Wampum, PA – To kick off the season finale weekend for the F1600 Formula F Championship Series at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, it was Team Pelfrey teammates Ben Auriemma and Robert Megennis leading the time charts in two 30-minute practice sessions.
In the morning session, the track was cold and wet, with times significantly off the pace ran on the course in August. Auriemma's time of 2:01.156 led the time sheets ahead of championship contender Skylar Robinson and points leader Scott Andrews. Megennis was fourth quick while Lewis Cooper rounded out the top five.
Thomas McGregor was sixth fastest, while Sam Chastain made his 2015 F1600 debut, seventh quick and also running F2000 this weekend. Calvin Ming, in his first F1600 practice, was eighth fastest for Team Pelfrey, in the No. 83 Mygale/Honda.
Masters Class veteran Steve Bamford was ninth while Road Atlanta podium finisher and Chastain Motorsports driver Will Harvey completed the top 10.
A few hours later, the sun was out and the pace picked up, with Megennis taking his No. 80 Mygale to the top of the time sheets with fast time of 1:47.087. Robinson was second quick again for K-Hill Motorsports in the No. 79 Mygale/Honda, just over a tenth off Megennis. Jordan Cane was third fastest.
Cane and Robinson split the race victories at Pittsburgh in August, making them early favorites this weekend. Since that weekend, Cane and Robinson have won the last six races in F1600 competition.
Completing the top five in the afternoon practice were Steve Bamford, fastest of the Masters Class drivers, and Exclusive Autosport's Andrews. Bamford made it a Mygale topfour sweep, while Andrews in fifth was the first of the Spectrums in the field. Of note, Bamford won pole for race one at this track in August.
McGregor and Chastain mimicked their morning performances with the sixth and seventh fastest times, respectively, while Auriemma, Harvey, Ming followed.
Jim Goughary, in 11th, bounced back from morning practice issues and was the second of the Masters Class drivers behind Bamford.
Twenty F1600 cars completed laps in the afternoon session, with 21 expected to qualify on Saturday morning ahead of the triple-race season finale weekend.
The weather is also set to become a major storyline for the weekend’s races as morning temperatures are expected to be cold, leaving grip questionable around the 17-turn circuit.
Full results are available on www.F1600Series.com under the results tab.
The weekend continues with Saturday morning F1600 qualifying, followed by race one for the Formula F field on Saturday afternoon, and two more races follow on Sunday.