Brazilian joins series race winners as part of four-car effort in 2014
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. – Afterburner Autosport is pleased to announce the addition of Felipe Donato to its skilled 2014 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda driver line-up. The Brazilian racer joins the Minnesota-based team as part of a four-car title effort this coming season, focused on adding to the squad's winning resume, and building on a strong rookie campaign.
Afterburner Autosport, like all its USF2000 Championship competitors, is focused on winning races and challenging for championship titles. That being said, one of its primary objectives in this pursuit is to work with and help develop up-and-coming talent. With the addition of Donato to their 2014 driver roster, the squad firmly believes it has another opportunity to do just that.
"We are very excited to have another second-year driver in our line-up," commented team principal Tim Walsh. "Felipe is experienced with the tracks we are running, as well as the car, so he should be someone to watch all season. He is a great addition to the team."
"I am very excited about the opportunity to compete one more year in the one of most important motorsport championships in the world, the US2000 Championship," added Donato. "I will do my best for all the people who believe in my potential, and I'll fight to be in the top positions throughout the whole season."
Donato returns to USF2000 action in 2014, having showcased pace and racecraft in his inaugural season of North American junior formula car action via two top-five finishes, and seven top-10s. Prior to making the transition to the Mazda Road to Indy program, the native of Guarani das Missões, Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil was a title contender in the both the Santa Catarina State Karting Championship and Brazilian National Karting Championship, as well as a race winner in the South American Karting Championship. Donato subsequently earned a scholarship to race in the Brazilian Formula Futuro Fiat championship, before racing and winning in the 2012 Veloce Cup.
The 19-year-old Donato will be part a highly-rated driver line-up under the Afterburner Autosport awning in 2014. Mixing returning racers with rookies, he will partner fellow second-year driver Jeroen Slaghekke, and rookies Victor Franzoni and Gustavo Myasava, who also hail from Brazil. The experienced squad - led by Tim Walsh and Brian Tomasi - has already indicated their intentions to build on a double-win 2013 campaign. Afterburner Autosport posted the best lap during the annual year-end Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, as well as capturing the win in the opening round of the Cooper Tires Winterfest for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda at NOLA Motorsports Park outside of New Orleans.
The chase for Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda supremacy gets underway on March 29-30, when the opening two rounds of the 14-race season are run in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Additional information on Afterburner Autosport is available from the team’s website at AfterburnerAutosport.com For direct contact, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Brian Tomasi @ 630-251-1709 or Tim Walsh @ 612-581-2499.
Keep up to date via Twitter @ABautosport1 and Facebook page at Afterburner Autosport
Learn more about Felipe Donato at FelipeDonato.com.br and keep up to date via Twitter @FelipeDonato51, Facebook at Felipe Donato, and YouTube at Felipe Donato
Learn more about Victor Franzoni at VictorFranzoni.com and keep up to date via Twitter @VictorFranzoni and Facebook atVictor Franzoni
Keep up to date with Gustavo Myasava via Twitter @GustavoMyasava and Facebook at Gustavo Myasava
Learn more about Jeroen Slaghekke at JeroenSlaghekke.com and keep up to date via Twitter @JeroenSlaghekke, Facebook at Jeroen Slaghekke Racing, and YouTube at Jeroen Slaghekke
About Afterburner Autosport:
Afterburner Autosport was formed in 2010 with the sole purpose of leading the way in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda competition. Under the guidance of two-time SCCA Formula Continental National Champion Brian Tomasi and fellow F2000 racer and engineer Tim Walsh, the team has over 20 years of experience in open-wheel competition. The Minnesota, Min.-based squad, having captured two podium finishes in its inaugural pro racing season in 2011, has continually developed and grown as it joined the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. In 2013, Afterburner Autosport scored its inaugural series wins with rookie Alex Baron. The highly-regarded team returns to the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy program in 2014 via a talented multi-car effort.