Afterburner Confirms Felipe Ortiz for Rookie Campaign
 February 15, 2016| 
  • Team News

SHAKOPEE, Minn. – Afterburner Autosport is thrilled to announce their first driver for the upcoming Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season. Brazilian Felipe Ortiz will run an SBT-sponsored Van Diemen for the squad, and a second announcement confirming his teammate will follow shortly.  The 17-year-old began karting at the age of five and after a successful development career, he moved through Brazilian F4 and F3 to prepare for his American debut. Ortiz will turn his first laps for the team at the upcoming official series test at Barber Motorsports Park on March 5-7, just a week ahead of the season opener at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. 

“We’re really excited to get our first driver confirmed for the year,” admitted Tim Walsh, Afterburner Autosport Team Principal. “Felipe comes to us with a great pedigree in karting and Brazilian formula car competition and we’re thrilled to get the opportunity to introduce him to the USF2000 program and the Mazda Road to Indy.  We had incredible success with our last Brazilian driver – Victor Franzoni – and we hope to match that performance with Felipe.  We have a great teammate lined up for him as well, and we’re hoping to field at least three cars in 2016.” 

Ortiz comes to Afterburner Autosport and the Mazda Road to Indy having followed the tried and true path from karting through his national F4 and F3 programs, and into the world’s finest ladder system here in North America.  Felipe enjoyed a successful karting career in Brazil, and then graduated into the F4 Sudamericana series when it launched in 2014, finishing second overall in the championship with two victories. Last year, he moved to the Brazilian F3 series to run in the F3 Light category, but nagging mechanical issues prevented his from finishing a majority of the events.  The talented young pilot is focused on starting a fresh program in the United States with an eye on the Verizon IndyCar Series. 

“I'm very excited to join Afterburner Autosports and I know that we'll have a great season together,” offered Ortiz, who will be moving to Orlando, Florida just after the start of the season. “It's an awesome team with awesome results in USF2000 and I'm pretty sure we'll be on podium this year. As for competing on the Mazda Road to Indy and in USF2000, it's a dream come true!  I’ve been aiming at the series ever since I start racing karts and I'm very happy to be racing in one of the biggest motorsports series on the planet.” 

Ortiz is proud to be supported by SBT, Liderança Captalização and America.Net. 

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 squad, which is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has continually developed and grown since joining the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and has multiple series victories, winning at least one race every year for the last three years.

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