Andrew Dobbie Takes Pole For Race One in Pittsburgh!
Despite advances from Brandon Dixon and Steve Jenks, pole position for race one was secured by series rookie Andrew Dobbie for race one here at Pittsburgh International Race Complex!
In the morning practice session, cool dense air blessed the competitors, and with complimentary blue skies the track conditions were ideal. Brandon Dixon, championship leader, was fast out of the gates and in fact ran under the lap record set back in 2015. Andrew Dobbie, also piloting a Citation, dipped under the existing lap record as well. As temperatures rose for the late morning qualifying it wasn’t clear if those times would be repeated.
The session went green for the F2000 competitors, and right from the get go Andrew Dobbie was looking serious. He immediately dropped into the 1:41 range. Brandon Dixon, multi-race winner and championship leader, was second on the board. Steve Jenks, current runner up in the championship, filled out the podium in third. Nick Palacio, podium finisher in the previous weekend’s events, was in fourth and starting to close the difference to Jenks.
At the eight minute mark, Dobbie still holds the top spot, he’s run a 1:40.497 now. Dixon is third, and Jenks still third. Almost all the drivers are improving lap for lap, Dobbie perhaps is the exception. Dixon improves, but he hasn’t bested Dobbie. The gap between the two is less than a tenth of a second.
With a little less than half way to go, Jenks improves, he’s still in third but less than half a second off of Dobbie. Harry Voigt is fourth now, he’s a tenth behind Jenks. Jenks heads into the pits, as does Dobbie and Dixon. Tire pressures are balanced for all three, it looks like Jenks makes a front damper adjustment. Dixon is the first to head back out, he’s followed by Dobbie and then Jenks a few moments later. The drivers are setting up for a final push, plenty of time remains, something like ten minutes in total.
The changes pay off for Dobbie, he lowers the fast lap by three tenths of a second, there’s no change in position though. Dobbie is on pole, he’s just made it harder for others to steal it away. Dixon counters, he’s closed the gap to just two tenths, but he’s going to have to keep digging. Jenks now steps up his game, he’s still third, but less than a tenth off of Dixon. Three tenths of a second cover the top three. Harry Voigt lurks in fifth, just a half second off the top spot, he too continues to find pace.
The session has ended, it’s Dobbie to pole! Dixon will start second, Jenks third, Voigt fourth, and Palacio fifth. The pace from this mornings practice sessions weren’t repeated, though drivers managed to get within a two tenths of the lap record.