Brandon Dixon Surprises With Last Lap Ringer to Secure Pole!
In a last lap push Brandon Dixon pipped Steve Jenks by 0.018 of a second to take over the top spot and secure the first starting position for race two here at VIR!
As temperatures rose, so did the intensity of the F2000 Championship Series competition. The drivers entered the track for the second qualifying session of the weekend under perfectly blue skies. Yesterday’s pole sitter, Tim Minor, waited briefly on pit lane, presumably trying to gain clear track for his qualifying effort. Meanwhile, Brandon Dixon was the first car on the racing surface and as he streamed by to start his qualifying attempt in perfectly clean air as well.
As the cars came up to temperature, the times started to fall, and on his second lap Dixon jumped to the top spot, but was immediately pipped by Reece Everard, and then Tim Minor.
A few circulations later, Minor is still on top, and is extending his advantage. He’s almost a full second ahead of Dixon in second. Everard is in third less than a tenth of a second behind Dixon.
With twelve minutes remaining, Dixon entered the pits for a short stop, no apparent changes were made. As Dixon returned to the racing surface, it was Minor’s turn to pit. Tire pressures were checked, perhaps adjusted. His stop lasted some three or four minutes. Meanwhile, Reece Everard plugged on, he continued to improve, he’s sitting second overall, less than two tenths behind Minor. Dixon is third, Jenks starting to show his potential again in fourth, and Nick Palacio is fifth.
With less than ten minutes to run, it’s Everard’s turn for a pit stop. His crew check tire pressures, the rear wing is adjusted. Everard is hunting for tenths, a small tweak or two could do the job. While Everard was in the pits, Dixon plugged on. He leap frogged Everard to find himself in second, the gap from Dixon the Minor is less than a tenth. Simultaneously, Jenks ups his game. He’s still fourth, but the top four are inside of three tenths of a second.
Five minutes left to run, Everard completed his first full bore lap after his stop, there’s no improvement but he’s not far off his previous best time. Minor crosses the line, there’s no improvement to be found. Track conditions perhaps have started to slow, no new fast laps being run. Drivers have a way of scheming though, perhaps they’ll find a boost in the waning seconds of the session.
With two minutes left to run, Steve Jenks leaps into the lead! He’s bested Minor by two tenths of a second. Minor, unknowingly enters the pits, there will be no chance to retaliate. Everard, now in fourth, betters his own time. It makes no difference though, he needs half a tenth to get Dixon in third. As the checker flies, Dixon now improves, he’s take pole! Jenks is relegated to second, Minor to third! Everard crosses the line one more time, again, he doesn’t improve. Three tenths of a second cover the top four. Nick Palacio is fifth, and John Larue find himself in sixth.