Afterburner Aims for Redemption After Tough St. Pete Weekend
 April 8, 2015| 
  • Team News
Brazilian Victor Franzoni focused on victories in New Orleans to begin recovery

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The opening rounds of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Presented by Mazda did not go quite as planned for Afterburner Autosport and their highly talented Brazilian driver Victor Franzoni. A communication miscue after qualifying sent them to the tail of the field for Race 1 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, forcing Franzoni to knife his way through the pack to a stellar sixth-place finish after starting 17th. The team was focused on another big recovery for Race 2 on Sunday, but a coil failure ended Victor’s race on lap one after he had made a strong start to the event. The team and its driver will get the opportunity to erase the memory of the season opener when they head to NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans this weekend (April 10-12) for the third and fourth rounds of the series. Franzoni was victorious at the NOLA facility during the pre-season Cooper Tires Winterfest and is primed to use that winning pace to find the top step of podium again this time around. Wet weather is being forecast for the entire weekend, and Victor’s talents in rainy conditions should serve him well.

“We enjoyed a few highlights in St. Petersburg, but all in all we’re happy to put it behind us and head to New Orleans for the next rounds of the championship,” admitted Afterburner Autosport Team Principal Tim Walsh. “Victor was a contender throughout the entire Winterfest event at NOLA in February, and I know that we have a great race car for him for this unique circuit. If it rains, and that looks to be the case, I know we have a driver who can handle those conditions. A couple of race wins would surely soften the sting of a weekend of wet weather.”

Although rain is indeed in the forecast, Afterburner Autosport is primed and ready for the third and fourth rounds of the 2015 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Franzoni will pull his #17 entry onto the track at 8:20 am CDT on Friday, April 10 for the first practice session, and will be back on the course at 2:00 pm in the afternoon for a second round. Qualifying is scheduled for 9:50 am on Saturday morning, ahead of Race #1 at 3:30 pm.  The second race of the doubleheader is set for 10:15 am on Sunday, April 12. Afterburner Autosport and Victor Franzoni followers can tune into live play-by-play and live timing by downloading the new ‘Road to Indy TV’ app in iTunes or the Google Play store.

The team still has two race-ready cars available for the remainder of the 2015 season. These cars are prepped and ready to race for drivers looking to gain experience in the USF2000 program, whether it be through a focused testing program and in official series action. Drivers interested in these seats should contact Tim Walsh directly.

AFTERBURNER AUTOSPORT - DRIVER INFORMATION:

Victor Franzoni - #17
Age: 19
Residence: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Driver Quote: “I'm very excited for NOLA. I won a race there during Winterfest, so this makes me more confident. In St Pete, I had some problems but they'll not happen again. I hope I can do get good points in NOLA and jump into the top-five in the championship.”

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 former F2000 racer and engineer Tim Walsh, the team has over 20 years of experience in open-wheel competition and can field up to four cars in competition. The Minnesota, Minn.-based squad has continually developed and grown since joining the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and has multiple series victories, finishing fifth overall in the series championship in 2014 with Victor Franzoni.
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