top-five finishes.

Ferreira’s consistency and confidence seemed to improve last season and if he’s able to continue that same level of development in 2013, he will be fun to watch as the season progresses.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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