Just days after closing the books on a hotly contested 2012 season, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda is already focused on the future and has announced numerous changes to its National Class program.
Following a partnership last year with SCCA Enterprises which saw the USF2000 category expand to include Formula Enterprises (FE) entries alongside Zetec-powered Van Diemens, the series will welcome only FE cars in the newly renamed USF2000 National Class Presented by SCCA Enterprises next season.
The category is a second-tier, cost-effective alternative program to the Championship Class which features a Mazda MZR-powered Van Diemen chassis and offers its champions a scholarship package to advance to the next level on the Mazda Road to Indy—the Star Mazda Championship—the following season. National Class entries will now be all Mazda-powered Van Diemens. The winner of the National Class is provided with a scholarship package to advance to the Championship Class the following year.
The 2012 National Class Championship came down to a three-way battle for top honors at the season finale last weekend at Virginia International Raceway with 16-year-old Norwegian talent Henrik Furuseth of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing taking the crown in a season that included seven wins and nine top-three finishes in an FE entry.
As a further extension of the new partnership with SCCA Enterprises, the series will support FE entries at the 49th Annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs taking place this week at Road America with a contingency award for the class winner toward USF2000 entry fees in 2013.
The rules package for 2013 will closely mirror the SCCA General Competition Rules and Specifications (GCR) currently in place and utilized by USF2000 with minor changes including expanding the allowable spring options, permitting an alternate sway bar and the use of wickers on the front and rear wings, and replacing the muffler with a straight tailpipe.
SCCA Enterprises Customer Service Representatives are located throughout the United States and include three USF2000 teams—Robinson Motor Sport, Alliance Autosport and Comprent Motor Sports.
Additional modifications within the USF2000 National Class Presented by SCCA Enterprises include an expansion to honor the top-three finishers in post-race ceremonies and a points calculation revision offering competitors the option to choose their best 10 of 12 races to count in the final championship rankings.
The 2013 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda schedule will be issued in the upcoming weeks. The National Class schedule will be comprised of road course and street circuit venues. Competitors will have a chance to jumpstart their campaigns at the second annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test on October 10-11 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and during the now traditional USF2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship—a six-race mini-series—held in February at Sebring International Raceway and Palm Beach International Raceway.
Drivers and teams interested in the 2013 USF2000 championships are invited to contact Series Manager Michelle Kish at 941/723-3900 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.