Coming into Lime Rock we knew that the competition would be even more intense than in Virginia. Certain teams tested at Lime Rock over the break and new teams and drivers would probably continue to improve. This was certainly the case as the F2000 Championship Series showcased its extremely tight field in front of the large crowd.
Friday was spent learning my way around the unique and high speed Lime Rock Park circuit while at the same time trying to find a good balance for the car. Understeer seemed to be the trend throughout the field and we were no exception. The team did an excellent job to improve the balance and we finished the day in the top three, feeling confident for qualifying.
As always in the series, qualifying was extremely competitive with the top four of us swapping positions almost every lap. With only a few minutes to go in the session we came in to make an aero change and headed back out. With less than a minute remaining I was able to take P1 temporarily until Ben Searc y came through at the last possible second with a lap eight thousands of a second quicker.
Still, we felt good for the race, knowing that it would be extremely close with the top four all within a tenth of a second. The race went well and although we didn’t have the car to win as the push returned, second was a strong result and valuable in the championship standings.
After a day of relaxation and enjoying the Indianapolis 500 we returned to Lime Rock for the second race of the event. Qualifying was tight again and unfortunately we didn’t get the clean track near the end of the session that we needed. Still, we had a strong starting position for the race, lining up third. After making shock changes to continue to work on the push, we headed to the grid. When the green flag waved I had a strong start and was able to get alongside Ben but was unable to get past. The top five were nose to tail for the first few laps and when Ben missed a shift down the hill Matt Inge and I were able to capitalize and pick up a spot. The car felt extremely strong early but I could tell that we were starting to loose the back tires. The battle between the four of us allowed Remy Audette to get away and after Ben got by and then spun I was focused on just bring the car home in second. The back of the car was all over the place at the end of the race and in the end I was happy to come home second again.
Looking back on the event I have mixed feelings. Obviously I would have liked to win, but at the same time I’m pleased to have picked up a solid chunk of points. The team did a great job once again and I look forward to Mosport where I am confident we will continue to achieve strong results. The series is extremely tight and the points race is going to come down to the very end of the season. Thanks again to everyone that is making this campaign possible, in particular Miller Milling Company and JDC Motorsports.