Franzoni Maintains Leading Pace at Homestead Test
 February 12, 2015| 
  • Team News

Sophomore pilot joined by new teammate and Mazda Road to Indy karters on road course

Homestead, Fla. – In the world of competitive Mazda Road to Indy racing, it’s always important to get out of the gate quickly. For race-winning USF2000 Championship squad Afterburner Autosport, the first two official series tests of the 2015 season have gone according to plan.  The team’s lead driver – series sophomore Victor Franzoni – was at the top of the timesheets at both Palm Beach International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway in late January as the team worked through a plan of attack to develop set-ups for early season events.  Franzoni was joined by fellow Brazilian Bruna Tomaselli at Homestead, while nationally-ranked kart racers Oliver Askew and Christian Brooks were also in Afterburner cars for the second outing, having been awarded USF2000 tests through the Mazda Road to Indy / MAXSpeed Driver Advancement Program.

Tests like these are extremely important for us and our drivers,” noted Team Principal Tim Walsh. “Our lead engineer Stefan Dwornik put a plan in place for the Palm Beach and Homestead tests and we stayed focused on our work list, testing different set-ups for the track’s we’ll race this season.  All in all, we had three very good sessions at Homestead and we were satisfied with being quickest in all three. Having the karters with us was fun as well, as it felt good to give them a taste of the next step in the sport. It’s a steep learning curve jumping into one of these cars, but they both logged considerable mileage and I expect that it was provided valuable experience for both Oliver and Christian.

The test at Homestead was awesome for me and Afterburner,” commented Franzoni, who topped all three sessions in Homestead, turning a fast time of 1:24.805. “We made a big improvement through the winter tests, so this makes us very happy and proud. For the season, we hope to improve even more because we know that this year will be very difficult. I'm very excited and confident for the Winterfest because in the last 10 official test sessions that we’ve had, I’ve led seven of them, so we are ready to start the races and fight for victories and podiums.

Tomaselli tested alongside Franzoni, as the young lady has graduated from her country’s Formula Junior series and will likely join Afterburner Autosport for 2015.  Bruna continued her development with the team, having first tested with the squad in California in December.   Walsh and Dwornik see great potential in Bruna, who is extremely impressive at just 17 years of age.  Tomaselli improved with each session in Homestead, closing the gap between herself and the drivers at the top of the time sheet with each successive session.

The team will now look forward to the first three races of this year’s Cooper Tires Winterfest series, which will take place at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 19-20.  The remaining three races in the six-race schedule will be run at Barber Motorsports Park on February 25-26.  Afterburner still has two open race seats for the 2015 season, and these cars are prepped and ready to race at Winterfest for drivers looking for valuable seat time ahead of the new year.

Additional information on Afterburner Autosport is available from the team’s website @  For direct contact, please email or call Tim Walsh @ 612-581-2499. Keep up-to-date via Twitter @ABautosport1 and the team’s Facebook page @ Afterburner-Autosport.

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. Last year, the highly regarded team won again with Victor Franzoni and finished fifth overall in the series championship.

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