Sheboygan, WI - As the calendar year draws to a close, ArmsUp Motorsports has signed two of their four drivers to contest in the 2014 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Seventeen-year-old American racer Peter Portante and 35-year-old Canadian racer James Dayson will join the Wisconsin-based team for the season's entirety.
Portante raced with AUM previously in 2013 in the SCCA Runoffs and ended the season on a high note, winning the 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs from the pole position. After starting racing in go karts in 2003 at age seven, Portante participated in the Skip Barber Racing School Summer Series in 2012. With his sights set on IndyCar, the Connecticut native then joined the Mazda Road to Indy in 2013 for a full season effort with Belardi Auto Racing in the USF2000 Championship. With two podium finishes, Portante finished in the top 10 of the final championship standings.
"This will be my second year in USF2000, and the only reason to return is to win the championship," said a determined Portante. "I believe ArmsUp Motorsports gives me the best chance to do it. I have been able to race with AUM in the Runoffs, and it was a fantastic experience. I think it will really help speed up the learning period with the team. It's really a great group of guys and I know we will surprise a lot of people. This is my second year in this series, and it's down to business. I want to spend as much time as I can with the Cooper Tire girls on the podium."
For Dayson there will be a sense of familiar for the approaching season, with a full year racing with ArmsUp in USF2000 under his belt. The Vancouver resident earned nine second-place finishes in the National Class, a class within the series allowing the opportunity to advance to the main Championship Class. Starting in 2014, the series will feature only the Championship Class, adding to the level of already intense competition. Unlike most of his competition, Dayson started his racing career at age 33. He went on to clinch the 2012 Cooper Tires USF2000 Winterfest National Class Championship before signing with AUM for a full USF2000 season in 2013.
"I'm excited to be returning for my third year in USF2000," said Dayson. "It's a great series that is very well run and operated by Andersen Promotions. The fact that there is only one class now means I have to step up my game. I'm looking forward to the challenge and to keep pushing myself and improving. 2014 is going to be my biggest challenge yet. The last two years in the National Class were great for my experience and learning, and I'm now ready to compete at the same level as everyone else and see what I can do.
"One of the best parts for me about my return is getting to compete with ArmsUp for a third consecutive year. The support I've got from the team has been above and beyond what I could ask for and I look forward to having another year to build upon our successes from the past two seasons. Racing with ArmsUp is simply fun. They are a very professional team that takes great pride in what they do. The fit couldn't be any better. I can't wait to get back in the car and start 2014 already."
"2014 is really going to be a strong year for us," said ArmsUp Motorsports owner Gregg Borland. "Both of these drivers are dedicated to continuous development. They saw improvement with each race in 2013, and we fully plan on capitalizing on that for 2014. We've got an impressive driver lineup taking shape and a strong, dedicated crew. With this, we have a strong chance to win races next year. We're working hard to put the finishing touches on our 2014 USF2000 program and hope to have more exciting news soon."
The 14-race season will be comprised of five double-headers, one tripleheader and one solo event. The first race of the 2014 season begins March 29-30 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. About ArmsUp Motorsports
Based in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, ArmsUp Motorsports is a full service prep shop for Formula Continentals, Formula Atlantics, and Vintage racing cars. The team just celebrated their first Vintage race win of the season at Road America. For more information please visit the official ArmsUp website at www.ArmsUpMotorsports.com.