Franzoni Wins Usf2000 In New Orleans For Afterburner Autosport

Brazilian tops field in challenging wet weather main event

NEW ORLEANS, LA (April 14, 2015) – In motorsports, they say that rain is the ‘great equalizer’ and that true talent comes to the forefront when wet weather puts the emphasis directly on the driver. Afterburner Autosport’s Victor Franzoni once again proved his immense talent in Sunday’s running of the fourth round of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda at NOLA Motorsports Park. The Brazilian started on the off-pole for the second event of the doubleheader, thanks to posting a fast time in Saturday’s opening race, in which is he finished a strong fourth. In Sunday’s wet race, Franzoni took the lead early in the 20-minute event and masterfully handled the challenging conditions to score his first win of the year.

“This is an incredible way to end the weekend, because our team put in a ton of hours at this event to give Victor the best car we could,” offered Tim Walsh, Afterburner Autosport Team Principal. “We swapped cars, changed motors, and went back and forth between wet and dry set-ups.  Saturday’s top-five was good, but Sunday’s win in the rain was very satisfying. Our goal will be to take this victory and ride the momentum through to Barber in two weeks.”

As stated, it was a long weekend for the Afterburner crew, who elected to move Victor to their #14 car after the Thursday promoters test day.  In the new car, which was re-badged with his #17 decal, Franzoni was strong from the onset of the weekend, running the second quickest times in both of Friday’s practice sessions.  In Saturday morning qualifying stint, the team elected to use just a single set of new sticker Cooper tires to save fresh rubber for the races as Victor would lay down a 1:38.992 that put him sixth on the grid for Race 1.  In that 30-minute race, Franzoni was ultra-quick and advanced to fourth, although he was unable to close on the lead trio and finished in that position.  In the process of his fourth place run, he turned in the second quickest lap of the race to secure a front row starting position for Race 2 on Sunday morning. Following the race, the team went over the data and elected to make an engine change, which the team took care of into the late evening.

The rains that affected the start of Sunday’s IndyCar race began early in the morning, and the USF2000 drivers hit the track at 8:30 a.m. for a shortened 20-minute race.  In full wet conditions, Franzoni settled into second on the opening lap and then went into attack mode to takeover the point.  On lap three, he slipped inside Aaron Telitz to assume the lead and would go on to a 1.015-second triumph.  Victor was challenged aggressively by Saturday winner Nico Jamin in the late-going, but the Brazilian was too much for Jamin and cruised over the final corners to his first win of the year.

The team will now tear down their cars in preparation for the next event on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda circuit, which will take place at Barber Motorsports Park on April 24-26.  Afterburner has two race-ready cars available for the remainder of the 2015 season, if any interested drivers would like to team with a USF2000 race winner like Victor Franzoni on a race-winning squad. 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 Aiming For Usf2000 Redemption After Tough St. Pete Weekend

Brazilian Victor Franzoni focused on victories in New Orleans to begin recovery

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 Victory 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 he 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 And Franzoni Ready For Usf2000 Title Attack

Brazilian will ride momentum from Winterfest towards Road to Indy USF2000 crown. 

Afterburner Earns Runner-Up Position At Cooper Tires Winterfest

Brazilian Franzoni takes second in Road to Indy USF2000 standings with two race wins.

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Team Twitter

@ABautosport1 @JeroenSlaghekke @victorfranzoni
ABautosport1 The severe weather has passed & we will be going green at scheduled time! #MRTI #TeamCooperTire #Victor4TheWin
10:14PM Apr 25
ABautosport1 We're on hold for severe weather here @BarberMotorPark with the second @USF2000 race, and the rain is coming down! #TeamCooperTire #MRTI
09:54PM Apr 25
VictorFranzoni today we changed the job!! lol Cooper Tire guys are always doing a great job and giving us the best… instagram.com/p/16EvnEO-R0/
06:08PM Apr 25
VictorFranzoni we were really close to the victory today!! I leaded most part of the race but I lost the first… instagram.com/p/14Vtl9u-c3/
01:58AM Apr 25

Featured Driver

  • Victor FranzoniVictor Franzoni

    Age: 18

    Residence: Sao Paulo, Brazil

    Height/weight: 5´5´´/ 130lbs

    Hobbies: Go-kart, Gym

    Racing Hero: Ayrton Senna

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