ATL Thursday Testing Report: Cole Morgan Fastest
Braselton, GA – Coming off a victory at VIR a few weeks ago, 2007 F2000 Series Champion and current points leader Cole Morgan set the fastest time in Thursday testing for this weekend’s F2000 rounds at Road Atlanta. Morgan, driving the #1 for K-Hill/Greisiger Motorsports, is no stranger to the Georgia road-course, having won here in his second ever F2000 start back in 2007.
Following Morgan’s fast lap of 1:25.9 on the timesheets for the last session of the day were Tim Kautz, driving for Liberty Motorsports, Fabio Orsolon, Matthew Inge and Victor Carbone..
The general consensus in the paddock was “slippery” – with a 90 degree day and a green track, most teams were left going to soft setups to find additional grip around Road Atlanta.
Rob Nicholas, who posted the fastest time in the second testing session and won the Masters Class at VIR, said: “We were faster in the second session, but only due to the rhythm, the track was actually worse.” Nicholas’ K-FAST team apparently unplugged the #89’s transponder for the last and final session of the day, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Thursday testing alongside the highly popular Formula Drift tour allowed F2000 Championship Series drivers to get back into the groove after a four week break following VIR. Most teams spent the day’s massive amount of track time on old rubber, although a few did elect to scrub in new Hoosiers ahead of tomorrow’s very hectic schedule.
Matthew Inge, who finished second in last year’s run to the national championship, made his first appearance in a car since closing out the 2009 season at Mid-Ohio. The young American will contest the weekend in the #20 K-Hill Motorsports Van Diemen, alongside teammate and 2007 Series title holder Cole Morgan. Some in the paddock have dubbed K-Hill’s all-star American-born lineup this weekend “Team USA”.
“We made some substantial changes in between the first two sessions and now the car turns,” Inge said. “The track is slippery, especially with all the rubber the drift cars are putting down in turn ten.”
Incidents for the day included a suspension failure on Jonathan Scarallo’s R-Sport entry, which caused him to spin. Later in the day Scarallo was involved in a second incident when he tangled with Dan Denison coming out of the pits.
Tim Paul, in the SMR #06, damaged a diffuser in the opening session on the turn seven curbing. Paul Farmer, in the only Mygale chassis in the field also suffered some damage and the car is questionable for the rest of the weekend pending parts availability.
Additionally, Peter Gonzalez suffered a CV Join failure. Dave Weitzenhof had a major shunt in his Citation and is also questionable for the rest of the weekend. Ardie Greenamyer battled starter issues in his AcceleRace Motorsports #28 as did both Alegra Motorsports entries.
JDC Motorsports made its 2010 debut with Gerald Kraut posting solid times, Russian teammate Mikhail Goikhberg is expected to turn laps in the first official practice session on Friday.
Blake Teeter, after suffering an early end to his VIR weekend via engine failure, got some very important laps in his #14 SMR entry. It is Teeter’s sophomore season in the F2000 Series.
Also notable is a full hospitality setup for F2000 participants for the first time in recent memory, perhaps underlining some of the momentum the Series is enjoying in 2010.
Full results for both timed sessions are available online at www.f2000championshipseries.com
The weekend officially starts tomorrow as Friday, May 7 features an official practice session followed by a qualifying session and a 30-minute race, with Saturday showcasing a similar schedule. Fans and competitors can follow live updates, news and photos on www.F2000ChampionshipSeries.com or on Twitter @F2000.