Championship Battle Heats Up for Pittsburgh Weekend
Salem, NH – Eight races in, the F1600 Formula F Championship Series has had seven different winners in 2014, and another two rounds are up for grabs with the first-visit ever to the Pittsburgh International Race Complex this weekend for the F1600 teams.
The 12-turn circuit moves the title-fight to the next level this coming Saturday and Sunday, with no shortage of competition at the front of the field.
Team Pelfrey will be rolling cars out of their trailer coming off a near-perfect weekend at Mid-Ohio in early July, with Ayla Agren and Augie Lerch both taking their first F1600 wins. A third Pelfrey car in Garth Rickards has jumped to a slim, three point Championship lead over his Norwegian teammate Agren in their Mygale/Hondas while Lerch sits third in the points.
Hoping to regain his early-season pace, which made him the only driver to win multiple races this season, Jim Goughary sits fourth in the points and can still bounce back tot the lead with a solid Pittsburgh weekend. The Ski Motorsports Van Diemen/Honda driver has the most wins out of all entrants at Pittsburgh, with three.
Jack Mitchell Jr. is coming off a solid run on the Streets of Toronto in the Canadian F1600 series, and has a number of podiums for the year in his Exclusive Autosport Specturm. The 2013 Toyo Tires F1600 title-winner is still looking for his first win of the year.
Another driver that ran well in a one-off event in Toronto was Sam Chastain, in the No. 27 Chastain Motorsports Mygale/Honda. Chastain has led laps this year, and was at the front in Toronto, after a first race that saw him move from 17th to fourth. He is scheduled to be joined at Pittsburgh by Evan Mehan in the No. 29 entry and a potential third Mygale/Honda as well.
Steve Bamford won his first race in F1600 pro competition at VIR in June and should be at the front of a stacked F1600 field in Pittsburgh.
Other contenders include Art Foster, who has run in the top ten all year in his red No. 21 Spectrum/Honda. The veteran driver won outright at Lime Rock in 2011. Another veteran, Mike Scanlan, is one of the few in the field to actually have laps around the Pittsburgh track and could be poised for a season-best result.
Current race winners in this weekend’s field include Goughary, Agren, Lerch, Foster and Bamford – meaning numbers are on the side of seeing a first time winner in both races.
While teams load into the paddock this coming Thursday, Friday hosts three 25-minute practice sessions, before a qualifying and race session on Saturday and Sunday.