While most high school seniors are planning their graduation parties, Michael Lira is busy planning to expand his growing resume of racing experience. The seventeen year old Port Orange, Florida native is set to test a LATAM Formula 2000, open-wheel, open-cockpit race car at Palm Beach International Raceway on Wednesday.
Michael was picked by Autotv Magazine to compete in the 2015 LATAM F2000 season. Every year Autotv Magazine, considered the longest running Spanish language automotive show in the world and also a Spanish print publication distributed in the US and around the world, picks an all star team of promising young drivers believed to be the next generation of the motorsports stars. Michael was nominated by the Autotv board of trustees as the 2015 most promising Hispanic driver in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
Previous nominees competing in similar cars in Europe include World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz, F1 Champion Fernando Alonso and NASCAR/Indy Car/multi-open wheel championship winning racer, Juan Pablo Montoya.
Lira Motorsports is joining forces with Super Pro LATAM to field a car for the nine-round, 2015 series schedule. The series features a 20 car field of drivers from around the world competing on road courses including Sebring International Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Daytona International Raceway and Palm Beach International Raceway.
The car will carry sponsorship from Gary Yeomans Ford in Daytona Beach, FL and from Autotv Magazine.
The car Michael will be testing in Palm Beach on Wednesday is a single seat, carbon fiber body, 2 litre, 264 hp open-wheel car. Four other cars, with drivers flying in from Mexico, will also participate in the test, but only Michael and Lima, Peru racer Alessio Zucchi are a part of the Autotv Magazine team. The cars are capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 mph in 4.85 seconds.Both the chassis and engine are of an FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile)-approved “impact break-away” design. Additionally, they are equipped with a FIA-approved roll hoop and lateral driver’s head protection.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank Alberto Rocca from Autotv Magazine and Roberto de la Vega from the LATAM F2000 series for all of their help in putting this deal together for my Lira Motorsports team to field a car in this series,” Michael Lira commented. “This will be a new experience for me and I’m very excited to get behind the wheel in Palm Beach. My plan will be to take time to feel the car out and run clean laps. It’s an honor to have been chosen by Autotv, and to have the opportunity to compete against the international field of drivers that this type of racing, and this series in particular, draws.”
You can keep up with Michael throughout the year, as he competes in ARCA Racing Series, NASCAR Late Model, IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and LATAM F2000 competition on Twitter at @1MichaelLira and on Facebook at /MichaelLiraRacingOfficial. Also, be sure to visit his official website at www.MichaelLiraRacing.com.