Coello Wins at Summit Point While La Rocca Clinches Title

August 27, 2012
Coello stayed out of trouble to win in the rain. (Photo: Valet)

Summit Point, WV – Niki Coello stayed out of trouble in the wet at Summit Point Motorsports Park to take the first non-Van Diemen win in F2000 Championship Series history in the No. 81 RFR ahead of Wyatt Gooden. Meanwhile, Robert La Rocca finished third to clinch the 2012 F2000 Championship Series title with two races remaining.

“From the start of the race I knew if I didn’t go off the track I might have this,” said Coello, a multiple-time SCCA National Champion, who was the only one of the leaders that literally did not go off the race track in the race during a moderate downpour.

Since the start of the F2000 Championship Series in 2006, a Van Diemen has won every single race, with Coello breaking that streak in the rain with a smart drive in West Virginia.

Gooden recovered from an early race spin, with the help of a caution period, to finish second after picking his way through the field for Quantum Racing Services in the No. 6 Van Diemen. Gooden looks set to take home second place in the points chase, and rookie of the year, with a solid run in the final races of the season at Watkins Glen in October.

 La Rocca put a cap on his dominating season, so far with nine wins in 12 races, finishing third to claim the 2012 F2000 Championship for his HP-Tech Motorsport team.

“This is awesome, it was a tough race, but aside from not getting win, the title was what was important,” said La Rocca in victory lane, after the race.

For the three-car HP-Tech squad, the Ft. Lauderdale-based team takes the top honors in the Championship in just their sophomore season. The same goes for La Rocca in his second F2000 campaign.

Kyle Connery ended up in 17th place after taking the lead on a daring three-wide move into turn one on the opening lap. On the next lap, he spun in front of the field coming onto the front straight, but had built up such a gap he retained the lead after the 360 degree spin. Unfortunately for Connery, who won six races in 2011, and his No. 91 RFR, he would go off again.

Chris Livengood finished fourth in the No. 37 John Walko Racing RFR, also looking like he was set for his first win of the season. However, Livengood would fall victim to the weather conditions like many others, also finding his way off the Summit Point track.

Kevin Kopp rounded out the top five for the WISKO F2000 team, ahead of La Rocca’s teammate, Cesar Lapoint, in only his second F2000 weekend.

John Brumder won the Masters Class for Front Range Motorsports with a seventh place drive. Bill Jordan, Peter Gonzalez, in a Radon chassis, and Jeff McCusker completed the top-ten in an action packed closing race at Summit Point.

The WISKO Best Start award went to Bill Jordan, driving for Polestar Racing Group, improving the most positions on the opening lap.

CellMark Paper Hard Charger honors went to Peter Gonzalez, for improving the most positions during the 19-lap race, which ended one lap early due to a 30-minute time limit.

The 2012 F2000 Championship Series season concludes with rounds 13 and 14 at Watkins Glen International, October 12-14.

Race Results

Pos No. Name Laps Total Tm Diff Gap Avg. Speed Best Tm Best Spd 1 81 Niki Coello 19 31:07.537 - - 73.252 1:28.269 81.569 2 6 Wyatt Gooden 19 31:08.696 +1.159 +1.159 73.206 1:28.647 81.221 3 10 Robert LaRocca 19 31:10.797 +3.260 +2.101 73.124 1:28.284 81.555 4 37 Chris Livengood 19 31:11.648 +4.111 +0.851 73.091 1:27.499 82.287 5 66 Kevin Kopp 19 31:22.192 +14.655 +10.544 72.681 1:29.737 80.234 6 33 Cesar Lapoint 19 31:40.427 +32.890 +18.235 71.984 1:30.130 79.885 7 19 John Brumder/M 19 31:49.250 +41.713 +8.823 71.651 1:32.102 78.174 8 42 Bill Jordan/M 19 31:53.833 +46.296 +4.583 71.480 1:32.424 77.902 9 16 Peter Gonzalez/M 19 31:59.542 +52.005 +5.709 71.267 1:33.978 76.614 10 25 Jeff McCusker/M 19 32:01.395 +53.858 +1.853 71.198 1:33.857 76.712 11 9 Jose Montiel 19 32:08.131 +1:00.594 +6.736 70.950 1:33.979 76.613 12 39 Danyel Torres 19 32:12.641 +1:05.104 +4.510 70.784 1:34.453 76.228 13 22 Gustavo Rizzo 19 32:18.074 +1:10.537 +5.433 70.586 1:33.856 76.713 14 27 Craig Clawson/M 19 32:22.292 +1:14.755 +4.218 70.432 1:36.334 74.740 15 51 Dan Denison/M 18 31:55.072 1 Lap 1 Lap 67.674 1:32.661 77.703 16 18 Zach Craigo 18 32:15.944 +20.872 +20.872 66.944 1:35.474 75.413 17 91 Kyle Connery 17 31:25.918 2 Laps 1 Lap 64.902 1:28.946 80.948 18 90 Robert Wright/M 16 27:04.544 3 Laps 1 Lap 70.912 1:33.644 76.887 19 06 Tim Paul 16 32:40.867 +5:36.323 +5:36.323 58.750 1:32.652 77.710 DNF 88 Tim Minor/M 4 9:17.488 15 Laps 12 Laps 51.660 1:35.568 75.339 DNS 5 Nick Palacio 0 -.--- - - - -.--- - DNS 67 Dave Weitzenhof/M 0 -.--- - - - -.--- - DNS 0 Keith McCrone/M 0 -.--- - - - -.--- - DNS 83 Charles Finelli/M 0 -.--- - - - -.--- -