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Latest News and Commentary

Colin Fleming tests Fran-Am car

March 31,  2002

Rosamond, Calif.  – Colin Fleming, 2001 CART Stars of Tomorrow winner and ten-time national karting champion, recently tested a Fran-Am 2000 race car in conjunction with Intercar Motorsport and Sandy Dells Racing at Willow Springs Raceway, near Los Angeles.

"The car is incredible," said Fleming, who hails from North Hills, California. "I was amazed at how much grip the car produced and with its driveability throughout the entire powerband. The car reacted to changes very well and with the help of Joe Tabor (owner of Intercar Motorsport), Toyota Atlantic engineer Sandy Dells and F2000 driver Mike Potekhen, we set some pretty respectable lap times. We got down to the low 54-second range with more than 300 miles on the tires. Given the history and reputation of Formula Renault in Europe, combined with the support of Michelin International, I know that the Fran-Am series will become very prestigious as well."

Fleming, 17, currently competes in the 2002 Formula Dodge National Championship presented by Racer as a recipient of the Barber-CART scholarship, and continues to race in selected kart events across the country. His next Formula Dodge race is scheduled for April 12-13 at California Speedway in Fontana.

"I can't thank Intercar Motorsport and Sandy Dells enough for this opportunity," said Fleming. "Hopefully, I can continue my relationship with them as I progress through the ladder system. Naturally, I would also like to thank Skip Barber and CART for their continued support of my career."

Sandy Dells recently announced that his team has purchased one car with the intent of running Potekhen in this year's Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship series, and is considering drivers for two additional cars.

The Fran-Am 2000 Championship, a cousin of Formula Renault in Europe and South America, begins its inaugural North American season this year with support from Michelin International. Each Fran-Am 2000 race features a $25,000 Michelin International supported cash prize fund, with the overall series champion winning a ride with a leading Formula Renault team for the entire 2003 European series.

Formula Renault is recognized worldwide as a primary feeder for the Formula One stars of tomorrow. Recent graduates include McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen (who went straight to Formula One from Formula Renault) as well as Sauber's Felipe Massa. American Pat Long is competing in the 2002 British Formula Renault series with Raikkonen’s 2000 championship-winning Manor Motorsports team.

The Fran-Am 2000 race car is the same car that currently competes in Formula Renault around the world, and features a spec-Tatuus carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, sealed 2.0-liter/186-horsepower motor (capable of running an entire season without a rebuild), 6-speed sequential gearbox, and spec-Michelin Sport racing tires. The spec nature of the series has proven to keep operating costs to a minimum, while providing a level playing field to all competitors. Since gear sets are pre-determined, race weekend adjustments are basically limited to wings, spring rates, ride height, castor, camber and tire pressure. Most races begin with a standing start, and culminate after 50-60 miles.

Four of the ten race dates for the 2002 Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship include the Molson Indy Vancouver on Saturday, July 27, CASCAR at Mosport on June 14-16, Mid-America Motorplex on September 6-8, and the series finale at Firebird International Raceway on December 1. In addition, the series just added a fifth event at Race City Motorsport Park in Calgary, Canada, on July 21, in conjunction with the CASCAR Mopar Parts 300 weekend. Further events will be announced shortly.

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