Afterburner Autosport is planning its return to full-time competition in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda series this year, and has named its first full-time driver.
A 17-year-old Brazilian driver, Felipe Ortiz, joins the lineup. He’s been in F4 and F3 competition in the past.
“We’re really excited to get our first driver confirmed for the year,” said Tim Walsh, Afterburner Autosport team principal.
“Felipe comes to us with a great pedigree in karting and Brazilian formula car competition and we’re thrilled to get the opportunity to introduce him to the USF2000 program and the Mazda Road to Indy. We had incredible success with our last Brazilian driver – Victor Franzoni – and we hope to match that performance with Felipe. We have a great teammate lined up for him as well, and we’re hoping to field at least three cars in 2016.”
Team USA Scholarship winner Dakota Dickerson has tested for the team and is expected to be announced soon.
The aforementioned Franzoni won last year in USF2000, before he stepped up to Pro Mazda. An Afterburner violation last year led to the team getting a two-race suspension after Barber Motorsports Park.