The 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec 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 twelve doubleheader weekends, each being contested on road courses. The season begins in March at Sebring International Raceway. In May, the teams travel north for races at Lime Rock Park. The championship makes its first of two visits to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course a month later. Next on the calendar are rounds seven and eight at Road America. Then the series returns to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the penultimate race weekend. The season ends with the final two races at Road Atlanta during the Petit Le Mans event.

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 and the most popular choice, Van Diemen. The suspensions are independent – both front and rear. Shock absorbers and sway bars are adjustable. A four-speed, non-synchro gearbox is used. Sequential transmissions are not permitted. The cars compete on a spec tire from Avon and use a spec fuel provided by Sunoco.

There are two championships:

  • Zetec Championship – This category is for newer cars with the Ford Zetec engine. Competitors score points on road courses and ovals to secure the championship. The Zetec powerplant is a 2.0-liter fuel injected double-overhead-camshaft four-cylinder motor, producing approximately 160-horsepower at 6,800-rpm.
  • American Continental Championship – This class was introduced to provide an economical means for drivers and teams to enter the series. 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.

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

The opening weekend of the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship was a doubleheader held at Sebring International Raceway. Drivers would compete on the legendary seventeen-turn 3.7-mile road course.

The opening lap of round one for the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship. Leading the field through Sebring International Raceway’s corner fifteen is the pole-sitter, Westley Barber, in the No. 3 Van Diemen RF03. Behind Barber is the other front-row starter, Lawson Aschenbach, driving the No. 2 Van Diemen RF03. Trailing the leaders are Jonathan Bomarito and Tonis Kasemets, both in Van Diemens.
Piloting the No. 3 Van Diemen RF03 was Westley Barber. Barber won last season’s British Formula Ford Championship. He was the fastest in both qualifying sessions for the doubleheader weekend. While the positions behind Barber changed during race one, he went flag-to-flag for the victory. The next day Barber was in the lead when the contest had to be red-flagged due to weather conditions – he was declared the winner.
Tony Loniewski qualified ninth fastest in the No. 22 Lonici Rental/GNP Corsa Group Van Diemen for the opening round of the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship and finished a disappointing thirteenth. The finale would be an opportunity for Loniewski to redeem himself. He started in the seventh position, but by lap-2, Loniewski was in second place. The red flag ensured him a runner-up result.
Like Westley Barber, Chris Dona dominated the American Continental Championship category. The class was poorly subscribed with just three entries and two starters. Dona’s competition came from the No. 33 Van Diemen of Nick Fanelli. In the No. 37 Rexxon Van Diemen, Dona qualified twenty-six and twenty-third overall and led from start to finish both days – collecting nineteenth and fifteenth place finishes.
Andy Brumbaugh was in his second season of the series. Last year, he finished tenth in the final standings, with his best result being a third at Virginia International Raceway. In 2003, Brumbaugh was campaigning the No. 86 Van Diemen RF03. He qualified sixth fastest for Thursday’s race. By lap-2, Brumbaugh was in third place and held the position to the checker. In race two, he spun out and finished nineteenth.
Lawson Aschenbach was also in the second year of the championship. Last year, he won the doubleheader at Milwaukee and claimed the Oval Crown title. With backing for King Automotive and M&M Welding, he drove the No. 2 Van Diemen RF03. Aschenbach was gridded on the outside row one for the weekend’s first contest but lost several positions and finished fifth. In the finale, he was fourth after starting fifth.

11F2AWestley BarberCape Motorsports / Van Diemen RF0311-
23F2AJonathan Bomarito Valley Financial / Van Diemen11-
36F2AAndy BrumbaughAndy LLC/Corby Concepts / Van Diemen RF0311-
412F2AJason KritikosCape Motorsports / Van Diemen RF0311-
52F2ALawson AschenbachKing Automotive/M&M Welding / Van Diemen RF0311-
611F2AMatthew McDonoughTASC Tech Services / Van Diemen11-
74F2ATonis KasemetsFlexOvit/MK Industries / Van Diemen RF0311-
815F2ARicardo ImeryVenezolana De Ascensores / Van Diemen11-
910F2ACraig BaltzerLakefront Technology / Van Diemen RF0311-
1013F2AWalter Lechner, Jr.Racers Edge Motorsports / Van Diemen RF0311-
1114F2ASteve WelkSparco/Lakefront Tech / Van Diemen RF0311-
127F2AAndrew PrendevilleTCW/Valvoline / Van Diemen RF0211-
139F2ATony LoniewskiGNP Corsa Group / Van Diemen11-
1416F2AAdam PecorariSAI Hydraulics / Van Diemen RF0311-
1517F2AChris FestaCar Centric / Van Diemen11-
1620F2ARomeo KapudijaBattery Tender / Van Diemen RF0111-
1721F2ADustin HodgesTeam Duke Racing / Van Diemen RF0111-
1822F2ADoug Smith10/Tenths Motorsports / Van Diemen RF0311-
1925ACCChris DonaRexxon Engineering / Van Diemen RF0111-
2026ACCNick FanelliFanelli Motorsports / Van Diemen RF9911-
2127F2ADick RoseHead Start Racing / Van Diemen RF0311-
2223F2ADavid BurkettWatts Law/Burkett Law / Van Diemen RF0210-
2318F2AJeff SakowiczTrench Shoring/Impact Sciences / Mygale8Accident
248F2ADoug PrendevilleTCW/Valvoline /Van Diemen RF017Gearbox
2524F2AJames GuéEssex Racing/GTP Motorsports / Van Diemen3Mechanical
2619F2AScott RubenzerStorage Battery Systems / Van Diemen RF020Mechanical
275F2ACharlie /Van Diemen0Accident

11F2AWestley BarberCape Motorsports / Van Diemen RF033-
27F2ATony LoniewskiGNP Corsa Group / Van Diemen3-
32F2ACharlie /Van Diemen3-
45F2ALawson AschenbachKing Automotive/M&M Welding / Van Diemen RF033-
510F2AAndrew PrendevilleTCW/Valvoline / Van Diemen RF023-
616F2ACraig BaltzerLakefront Technology / Van Diemen RF033-
79F2AJonathan Bomarito Valley Financial / Van Diemen3-
813F2ASteve WelkSparco/Lakefront Tech / Van Diemen RF033-
914F2AAdam PecorariSAI Hydraulics / Van Diemen RF033-
1015F2ARicardo ImeryVenezolana De Ascensores / Van Diemen3-
118F2AChris FestaCar Centric / Van Diemen3-
1217F2AMatthew McDonoughTASC Tech Services / Van Diemen3-
133F2ATonis KasemetsFlexOvit/MK Industries / Van Diemen RF033-
1427F2AJames GuéEssex Racing/GTP Motorsports / Van Diemen3-
1523ACCChris DonaRexxon Engineering / Van Diemen RF013-
1611F2ADoug PrendevilleTCW/Valvoline /Van Diemen RF013-
1718F2AScott RubenzerStorage Battery Systems / Van Diemen RF023-
1819F2AJeff SakowiczTrench Shoring/Impact Sciences / Mygale3-
194F2AAndy BrumbaughAndy LLC/Corby Concepts / Van Diemen RF033-
2024F2ADustin HodgesTeam Duke Racing / Van Diemen3-
2125ACCNick FanelliFanelli Motorsports / Van Diemen RF993-
2226F2ADick RoseHead Start Racing / Van Diemen RF033-
2321F2ADavid BurkettWatts Law/Burkett Law / Van Diemen RF022Did Not Finish
246F2AJason KritikosCape Motorsports / Van Diemen RF032Did Not Finish
2520F2ARomeo KapudijaBattery Tender / Van Diemen RF012Did Not Finish
2622F2ADoug Smith10/Tenths Motorsports / Van Diemen RF032Did Not Finish
-12F2AWalter Lechner, Jr.Racers Edge Motorsports / Van Diemen-Did Not Start

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