By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
In the 2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda, Victor Franzoni finished third in the championship behind Anthony Martin and Parker Thompson. Let’s take a look at how Franzoni’s 2016 championship played out..
The 21-year-old Brazilian’s season got off to a rocky start as his ArmsUp Motorsports entry could only manage a sixth and a 12th at St. Petersburg, but starting at the next round at Barber Motorsports Park Franzoni would start a streak of getting onto the podium at every track on the schedule.
Franzoni finished second and ninth in Alabama before the series moved to Indianapolis for two races on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the only oval race of the year at Lucas Oil Raceway. Franzoni scored a pair of thirds and a second-place finish in the month of May.
The series headed north, first to Road America, Wisconsin and then to Toronto. Franzoni would be the best of the rest after an Australian sweep of the podium at the first race in Road America but in the second race a runner-up finish jump-started Franzoni’s trip to Canada and what would be his first victory of the season.
Franzoni won the first of two races in Toronto and finished third behind the Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing duo of Thompson and Martin, but things weren’t going as well for Franzoni or his team.
After Road America, things got a little rough for Franzoni.
ArmsUp Motorsports had been running three cars at all of the USF2000 races except for Lucas Oil Raceway. Max Hanratty ran in the championship class and Dale VandenBush ran in the second tier national class but both drivers ceased their campaigns after Road America, leaving Franzoni as the sole driver for the Wisconsin-based team for the rest of the season.
The USF2000 veteran wasn’t deterred and would score a second, third and fourth at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course before winning both races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to secure his third place position in the championship.
Franzoni does have a few good statistics on his side during his time in USF2000. He’s the only driver to win in the last three seasons of USF2000 and this year he scored 15 Top 10 finishes from 16 races.
Regardless of his next move, whether it be sticking around another season in the series or progressing up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder to the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires, Franzoni will be one to watch moving forward.