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January 07, 2013 News
The Insider: Open Wheel News and Rumors
 


THE INSIDER – OPEN WHEEL NEWS AND RUMORS

Welcome to the eFormulaCarNews.com Rumor Mill, otherwise known as ‘The Insider’. EFCN has spies and inside sources all over the junior formula open wheel ladder and we’ll be using this page to keep our readership, you information hungry formula car enthusiasts, up to speed on the happenings in the paddock and in the race shops around North America and the world. Remember, this information is just rumor until is it confirmed as fact. – Ed.

EFCN’s Insider will feature four different categories, beginning with Rumor. Once confirmed, or if posted as immediate fact, it will be classified in either Driver News, Team News, or Series News.

In addition when race season gets underway, the Insider will offer quick notes from the track in order to keep everyone up to date prior to event reports on EFCN.

You can also keep up to date with The Insider via twitter at https://twitter.com/EFCNInsider





CURRENT NEWS AND RUMORS

Topic: Andretti Autosport Finalizing USF2000 Drivers
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: January 7, 2013

INSIDER: Andretti Autosport will again be part of all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy program (Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, and USF2000) in 2013. Having already confirmed Carlos Munoz and Zach Veach in Indy Lights, and the pairing of Matthew Brabham and Shelby Blackstock in Pro Mazda, the multiple championship-winning team is in the process of finalizing its line-up for a multi-car effort in the USF2000 Championship.




Topic: JDC MotorSports Close to Announcing Pro Mazda Drivers
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: January 7, 2013

INSIDER: Three-time Pro Mazda Championship champions JDC MotorSports are reportedly in the final stages of announcing the initial drivers for its 2013 campaign. The Minnesota-based team, which has already confirmed both Michael Johnson and Stefan Rzadzinski in USF2000 Championship, is believed to be running multiple cars in Pro Mazda this coming season. It is expected JDC will have a mix of series veterans and rookies under the awning when the first green flag waves.




Topic: USF2000 Championship National Class Growing
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: January 7, 2013

INSIDER: Reports to the EFCN Insider indicate the USF2000 Championship National class, which features the Formula Enterprises chassis, is slated to grow in size. In addition to assorted drivers and teams returning, multiple squads have informed both the series organizers and the EFCN Insider that they will either be expanding their efforts or joining the series action in 2013.




Topic: Morad Set for Return
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: January 4, 2013

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that Canadian Daniel Morad is poised to make a return to the North American junior formula car ranks. The former Formula BMW USA Champion and karting Rotax DD2 World Champion is working on a ride in Firestone Indy Lights, as well as selected IndyCar series races in 2013. The goal is to not only revitalize the 22 year-old Morad's racing career, but also raise awareness for under privileged children in Canada's First Nations regions and the third world via the OneXone foundation.




Topic: Junior Series Silly Season Underway
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: September 17, 2012

INSIDER: With Indy Lights and USF2000 Championship series now complete, and the driver titles in the Star Mazda Championship and F2000 Championship Series clinched ahead of the final races, drivers and teams are already working on plans for 2013.

Not surprisingly, Indy Lights champion Sam Schmidt Motorsports has reportedly already been in contact with Star Mazda champion Jack Hawksworth, though he can expect interest from other teams. It has also been speculated that Team Pelfrey might look at making the move up the motorsports ladder with its current driver.

Perennial Star Mazda contenders Andretti Autosport, JDC MotorSports, Juncos Racing, and Team Pelfrey are all supposedly interested in signing third generation racer Matthew Brabham after his USF2000 title. Runner-up Spencer Pigot is also being eyed by several teams, if he can find the funding.

After winning both the Championship and National titles in USF2000 Championship, Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing is poised to advance a couple drivers internally (believed to be National champion Henrik Furuseth and F1600 Formula F Championship Series title contender Matias Koykka), while also strengthening ties with Australian racers via chassis manufacturer Spectrum.




Topic: New Indy Lights Teams
Category: Rumor
Status: Likely
Date: September 17, 2012

INSIDER: Talk around the Indy Lights paddock during the season-finale at Auto Club Speedway was that several teams are interested in being part of the series following the introduction of the new car. In addition to current squads, it is believed that both some teams currently racing in other junior formula car championships, as well as teams that previously raced in the junior formula car ranks are eyeing a move to Indy Lights. Of course, what route INDYCAR decides takes with the new chassis/engine package and costs will likely be the key deciding factor.




Topic: New Driver Development Programs Being Discussed
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: August 27, 2012

INSIDER: Word through the North American motorsports grapevine is that one or two potential new driver development programs are currently being discussed. Believed to be similar in format to the current Red Bull and Ferrari Academy programs in Europe, the plan would be to unite a few talented young up-and-coming drivers with a brand or manufacturer. It is speculated that both a prominent engine manufacturer and beverage provider are looking at the costs vs benefits of such a program within the junior formula car ranks.




Topic: Menezes to Make Indy Lights Debut
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: August 27, 2012

INSIDER: Sources within Indy Lights have informed the EFCN Insider that Star Mazda Championship racer Gustavo Menezes will make his Indy Lights debut at the 2012 season-finale in California. The American recently completed his inaugural Indy Lights test with series race winner Team Moore Racing at the Kentucky Speedway, passing both his rookie and oval evaluation by INDYCAR staff. The Californian is now poised to advance up the motorsports ladder at the Auto Club Speedway in southern California, rejoining Team Moore Racing in Round 11.




Topic: F2000 Championship Leaders Preparing for 2013
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: August 13, 2012

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that F2000 Championship Series leaders Robert La Rocca and Wyatt Gooden have already begun preparing for the 2013 season. La Rocca is believed to be focused on advancing his career in Europe, having contested several European F3 Open races this season, but is also weighing options in Star Mazda Championship and Indy Lights in North America. Gooden is primarily focused on joining a title contender in the USF2000 Championship, with an eye on moving up the Mazda Road to Indy program all the way to Indy Car.




Topic: New Indy Lights Package Moving Forward
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: August 10, 2012

INSIDER: With an announcement regarding the new Indy Lights package (new chassis and engine) expected by the end of the 2012 season, it is believed that the selection committee is closing in on a decision. While it has been revealed that Elan Technologies' bid involves the DeltaWing car, Dallara is the front-runner for the chassis contract, given its role as the IndyCar Series provider and its newly constructed factory just outside of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On the engine front, both Honda and Mazda have submitted proposals and are the front-runners. Both are looking to strengthen their position in the junior formula car market, with Honda now involved in the FF racing in Canada and USA, while Mazda is the engine provider for the official Mazda Road to Indy program.




Topic: New Junior Formula Car Tested
Category: Industry News
Status: Confirmed
Date: July 29, 2012

INSIDER: During the recent SCCA Regional event at Mid-Ohio, a new junior formula car was briefly seen on-course doing a shake down run. The entry, which was piloted by karting standout Nick Neri and prepared by Primus racing, appeared to be an Elan Motorsport Terchnologies chassis (Pro Mazda) with a Honda powerplant. It is believed the car will be further tested at tracks in the Eastern USA prior to an official announcement regarding the car.




Topic: Team USA Scholarship Candidates Set to be Announced
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: July 29, 2012

INSIDER: It is expected that the candidates for the 2012 edition of the Team USA scholarship is set to be official announced during the upcoming combined ALMS/INDYCAR event at Mid-Ohio. It is believed that scholarship founder Jeremy Shaw will name 5-8 drivers to be interviewed and evaluated before two to three scholarship winners are announced. It is expected the Team USA drivers will again travel to England in October/November to take part in Formula Ford competition.




Topic: Star Mazda Engine Concerns
Category: Rumor
Status: Likely
Date: July 8, 2012

UPDATE (7-27-12): The EFCN Insider was informed that after Toronto event, the series conducted a field test in Indianapolis with the team that had the concern, along with a second team that was thought to have the strongest performance at Toronto. Five cars were tested and evaluated by personnel from the two teams, series engineering staff, and officials from INDYCAR. The conclusion of the test was that compression testing in the paddock does NOT predict power output, and the deviation from the average of all motors was less than 1%.
INSIDER: Sources within more than one team in the Star Mazda Championship have stated there is some concern over the performances of the series controlled engines. At issue reportedly is the large acceptable compression range for the Mazda rotary powerplants.




Topic: Krohn Poised for Indy Lights Return in 2013
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: July 8, 2012

INSIDER: Former F2000 Championship Series champion and Indy Lights competitor Anders Krohn commented during the Indy Toronto event that he is hoping to return to the Indy Lights series full-time in 2013. The Norwegian has run two races with Bryan Herta Autosport this season, but is now focused on finding the funds to race full-time with the Indiana-based squad next year.




Topic: Morad Eyeing Return to European Action
Category: Rumor
Status: Likely
Date: June 30, 2012

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has been informed that Daniel Morad is looking a returning to a junior formula car cockpit in 2012. The Canadian, who is a former Formula BMW USA Champion and has a GP3 Series win on his resume, is reportedly headed back to Europe, with a Renault 3.5 Series a potential destination.




Topic: Belardi Auto Racing Seeking Additional Car
Category: Rumor
Status: Very likely
Date: May 29, 2012

UPDATE (5-30-12): The Indianapolis-based team has secured another car in order to run a multi-car effort on the streets of Detroit's Belle Isle.
INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that since the completion of the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Belardi Auto Racing has been busy trying to lease a car. Jorge Goncalvez's car was severely damaged in the race and is not repairable in time for the upcoming Indy Lights race on Belle Isle in Detroit. Another car would be needed in order to run both Goncalvez and rookie Alon Day in Round Five.




Topic: More Ovals on USF2000 Calendar
Category: Rumor
Status: Unlikely
Date: May 29, 2012

INSIDER: Selected drivers and teams within the USF2000 Championship are rumored to have approached series officials about returning to two oval events each season. The reason for the request is to better prepare for oval competition in Star Mazda and Indy Lights. While the USF2000 Championship previously ran multiple oval events in season, it currently only takes part in the prestigious Night Before the 500 event due to costs and scheduling.




Topic: Teams Already Eyeing New Indy Lights Car
Category: Rumor
Status: Likely
Date: May 28, 2012

INSIDER: With the announcement that a new Indy Lights car will be introduced in 2014, several teams outside of the championship are rumored to be looking at joining the series. With the recent success of series graduates James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden, and JR Hildebrand, multiple IndyCar Series teams are looking at expanding their operations to develop drivers. Star Mazda Championship teams likewise like the idea of running a Lights car as part of an internal ladder program to attract drivers.




Topic: Driver Change at Younessi Racing
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: April 17, 2012

INSIDER: It is widely believed that Indy Lights newcomers Younessi Racing will have a new driver behind the wheel during the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The team took part in the season-opener with owner/driver Rodin Younessi driving, but has missed the past two rounds. Former series front-runner/podium finisher Peter Dempsey has been linked to the team.




Topic: Team Canada Looking to Expand Effort
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: February 16, 2012

INSIDER: After a successful debut in 2011 during the world-renowned Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in England, Team Canada is working at expanding its efforts in 2012. While funding/sponsorship will ultimately be the primary deciding factor, the goal is for the BGR Sports and Entertainment with Grote backed award is to send two drivers to year-end trophy race and challenge for top honors.




Topic: Mygale Rejoining North American Junior Formula Car Market
Category: Team News
Status: Confirmed
Date: January 31, 2012

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that Mygale will part of the chase for F1600 Formula F Championship honors in 2012. IndyCar and Indy Lights squad Bryan Herta Autosport will field multiple Mygale FF cars in the junior formula car series with full factory support from the French car manufacturer. Mygale has become the dominant chassis in European FF competition, winning several national championships.




Topic: Formula 3 Series Set to be Unveiled
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: November 22, 2011

UPDATE (4-15-12): Based in eastern Canada, the series organizer/founder is currently in the process of trying to sell the first series Dallara F302. The goal is to steady sell cars in order to run a full series campaign in Canada in 2014. The Canadian Formula 3 series has recently created a website as well.
INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has been informed that a new North American Formula 3 series is set to unveiled. The east coast-based series is slated to initially feature not only the Dallara F3 chassis used in Europe and Asia, but also modern Formula Atlantic cars, and pro Formula Mazda chassis with a Honda powerplant. It is believed the series would ultimately just run the new F3 chassis being introduced in Europe for the 2012 season. Further details are expected in the coming weeks.




Topic: North American Junior Formula Car Fields Beginning to Shape Up
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed
Date: November 15, 2011

INSIDER: With the 2011 season now in the history books, junior formula car teams and drivers are wasting little time preparing for the 2012 campaign. Assorted racers have already confirmed which team and series they will be competing. The Insider has learned that several more signings are in the pipeline, with multiple expected to be revealed at the annual Performance Racing Industry trade show in December. Current tentative driver lineups can be found at http://eformulacarnews.com/news_info.php?n=8196




Topic: Ringel Evaluating Move to Europe
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed November 21
Date: October 24, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that American Ethan Ringel is looking at making the move to European junior formula car competition in 2012. The 18 year-old Floridan is slated to take in the upcoming GP3 Series test in Barcelona, driving for Atech CRS Grand Prix. Ringel contested selected F2000 Championship Series races last year, in addition to winning SCCA races in the Formula Enterprises class.




Topic: Indy Lights Evaluating Paddle Shifters for 2012
Category: Series News
Status: Confirmed
Date: October 21, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has been informed that the Firestone Indy Lights series is evaluating the introduction of paddle shifters for the 2012 season. Florida-based Team E is conducting the first test of the new system at Sebring International Raceway, with a Pro Shift system installed in its series cars. Following the testing at Sebring, Team E plans to conduct further evaluation of the paddle shifting mechanism on behalf of the Indy Lights series and teams owners during the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test. It is believed several Indy Lights veterans will pilot the Team E paddle shifter equipped car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Should the tests prove to be successful, it is hopeful the paddle shifters will be installed in all the Indy Lights cars for the upcoming 2012 season.




Topic: BGR Team Grote Eyeing Full-time Return to F2000 Action
Category: Rumor
Status: Likely
Date: October 5, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that newly crowned Ontario Formula Championship champion BGR Team Grote is looking at running a full-time multi-car operation in the pro F2000 ranks in 2012. The Canadian squad, having previously raced and won in the F2000 Championship Series, is seeking drivers to race in the USF2000 National Championship next season, and has booked track time at the Mosport Driver Development track at the end of October to begin driver evaluations. BGR is expected to continue running multiple Formula Fords in the OFFC, Quebec-based Formula Tour 1600 Series and F1600 Formula F Championship Series in 2012 as well.




Topic: Bodywork Changes for Star Mazda Cars
Category: Rumor
Status: Likely
Date: October 3, 2011

INSIDER: Sources within the Star Mazda Championship have informed the EFCN Insider that series officials are looking at introducing new bodywork for the upcoming 2012 season. It is believed revised/updated side pods and engine covers are being evaluated in an effort at resolving some issues regarding engine overheating.




Topic: Road to Indy Series Schedules to Align
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: September 30, 2011

INSIDER: In an effort to further strength the Road to Indy program, plans are underway to have the majority the 2012 schedules feature all three championships (Indy Lights, Star Mazda, and USF2000) running together at the same events. It is believed this will result in the Star Mazda and USF2000 taking part in additional IndyCar events this coming season, as well as one or two Road to Indy specific stand alone events. The schedules for all three series are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.




Topic: Linares Racing Restructuring Again
Category: Team News
Status: Confirmed
Date: September 29, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that Star Mazda squad Linares Racing is undergoing staff changes. The move comes as team General Manager/Engineer Martin Bates is leaving the squad to pursue other potential opportunities. While initialed rumored that the racing veteran would form his own junior formula car team, it is now believed Bates is looking at working with an established team in 2012. Linares Racing enjoyed its most successful season to date in North America this past season, finishing fifth in the team standings with nine top-10 finishes and one top-five result.




Topic: New Team to Join Road to Indy Program
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: August 15, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that a new team based in the San Francisco area has plans to enter all three levels (Indy Lights, Star Mazda, USF2000) of the Mazda Road to Indy program in 2012. Tentatively slated to run under the Tsunmai Racing banner, it is unsure if this venture will feature all new drivers, crew and cars, or if it will involve some pieces that are currently competing in any of the three series. It is also unclear how many cars will be run in the various championships. Official news is expected in the mid-fall.




Topic: Suvanto Racing FF
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed
Date: August 15, 2011

INSIDER: Current USF2000 National Championship points leader, and recent double winner at Mid-Ohio, Petri Suvanto, is currently getting extra seattime in his inaugural North American racing season. The Finn recently piloted a Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing prepared Spectrum 012 F1600 in SCCA Club Racing competition. Suvanto is helping the Florida based squad develop/fine tune the Australian Formula F chassis, which made its North American debut during the recent F1600 Formula F Championship Series dobleheader at Mid-Ohio. It is believed Suvanto will contest a few more SCCA events prior to the completion of the 2011 season.




Topic: Boyd and Dempsey Set for Walter Hayes Trophy Return
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: August 12, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has it on good authority that current North American racers Wayne Boyd and Peter Dempsey will again be part of the action when the 2011 edition of the Walter Hayes Trophy event gets underway in England in early November. Boyd, who is a race winner in this year's USF2000 National Championship, finished a strong third in a new Van Diemen chassis last year at Silverstone. Dempsey, a multiple podium finisher in Indy Lights, won the Grand Final last year in a Ray chassis, becoming only the second driver to win the prestigious event three times.




Topic: Indy Lights Engines to be Badged as Mazda
Category: Rumor
Status: Likely
Date: July 28, 2011

INSIDER: The sources have indicated to the EFCN Insider that Mazda is looking at furthering its involvement in junior formula car racing in North America by having the Firestone Indy Lights engine badged as a Mazda. The 420 horsepower 3.5-liter V8 engine used by all the teams is currently not affiliated with a particular manufacturer. Given Mazda powerplants are currently utilized in the other two series in the Mazda Road to Indy program (Star Mazda Championship and USF2000 National Championship), the move would be a logical one.




Topic: Mazda Road to Indy to Feature Standing Starts
Category: Rumor
Status: Unlikely
Date: July 28, 2011

INSIDER: Word has been spreading that all three Mazda Road to Indy series (Indy Lights, Star Mazda Championship, USF2000 National Championship) will feature standing starts on road courses and street circuits in 2012. The reasoning behind the potential move would be to further unite the three driver development series with regards to race procedures, as Star Mazda currently uses the Formula One style starting method, as well as add excitement to the races. It is unsure if the teams and drivers are in favor of the potential change, and if the Indy Lights and USF2000 cars are equipped to deal with the new procedure.




Topic: La Rocca to Make Star Mazda Debut in California
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: July 27, 2011

INSIDER: F2000 Championship Series title contender Robert La Rocca is poised to make his Star Mazda Championship racing debut at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in late August. The Venezuelan rookie recently piloted a Team GDT entry during the promoter's test day at Mosport International Raceway. La Rocca will re-unite with the Texas-based during the upcoming break in the F2000 Championship Series schedule, testing one of the squad's Star Mazda cars at Infineon Raceway. If everything goes according to plan during the test, La Rocca will then join Team GDT for the Star Mazda season-finale at Laguna Seca as precursor to a full campaign in 2012.




Topic: Garcia's Indy Lights Season Ends Prematurely
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed
Date: July 20, 2011

INSIDER: Team Moore Racing has stated that rookie Victor Garcia will not take part in the Indy Lights doubleheader in Edmonton, and will likely miss the remainder of the season. As a result of the deepening financial crisis in Spain, the series race winner's backers have been forced to end their financial support. It remains to be seen if Garcia can find funds elsewhere to return to the cockpit. Team Moore Racing is reportedly in discussion with a couple drivers about driving the No. 22 entry in Alberta.




Topic: Morad Parts Company with Carlin in GP3
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed
Date: July 19, 2011

UPDATE (7-20-11): While unofficial, the EFCN Insider has learned that Morad and Team Moore Racing have worked out a deal to allow the Canadian to take make his Indy Lights debut during in the Edmonton Indy doubleheader. Morad would take over the seat vacated by Spaniard Victor Garcia.
INSIDER: Canadian Daniel Morad has confirmed he will no longer be racing in the 2011 GP3 Series. The move comes following an disagreement with his squad Carlin during and after the Silverstone event. While the Canadian has limited finances, it is believed the parting of ways was not money related. Morad is reportedly looking at other options for the remainder of the 2011 season, including competing in another European junior formula car series, or returning to North America to take part in Indy Lights action.




Topic: Dueck to Make Indy Lights Debut in Edmonton
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed
Date: July 19, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that Canadian Tyler Dueck will make his Indy Lights debut during the Edmonton Indy doubleheader. The British Columbia native recently tested with Sam Schmidt Motorsports at Putnam Park, showing good speed and skill. As part of a partnership with the multiple series champion and race engineer Dave Goree, Dueck will race under the Goree Multisports banner during the doubleheader. Dueck enters the Indy Lights series having most recently raced in the Italian Formula 3 Championship.




Topic: Scarallo to Miss F2000 Championship Doubleheader at Mosport
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed
Date: July 19, 2011

INSIDER: F2000 Championship Series race winner Jonthan Scarallo will miss the upcoming doubleheader at Mosport International Raceway. As a result of reported conflicting commitments, Primus Racing will not be making the trip 'North of the Border'. Scarallo will therefore not be taking part in Rounds Nine and Ten. It is believed the American will be back behind the wheel when the series title chase continues at Lime Rock Park in September.




Topic: Indy Lights Field Set to Expand in Edmonton
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: July 11, 2011

INSIDER: In addition to series newcomer Oli Webb making his debut with Jensen MotorSport during the Firestone Indy Lights doubleheader in Edmonton, the EFCN Insider has learned that two other squads are poised to rejoin the action. Davey Hamilton Racing/Kingdom Racing will reportedly run Ontario Formula Ford Championship race winner Stefan Rzadzinski, who is testing an Indy Lights car this week in Indiana. Brooks Associates Racing is also reportedly seeking a driver to run the two races in Alberta, contacting multiple racers.




Topic: Pigot and Veach to Contest F2000 Championship Series Doubleheader at Mid-Ohio
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed June 30
Date: June 29, 2011

INSIDER: Reliable sources within the pro Formula Ford 2000 ranks have informed the EFCN Insider that USF2000 National Championship race winners Spencer Pigot and Zach Veach will make their F2000 Championship Series debut at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In what is believed to be a one-off appearance in preparation for the upcoming USF2000 races at the same Ohio track in August, the duo are slated to join a front-running F2000 squad with previous experience in the F2000 Championship Series.




Topic: Final Season of Skip Barber National Action
Category: Rumor
Status: Likely
Date: June 28, 2011

INSIDER: It is believed with the recent announcement regarding the 2011 edition of the Skip Barber Karting Shootout and the new Skip Barber Race Series Champion Shootout, that the Skip Barber National series will not continue after the current season. The cost of running a national championship, combined with steadily shrinking car counts, likely mean the world-renowned driver's school will focus on regional championships come 2012.




Topic: USF2000's Veach to Pilot USAC Midget Car
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: June 24, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that USF2000 National Championship race winner and tittle contender Zach Veach is slated to pilot a USAC Midget car. The Ohio racer is reportedly at a race shop in his home state getting fitted ahead of a test at a yet to be named oval track. It remains to be seen if this is just a one-off test, or if Veach will run a USAC Midget race later this year.




Topic: Indy Lights Owners Want Rules Transparency
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: June 22, 2011

UPDATE (6-23-11): As a possible response to the teams/team owners concerns, Indy Lights officials have penalized Sam Schmidt Motorsports 10 entrants points and fined the squad for the No. 77 failing post-race inspection at The Milwaukee Mile.
UPDATE (6-22-11): O2 Racing Technology has announced it is taking a hiatus from Indy Lights competition due to the current integrity issues with technical inspections.
INSIDER: Sources within the Indy Lights paddock have indicated to the EFCN Insider that multiple teams/team owners are currently very unhappy with how the technical regulations are being enforced by INDYCAR. A lack of transparency with regards to what technical infractions have occurred, and what penalties have been handed out, has several questioning if everyone is competing on a level playing field. O2 Racing technology, after not competing at Milwaukee, is evaluating running the remainder of the season. It is believed that Indy Lights/INDYCAR officials are currently in discussions with all the teams/team owners on how to rectify the situation.




Topic: USF2000 Rookie Di Leo to Join Ontario Formula Ford Championship
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed
Date: June 21, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has been informed that USF2000 National Championship rookie Matthew Di Leo will make his Formula Ford debut during the upcoming Ontario Formula Ford Championship CanAm Cup event at Mosport International Raceway. As part of a plan to get the 16 year-old Brian Stewart Racing driver more seat time, Di Leo will take part in not only the CanAm Cup doubleheader, but every additional OFFC event that does not conflict with the 2011 USF2000 schedule. It's believed the Canadian will pilot a modern Van Diemen owned and prepared by multiple OFFC race winner Britain West Motorsports.




Topic: F1600 Front-Runner Beasley Getting Extra Seat Time
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed
Date: June 9, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that F1600 Formula F Championship Series front-runner Sam Beasley will be getting some extra seat time via a Formula Enterprises car. Having missed the most recent F1600 event at Watkins Glen due to a new car still being built, the current number one ranked driver in the eKartingNews.com TaG class driver rankings will take part in an SCCA Regional event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Beasley will pilot the SCCA Pro Racing Formula Enterprises Series car owned by Jim Libecco as part of a multiple JAY Motorsports effort. Not only will the SCCA event give the junior formula car rookie some valuable seat time, but prepare Beasley for the upcoming F1600 event at Mid-Ohio.




Topic: McIntosh to Make F1600 Debut at Watkins Glen
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed
Date: June 2, 2011

INSIDER: Current USF2000 National Championship rookie Shannon McIntosh is slated to make her F1600 debut at Watkins Glen International, when she takes part in the second event on the F1600 Formula F Championship Series calendar. Driving for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, it is believed the teenager is using the event to get further seat time in a junior formula car, having only just made the switch from Midget racing at the start of the year.




Topic: Indy Lights Drivers Eyeing IndyCar Ride in Vegas Finale
Category: rumor
Status: Likely
Date: May 31, 2011

INSIDER: Multiple current and former Indy Lights drivers have stated to the EFCN Insider that they are working on getting a ride for the IZOD IndyCar World Championships event in Las Vegas in mid-October. In addition to using the season-finale as a way to showcase their skills in an effort to secure a 2012 ride, it is believed that the Lights racers will be eligible for the $5 Million bonus prize should they win the race.




Topic: Drivers Seeking Funding to Continue USF2000 programs
Category: rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: May 31, 2011

INSIDER: EFCN Insider has learned that both Cole Morgan and Luke Ellery are very busy trying to secure funding to continue their 2011 USF2000 National Championship seasons. Morgan, having contested the opening two events in Florida, was not behind the wheel in the most recent oval event in Indianapolis due to a lack of funds. Ellery meanwhile led at Lucas Oil Raceway, but damage from an incident during the race has put the remainder of his season in doubt. It is believed both Belardi Auto Racing (Morgan) and JDC MotorSports (Ellery), as well as the series, are attempting to help the talented young drivers get more funding.




Topic: Willy T Ribbs to Join Forces with Brooks Associates Racing in Indy Lights
Category: Team News
Status: Confirmed May 12
Date: May 10, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has been informed that former IndyCar racer Willy T Ribbs is in the process of finalizing an agreement to join forces with series newcomer Brooks Associates Racing in selected Indy Lights races. It is believed the new partnership will feature a driver running the oval rounds - beginning with the Fredom 100 - under the Ribbs Racing banner. Brooks Associates Racing, a former Atlantic Championship race winner, recently made its Indy Lights debut on the streets of Long Beach with rookie Ryan Phinny.




Topic: F1000 Pro Series to be Sanctioned SCCA Pro Racing
Category: Series News
Status: Confirmed May 9
Date: May 1, 2011

INSIDER: Sources within the series have stated that the west coast-based F1000 Pro Series will be sanctioned by SCCA Pro racing in 2012. The goal of the new agreement is to enable the series to expand it's profile, and be part of major racing series events.




Topic: Jeff Simmons Eyeing Return to Indy Lights Action
Category: Rumor
Status: Likely
Date: April 27, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that American Jeff Simmons is looking at opportunities to return to an Indy Lights cockpit. A former series runner-up (2005 and 2003), the multiple Indy Lights race winner has reportedly had discussions with a team regarding running the upcoming Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.




Topic: Canadian Robert Wickens Set to Become F1 Test Driver
Category: Rumor
Status: Likely
Date: April 27, 2011

INSIDER: Word that Canadian junior formula car star Robert Wickens is poised to become a Formula One Test Driver continues to grow. Currently racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Wickens is backed by Russian super car manufacturer Marussia, which not only is the lead sponsor of his current team, but also the lead sponsor of the Virgin Racing Formula One squad. The F1 team currently is without an official test driver. Wickens is off to a good start in 2011, with a runner-up finish in Round One.




Topic: O2 Racing Close to Signing Ferreira and Boesel for Indy Lights Program
Category: Rumor
Status: Unlikely
Date: February 24, 2011

UPDATE (3-21-11): Duarte Ferreira has signed with Bryan Herta Autosport for the 2011 Indy Lights season. O2 Racing Technology in turn has elected to run Star Mazda graduates Peter Dempsey and Mikael Grenier for the opening rounds of the season.
INSIDER: The Insider has learned that O2 Racing Technology - formerly Genoa Racing - is poised to sign series newcomers Duarte Ferreira and Lu Boesel for the 2011 Indy Lights season. Ferreira, who is a protege of former ChampCar World Series standout Bruno Junqueira, recently tested with the Indiana-based squad following a five-win season in the 2010 South American Formula 3 Championship. Boesel, the nephew of former IndyCar series racer Raul Boesel, also showed good skill in a team test, having won multiple races in the SudAm F3 Championship over the past two seasons.




Topic: Canadian FF1600 Racer Set to Join Star Mazda Championship
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed
Date: February 24, 2011

INSIDER: Sources within the Star Mazda Championship have informed The EFCN Insider that Canadian Jerimy Daniel is poised to enter the series in 2011. It is believed the FF1600 racer - having finished third and fourth in the past two Quebec-based Formula Tour F1600 championship chases - will race under the Denoncourt Racing banner.




Topic: Raimondo Joining Formula 3 Euro Series
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed February 21
Date: February 2, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that Gianmarco Raimondo will continue his pursuit of a career in Formula One with another season of Formula 3 competition in Europe this coming season. While yet to be confirmed, the Canadian racer is poised to join German-based Motopark Academy in the 2011 Formula 3 Euro Series. It will mark Raimondo's second full season of F3 competition, having raced in the Italian Formula 3 Championship last year.




Topic: Alberico Making Move to British Formula Ford
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed
Date: January 31, 2011

INSIDER: Sources in England have informed the EFCN Insider that Neil Alberico is set to become the latest American looking to make his mark in the Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain. The Californian, who won the 2010 Bondurant Championship Race Series, is reportedly close to signing with Cliff Dempsey Racing for the 2011 season. The Irish team has strong ties to North American junior formula car competition, having run the Team USA Scholarship winners in the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy the past few years, in addition to the son of the team owner and former star driver Peter Dempsey racing and winning in the Star Mazda Championship.




Topic: USAC Midget Racer McIntosh Looking at Switch to Formula Cars
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed February 16
Date: January 17, 2011

INSIDER: The EFCN Insider has learned that Shannon McIntosh is eyeing a potential move from the oval ranks to pro junior formula car competition in 2011. The USAC Midget driver from Ohio is reported looking at rides within the the Mazda Road to Indy program, having recently completed a Skip Barber Racing course at Sebring International Raceway.




Topic: Sam Schmidt Motorsports Lucas Oil Ride to be Split Between Two Drivers
Category: Team News
Status: Confirmed February 17
Date: January 17, 2011

INSIDER: According to sources within the Indy Light paddock, the prestigious Lucas Oil-backed ride with defending series champion Sam Schmidt Motorsports will feature two drivers this coming season. It is believed the Bryan Clauson will get behind the wheel during the ovals via an INDYCAR scholarship for winning the USAC National Drivers Championship title. The Indianapolis team is believed to be interested in running Star Mazda Champion Conor Daly at the road courses, but are still apart with regards to funding.




Topic: West Coast Pro Formula F Honda Series
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: January 17, 2011

INSIDER: While yet to be officially confirmed, Formula F racers on the west coast who have switched to the new Honda Fit powerplant will have a new pro series to take part in 2011. Running in conjunction with the highly-successful Pacific F2000 Championship, the new series is believed to feature four events this coming season. It is unknown if the new series will be restricted to just Honda-powered FF cars or if traditional Kent-powered cars will also be part of the action.




Topic: Team Apex Racing Closing Shop
Category: Team News
Status: True
Date: January 10, 2011

INSIDER: Sources within the Star Mazda Championship have informed the EFCN Insider that Team Apex Racing will not be part of the series in 2011. It is believed the Indiana-based squad, which won multiple Formula BMW Americas races prior to a successful move up to Star Mazda competition, is likely closing its doors. Reportedly the mechanics have been laid off, and some of the management staff have already begun working elsewhere in motorsports. It is unsure if the move comes via the difficult economic condition or other opportunities/interests.




Topic: Potential Radon Legal Action
Category: Rumor
Status: Untrue
Date: January 10, 2011

UPDATE (1-10-11): The EFCN has been informed directly from Radon, that the chassis manufacturer has no interest in pursuing any sort of legal action against the SCCA. In fact Radon is currently working with SCCA technical officials to make the new Rn.10 legal for 2011, with the goal to be racing ASAP.
INSIDER: Word from the motorsports grapevine is that backers of the Radon Rn.10 Formula Ford 2000 chassis are potentially looking at taking legal action versus the Sports Car Club of America in order to get the chassis legalized for Formula Continental competition. The goal would be to allow the American car to race in SCCA National competition, as well as the F2000 Championship Series, which currently only allows SCCA-legal cars.




Topic: 2011 Entry List Discussion
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: November 26, 2010

INSIDER: With 'silly season' now in full swing before the holidays, EFCN has started compiling tentative entry lists for all the 2011 pro junior formula car series in North America. /bbSbo keep track who is linked where and who has signed with who already via the links to the discussion threads:
Indy Lights
Star Mazda Championship
F2000 Championship Series
USF2000 National Championship
Pacific F2000 Championship
Formula Enterprises Pro Series
Skip Barber National
Formula F Championship




Topic: Indy Lights: Andersen Racing Up for Sale
Category: Team News
Status: Confirmed December 9
Date: November 16, 2010

UPDATE (12-09-10): It turns out Andersen Racing is not only shutting down its Indy Lights squad, but team operations as a whole. The move is being done for primarily financial reasons, but also allows the Florida organization to focus the USF2000 National Championship, Andersen Karting and Andersen Raceway Park.
INSIDER: Sources within Andersen Racing have informed The EFCN Insider that the Florida-based squad will not be taking part in the 2011 Indy Lights season. The former series race winners are reportedly in the process of selling its Indy Lights cars and series specific equipment. It is believed the move will not have any impact on Andersen Racing's Star Mazda Championship and kart teams




Topic: Team USA: Serralles Setting Sights on Europe
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: November 15, 2010

INSIDER: Team USA scholarship winner Felix Serralles is reportedly interested in racing in Europe for the 2011 season. The potential move comes following the Puerto Rican showing good speed and skill behind the wheel of a Formula Ford in England as a Team USA driver, as well as recently scoring two wins in the British Formula Renault 2.0 BARC Winter Cup series. Serralles scored two wins last year in the Skip Barber National series, en route to third in the title fight, and ran the final four races of the USF2000 National Championship.




Topic: Indy Lights: Increased Incentives with Road to Indy Partner Series on Tap
Category: Series News
Status: Confirmed December 9
Date: October 28, 2010

UPDATE (12-09-10): As part of Mazda becoming the lead sponsor/partner for Road to Indy program, the Firestone Indy Lights champion will now receive a scholarship to advance up to the IndyCar Series.
INSIDER: The Insider has learned that Indy Lights officials are looking at ways to strengthen the relationship between the series and its Road to Indy partner series (Star Mazda & USF2000). One plan reportedly on tap is to encourage drivers and teams, via incentive programs, to run in multiple series at selected events. Of particular interest is the Freedom 100/Night Before Indy weekend, as well as the shared oval events.




Topic: F2000 Championship: Ralph Firman Racing Contemplating Full-time Effort in 2011
Category: Rumor
Status: Likely
Date: October 28, 2010

INSIDER: Sources within the F2000 Championship Series have informed the EFCN Insider that Ralph Firman Racing is looking at running a multi-car effort full-time in the 2011 edition of the series. Owner Ralph Firman, who founded Van Diemen and made it the largest junior formula car manufacturer in the world, is reported interested in promoting the brand new RFR F2000 car via a team of talent up-and-coming racers. It remains to be seen if the factory squad will seek to draw drivers from the North American junior formula car and karting ranks, or bring over racers from Europe.




Topic: Star Mazda: De Phillippi to Contest USAC Turkey Night at Irwindale
Category: Driver News
Status: true
Date: October 27, 2010

INSIDER: Newly crowned Star Mazda Championship Rookie of the Year Connor De Phillippi will return to the oval racing ranks in late November via the prestigious Turkey Night Grand Prix at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. The Californian, who has previously enjoyed circle track success in the Legends ranks, is scheduled to pilot a USAC Midget during the US Thanksgiving day event. It is believed the De Phillippi is still focused on returning to the Star Mazda Championship in 2011 in pursuit of the series title.




Topic: Formula F: Multiple Chassis to be Represented in New Series
Category: Series News
Status: Confirmed December 7
Date: October 27, 2010

UPDATE (12-07-10): A list of registered drivers for the new F1600 Formula F Championship Series already indicates seven different chassis taking part.
INSIDER: While a tentative entry list for the newly created Formula F Championship is still several weeks away, the Insider has learned of several drivers slated to run different chassis in the new series. In addition to the widely used Van Diemen and Swift cars, fans can expect to see the Mygale, Piper, Citation chassis also being run, as well as potentially the like of Stohr, Carbir and assorted older marks. Both the Ford Kent and Honda Fit engines will also be represented, with the new powerplant already being confirmed in Van Diemen, Swift, Mygale and Piper cars.




Topic: GP3 Series: Chaves Eyeing Move to Series Champions
Category: Rumor
Status: Very Likely
Date: October 12, 2010

INSIDER: The Insider has learned that American Gabby Chaves is interested in joining ART Grand Prix in the 2011 GP3 Series. The Florida teenager has been racing in the Italian F3 Championship this season, developing the Mygale M-10 chassis, and currently leads the Rookie of the Year fight. Chaves will get his chance to impress the newly crowned GP3 champion and multiple GP2 championship-winning team from France during upcoming winter testing at the Estoril Circuit.




Topic: USF2000: Karam Up for Sports Illustrated Award
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed October 12
Date: October 12, 2010

INSIDER: Sage Karam, the inaugural Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda champion, has been nominated for the 2010 Sports Illustrated Sports Kid of the Year award. The 15 year-old, who secured the series title for Andretti Autosport via nine wins in 12 races, is up against nine other athletes under the age of 16. Fan voting will determine the top-three finalists, which will be named on October 19.




Topic: GP3 Series: Daly Pursuing European Series for 2011
Category: Driver News
Status: Confirmed February 17
Date: October 11, 2010

INSIDER: Newly crowned Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear champion Conor Daly is believed to once again be pursuing race opportunities in Europe. In preparation for a potential move, the second-generation driver from Indiana is slated to test with both Manor Motorsport and Status Grand Prix during the upcoming series winter test in Portgual. It is expected Daly will join the series in 2011 if the necessary funding is secured, despite having earned a funded ride in the GT class of the Grand-Am Rolex Series via the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder program.
Pacific Mountain Central Eastern International



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