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Category: F2000 Championship Series

Nathan MorcomNathan Morcom showed plenty of fighting spirit in an uncompetitive car in the opening round of this year’s F2000 Championship Series at Virginia International Raceway.

The young Sydney driver shrugged off handling and mechanical problems with his Rondo-DPO RFR in practice and qualifying to charge from the rear of the 32-car field to 15th in Saturday’s first race.

His effort earned him the ‘Hard Charger’ award for the race.

Continued set-up problems with the RFR during Sunday’s qualifying for the second race again put Morcom in the back half of the field.

From 19th starting position he passed a handful of drivers on the first lap, but he was punted off the track at the beginning of the second lap.

The car’s suspension was damaged in the incident, putting Morcom out of the race.

Van Diemen driver Robert La Rocca dominated the round by winning from pole position and setting the fastest lap in both races.

Morcom will return to Australia for his next event, the first round of the Australian Production Car Endurance Championship, at Phillip Island on April 28-29.

He is scheduled to drive the Rondo-DPO BMW 335i in the six-hour race with Chaz Mostert, hoping to repeat their win in the final round of last year’s APCEC at Eastern Creek in December.

Photo by Dennis Valet.

Nathan MorcomIt might sound weird, but Nathan Morcom is approaching rounds 11 and 12 of the F2000 Championship Series at Lime Rock Park next weekend as if they were rounds one and two!

With no realistic chance of overhauling the series leaders in the four remaining rounds, Morcom, who is third in the rookie standings and sixth overall, will be going all-out for race wins rather than driving conservatively to rack up points.

“Actually it will be easier than if the championship was at stake, because I won’t have to decide if every overtaking move could cost me points if it doesn’t stick.

“Whenever there’s an opportunity, I’ll just go for it!”

The 2.4km (1.5-mile) Connecticut circuit will mark his return to the American ‘development’ openwheeler series following an 11-week break.

A decision was made after Mid-Ohio in early-July to skip Mosport later in the month to allow Morcom’s Primus Racing team to address issues behind his lacklustre results since he won the opening round at Virginia International Raceway in April.

Morcom isn’t blaming Primus boss Jon Baytos, though.

“To be fair to Jon, in the first half of this year he had commitments to some long-term projects, one of which was re-establishing Primus Racing as a team in its own right instead of hiring other teams’ equipment and personnel.

“To do that he had to find and then fit out a workshop, which took a lot of time and energy that normally would have gone into the racing side.

“I know that Jon has been extremely disappointed that the car preparation this year hasn’t been up to the high standard that he sets for himself and everyone in his team.

“The car problems we’ve had have been frustrating because they’ve prevented Jon from doing what he’s famous for, which is setting up race-winning cars.

“This series is so competitive, and the race weekend timetables are usually so tight, that a small problem in testing or practice can make the difference between starting from the front row and midfield.

“I’ve been close enough to the pace often enough during the season to know that we only need our full quota of track time to be serious contenders.”

Photo by Dennis Valet

Nathan MorcomMid-Ohio was another ‘couldabeen’ race meeting in Nathan Morcom’s F2000 Championship series campaign.

The young Sydney driver was on the back foot from day one of the seventh and eighth rounds of the American development openwheel series.

First, he was sidelined for two of the four practice sessions after the throttle linkage broke on his Rondo Van Diemen, costing him precious track time.

More niggling problems during qualifying prevented him from qualifying higher than eighth for both rounds at the 3.9km Lexington road circuit.

Eighth and six placings in the two races were as much as Morcom could manage in a car that was a full second off the pace.

Despite a frustrating weekend, the top 10 double retained his sixth overall and third rookie positions in the series with six of the 14 rounds remaining.
ROUND 7

Three engine failures in the two previous F2000 Championship Series rounds at Watkins Glen had Morcom hoping for a trouble-free weekend at Mid-Ohio – but that hope was dashed early in the proceedings.

The throttle linkage broke on his Rondo Van Diemen before he’d warmed up his tyres in the second of Thursday’s three practice sessions.

That would have been a nuisance at a conventional race meeting, but this wasn’t a conventional race meeting.

The F2000 and F1600/Formula F Championship Series were piggybacked on Audi club track days, with the practice and qualifying sessions and races run nose-to-tail from mid-afternoon until early-evening each day.

The tight schedule hardly allowed time for car set-up adjustments, let alone repairs.

(In fact, the original timetable had two qualifying sessions and a race on Friday and Saturday, but the first qualifying session was changed to a practice session after the Friday drivers’ briefing.

With only six slicks at their disposal from the first qualifying session onwards, the competitors were adamant that a second qualifying session on the abrasive Mid-Ohio would be a waste of time.)

Morcom’s throttle linkage couldn’t be repaired in time for the third practice session, forcing him to sit out half of the pre-qualifying track time.

Adding further pressure was a team decision to make just one qualifying run – most drivers made two attempts – to conserve the tyres.

Under the circumstances, his one flying lap, just 0.8 seconds off pole and good enough for eighth starting position in the 28-car field, was a remarkable achievement.

The rolling start, down Mid-Ohio’s long back straight, was the usual messy affair.

Morcom lost a handful of places in the first few corners after backing off to avoid a collision with his Primus Racing team-mate, Jonathan Scarallo.

He regained one place on lap two when Tim Minor spun out of the lead pack, then clawed his way back past Gustavo Rizzo and Ethan Ringel back to eighth place.

But Minor was on a charge after his off-track excursion, setting the fastest race lap as he closed on a struggling Morcom in the ill-handling no.2 Van Diemen

The pair swapped places on lap 10 after a brief tussle.

Morcom battled on, though, taking eighth place back again after Kyle Connery dropped out of the lead bunch.

He battled with John La Rue to the finish, crossing the line a fraction of a second ahead.

The race was won by Chris Livengood, with Brian Tomasi second and Robert La Rocca third.

Morcom was disappointed to finish at the blunt end of the top 10, reflected by his fastest lap almost a full second off the pace.

“From the first lap my car wasn’t right – it was snapping into oversteer on every corner,” he said.

“It wasn’t easy to get back the places I lost at the start with the car handling the way it was.

“When Tim Minor came up behind me, his car was so much faster that I couldn’t hold him off for more than a few laps.”
Round 8

Saturday’s practice session, with drivers forced to use their race weekend tyres, posed a strategy dilemma: go out and work on car set-up, or stay in and save the tyres for qualifying and the race.

Morcom hoped that overnight set-up changes would make the Rondo Van Diemen competitive when it counted, and gave the practice session a miss.

But in qualifying another a mechanical gremlin intervened – this time a too-low idle setting that made the engine die off-throttle.

A pit stop remedied the problem, and in the limited remaining time Morcom did well to qualify eighth, 0.940sec. from pole.

Another rolling start shemozzle put him at loggerheads with John La Rue through the opening corners.

The pair banged wheels, bending the Rondo Van Diemen’s steering and damaging the rear suspension.

Morcom acclimatised to the out-of-kilter steering, but the loose back end made the car a real handful.

“The only way I could get any corner exit speed was to back it in and drift through on the throttle,” he said.

“Driving like that doesn’t do the tyres any good on a smooth circuit – it was even worse here!”

Despite his car’s handling and steering handicaps, Morcom overtook Jonathan Scarallo and Joe Colasacco to be sixth.

He had to drive defensively for the final two laps to hold off championship leader Remy Audette, who was recovering from a midfield start, until the finish.

The race was won by Kyle Connery, with Tim Minor second and Brian Tomasi third.

Afterwards, Morcom lamented yet another disrupted his F2000 Championship Series weekend.

“You can get away with small problems during a normal race meeting, but time was so tight here that the small problems I had turned into big problems.

“I’m still confident of being a frontrunner in this series if I can just get a clear run.

“There are still three race meetings to go – maybe it‘ll happen next time.”

Photo by Dennis Valet.

Rounds 9 and 10 of the US Formula 2000 Championship at Road America did not go as planned for Anders Krohn and his team, Andersen Racing. Having to retire from race one in the first corner and starting 37th in the second race was not what they had hoped for. “It was a very difficult weekend for the entire team and myself. All we can do is learn from the races that just went by, and look forward to the next ones.” Said Krohn briefly following the completion of the Road America weekend.

Qualifying for Race 1 went well, and Anders managed to qualify on the front row with his factory Van Diemen car, missing pole position by a mere tenth of a second. “Qualifying was a massive draft battle. It was hard to find a position that would give you a draft all the way around the track, but I was lucky and found just that. It will be exciting to see what we can make of it in the race. The team is doing an excellent job with the car set-up, and hopefully my driving will be likewise.” Commented Krohn.

Race 1 started very well with the 41-car grid rolling down the long front-straight. Heading into turn one, Anders passed the polesitter through late braking, and looked set to grab the lead with an outside move around the corner. The last word was not said though, as the polesitter came back mid corner and squeezed Anders further to the outside, before eventually hitting and driving over his front right suspension, ending both their races in turn one. “Being taken out of the race on the first lap and in the first corner is not what I had in mind at all. I was off to a good start, and then I outbraked the polesitter for the lead. It’s a great shame that this had to happen, specially regarding the loss of championship points. We ha ve to handle with it, and I am sure we will come back strong tomorrow.” Said Krohn.

Qualifying for Race 2 seemed just like a continuation of Saturday’s luck, as Anders was involved in an incident while outbraking and passing a slower car. Anders was on the inside for turn 8, but the other involved competitor reportedly didn’t see Krohn in his mirrors prior to the pass, and turned in. This would end Krohn’s qualifying session before it had really got going, and he would have to start 37th for Sunday’s race. “It looks like we have a massive task on our hands for today’s race. My main goal for the race will be just finishing and hopefully bagging some points for the championship.” Said a slightly frustrated Krohn following qualifying for round 10 of the US Formula 2000 Championship.

Race 2 was to be a very dramatic race. Anders got off to a fantastic start once again, and over the first few laps he gained several positions each lap. But four laps into the race, the rear part of his front shock cover came loose and thereby blocking most of his frontal view. Passing was harder to do, but he still managed to get a couple of more positions in the bag when the safety-car was deployed. Following the restart, the two cars in front of Anders clashed, leaving Anders with nowhere else to go than the grass on the outside of turn three. With this, he lost five positions that he would have to make up later in the race. He did just that, and managed to finish the race in 12th, having advanced 25 positions in 10 green flag laps. “Today’s race was a compilation of hard charging, passing and moments that almost happened. I am glad for Andersen Racing and my sponsors that we were able to bag at least a few points for the championship chase.” Anders said after completing round 10 of the 14 round championship.

Anders Krohn still leads the US Formula 2000 Championship by a healthy margin, but the lead has been decreased. The Road America race weekend was not what Andersen Racing nor Anders Krohn expected, but in racing there will allways be ups and downs. “First of all I want to thank Andersen Racing for staying supportive and 100% focused during a difficult weekend like this. Special thanks goes to my mechanic and engineer, Chuck Lessick and Marc Maurini respectively, for pushing for perfection and always being able of getting my car back on track in perfect state. I would also like to thank my main sponsors Trallfa Industries, Colosseum Dental and Kruse Smith. They stay with me through both the good and bad, and luckily most of this s eason has been very good. In fact, this is the very first weekend this year that I haven’t won a race! I can’t wait to get to the next event now, and I feel certain we will be right up there once again, continuing to fight for race wins and the championship.”

Rounds 11&12 will be held at Mosport in Ontario, Canada on August 23-24.

As rounds 7 and 8 of the US Formula 2000 Championship came to a close, Anders Krohn once again proved he was the quickest driver in the field, after having won the first race at the very technical Mid Ohio Raceway and stormed through the field to take fourth in the second race. Anders continues to pull away in the championship battle.“It was a special weekend where we dominated race one, but starting at the back of the field in race two prevented us from repeating the feat.” Anders said.

Qualifying for Race 1 went according to plan for the Andersen Racing crew and Anders Krohn driving the No.9 Van Diemen race car. Anders was able to set a fast lap a full seven tenths up on the next competitor, and also crushed the previous track record with his time of 1m24,909sec. Said Krohn just after qualifying “In the first part of qualifying I was not happy with my car, but after some changes in the pits, I managed to put one quick lap that no one could match.”

Race 1 went Anders’ way as he managed to stay in the lead through two safety-car periods, and won the race by 2,5 seconds in a two lap dash to the checkered after another full course caution was completed. Multiple accidents were the cause of the safety-car periods, and only a handful of green flag laps were driven. “This is one of those races you just need to complete, but don’t enjoy too much. Winning is allways good and we showed our pace by pulling out huge gaps after every full course yellow, but sitting behind the safety-car for the majority of the race is never fun.” Anders commented after winning his fifth race of the season.

In Qualifying for Race 2, rain fell hard and Anders put on the rain tires for the first time in his Formula 2000 career. However, the stint was short lived when he made an unusual mistake and went off track. Therefore, he did not get any laps in, and would have to start towards the end of the field in the second race of the Mid Ohio weekend. “It was a stupid mistake, and I want to apologize to the team. With the mistake already done, now I just need to focus on doing a good job in the race.” A clearly disappointed Krohn said.

Race 2 was to become one of the most entertaining races of the season as Anders had his work cut out by having to start 29th on the grid. Quickly after the green flag dropped, Anders started working his way through the field with impressive speed and passing moves. Half way through the race he was up to 9th when the safety-car was put on track. Going green again, Anders made his way up to 4th and quickly caught the leading trio. But unfortunately as he was ready to attack the lead pack, the checkered flag fell and he had to settle for 4th. It was an impressive showing by Anders Krohn, storming through the field to gain 25 places in 10 green flag laps. “This was the most fun race I have ever driven! I pushed 100% every inch of the race, and we made it all the way up to fourth. I made some good passes early on, and kept going. It’s a shame we didn’t have three or four more laps.” Ended Krohn, who also set the best race lap almost a second clear of anyone else.

Another impressive weekend completed for Anders Krohn, who is sponsored by Trallfa Industries, Colosseum Dental and Kruse Smith. He is pulling away at the top of the Championship and now has a 102 point gap to the nearest rival.

Next up for Anders Krohn is a symposium with IndyCar team Rahal Letterman Racing, where he will meet Bobby Rahal and several of his key staff. “It’s a good opportunity for me to learn and get feedback from the very top of motorsports. I enjoyed my last meeting with them, and I look forward to the upcoming one. It can help me a lot for the future, so I am thrilled to get this opportunity.”

Rounds 9&10 of the US Formula 2000 Championship will be held at famous Road America in Wisconsin on August 2-3. He will then be seeking to further extend his points lead in his rookie season of Formula 2000 racing. “I would like to thank my sponsors once again for supporting me through this adventure. They make it happen, and I appreciate it beyond words. Now I want to prove their support right once again, by doing a good job at Road America.” Said Anders Krohn.

Anders Krohn has just concluded his very first racing weekend in America, and in the US Formula 2000 Championship. The weekend could not have gone any better, with Anders capturing the win in both races together with Andersen Racing at Virginia International Raceway. ”I am absolutely over the moon about these results! We have worked very hard and to see that pay off in my very first Formula 2000 weekend is fantastic. And now to walk away from this weekend with the Championship lead is great!” said Anders shortly after finishing race 2.

The weekend saw one of the biggest fields in the formula car world with 44 entries lined up for the races. There is yet more to come, as a total af 62 has registered for the US Formula 2000 Championship. Anders Krohn is driving for Andersen Racing, the Van Diemen factory team. In addition to this, the team also runs cars in Indy Lights and is the official development team for IndyCar team Rahal Letterman Racing.

Qualifying for race 1 went allright for Anders, albeit with some handling issues with his car. Still, Krohn was able to put the car in on P2 for race 1, a very respectable place to start his F2000 career. ”We sat the car up based on the information we gathered through testing the last couple of days, but unfortunatly the track changed overnight and we had rather big oversteer the whole qualifying session.” Anders commented.

Race 1 and Anders was off to a blistering start, capturing the lead into turn 1. Already at the end of lap one, the safety car had to go out on track as a massive pile up had occurred in turn 1 further back in the field. With Anders leading the field at the restart, he was quickly able to pull out a gap of 2 seconds to the nearest competitor, and held his position until the chequered flag fell. In other words, a perfect start to Krohn`s Anmerican racing debut. ”This was absolutely great. The start of the race was key, and I was able to pull out a gap right out of the box. From there on in, I just tried to control the race, which worked out very nice indeed. It`s a fantastic feeling to be able to win my first race in the U.S, but now all focus is on the qualifying and race tomorrow.” said Krohn.

Qualifying for race 2 was alot better for Anders Krohn, and despite some red-flag periods he was able to put in one good lap to score pole position for race 2 and three extra points in the bag even before the race had started. ”I am really happy with my car now, and we have to try and carry that momentum into the race later this afternoon.” said a satisfied yet focused Krohn.

Race 2 started in the best possible fashion for Anders as he once again took the lead heading into turn 1. This time, the race went green all the way, and Anders Krohn led from lights to flag. But it was hard fighting, and pushing was needed all the way to get the big win. Krohn also set the fastest lap time of the race to score two extra points in addition to 50 points for winning the race. Said Krohn ”What a weekend it has been! My first two races in the U.S and in Formula 2000, and being able to walk away from that with two wins is awesome. For the second race my car was really great, and I could push the car without it fading away.”

Anders Krohn now leads the US Formula 2000 Championship as he is heading into the second race weekend of the championship at Road Atlanta on May 10-11. Together with Andersen Racing, Anders is putting all his efforts towards the upcoming races, and will bring his new knowledge from Virginia International Raceway with him to Road Atlanta. ”Now all the hard work begins, towards Road Atlanta. It will be a very challenging track, and we have to try and get up to pace as fast as possible. With that being said, I would like to thank Andersen Racing and Allied for their great efforts, and my personal sponsors Trallfa Industries, Colosseum Dental and Kruse Smith for making this happen. Off to the next one!” Krohn ends.

Anders KrohnIn a press-conference today at the Trallfa Industrier AS headquarters, It was revealed that Anders Krohn will be driving the US Formula 2000 Championship with Van Diemen factory team Andersen Racing in 2008. ”I am beyond happy about this! It has been an exciting off season, and I am glad to have been able to put this package together.” said Anders Krohn

2007 was a great debut year in single seaters for Anders, in which he secured 6 race wins, 9 pole positions and 11 podiums from 15 races to secure the Runner-Up spot in the Dutch&Benelux Formula Ford Championships. The wish was to move further up the racing ladder for 2008, and after a test with the Andersen Racing crew at Sebring International Raceway in Florida early January, it was clear that Formula 2000 and Andersen Racing was the highest wish. ”The staff at Andersen Racing were truly professional and the Formula 2000 car was great to drive. I had two great days with the team at Sebring, and we were right up there in the timesheets, so it couldn`t have gone much better” said an enthusiastic Krohn about the test.

On January 17th, Krohn signed a deal with Andersen Racing to drive the US Formula 2000 Championship (F2000 Championship Series presented by Hoosier Racing Tire). A well known and respected step in the Formula-car world, Formula 2000 has been the choice of many now-professional drivers. The 2008 season will consist of 14 races being held over 7 weekends, including famous events such as the Grand Prix of Cleveland, Grand Prix of Mosports and tracks such as Road America and Virginia International Raceway. In 2007, there were over 30 cars at each event, and with even more cars set to enter for 2008, it will be one of the largest fields in todays Formula-car world. ”Everything will be new for me this year. New car, new tracks, new team, new country and new culture. I am looking forward to every bit of it, and I am sure I will be able to do a good job together with the Andersen Racing crew. The fields this year will be huge, so it will be huge challenge to stay up there in every race in order to challenge for a top position in the Championship.” Anders said.

As well as fielding cars in the Formula 2000 and the Indy Pro Series, Andersen Racing is also the official development team for IndyCar team Rahal Letterman Racing. Anders will benefit from this through several symposiums with Bobby Rahal and his key staff. ”It`s the perfect opportunity for me to learn from the best, and hopefully good results in 2008 will lead to some doors being opened for the future.” said a happy Anders Krohn regarding the driver program put together by Andersen Racing and Rahal Letterman Racing.

The first race of the season will be held on April 19-20 at Virginia International Raceway. But before that time, Anders will test his brand new Van Diemen race car to be fully prepared together with the Andersen Racing team, for a tough 2008 season.

”I think we are headed into a great season, racing in the USA. It would not have happened without the help of my main sponsors Trallfa Industrier AS, Colosseum Dental AS and Kruse Smith AS, nor without the help from Andersen Racing. I am hoping to carry on the positive progression from 2007, and to be able to fight for wins also in 2008. This is a dream come true for me, and I am going to make sure I make good use of it.” ended Anders Krohn.