Pacific Series Opens Ninth Season at ‘Fastest Road in the West’
The Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Corsa Car Care opens its ninth season on the fast and undulating 2.5-mile Willow Springs International Raceway near Rosamond, Calif., where a pair of 30-minute races will run as part of VARA’s High Desert Challenge.
|Conner Ford en route to victory 2011|
The series re-christened the Pacific Formula 2000/Formula F Super Series will once again provide twelve races over six race weekends with the Formula F drivers competing in ten races, skipping the series return to Portland International Raceway in July.
In addition to Willow Springs and the familiar tracks such as Auto Club Speedway, Buttonwillow Raceway Park and Las Vegas Motor Speedway the series will again venture to Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah and Portland International Raceway in Portland, Oregon.
The series will be switching from the familiar Hankook tires to Cooper tires this season and the teams will be scrambling to figure out the advantages and disadvantages of the new tires and should create a level field at the start of the season.
There will be four new faces on the grid as Dave Freitas Racing from Santa Fe Springs, CA. and PR1 Motorsports from Fresno, CA. will field two each.
Joining DFR this year will be 19 year old Bobby Kelley fresh from winning the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy Scouting Combine and finishing second in the National class at the USF2000 season opener in Sebring, Florida. Kelley from Riverside, CA. has been racing Karts since 2005 and could become an instant challenger for this season’s top honors. Kelley will be driving the #21 Van Diemen that Dane Cameron took to victory in Las Vegas in 2008.
Alongside Kelley at DFR in the #6 Van Diemen will be 16 year old Camden Geise. Geise is a former EKN Top Gun Award winner in 2007 and brings with him 9 years of racing experience.
DRF is not without its veteran drivers as the defending Expert Class (drivers 35-50) champion Ira Fierberg in the #27 Van Diemen is again joined by Peter West competing in the Masters Class (drivers 51+) in his #99 Van Diemen. Ira is looking to add to his success at this venue having collected two poles and four podium finishes in the last four races at the Rosamond facility.
PR1 Motorsports is also providing opportunities for young drivers as Camren Kaminsky moving up from Formula Ford and Colin Wall from the Skip Barber Winter Series will team up in a pair of F2000 Van Diemens. The pair will be teamed with Peter Thomas, returning to PR1 for selected races this season.
Defending series champion Conner Ford will remain with PR1 this season but instead of his familiar seat in the F2000 Van Diemen, Ford will be challenging for the Formula F series title in a French Mygale powered by the Honda Fit 1500cc engine. Conner is a strong contender for the series title.
Returning to the series will be Jeff Sakowicz who competed in the Formula F class last year with a couple of victories, is this year moving up to the 2-liter cars having recently acquired a Van Diemen and Nick Kodenko returning after taking time off to complete his college education, hoping to compete the entire season.
Others expected to make returns this year are defending Masters Class champion and 2011 Willow Springs victor Bob Negron, Bill Kincaid and Peter Hastrup.
Series promoter and long-time competitor Les Phillips will be returning in the lone Mygale this year, “I am anxious to get started with our ninth year and look forward to seeing you all again. Good racing times are back!”
Qualifying for round 1 begins at 8:50am with the race to follow at 2:55pm Saturday and round 2 at 9:20am and 12:05pm respectively.
The single-seat, open-wheel Pacific F2000 cars are powered by 2-liter Ford Zetec engines and are capable of speeds in excess of 140 mph. All cars run on Cooper tires supplied by Sierra Tire. VP Racing fuels also is an official provider, along with Corsa Car Care, Porterfield Brakes, Wine Country Motorsports and Buttonwillow Raceway.