Thompson, CT - Chastain Motorsports teammates Evan Mehan and Sam Chastain were fastest in Friday practice at Thompson Speedway in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series. Mehan set the fastest time of the day in his third lap of the afternoon session at 1:10.952 in the No. 29 Mygale/Honda ahead of his teammate. Earlier in the day, during morning practice, WISKO’s Andrew Hobbs was quickest in the No. 13 Mygale/Honda.
The weekend marks the start of the final four races of the season, with two on tap for the F1600 field at Thompson. Championship points leader Ayla Agren was third fastest in the afternoon session while her main rival, Pelfrey teammate Garth Rickards was fourth quick in his No. 83 machine. Pittsburgh winner Jack Mitchell Jr. was fifth in the afternoon in Exclusive Autosport entry, and the first Spectrum chassis on the time sheets.
Chastain’s Mehan has become the wildcard of the F1600 field – showing off incredible speed but needing to find some more finesse. A penalty at Mid-Ohio meant he missed both races that weekend, and at Pittsburgh, he led the first race before a spin. A day later, he kept the No. 29 Mygale/Honda on the road, taking the checkered flag first, but the win didn’t stick with Series officials handing down a blocking penalty. Mehan led teammate Chastain by a slim .013 seconds on a beautiful Friday at a new road course in Connecticut.
While Hobbs led in the WISKO machine on Friday morning, he was sixth tenths off fast time in the afternoon, relegating him to position six. Pelfrey's Nikita Lasotckin was seventh, while VIR victor Steve Bamford was in eighth. Augie Lerch won at Mid-Ohio in July but could only muster enough speed for ninth, while Austin McCusker completed the top ten in the Van Diemen/Honda for Dotworks Racing.
Making his F1600 debut out of karting, Ryan Bjerke, was 12th on the time sheets in his professional racing debut in the No. 4 Bjerke Motorsports Van Diemen/Honda.
Thompson is also making its professional road racing debut, with a recently renovated facility re-opening after not being used for decades. The track has run a successful oval operation and is now bringing in road racing, with a unique track going into the oval facility. While the track is tight, the front straight offers up a wide and inviting entrance to turn one that could play a pivotal role in a tight Championship chase.
The two races this weekend will each run to a 30-minute/24-lap window. Saturday, August 30, continues with F1600 action with an 11:30 a.m. qualifying session and a 4:10 p.m. race start. Sharing the facility with F2000 and Atlantic cars, Sunday closes out the weekend, with qualifying at 2:10 p.m. and a late, 5:40 p.m. green flag.
Results from the day’s two practice sessions are available on www.F1600Series.com under the Results tab.