Audette Paces Practice at Watkins Glen

June 4, 2011
Audette was out in front by a huge margin

Watkins Glen, NY – Championship points leader Remy Audette stayed on the point during practice at Watkins Glen, setting a very fast lap of 1:51.9 , well under the existing track record of 1:53.0. The Canadian easily paced both 30-minute practice sessions in the #21 Audette Racing Van Diemen.

“We had two good sessions,” said Audette, who leads the point race over Kyle Connery and Robert La Rocca. “The car was awesome. In the morning it started to develop a push right in the middle of a session and it turns out we had snapped the sway bar in the rear. Besides that, the team is doing a good job and I am very comfortable with the track.”

Coello was fast in the RFR

The afternoon session saw Audette easily lead Niki Coello, the first of the RFRs. Chris Livengood followed in fourth position ahead of La Rocca, in the HP-Tech RFR, which has seen some updates after Road Atlanta.

Official time sheets showed another car, prepared by Polestar Racing, as quickest at 1:51.2, driven by open-wheel veteran Tonis Kasemets who is coaching the team's three drivers this weekend. Kasemets, however, will not start the race. The team is benefiting from the data that Kasemets was able to collect.

Angel Benitez was sixth fastest and first of the three Alegra cars. Tim Minor was seventh, Enzo Potolicchio – in the other HP-Tech entry – eighth, Thomas Schwietz ninth and Jonathan Scarallo tenth.

Meanwhile, the early session saw Audette ahead of La Rocca, Kyle Connery, Benitez, Livengood, Potolicchio, Minor, Schwietz, Coello and Craigo.

Enzo Potolicchio is doing double-duty as the veteran also races a Daytona Prototype in the six-hour endurance race at Watkins Glen on Saturday immediately following the 14-lap F2000 Championship Series race.

Coello, a seasoned-F2000 veteran with multiple SCCA National Championships, hasn't wasted any time in getting his black RFR up to speed for Afterburner Racing, going from ninth quick to near the top of the time sheets.

Connery led a testing session early on Thursday and was in the top five in Friday’s morning practice despite a late session-incident ending his day. Connery, a rookie, is questionable for the rest of the weekend due to heavy damage to the #91 Van Diemen.

Primus Racing had a rough morning, having to replace the motor in Nathan Morcom’s Van Diemen. Teammate Scarallo got laps in following an input shaft failure on Thursday, but was way down the time sheets, forcing Primus to make drastic setup changes to the #13.  Scarallo ended up in the top ten by the end of Friday but Morcom continued to battle mechanical gremlins and did not get many laps in.

Tim Paul

Tim Paul ended up 11th in the afternoon session, following an up-and-down Thursday test day. Paul was quick in the SMR/GTP Motorsports car in the morning, 13th out of some 35 that posted times. However, in between sessions the team made a radical setup change that left Paul way down the time sheets. For Friday, the original setup and aero package were back on the #06 Van Diemen.

Brendan Puderbach became the first driver to legitimately damage a new RFR chassis on a F2000 weekend, crashing in morning practice. Puderbach missed the afternoon session and is expected to be ready to go for Saturday’s qualifying session and race.

Action follows tomorrow, Saturday, June 4, with the F2000 field qualifying at 8:50 a.m. and a race following at 11:00 a.m. Sunday concludes the weekend with a 9:00 a.m. qualifying session and 11:30 a.m. race. All times are eastern. Fans can follow live on or on Twitter @F2000.

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