The 1998 US F2000 National Championship, sanctioned by the United States Auto Club and the Sports Car Club of America – Pro Racing, is an open-wheel series for Formula 2000 race cars. The series receives support from the Ford Motor Company, Yokohama Tires, Sunoco Racing Fuels and Racing Electronics.

The championship consists of fourteen races contested on road courses, ovals and one street circuit. The season begins in January on the Walt Disney World Speedway oval and ends with a doubleheader at Pikes Peak International Raceway in late September.

  • Walt Disney World Speedway – January 23
  • Phoenix International Raceway – March 22
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway – May 16
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway – May 17
  • Watkins Glen Internation – May 29
  • Watkins Glen Internation – May 30
  • Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – June 14
  • Minneapolis Street Circuit – June 28
  • Lowe's Motor Speedway – July 24
  • Lowe's Motor Speedway – July 25
  • Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – August 8
  • Atlanta Motor Speedway – August 29
  • Pikes Peak International Raceway - September 26
  • Pikes Peak International Raceway - September 27

The cars competing in the series are single-seat, rear-engine, open-wheel vehicles constructed with a tube frame chassis. Manufacturers producing series chassis include Carbir, Swift, Tatuus, Bowman and the most popular choice, Van Diemen. These 1,190-lb formula cars are powered by a 2.0-liter Ford NEA engine fitted with a single Weber DGV carburetor. At 6,200-rpm, the motors produce approximately 150-horsepower. The suspensions are independent – both front and rear. Shock absorbers and sway bars are adjustable. The cars compete on a spec tire from Yokohama and use a spec fuel provided by Sunoco.

Drivers compete in one of two classes:

  • F2A – This category is for newer cars. Competitors score points on the road courses and ovals to secure the National Championship.
  • F2B – The “B” field is for cars built in 1996 or older. This class was introduced to provide an economical means for drivers and teams to enter the series. Drivers in this division score points based on their overall finishing position but may be first among the “B” cars.

Titles are also on the line for Chassis Manufacturers, Engine Builders and Prep Shops.

The US F2000 National Championship made the first of two stops at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in June. Drivers would compete in a twenty-lap contest around the thirteen-turn 2.258-mile road course.

Australian David Besnard drive the No. 13 Haase Racing Karts Van Diemen RF98. Besnard entered the series with a racing resume that included the 1996 Australian Formula Ford title. When the teams made their first stop at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for round seven, he was the points leader with wins at Orlando, Phoenix, Homestead and Watkins Glen. At Mid-Ohio, he went flag-to-flag for another victory.
Finishing second at Mid-Ohio by a margin of 6.648-seconds was Marc-Antoine Camirand. Camirand’s first start of the season was rounds three and four, where he collected a pair of fourth-place results. At Watkins Glen, Camirand earned his first podium. He qualified fourth fastest at Mid-Ohio in the No. 96 Key Motorsport Van Diemen RF98. However, Camirand was in second by lap-2 and held the position to the finish.
The No. 51 Van Diemen RF98 was another Key Motorsport entry driven by Greg LeMond. LeMond is a former cyclist that won the Road Race World Championship twice and the Tour de France three times. At the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, he qualified ninth fastest. By lap-14 of 20, LeMond was in third and maintained the spot to the checkered flag for his second third-place result of the season.
Michael Johnson also entered the series with some celebrity status. Johnson was a participant in MTV’s The Real World: London. While in England, he competed in Formula Renault and the British Touring Car Championship. In this year’s US F2000 National Championship, Johnson campaigned the No. 8 Valvoline / Slick Eyewear Van Diemen RF98. At Mid-Ohio, he started twelfth and charged to a fourth-place finish.
The most popular choice of a race car manufacturer in the US F2000 National Championship is Van Diemen. However, there is an option from Tatuus, which produces the RC98 model. Tatuus Racing is an Italian company founded in 1980 by Artico Sandona. There were three Tatuus RC98 entered at Mid-Ohio. The quickest belonged to Ryan Hampton, who was gridded eighth in the No. 88 version and finished fifth.
Another constructor of F2000 race cars is Bowman. The first Bowman was built in 1991 by Steve Hollman. In 1998, the company entered the US F2000 National Championship with the BC5 designed by Bruce Cary. At Mid-Ohio, there were entries from Highcroft Racing for Andy Lally and team principal Duncan Dayton. Lally drove the No. 5 Bowman BC5 and finished sixth after qualifying thirteenth.

11F2ADavid BesnardHaase Racing Karts/Van Diemen RF9820-
24F2AMarc-Antoine CamirandKey Motorsport/Van Diemen RF9820-
39F2AGreg Diemen RF9820-
412F2AMike JohnsonValvoline/PCG/Van Diemen RF9820-
58F2ARyan HamptonBeta/Tatuus RC9820-
613F2AAndy LallyRed Line Oil/Bowman BC520-
711F2ABobby OergelQuicksilver/Red Line/Van Diemen RF9820-
82F2ASam Hornish, Jr.Hornish Bros.Trucking/Van Diemen RF9820-
918F2AAnthony SimoneBabbitt Enterprises/Van Diemen RF9720-
107F2AJonathan BottomsTeam Great Northern/Van Diemen RF9820-
1116F2ARic RushtonDSTP Motorsports/Van Diemen RF9820-
125F2AAlejandro GarcíaDixie Numerics/Van Diemen RF9820-
1315F2AChristian CogginsMerryland Apartment/Van Diemen RF9820-
1420F2BGuy CosmoValvoline/Bosch/Van Diemen RF9420-
1522F2AJames YottClaritin/Van Diemen RF9820-
1621F2AJon HerbInvincible Sportsware/Van Diemen RF9820-
1724F2ATim DuitTTK Construction/Van Diemen RF9820-
1823F2AJoey ScaralloAuto Trend Tire & Wheel/Van Diemen RF9820-
1926F2AT. J. BellBell Unlimited/Van Diemen RF9820-
2019F2ARolando QuintanillaTransportes Quintanilla/Van Diemen RF9820-
216F2ARobby McGeheeEnergizer/VisionAire/Tatuus RC9820-
2229F2ABilly Puterbaugh, Jr.Ferguson Steel/Van Diemen RF9819-
2331F2BWilmer ValentínHi-Tech Motor Corp./Van DiemenRF9619-
2430F2BJason BachMillennium Systems/Van Diemen RF9519-
2514F2ADuncan DaytonBowman America/Bowman BC518-
2610F2ASteve RikertSnR Racing/Tatuus Race Cars/Tatuus RC978Mechanical
2725F2AJeff SmithTerre Haute 1st National Bank/Tatuus RC982Mechanical
2817F2BLarry ObertoThe Race Net/Van Diemen RF951Did Not Finish
2927F2BDana LaLiberteCastrol/Snap-On/Van Diemen RF951Mechanical
3028F2BHowie LiebengoodCampaign to Stop Violence/Van Diemen RF951Did Not Finish
313F2ARyan JonesRyder/Winchester/PVS/Van Diemen RF981Mechanical

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