The 2001 US F2000 National Championship is an open-wheel series for Formula 2000 race cars. The series receives generous support from the Ford Motor Company, Avon Tires, Sunoco Racing Fuels and Racing Electronics.

The championship consists of thirteen races, which are contested on road courses and ovals. The season begins in March on the road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A month later, the teams return to the track for a doubleheader on the 1.4-mile oval as a support event for the Indy Racing Northern Lights Series. Next on the calendar is a road course doubleheader at Watkins Glen International. Then the series travels to Indianapolis Raceway Park for another oval event. Rounds seven and eight are conducted at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, followed by the season’s fourth doubleheader at Road America. The series makes its second visit to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course a month later. The final weekend, conducted at Sebring International Raceway, consists of rounds twelve and thirteen.

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, Mygale, Tatuus, Vector and the most common choice, Van Diemen. These 1,190-lbs 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 Avon and use a spec fuel provided by Sunoco.

There are three championships:

  • National Championship – This category is for newer cars. Competitors score points on the road courses and ovals to secure the National Championship. There is also the Road to Indy Oval Crown for the driver who performs the best in the oval events.
  • Oval Crown Championship – This division allows drivers to enter as oval-only participants if their future career goals do not include road courses.
  • American Continental Championship – This category is for cars built from 1990 to 1999. This class was introduced to provide an economical means for drivers and teams to enter the series. Drivers in this division score points on the road courses.

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

In early June, the 2001 US F2000 National Championship made their first of two visits to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This was a doubleheader weekend where divers would collect points in rounds seven and eight.

Tonis Kasemets put the No. 6 MK Industries Van Diemen RF01 on the pole for rounds seven and eight at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. At his previous events, Kasemets was fast in qualifying but not delivering the same results in the race. That would change at Mid-Ohio when he led Saturday’s contest flag-to-flag for his first series win. The next day, Kasemets was slowed by a suspension issue and finished fifteenth.
American Continental Championship competitor Billy Hagar drove the No. 4 Van Diemen RF98. Hagar, who had already collected class victories at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Watkins Glen International, led the points chase. In the first race of the weekend, he started and finished first in class. On Sunday, Hagar was the fastest qualifier but lost a position to Scott Rubenzer and finished second in his category.
Collecting the most points at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was Doug Bell. Bell qualified fourth fastest for round seven but moved the No. 3 Cape Motorsports prepared Van Diemen RF01 into second on the race’s first restart. He chased down the leader, Tonis Kasemets, and finished second by a margin of 0.326-seconds. Bell qualified second the next day but was in the lead before the end of lap-1 and earned the victory.
In his first US F2000 event, Travis Irving finished on the podium piloting the No. 85 Van Diemen RF01 prepared by Primus Racing West. Irving was the third-fastest qualifier. He passed Jason LaPoint at the start but lost a spot to Doug Bell before the checkered flag. He started fourth on Sunday, but his race ended on lap-23 when there was contact between him and the No. 69 Van Diemen RF01 of Billy Asaro.
After three rounds of the American Continental Championship, Scott Rubenzer had one victory to Billy Hagar’s two but was within striking distance of the points leader. The driver of the No. 11 Storage Battery Systems sponsored Carbir DS-3 qualified third in class for Saturday’s contest and despite contact, he finished third. With repairs made for the following day, Rubenzer grabbed the win after a terrible start.
Jason LaPoint was another driver whose excellent qualifying results weren’t reflected in his race results. After six rounds, LaPoint had four top-five qualifying results, one of which was a pole, but he also had three finishes outside the top-ten, two of which were DNFs. He started second in race one at Mid-Ohio but dropped down the order and finished fifth. On Sunday, LaPoint was gridded third and claimed the runner-up spot.
The 2001 US F2000 series attracted some interesting participants, one of which was Vanina Ickx. She is the daughter of former Formula 1 driver and six-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx. Before crossing the Atlantic, she competed in production-based series in Europe. This season Ickx drove the No. 7 Cami Group Van Diemen RF01. At the Mid-Ohio rounds, she earned ninth and eighteenth place finishes.
Another driver of note was the 2000 USAC National Midget Series champion, Kasey Kahne. Kahne was racing the No. 13 Van Diemen RF01 with backing from the Ford Motor Company. Round seven and eight of the 2001 US F2000 National Championship at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course would be his introduction to the series. During the weekend, Kahne collected nineteenth and tenth place finishes.

11F2ATonis KasemetsMK Ind/Flexovit/ Diemen25-
24F2ADoug BellCape Motorsports/Van Diemen25-
33F2ATravis IrvingGreat Central Transport/Van Diemen25-
45F2ABilly Diemen25-
52F2AJason LaPointInfinity/RegencyAviat/TrackMag/Van Diemen25-
66F2ATommy ConstantineOuzo12/Van Diemen25-
78F2APiero RodarteTelmex/Sico/Van Diemen25-
819F2APaul DanaForsythe/CAPCO/Klein Tls/Mate/Van Diemen25-
915F2APeter GrayCape Motorsports/Van Diemen25-
1017F2AArie Luyendyk Jr.Provimi/Mi-Jack/Van Diemen25-
1110F2AMemo RojasTelMex/Van Diemen25-
1211F2AArnold BrinkmannAPG/Fruit Soda Ecuador/Van Diemen25-
1316F2ASean McIntoshKimnac Carstar/PPG/Van Diemen25-
1421F2AMatt GreenInfinityMtrspt/RegencyAviation/Van Diemen25-
1513F2AJ.W. UrlinBudget Rent A Car/Van Diemen25-
1623ACCBilly HagarHagar Restaurant Service/Van Diemen25-
1718F2AJeff HarrisonMoto1net/MotsprtRanch/AmerInst/Van Diemen25-
1822F2AVanina IckxCami Group/JDC Motor Sports/Van Diemen25-
1920F2AKasey KahneFord Racing/Van Diemen25-
2026ACCRussell LindemannBamsley Tire of Boulder/Van Diemen25-
219F2ATom DyerCycleShack/Menards/CowboyChar./Van Diemen25-
2225ACCScott RubenzerStorageBatSys/TrojanBatCo./Carbir25-
2312F2AAlexander FiggeZeroWait/Lightspeed Motorsport/Van Diemen22Did Not Finish
2429F2ARichard ZoberZober Industries Inc./Van Diemen15Did Not Finish
2524ACCDustin Diemen11Did Not Finish
2614F2AMike PotekhenP.D.R./Twin Diemen1Did Not Finish
2727F2ACarl RussoP.D.R./Van Diemen1Did Not Finish
287F2ABryan SellersHLCapital/3 Dimensional Serv./Van Diemen0Did Not Finish
-28ACCAaron EllisEllis Motorsports/Riley&Scott/Van Diemen-Did Not Start

12F2ADoug BellCape Motorsports/Van Diemen25-
23F2AJason LaPointInfinity/RegencyAviat/TrackMag/Van Diemen25-
36F2APeter GrayCape Motorsports/Van Diemen25-
49F2AArnold BrinkmannAPG/Fruit Soda Ecuador/Van Diemen25-
510F2AMemo RojasTelMex/Van Diemen25-
67F2ATom DyerCycleShack/Menards/CowboyChar./Van Diemen25-
711F2AArie Luyendyk Jr.Provimi/Mi-Jack/Van Diemen25-
819F2AJ.W. UrlinBudget Rent A Car/Van Diemen25-
921F2AVanina IckxCami Group/JDC Motor Sports/Van Diemen25-
1016F2AKasey KahneFord Racing/Van Diemen25-
1115F2ATommy ConstantineOuzo12/Van Diemen25-
1222ACCScott RubenzerStorageBatSys/TrojanBatCo./Carbir25-
1323ACCRussell LindemannBamsley Tire of Boulder/Van Diemen25-
1425F2ACarl RussoP.D.R./Van Diemen25-
151F2ATonis KasemetsMK Ind/Flexovit/ Diemen25-
1620ACCBilly HagarHagar Restaurant Service/Van Diemen25-
1726ACCAaron EllisEllis Motorsports/Riley&Scott/Van Diemen25-
1827F2ARichard ZoberZober Industries Inc./Van Diemen24-
194F2ATravis IrvingGreat Central Transport/Van Diemen23Contact
205F2ABilly Diemen23Contact
2113F2ASean McIntoshKimnac Carstar/PPG/Van Diemen23Contact
2228F2ABryan SellersHLCapital/3 Dimensional Serv./Van Diemen23Contact
238F2APiero RodarteTelmex/Sico/Van Diemen21Electrical
2417F2APaul DanaForsythe/CAPCO/Klein Tls/Mate/Van Diemen19Did Not Finish
2512F2AMike PotekhenP.D.R./Twin Diemen14Did Not Finish
2624F2AJeff HarrisonMoto1net/MotsprtRanch/AmerInst/Van Diemen10Did Not Finish
2714F2AAlexander FiggeZeroWait/Lightspeed Motorsport/Van Diemen1Did Not Finish
-18ACCDustin Diemen-Did Not Start

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