Afterburner, Franzoni Ready for USF2000 Title Attack
 March 25, 2015| 
  • Team News
Brazilian will ride momentum from Winterfest towards Road to Indy USF2000 crown

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – With two wins and three podium finishes in this year’s Winterfest series, Afterburner Autosport has made known its intent to challenge for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2015.  Led by ultra-quick sophomore pilot Victor Franzoni, the Minnesota-based squad enters the new season riding a wave of momentum and they are brimming with confidence in both their driver and their staff.  The first of eight Mazda Road to Indy race weekends will commence this Friday on the Gulf Coast of Florida with the running of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, where the USF2000 series will be on the docket alongside the Verizon IndyCar Series.  Franzoni and Afterburner kicked off the season with a race win in 2014, the team’s first triumph, and they are aiming to improve on that performance by sweeping the weekend on the challenging airport temp circuit.

“All of us at Afterburner Autosport are very excited for the start of the MRTI season,” enthused Tim Walsh, Team Principal. “Victor and the entire team have worked non-stop to up our game since Winterfest, and we’re totally focused on improving our debut race win from last year.  I can’t wait to roll the car out of the hauler in St Petersburg.”

Franzoni has been one of the drivers to watch in pre-season qualifying, as well as during the second annual Cooper Tire Winterfest battles that were held at NOLA Motorsports Park and Barber Motorsports Park in February.  The 21-year-old Brazilian won at both venues, and having been victorious in St. Petersburg last March, he knows that he will begin this coming weekend with a sense of comfort and confidence.

“I'm very excited for the start of the season,” Franzoni confirmed. “In the Winterfest events, Afterburner and I learned a great deal and we are ready to start to season off on the right foot. I'm very happy to race with them in my second season as part of the Mazda Road to Indy, and I hope we can have a lot of good results and enjoy this year.”

The Afterburner Autosport team will begin set-up for the opening round of the 2015 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda on Thursday, March 26, unloading the trailer in the paddock at the temporary airport course.  Franzoni will take to the track at 8:00 am on Friday, March 27 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 8:00 am on Saturday morning, ahead of Race #1 at 10:15 am.  The second race of the doubleheader is set for 8:55 am on Sunday, March 29.

The team still has two open race seats for the 2015 season, and these cars are prepped and ready to race for drivers looking to gain experience in the USF2000 program.
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