The Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Corsa Car Care will add a new string to its bow in 2011 as it continues to provide opportunities both for veteran drivers to enjoy some spirited competition and for ambitious youngsters who are seeking to lay the groundwork for a career in the sport.
The new Formula F Super Series will run as a separate class at four of the six Pacific F2000 race meetings and will feature modern Formula F cars powered either by the trusty 1.6-liter Ford “Kent” engine, which has been a staple of competition since the 1960s, or the more modern, fuel-injected, 1.5-liter Fit L15A7 motor taken from the Honda Fit passenger car.
“Formula F has a rich history as an entry vehicle for aspiring and veteran racers alike,” says longtime Formula F aficionado Eric Sakowicz. “Providing a cost-effective platform for generating renewed interest in the class has been long overdue. The opportunity to combine the Pacific Formula F Super Series with Pacific F2000 and its eight-year history seemed to be a natural fit. I'm really excited about what the series can become.”
Each of the four race weekends will feature open practice, two qualifying sessions and a pair of 30-minute races with the Formula F field starting separately from the F2000 cars.
“I have long been a proponent of Formula F, having started my own racing life in a Crossle 32F,” says Pacific F2000 Series principal Les Phillips, who also serves as General Manager of Buttonwillow Raceway. “I am real excited about all the work Eric has done to organize and bring the Formula F cars to the Pacific F2000 series. We hope to contribute in a small way toward rebuilding the class here on the West Coast.”
To ensure a level playing field, the Formula F cars will be governed by the current SCCA GCR. Technical inspection will be conducting and fuel will be tested on a regular basis. The tire brand and configuration of tires will be the choice of the individual competitor, although as an additional cost-saving measure, all cars will be limited to one set of tires for each race weekend.
F2000 originated in England in 1974 and has helped spawn the careers of many of the sport's top names. In North America, its alumni include Sam Hornish Jr., Buddy Rice, Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser and Dan Wheldon. Graduates of Pacific F2000 since its inception in 2004 include J.R. Hildebrand, who won the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights Championship and will drive the No. 4 National Guard car in this year's IZOD IndyCar Series; rising Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series star Dane Cameron; and Jason Bowles, who won the 2011 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway and finished fifth on his ARCA debut at Daytona.
The roots of Formula F stretch even longer, to 1967, when Formula Ford was introduced in England as a cost-effective first rung on the racing ladder. Many top drivers from around the world began their careers in Formula Ford, including Formula 1 World Champions from Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt to Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button, as well as Indianapolis 500 champions Danny Sullivan, Arie Luyendyk and Scott Dixon.