Watkins Glen, NY – Ayla Agren found a way past Sam Chastain at the last second on the last lap to take her third win of the 2014 F1600 season and more importantly, clinch the 2014 title. Agren, from Norway, bounced back after a rough Saturday in the No. 81 Mygale/Honda that saw her lose the points lead to her Team Pelfrey teammate Garth Rickards, who finished fifth on Sunday. Sam Chastain and Augie Lerch completed the podium in race two/round 14 of the season at Watkins Glen.
If there was going to be a race to decide the 2014 season, it was the season finale at Watkins Glen. A large lead pack shuffled the leader by the corner for the majority of the event. It was aggressive and clean driving at the front, with Agren working the draft with a push from her teammate for the win at the end of 12 green flag laps.
Three wins for Agren is the most of the season for any driver, in 14 races that saw 11 different winners. Most races over the season came down to last lap passes and tangles, with Watkins Glen offering up a dramatic ending.
“It was a rough race for everyone with the draft,” said Agren, “It was good to have the car we had.”
Sam Chastain led two laps and looked to briefly break the draft at the front, but couldn’t close the deal at the end, settling for a second place effort in the No. 27 Chastain Motorsports Mygale/Honda. Chastain ended the year with one victory, coming at Thompson in August.
“It was a tough race and with the draft on the back stretch, you could go from fourth to first pretty easily,” said Chastain. “I tried to fight for it on the last lap but Ayla got the push and she got by.”
Chastain tried hard, running a low defensive line into turn one on the last lap, but couldn’t match the speed of the draft.
With a third place finish, Augie Lerch clinched third in the standings, making it a one-two-three Team Pelfrey sweep in the 2014 Championship.
VIR winner Steve Bamford finished fourth ahead of Garth Rickards, who won the race on Saturday after Evan Mehan was penalized for driving conduct. Both Rickards and Bamford led laps during the race as well.
“Hats off to Ayla for winning the Championship. We fought hard all year,” said Rickards. “It was a close race and here with the draft it’s a bit of a lottery.”
Andrew Hobbs led his first laps of the year but found himself a victim of the lead shuffle, finishing sixth for WISKO Racing with Pittsburgh winner Jack Mitchell Jr. in seventh position. Jim Goughary, Will Harvey and Art Foster completed the top ten.
Goughary is the 2014 Masters Class Champion of the season, with two overall wins.
While the 2014 F1600 Formula F Championship Series season has concluded, the Series expects to make a schedule announcement in the coming weeks for the 2015 season.
PosNo.NameLapsBest TmMake/ModelDiff 1 81 Ayla Agren 12 1:58.351 Mygale Honda - 2 27 Sam Chastain 12 1:58.982 Mygale Sj13 Honda +0.069 3 82 Augie Lerch 12 1:58.210 Mygale Honda +0.722 4 07 Steve Bamford/M 12 1:58.717 Mygale Sj11 Honda +0.904 5 83 Garth Rickards 12 1:58.799 Mygale Honda +1.285 6 13 Andrew Hobbs 12 1:58.892 Mygale Sj Honda +1.442 7 93 Jack Mitchell, Jr. 12 1:58.907 Spectrum Honda +1.950 8 7 James Goughary/M 12 1:58.529 Van Diemen Honda +2.015 9 24 Will Harvey 12 1:59.816 Mygale Sj Honda +12.325 10 21 Arthur Foster/M 12 1:59.825 Spectrum 014 Honda +12.472 11 28 Andrew Lewis 12 2:00.549 MagaleSj Honda +20.809 12 80 Nikita Lastochkin 12 1:59.103 Mygale Sj Honda +22.602 13 70 Sam Lockwood/M 12 2:01.829 Spectrum 014 Honda +32.197 14 2 Mike Scanlan/M 12 2:02.297 Spectrum Honda +41.232 15 18 Dan Pyanowski/M 12 2:03.944 Van Diemen Honda +53.210