Beasley Over Filgueiras and McCusker at NJMP
Millville, NJ – From pole, Sam Beasley swept the F2000 Championship Series weekend with his second win in two days at New Jersey Motorsports Park, resetting both existing track records along his way. Beasley picked up all of the available points in rounds 11 and 12 of the season, winning on Sunday afternoon ahead of Eric Filgueiras in second and John McCusker in third to complete a podium with three aspiring American drivers.
At the start, Brandon Dixon made it three wide with a daring move to the inside going into turn one alongside Beasley and Trent Walko. It looked like Dixon may have had the advantage, but Beasley powered through into the lead, with Walko slotting into second before pitting with an issue two laps later and rejoining the field at the back of the pack. From there, Beasley would disappear as he pulled a gap out and led every lap for the win.
“We are learning as much as we can about the car at this point to get it better developed for next year,” said Beasley, who has sealed the 2015 F2000 title.
Dixon’s Citation would be the focal point of the race as he held off Eric Filgueiras and John McCusker in a three-way battle in the opening stages of the event.
Filgueiras got the run he was looking for on lap nine, with a solid move in turn one to take over second position where he finished.
“The first couple of laps were really hectic and everything cleared out after that. I was really worried late in the race with lapped traffic but I got around them and everything worked out,” said Filgueiras, who drives the No. 22 Spencer Racing Van Diemen. With a last-to-fourth effort on Saturday, and a number of spots gained on Sunday, the Florida native moves into serious contention for the season-long CellMark Paper Hard Charger Award.
Dixon surrendered more spots after Filgueiras got by, falling back to fifth, and promoting John McCusker and David Grant to third and fourth in the running order. McCusker’s third place run would mark his best finish yet in the F2000 Series, as battled with Filgueiras in the closing stages for second.
“We had a great weekend, everyone put the car together well. I’m in a Van Diemen now and we made the dots connect, it’s great to finally get a podium,” said McCusker, in the No. 01 Dotworks Racing entry.
David Grant was the first driver off the podium with a fourth place run, and Sam Chastain was unable to improve upon his second place pace in Saturday's race, finishing fifth.
On lap 11, Dixon and Steve Bamford were reported to have gotten together in turn one, with Dixon’s day coming to an end and Bamford falling through the order and eventually recovering to finish seventh behind Nick Palacio in sixth.
Bamford would win the Masters Class ahead of Dave Weitzenhof and Brent Gilkes.
Quinlan Lall was another casualty, with an off-course excursion early in the race demoting any potential of a top five run as Lall finished eighth while Weitzenhof and Gilkes completed the top 10.
Of note, Walko retired despite rejoining the field, while Austin McCusker pitted and finished well down the order off the lead lap.
Full results are available on www.F2000Series.com under the Results tab.
The F2000 Championship Series now ends its season with rounds 13 and 14 at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, October 16-18.