The Waterfall/Area 81 Racing team began the 2017 season with two goals in mind. The first goal was to race at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the SCCA Runoffs. The second goal was to compete in the inaugural North American Formula 1000 Championship. In past seasons the team focused on SCCA Regional events with the occasional SCCA Majors (formerly Nationals) events. It was clear the season would focus exclusively on the SCCA Majors to achieve both goals. Competing in the SCCA Majors meant fierce competition, increased cost, and longer towing distances. The team would have to up their games significantly to reach their goals.
The 2017 season began with solid points finishes posted by both drivers. In January, Richard Franklin placed 4th at Homestead, Florida in Car 81. In March, Tim Pierce won Race 1 in Car 18 and placed 2nd in Race 2 of the NAF1000 series at Road Atlanta in GA. In April, both drivers missed opportunities at Virginia International Raceway with engine issues. In June, at Watkins Glen International in New York, Tim was just a step off the podium at 4th in both races. In July, at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Tim had moved up to 3rd in Race 1 in the opening lap until he was hit from behind and spun off track. Race 2 with three laps to go he began to run out of fuel, ultimately finishing 3rd. In September, both cars had mechanical setbacks at Indianapolis, however the team ultimately achieved their goals to race in the historical footsteps of Indy Legends. Tim put Car 18 on the NAF1000 pole, won Round 11, and set the fastest race lap in the NAF1000 series. It resulted in just enough points for in 2nd place in the NAF1000 final points standings. Richard capped off his F1000 career with another SCCA Runoffs finish at another legendary track.
Tim Pierce – Driver of Car 18 – “My crew and I are honored to have finished 2nd in the inaugural season of the NAF1000 championship. We won the first and last race of the series, with a lot of craziness in between. We were in the top 3 at some point in every race, with the exception of WGI where we were 4th. I look forward to an even more successful run in the 2018 NAF1000 championship and major offseason changes are already under way.”
Richard Franklin – Driver of Car 81 – “Early in 2017 I decided this would be my last season as a F1000 Car Owner. I’ve had many great racing memories & I’ve accomplished a number of personal goals with Area 81 Racing, most notably driving some of the greatest racetracks in the US & Canada. When the SCCA Runoffs were announced to be at Indy, it became a perfect final chapter for me in F1000. I still plan to do some SCCA Road Racing from time-to-time, but am now pursuing another passion in General Aviation. Many Thanks to all who supported me & Area 81 Racing during my F1000 racing career.”
From the marketing standpoint, the team’s commercial website www.Area81Racing.com has received over 67,821 Page views to date. We have reached out and informed fans via popular social networks with over 250+ followers on Area 81 Racing’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. Over 34,602 viewers have visited the team’s YouTube page, featuring our exciting SCCA Open Wheel in-car videos.
As for the upcoming year, the Area 81 Racing 2018 Season Event Calendar will be published soon. Our success would not be possible without the support of our valued sponsors; Waterfall Security Solutions, The Franklin Agency, Briky Coolers and our Area 81 Racing crew and families. We value everyone’s support and look forward to next season.
Tim Pierce – Team Principal Richard Franklin – Team Principal