Cangialosi Wins Title; O’Connor Wins Race
Millville, NJ – The 2018 F1600 Championship Series season came down to the last race as Dario Cangialosi clinched the title for K-Hill Motorsports despite opening lap contact by finishing fourth at New Jersey Motorsports Park in a thrilling Championship finale. Tyler O’Connor took the race win in the 21st and final round of the season ahead of Yuven Sundaramoorthy and Nicky Hays. Cangialosi overcame a first-lap excursion off the race track to win the Championship.
“At the start of the race, a car came flying up behind me and pushed me into the grass. I was last and then, fortunately, the safety car came out,” Cangialosi said. “I drove it back to fourth and kind of hung out there; I knew that was where I needed to finish to win the Championship.
“Twenty one races was a lot; it was about consistency. You don’t need to win every race, if you try to do that you will end up taking yourself out and losing points,” he continued. “It is about consistently trying to be on the podium each race.”
The title battled moved back and forth in the season finale in dramatic fashion as O’Connor briefly assumed the points lead when Cangialosi was pushed off on the opening lap.
A full course caution followed, and Cangialosi was able to recover, catching the field and then working his way through the pack as the green flag laps clicked off as the driver of the No. 22 Mygale/Honda was able to pick up points along the way en route to clinching the 2018 Series crown.
O’Connor did everything he needed to do, winning both Sunday races at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt circuit, but the double victory was not enough to track down the points lead, as O’Connor finished second in the final standings.
“It was kind of like how we started the season; really hot,” O’Connor said. “We’ve had extreme highs this season and extreme lows. Unfortunately we missed the Championship. Some races I threw away; other races we had some issues with the car. We can look back on it and know we did everything we could have possibly done this weekend. We could not have run any better. The car was great; I did everything I could behind the wheel and I’m proud to end the season like this.”
Yuven Sundaramoorthy finished second in another K-Hill Motorsports entry in the season-closing race, while Team Pelfrey’s Nicky Hays continued his storm onto the F1600 scene with a third place run. Cangialosi was next while Dexter Czuba logged yet another strong top five finish ahead of Chris Kierce and Charles Anti while Dave Petzko won in the Masters Class.