MEET THE CONTENDERS: VICTOR FRANZONI

Victor Franzoni is third in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda title chase as the series heads to its doubleheader season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this week.

PALMETTO, Fla. – For the three championship contenders, an entire season is on the line this week in the “Soul Red Finale” at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. At stake is the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda title and the Mazda scholarship that will take the winner into the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

Victor Franzoni lies third in the title chase, 53 points behind Anthony Martin and 32 points behind Parker Thompson, with two races remaining. The personable young Brazilian, who always seems to have a smile on his face, jokingly vows to go from “easy guy” to “crazy guy” in order to eclipse his rivals and take the top spot for himself.

Admittedly, Franzoni has a good-sized mountain to climb in order to attain his goal. But given the twists and turns this championship has taken over the course of 14 races, a wild closing weekend is not only possible, but probable.

Franzoni, 20, burst on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires scene two years ago, taking victory in his first USF2000 race at St. Petersburg. In 2015, he was the only driver to break the Nico Jamin-Aaron Telitz-Jake Eidson stranglehold on the top spot of the podium, and since the opening weekend at St. Pete this season, Franzoni is the only driver to win other than Martin or Thompson. He returned to USF2000 this season after a mid-season switch to Pro Mazda last year – which made for an interesting first weekend back in a USF2000 car.

Signing late with Gregg Borland’s Wisconsin-based ArmsUp Motorsports, Franzoni found the going difficult at first – though he eventually found that you can go home again.

“I finished 2015 in the Pro Mazda series but decided to go with USF2000 and ArmsUp this year,” said Franzoni. “We signed just two weeks before the season began. The first weekend was not so good for us, because I was getting used to being back in the USF2000 car. It’s easier to go from USF2000 to Pro Mazda because the Pro Mazda car has more grip and more power – but not too much. It drives easier, so you can brake later and feel more hold. Coming back to USF2000 was hard at first. St. Petersburg is not a racetrack, it’s a city street, so there really was no grip. So being my first race back in the car, it was hard to find the limit again.

“But since St. Pete, it has been an amazing season – really, the best season of my life. We have been really fast and have finished all the races up till now. ArmsUp has done a great job, and they were the right choice for me. They’re great to work with and they’re really fun!”

Franzoni is the only driver to finish every race this season and, since the opener, has finished on the podium in nine of 12 races, including a victory at Toronto. With teammate Max Hanratty splitting time between USF2000 and IMSA’s Mazda Prototype Lites Presented by Cooper Tires series, Franzoni and ArmsUp have been a one-car team for five of those races. The team has done, as they say, a lot with a little.

“Toronto was the best moment of the year for us. We didn’t have the money to go to Canada, but the vintage drivers who race with ArmsUp sponsored us, so it was so important for us to do well. We were fighting for the victory all season, starting second, third, fourth, but we weren’t able to break through. In Toronto, we took the win – I really needed that, and so did ArmsUp.
“We haven’t been able to do any testing so we have to fight with what we have; and what we have is a fast car,” continued Franzoni. “I knew I had to finish the races, because if I crashed, I’d be out of the championship. I had to be consistent, and I have been. ArmsUp has given me a good car all year so I just need to focus on not crashing, and making the opportunities work. I’ve taken everything that I’ve learned in all my years of motorsports and put it to work this year so even if I don’t win, I’m happy because I know we’ve done the best that we could do.”

With the ground he has to make up in the championship, Franzoni heads to Mazda Raceway knowing that only victories will do, as finishing behind Martin and Thompson will mean the end to his title hopes. Given his consistently positive attitude, Franzoni sees his road as almost easier than that of his rivals.

“I really think it’s easier for me than for Anthony and Parker, because I just have to go from ‘easy guy’ to ‘crazy guy’ while they still have to think a little bit more. I don’t have to think; I just need to go. All season, I have been thinking about not making any mistakes, not crashing, and finishing the race in the top three. Now, it’s first or nothing. I have to be aggressive, so if I see that I can go, I’m going. It’s an easy situation – much easier for me than for them.”

Simply put, Franzoni loves to drive. On any given weekend this summer, you could find him at the track, either racing himself or in his new calling as a driver coach. Since moving from Indianapolis to Florida last year, Franzoni has found himself in charge of a small cadre of young karting talent, which keeps him more than busy.

“I moved to Miami last year, where I have more friends from Brazil and there are more opportunities to race. I started racing karts again, and then some kids asked me to coach them. So now, I coach a lot of kids in karting, including Emerson Fittipaldi (son of Formula One and IndyCar legend of the same name). I’ve been coaching for a while. I have five kids in Micro karting and it’s really fun. It’s been really cool working with them on things like overtaking. The kids are great and they learn so easily. And they do what I say. I get to drive almost every day which is good for me since it means I’m always practicing.

“I think there have been only three or four weekends this year that I haven’t been at the racetrack. I have been racing the USF2000 car, karts and the vintage car, and when I haven’t been driving, I’ve been coaching. In the last month, I raced shifter karts in Mexico, I coached at Homestead, and I coached in Indiana. This weekend, I will just sit by the pool – and get ready for Monterey.”

Afterburner Autosport re-signs Franzoni for Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda title run

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Series sophomore enters 2015 with race wins, podiums and team chemistry

 

MINNEAPOLIS, MIN. (January 23, 2015) – After a debut season that saw the squad score a major race win, four podiums and take fifth overall in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda driver standings, Afterburner Autosport is pleased to announce the return of Brazilian standout Victor Franzoni to the tent for the 2015 season. The 19-year-old will tackle his second season on the opening rung of the Mazda Road to Indy, armed with new confidence and significant race experience. With a year under his belt, one that featured impressive success, Franzoni will certainly be a driver to watch in 2015.

 

“We’re thrilled to have Victor back with us for the new year and I think that his return speaks to the fact that our team developed steadily throughout last year’s campaign,” offered Tim Walsh, Afterburner Autosport Team Principal. “Victor got us our first USF2000 win and he was in the hunt all year, as a rookie. Coming back for his sophomore season, we all have exciting expectations for taking a run at the championship.”

 

Franzoni will work with noted IndyCar and open wheel formula car engineer Stefan Dwornick, who joined Afterburner Autosport midway through the 2014 season. As part of the Mazda Road to Indy, the USF2000 series pushes young drivers up a steep learning curve and Franzoni adapted quickly and became one of the most impressive rookies in the program last year. He will enter the new season with great optimism and high expectations.

 

“I’m very excited to start the season,” admitted Franzoni. “Last year was very good for me and now that I know the tracks, this will help me a lot during the race weekends. Racing with Afterburner once again is a pleasure for me, as we have a very good relationship and I am assured knowing that they are working hard to prepare for the new season, so this makes me very happy and confident for 2015.”

 

Franzoni showed great adaptability from the get-go in 2014, finishing on the podium at all three of the track configurations offered on the USF2000 schedule. Victor was victorious in the opening round of the calendar on the concrete-lined temporary street circuit of St. Petersburg, and then followed this up with podiums on the natural flowing road course at Barber Motorsports Park and the banked 5/8-mile oval at Lucas Oil Raceway. He also found the podium on the road courses at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course. His adaptability will serve him well in 2015, armed with new knowledge and a baseline of comfort.

 

The opening three rounds of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda ‘off-season’ Cooper Tires Winterfest Series will begin on February 19-20 at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, but ahead of that outing, Afterburner will be at Palm Beach International Raceway on Sunday, January 25 and at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Wednesday, January 29 for official series tests. Franzoni will return to the team’s paddock to begin work on the new season. The likeable Brazilian will be joined by two young kart racers who were awarded USF2000 tests through the Mazda Road to Indy / MaxSpeed Driver Advancement Program. Florida’s Oliver Askew and California’s Christian Brooks will each spend time behind the wheel of an Afterburner USF2000 car to get a feel for the program.

 

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

 

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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

Tendo a Indy como objetivo, Franzoni e XYZ Talents unem forças

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Piloto paulista se une com agência brasileira sediada nos EUA para participar do projeto Road To Indy, focado nos pilotos que têm como meta principal a Fórmula Indy
O piloto brasileiro Victor Franzoni e a XYZ Talents se uniram e juntos participarão do projeto Road To Indy a partir da próxima temporada. Cumprindo sua segunda temporada na USF2000, uma das principais categorias-escola dos Estados Unidos, Victor focará sua carreira profissional na América do Norte e contará com o expertise da agência, que tem sede em Miami e já trabalhou com diversos pilotos em projetos norte-americanos, como Tony Kanaan, Nelsinho Piquet e Antonio Pizzonia, entre outros.

Com resultados significativos no kartismo e na Fórmula Futuro em solo brasileiro, Franzoni fez duas temporadas de aprendizado na Europa e decidiu focar seus objetivos na Fórmula Indy e seu programa de formação de pilotos após considerar o custo/benefício das categorias-escola locais e a possibilidade real de se tornar um piloto profissional formado nos Estados Unidos, um dos maiores mercados do esporte a motor mundial.

“Estou muito feliz por fazer parte desse time de grandes atletas e profissionais. Acho que juntos vamos ter boas oportunidades para o futuro. Vejo a Road to Indy como uma oportunidade maior de ser um profissional do automobilismo e chegar na Formula Indy, que é o meu sonho. Aprendi muitas coisas na Europa mas acho que nos EUA estou me dando melhor; fiz uma boa primeira temporada na USF2000 ficando em quinto, então agora é focar nas próximas e seguir um caminho que tem chance de dar certo”, analisa.

Neste novo desafio, Victor terá o suporte de Fernando Coser, Head of Motorsports da XYZ Talents especializado no projeto Road to Indy, tendo trabalhado recentemente na formação de pilotos vencedores nas categorias-escola: “Acompanho a carreira do Victor desde quando ele iniciou nos monopostos. Ele sempre foi um piloto conhecido pelo seu talento, garra e determinação, qualidades essênciais para as oportunidades que teve e no seu primeiro ano aqui já conseguiu resultados expressivos. Tenho certeza que nesse segundo ano, com o apoio de sua equipe e dos profissionais da XYZ Talents, ele terá clara condição de vencer provas e brigar pelo título. Ficamos muito felizes em poder contar com o Victor entre os nossos atletas.”

A temporada de 2015 da USF2000 será composta de oito etapas, sendo seis delas em circuitos da Fórmula Indy, servindo de evento suporte para a própria, como a histórica pista de Indianápolis e os tradicionais circuitos de St. Petersburg, Barber, Toronto, Mid-Ohio e Laguna Seca, além de duas sessões de testes e um torneio pre-temporada composto de seis corridas nas pistas de Avondale e Barber.

Para saber mais sobre Victor Franzoni, acesse: http://www.victorfranzoni.com

Para saber mais sobre a USF2000, acesse: www.usf2000.com

Para saber mais sobre o projeto Road to Indy, acesse: http://www.indycar.com/roadtoindy



Mais informações para a imprensa:
XYZ Live

Bruno Vicaria/Rodolpho Siqueira
11. 3144 9924
11. 95772-9682
imprensa@xyzlive.com.br

Franzoni conquista podium no lendario circuito de Indianapolis

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Victor Franzoni conquistou o podium em Indianapolis neste ultimo final de semana. O circuito misto que já fora utilizado pela Formula 1, sofreu alterações e reinaugurado nesta etapa da Indy e o Programa Road to Indy. As modificações foram realizadas para proporcionar mais pontos de ultrapassagem e os americanos conseguiram.

Mesmo largando das posições intermediarias, Franzoni liderou as 2 corridas do final de semana e em condições adversas: na sexta, encontrou a pista umida e no sabado, com pneus slicks, correu a pleno sol.

Infelizmente, em função de varios problemas tecnicos nos treinos e tomadas, o melhor setup não pôde ser alcançado e manter a primeira posição nas corridas não foi possivel. Mesmo assim, Victor Franzoni conquistou um podium com seu terceiro lugar e ainda 1 ponto adicional por liderar a maior quantidade de voltas durante a corrida.

Ainda fez uma grande largada, de P4 para o primeiro posto.

Nesta temporada, a USF2000 passou pelos circuitos de Nola, Barber, St. Pete e Indianapolis. Victor subiu ao podium em todos os circuitos demonstrando um grande desempenho

A proxima etapa ocorre no Oval de Lucas Oil, onde o piloto participará pela primeira vez em um circuito com esta caracteristica

 

 

Franzoni enfrenta problemas em mais um final de semana

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O piloto Victor Franzoni enfrentou problemas tecnicos novamente em mais esta etapa do campeonato USF2000. A terceira etapa acontece em Indianapolis, no circuito misto.

Franzoni teve problemas tecnicos na suspensão traseira de seu carro durante os treinos e tomada de tempos.

O problema não se mostrou tão presente enquanto a tomada de tempos se realizava na chuva, onde a pole provisoria era garantida por Franzoni. No entanto, a medida em que a pista foi secando, os problemas voltaram

Quando ocupava a terceira colocação, a 5 minutos do final, Victor teve que se dirigir aos boxes devido a falta de combustivel. Com a melhora da pista, o piloto perdeu mais 3 posições e larga na Sexta posição.

Hoje haverá a corrida 1 e amanha a corrida 2. Os horarios abaixo são os de Brasilia:

09/05 – Race 1 – 16:30Hs

10/05 – Race 2 – 12:00Hs (meio-dia)

 

 

 

 

Brasileiro Victor Franzoni vence na abertura da USF2000

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Começou neste final de semana em St. Petersburg a temporada 2014 da USF2000, umas das categorias de base da Fórmula Indy. E começou com vitória brasileira. Victor Franzoni, estreante na categoria, fez a pole e venceu a prova. Mas ao contrário do que possa parecer, ele não teve facilidades para conseguir o feito.

A corrida começou atrás do safety-car, devido as fortes chuva que caiu no circuito. Somente na terceira volta que a bandeira verde foi acionada e o brasileiro acabou superado por RC Enerson. Franzoni, no entanto, não desistiu e imprimiu uma forte pressão no rival para recuperar a ponta. Quem também se destacou no início foi Nico Jamin, que largou na 10ª colocação e na oitava volta, já estava em terceiro.

Na nona volta, Franzoni foi com tudo para cima de Enerson e voltou para ponta. Para sorte do brasileiro, no mesmo giro, Will Owen bateu nos pneus e provocou a entrada do safety-car. A prova recomeçou na volta 12 e Franzoni manteve a ponta, mesmo com todo o ataque de Enerson. Na volta seguinte, Aaron Telitz, que estava em quarto, bateu no muro e provocou uma amarela local. No fim, Franzoni confirmou a vitória com 2s745 de vantagem para Enerson. O outro brasileiro, Felipe Donato, teve problemas no começo e abandonou.

Confira abaixo o resultado final da corrida:

P No  Piloto Voltas Tempo Dif
1 17 Victor Franzoni 15 0.0000
2 7 RC Enerson 15 2.7450 2.7450
3 41 Nico Jamin 15 3.5560 0.8110
4 2 Jake Eidson 15 5.8225 2.2665
5 4 Daniel Burkett 15 8.0745 2.2520
6 91 Adrian Starrantino 15 8.1357 0.0612
7 14 Florian Latorre 15 9.6256 1.4899
8 96 Henrik Furusetd 15 10.0552 0.4296
9 18 Jeroen Slaghekke 15 12.5563 2.5011
10 3 Keyran Andres 15 24.1124 11.5561
11 77 Austin Cindric 15 25.4652 1.3528
12 61 Andrew List 15 28.2483 2.7831
13 24 Peter Portante 15 30.7905 2.5422
14 79 Santiago Lozano 15 49.5796 18.7891
15 97 Clark Toppe 15 49.8916 0.3120
16 5 Aaron Telitz 13 1L 1L
17 13 Juan Maldonado 11 3L 2L
18 23 Will Owen 9 5L 1L
19 11 Felipe Donato 14L 8L
20 15 Gustavo Myasava 14L 0.0000

Materia original elaborada por Thiago Raposo – site: http://www.velocidade.org/

Franzoni volta ao lugar mais alto do podium

USF2000 photo

Photo: USF2000

Este final de semana ficou marcado para o piloto Victor Franzoni. Em sua estreia na USF2000, categoria do programa Road to Indy, Franzoni venceu a corrida 1 com direito a volta mais rapida no circuito de Nola, em Nova Orleans, Estados Unidos.

No sabado, o piloto conquistou um segundo lugar na Corrida 2 e quando estava em P2 na corrida 3, foi obrigado a abandonar por problemas mecanicos. Mesmo assim, Franzoni se manteve entre os 3 primeiros no campeonato Winter Fest, que terá sua segunda fase nos dias 24 e 25 de Fevereiro, em Barber, no Alabama.

O inicio competitivo na categoria promete um ano de grandes disputas no territorio americano. A USF2000 faz parte do programa Road do Indy, e é base para as categorias Pro Mazda e Indy Lights.

Victor Franzoni tem apoio da Aflex Automação Flexivel, Vhero Modelagem e Usinagem, Equal Automação e Novac Sports

 

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Temporada 2014 – Estados Unidos – USF2000

Victor Franzoni inicia oficialmente a temporada de 2014 neste proximo final de semana, nos Estados Unidos. O final do ano de 2013 marcou uma intensa procura por apoio para o piloto.

Com os resultados obtidos nas ultimas etapas da Formula Renault 2.0 e recentemente no F3 Brazil Open, Victor Franzoni firmou uma promissora parceria com as empresas Vhero e Aflex. As duas empresas atuam no segmento automotivo e o Campeonato Cooper Tires USF2000, que faz parte do projeto Road to Indy, veio de encontro com as necessidades de marketing empresariais.

As etapas da UF2000, onde Victor Franzoni correrá com a equipe Afterburner são preliminares da Formula Indy, portanto, um elevado numero de expectadores e amantes do automobilismo podem se identificar com as marcas e patrocinadores.

O piloto inicia seus primeiros treinos e já no Final do mes, compete no Winter Series, que marca a abertura oficial da temporada

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