Pacific F2000 Championship Spreads its Wings With 12-Race Schedule

West Coast-based Series Offers Challenges and Value for Money to Aspiring Open-Wheel Stars

Buttonwillow, Calif. (February 5, 2007) by Jeremy Shaw

The Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Hankook Tires looks set to build on its reputation as one of the best developmental series for young race car drivers with the addition of two more top-quality venues on its recently announced 2007 schedule.

The road courses at California Speedway (in Fontana, Calif.), Buttonwillow Raceway Park (near Bakersfield, Calif.), Infineon Raceway (Sonoma, Calif.) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway have been part of the series since its inception in 2004. For 2007, competitors are looking forward to the extra challenges provided by one of California’s oldest and most highly regarded tracks, the 2.5-mile Willow Springs International Raceway, which first saw action in 1953, and the nation’s newest and longest road course facility, the 4.5-mile Miller Motorsports Park, near Salt Lake City, Utah, which was inaugurated to rave reviews by racers in 2006.

The July 14-15 event at Miller Motorsports Park will be held in conjunction with the thriving NASCAR Grand National West series.

In its brief history, Pacific F2000 already has provided a launchpad for the careers of several promising young open-wheel stars, including 2005 champion Mike Forest and 2005 runner-up J.R, Hildebrand, who will be contesting this year’s Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. Last year’s champion, Robert Podlesni, followed in the footsteps of Hildebrand by winning a prestigious Team USA Scholarship.

Entries for 2007 include 17-year-old Californian rising star Pat Barrett, who won the 2006 SCCA Formula Russell Championship and then made a sensational Pacific F2000 debut by winning both races at Infineon Raceway; and 20-year-old New Zealander Mitch Cunningham, whose older brother Wade raced F2000 cars in 2004 and went on to win the 2005 Indy Pro Series championship.

No wonder series founder Les Phillips is so excited about the upcoming season which begins with a pair of races on March 9-11 at California Speedway: "The key to success is good competition, a good package of tire, engine and chassis, and affordable racing," says Phillips. "The Hankook tires have worked well with our package and they provide a very stable platform to develop and learn from. Our schedule is well spaced again throughout the year leaving some time for midweek testing and preparation."

The Pacific F2000 Championship features modern, purpose-built, single-seat, open-wheel race cars powered by either four-cylinder, double-overhead cam, fuel-injected 2.0-liter Ford Zetec engines or the slightly older, carbureted, 2.0-liter Ford Pinto "National" engines, both of which produce around 150 horsepower. The cars weigh in at just 1,220 lbs, employ "slick" (treadless) Hankook racing tires and are capable of speeds in excess of 140mph.

F2000 represents one of the first rungs on the professional open-wheel auto racing ladder in North America and has provided the launching pad for the careers of many top racers, including Champ Car World Series champions Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy, and Indianapolis 500 winners Buddy Rice, Dan Wheldon and Sam Hornish Jr.

2007 Pacific F2000 Championship Schedule (each venue will host two 30-minute races):

March 9-11 California Speedway, Fontana, California

March 31-April 1 Willow Springs International Raceway, Rosamond, California

May 5-6 Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Bakersfield, California

July 14-15 Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah

September 22-23 Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, California

October 13-14 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada

For more information on the Pacific F2000 Series please visit their web site. http://www.PacificF2000.com/


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