The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda today announced the schedule for its increasingly popular Cooper Tires Winterfest – a six-race mini-series offering drivers and teams a head start on their 2013 campaigns. Two premier Florida circuits will once again play host to the third annual pre-season championship which will take place in early February. The event drew 20 drivers representing 10 teams this year.
The first three races will be held on February 5/6 at Sebring International Raceway, as a prelude to the anticipated American Le Mans Series' Winter Test. Two practice sessions, one qualifying round and three 30-minute races will be contested on the 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course. This stage provides vital track time at the site of the season-opening rounds of the 2013 USF2000 Championship, which will host its first-ever tripleheader event at the circuit in support of the 61st running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 16 – America's oldest and most prestigious sports car endurance race.
From there the Winterfest championship will move south to Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR) for an identical schedule on February 9/10. USF2000 made its debut at the 2.034-mile, 11-turn circuit during the 2012 Winterfest to accolades from its teams and drivers. The series will be offering track time to Star Mazda competitors at PBIR for pre-season testing during the event.
“We are extremely pleased to announce our third annual Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship, which has become a key program in our series,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “Our schedule of six races over six days gives drivers and teams a chance to develop their programs and further their new relationships in a competitive environment that is cost effective. It is the perfect lead up to the start of our season-long championship and, as a series, it allows us to dust off the cobwebs from the winter break. I personally really look forward to this event for a first glimpse of the new talent we have on board for another highly anticipated year of racing.”
Move-in dates for teams are February 4 at Sebring and February 8 at Palm Beach with the opportunity to remain in the Sebring paddock between race events. USF2000 will be announcing its full schedule of 2013 races and tests in the coming weeks.