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DATE News (chronologically)
03/15/11
usf2000
F2000
USA deep freeze forces Aussie to switch F2000 series  Australian Nathan Morcom has switched from the USF2000 National Championship to the rival F2000 Championship Series – due to the weather, of all things!

The extraordinarily cold USA winter literally froze the pre-season testing plans of Primus Racing, for whom the 18 year-old Sydney driver will race this year.

“The snow has been so heavy in Ohio, where Primus Racing is based, that it was almost impossible to get around,” Morcom explained.

“Jon Baytos, who runs Primus, has been flat-out clearing snow away from his workshop instead of preparing the race car.

“But even if we’d been ready to go testing, the northern USA racetracks have only been good for snowmobiles, not open wheelers!”

Given the alternatives of turning up not fully prepared for the first four USF2000 rounds at Sebring this week and St Petersburg the following weekend, or using the intervening three weeks before F2000CS begins at Virginia International Raceway to acclimatize (pun intended!) the rookie to his unfamiliar car and team, Baytos chose the latter.

“Racing at Sebring without having done as much testing as the other drivers would have put me at a big disadvantage, and I want to make a good impression right from the start in my first American season,” Morcom said.

Not that he was unduly worried about the late change – in fact, it could turn out to be a positive move.

“Although USF2000 has a higher profile, as part of the Indy Car ‘Road to Indy’ ladder, F2000CS will probably be more competitive,” Morcom said.

“Last year F2000CS had more than twice as many registered drivers as USF2000, with 25-30 starters at several rounds, and it looks like being the same this year.

“And the F2000CS circuits – VIR, Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Mosport and Lime Rock Park – are among the best road courses in the USA, if not the world.

“Of course it would be great to win the USF2000 first prize of a scholarship to Star Mazda next year, but racing against only a dozen other drivers in that series wouldn’t be as good for my development as competing against 30 in F2000CS.

“Having said that, F2000CS will be a very tough series, with a mix of young drivers like myself as well as some very fast and experienced older drivers.

“But Jon Baytos has huge experience in this category, so I’m confident that with his help I can be competitive and give a good account of myself,” Morcom concluded.

F2000 CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES, ROUNDS 1 & 2

Virginia International Raceway (5.3km) – Alton, Virginia

Provisional timetable

Thursday, April 7

Testing

Friday, April 8

Official practice

Saturday, April 9

Round 1 Qualifying & Race (30min.)

Sunday, April 10

Round 2 Qualifying & Race (30min.)

BACKGROUND – Nathan Morcom

Date of Birth: April 5, 1992

Hometown: Abbotsbury (western Sydney), NSW

Sponsors: Rondo Building Services, Direct Plasterboard Outlets, NSW Stretch Ceilings.

Motorsport career highlights:

2010 – F3, Toyota Racing Series, Formula Ford, production touring cars

2nd, Eastern Creek Eight-Hour production touring car race (co-driver)

5th, Race 3, Round 6, Australian F3 Championship, Eastern Creek Raceway (rookie)

10th, Australian Formula Ford Championship

11th, New Zealand Toyota Racing Series (rookie; contested six of 12 races only)

2009 – Formula Ford

Selected for the CAMS ‘Rising Star’ young driver development program

13th, Australian Formula Ford Championship (rookie)

2008 – karts, Formula Ford

1st, Junior National Heavy class, Australian Sprint Kart Championships

1st, Junior National Heavy class, NSW Premier State Cup

2nd, Junior Clubman class, NSW Premier State Cup

Selected for the CAMS ‘Rising Star’ young driver development program

5th, NSW Formula Ford Championship (rookie)

2007 – karts

1st, Junior National Heavy class, NSW Premier State Cup

1st, Junior National Heavy class, South Australian State Championships

1st, Junior National Heavy class, Tasmanian State Championships

3rd, Junior Clubman class, NSW Premier State Cup

2006 – karts

1st, Junior National Heavy class, Tasmanian State Championships

3rd, Junior National Light class, NSW Premier State Cup

3rd, Junior Clubman class, NSW Premier State Cup

6th, Junior National Light class, Australian Sprint kart Championships

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