Watkins Glen, NY – It was a busy weekend for Chastain Motorsports with three entries in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series, plus a single car in the F2000 Championship Series, totaling five races at Watkins Glen International. The team’s drivers, Sam Chastain, Parker Chase, Will Harvey and Andy Lewis, logged lap after lap and booked serious race craft experience.
As usual, Chastain drivers raced under the guidance of Jay Howard for the weekend.
Chastain, in the team's No. 30 Van Diemen in the F2000 Series, showed off his skill-set in a tricky Saturday qualifying session. On a rapidly drying track, he was able to qualify the car in a solid sixth position (out of 26 cars).
The race didn't go as well however, with the No. 30 finishing in ninth place and narrowly missing eighth by two tenths of a second at the checkered flags. Sunday didn't show much better in round four of the 2015 season as a ninth place starting position turned into a DNF after a mechanical issue on the second lap. Chastian hopes to rebound at VIR in a few weeks, where he ran well in 2014 in the F1600 Series.
On the three-car F1600 side of the team, the drivers lost out on dry-weather time as rain limited dry running on Friday ahead of the all important triple-header weekend at Watkins Glen.
With qualifying less important in the draft-happy F1600 category, race one saw Harvey bounce back from his Road Atlanta crash, finishing ninth, with Lewis in 12th and Chase in 15th by the time the checkered flags flew. Races two and three would have their grid positions set on a driver’s best lap from the previous race.
Between sessions, one could find Harvey studying for his upcoming finals at MIT.
Race two would set up a challenging Sunday for the Indiana-based team. Harvey got caught up on an opening lap incident, damaging his car, while Chase also failed to complete the race distance, retiring after eight of 10 laps. Lewis, however, improved on his Saturday result and scored his second top ten of the season.
With just a few hours between races, the team had Will Harvey's No. 29 Mygale/Honda ready and waiting for the late-day race. It wouldn't be a good result for Harvey, however, as he was forced to retire with an apparent electrical problem on the second lap.
Chase logged a 16th place finish, while Lewis continued to show improvement, besting his earlier-in-the-day finish and matching his season-best result of ninth.