By: Spencer Neff
February 8, 2019 | 8:00 AM
As the first rung on the Road to Indy ladder, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Series has seen several stars compete on their way up the ladder. This list includes names like Dan Wheldon, Sage Karam and JR Hildebrand.
Reaching USF2000 is a major accomplishment for many young drivers. As proven by these names and others, it is often the first step in launching their careers. In the past handful of weeks, a few teams have added drivers to the series.
Each with solid racing resumes of their own, these drivers will look to achieve success in the series this year on the potential road to the NTT IndyCar Series. The 15-round series begins on the streets of St. Petersbyrg March 8-10.
Here are the latest additions to the 2019 USF2000 grid.
Sulaiman, an 18-year-old native of Puebla, Mexico, was announced as DEForce Racing’s driver on Thursday. Sulaiman got his start like many drivers did, in the karting ranks.
While racing in Mexican and British F4, his results caught the eye of team owner David Martinez.
“We are very excited to have Manuel onboard for 2019 in our USF2000 team,” Martinez emphasized in Thursday’s press release.
“He is a very hungry driver with a great background in karting. When he first got in our car, we knew he would be a contender.”
Martinez also expressed excitement for the new season in the hopes of winning their first title.
“This is our third year as a team and we’re looking forward to getting our first championship. We definitely feel Manuel will be a contender every race and can’t wait to see him on track.”
On Thursday, Sulaiman expressed excitement about joining the series and particularly, doing so with a team from his home country.
“It means a lot to me to participate in such a high-level competition of motorsport in formula cars and having a goal of winning the championship with a Mexican team. I am willing, motivated and hungry to win and show what can we do together.”
Famularo joins USF2000 from a diverse racing background. After getting his start in high-level North American karting, Famularo went overseas to compete in Italian F4 last year. He will join BN Racing for the 2019 season.
“We are welcoming Anthony to BN Racing with open arms,” explained team owner Bryn Nuttall.
“Anthony has proven to be fast in preseason testing, and I am confident that he will surprise a lot of people in his rookie season. He comes with a great coach and mentor in former F1 race winner and multi-time Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya.”
Nuttall added, “We have just completed several days of testing since the New Year and look forward to continuing the development work with Anthony.”
“Even with our results in 2018, we are building and improving our team every month and I think with a little more time, testing and experience in the seat of a USF-17, Anthony could achieve some solid results in the upcoming season.”
On January 29, Cape Motorsports announced that Reece Gold will join the team for the 2019 season. Gold has competed and won in karting events in Florida Winter Tour, United States Pro Kart Series and Superkarts! USA Pro Tour.
Gold’s resume also includes three straight Florida Winter Tour championships from 2014 to 2016. In this time, Gold won in the Micro Max and Minix Max categories.
In 2016, he also won the Mini Swift title in the United States Pro Kart Series and won the ROK Cup Midwest series.
Two years ago, Gold earned the Mini Swift vice-champion on the SKUSA Pro Tour. He was also the runner-up in the ROK Cup Florida Winter Tour Mini Rok category.
2018 proved to be a big year for Gold. He won at the SKUSA SummerNationals in the X30 Junior class in August. Additionally, he scored five victories in 16 races on the Lucas Oil School of Racing program.
“We are extremely excited to have such a great young driver with huge potential on our team,” Team Owners Nicholas and Dominic Cape expressed.
“In the two test days that Reece completed, his development was very impressive. What also makes this a great signing for us both is his father – Mark Gold – was one of our first customers when we opened our race team back in the day. As a race team, we are now moving into our second generation of drivers, which is truly fantastic.”
Like his team owners, Gold also expressed enthusiasm about the upcoming season. In Particular, Gold noted the success of their earlier testing.
“I am so excited to be starting my USF2000 career with Cape Motorsports,” Gold enthused. “Having won numerous championships, they are the “go-to” team. After several test days, I am so honored that they had the confidence in my abilities to give me this chance.”
“I also would like to thank the Lucas Oil School of Racing for the scholarship towards USF2000 and, of course, my sponsor, The Ticket Clinic, for their unwavering support. I am looking forward to being part of another championship season.”
Header Image by Road to Indy.