2012 Season Conclusion at Watkins Glen
Sharon, CT – The 2012 edition of the F2000 Championship Series is set to conclude this weekend with rounds 13 and 14 at Watkins Glen International. Robert La Rocca put the finishing touches on a Championship at Summit Point in August, but comes into Watkins Glen looking to break the F2000 win record, with an additional 35-plus cars planning to figure in as the fight still continues for second in the overall points.
In the seven-week break since Summit Point, La Rocca spent time in a F3 car battling at the famous Monza circuit in Italy, and only needs one win to make it 10 on the year, setting a new mark in F2000 history.
“The pressure is off now that the Championship is clinched,” said the second-year HP-Tech Motorsport driver who will be crowned Champion at the Series awards ceremony on Sunday night. “We are going into this weekend the same way as we have all year. We are not holding anything back, we want to finish strongly.”
The extended weather forecast predicts that rain and cold temperatures may be a factor come Sunday, meaning the fight for second in the points could get more dramatic. Wyatt Gooden, riding the points benefits of two wins currently holds the position, but Niki Coello is coming off a dominating rain victory at Summit Point, the first for a non-Van Diemen in Series history.
“We did some testing during the Run-Offs and have made more improvements to the RFR,” noted Coello. “I’m excited we are bringing such a strong car to Watkins Glen … a little rain wouldn’t be bad.”
Against a backdrop of fall foliage in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Kevin Kopp could capitalize, looking in on the battle for second from fourth, but still within reach for his WISKO F2000 squad. If Gooden hangs onto the spot ahead of Kopp, he will notch 2012 Rookie of the Year honors.
The storylines don't stop there as the Series expects its largest field of the year. Tim Paul ran strong at Watkins Glen in 2011 and his GTP/SMR team is hoping to rebound from a rough rain race at Summit Point. Behind Paul in the points is Livengood, who has won multiple pole positions at the track.
While Kyle Connery is way back in the points race, the No. 91 RFR team has a large contingent of support coming to the track where Connery swept both October races in a Van Diemen in 2011.
David Grant will also make his first F2000 Championship Series start. Grant will strap into the No. 8 Polestar entry, having recently taken top honors in the 2012 inaugural edition of the Atlantic Championship Series.
CellMark Paper season long Hard Charger honors will come to an end this weekend with a $750 cash prize. Peter Gonzalez, in the No. 16 Radon for GTP Motorsports, currently leads the Hard Charger points, advancing 67 positions this year, but John Brumder is within striking distance, having made up 53 positions during the year for Front Range Motorsports.
Friday October 12 kicks off the weekend with a pair of F2000 practices, at 9:40 and 2:10 local time before Saturday morning opens to a 9:40 qualifying session and 2:10 race start. Sunday sees the same schedule, with a 9:40 qualifying round followed by a 2:10 green flag with live audio available for Saturday and Sunday’s sessions along with photos, news, results and more at www.f2000series.com.