A field of some 20 drivers and 10 teams will begin their 2013 Mazda Road to Indy quest when the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda returns to the racetrack this week for the six-race Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship. The pre-season mini-series will visit two Florida circuits hosting triple-header events over a span of six days at Sebring International Raceway – site of the first race on the regular season calendar – on Feb. 5-6 and Palm Beach International Raceway on Feb. 9-10.
“It is fantastic to see the interest level in our pre-season championship continue to grow with our biggest field to date expected when we go green at Sebring,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “This is the first time that many drivers and teams will work together in a race environment and we are thrilled that they are taking advantage of this opportunity. In looking at the entry list, I would be hard pressed to pick who will walk away with bragging rights. There is a lot of talent and we are looking forward to some great racing this week.”
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will expand its reach with new events in California, Texas and Canada this year, and will feature five races in support of IndyCar events. Two new teams have entered the series, bringing the total team count to 15 and, to date, 20 drivers have been confirmed with additional announcements forthcoming. The series has also extended its agreements with key partners Mazda and Cooper Tires and announced a new partnership with SCCA Enterprises which becomes the presenting sponsor of the series' National Class.
In addition to 2012 series champion Matthew Brabham advancing to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires this season, other USF2000 grads who were recently announced as taking the next step on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder include Scott Anderson, Shelby Blackstock and Spencer Pigot.
Cooper Tires Winterfest competitors will share track time at Sebring's 3.7-mile, 17-turn circuit with the IMSA Development Series Winter Test featuring the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, which precedes the annual American Le Mans Series “Winter Test” on February 7/8. Track time at the 2.034-mile, 11-turn Palm Beach International Raceway road course will be shared with the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.
Entries will include Austin Cindric with Andretti Autosport; Wyatt Gooden and Jake Eidson with Afterburner Autosport; Matt McMurry and Daniel Burkett with Belardi Auto Racing; Neil Alberico, James Fletcher, Scott Hargrove and Jeroen Slaghekke with Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing; Florian Latorre with JAY Motorsports; Michael Johnson, Arthur Oliveira, Stefan Rzadzinski and Clark Toppe with JDC MotorSports; Jesse Lazare and Jason Wolfe with Pabst Racing Services; RC Enerson with ZSports Midwest with Team E Racing; plus several other drivers whose 2013 programs are yet to be announced.
Live timing and scoring will be available at www.usf2000.com.
2013 Cooper Tires Winterfest Schedule
All Times Eastern
February 5 – Sebring International Raceway
9:50 am - 10:20 am Practice
1:30 pm - 2:00 pm Qualifying
4:20 pm - 5:00 pm Race 1
February 6 – Sebring International Raceway
9:40 am - 10:10 am Warm Up
1:20 pm - 2:00 pm Race 2
4:20 pm - 5:00 pm Race 3
February 9 – Palm Beach International Raceway
9:45 am - 10:15 am Practice
12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Qualifying
3:40 pm - 4:20 pm Race 1
February 10 – Palm Beach International Raceway
8:45 am - 9:15 am Warm Up
10:45 am - 11:25 am Race 2
3:10 pm - 3:50 pm Race 3
NOTE: The grids for Races 2/3 are set by fastest laps.