Connery Dominates at Mid-Ohio

July 3, 2011
Connery won his third race of the year.

Lexington, OH – Kyle Connery made it three wins on the year and moved back into second place in the F2000 Championship Series standings, leading all 18 laps from pole at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Connery, driving the #91 Van Diemen, separated himself from the pack and held off the competition from a 28-car field on a mid-race restart to take his third win in eight races.

Tim Minor finished second, winning the Masters Class, ahead of Afterburner Racing’s Brian Tomasi, who finished second in the first race of the weekend.

“I stayed clear at the start and managed to get a gap,” said Connery, who is short on funding to finish the rest of the season and scored maximum points, with the Afterburner pole and fast lap on the day. “We just tried to keep the tires clean, getting a good restart. The win feels good after the DNF yesterday.”

On Friday, Connery failed to finish with a mechanical problem.

Minor scored his fifth podium of the season but is still looking for that elusive overall win in his #88 Ski Motorsports Van Diemen.

“We’ve been fighting an understeer issue all weekend and finally got it fixed,” commented Minor. “I tried to stay with Kyle but just kept overheating the tires.”

Tomasi scored his second podium in three days.

Brian Tomasi rounded off the podium in the #96 Van Diemen and will be back in the #96 RFR when the Series heads to Mosport in a few weeks.

“Overall we had a really good run this weekend,” Tomasi said. “It’s a good result for the team and hopefully we can build from here.”

Robert La Rocca was the first of the RFR cars for the second day in a row for HP-Tech, finishing fourth after starting fourth. The Venezuelan driver took home third place honors on Friday at Mid-Ohio and sits solidly fourth in the points standings.

John LaRue completed the top five in his Citation/Zetec ahead of Nathan Morcom.

Audette kept his points lead despite finishing seventh.

Championship points’ leader Remy Audette had an uncharacteristic day, and weekend. Audette, from Canada, logged his worst finish of the year on Friday, finishing fifth and today could only manage seventh after a rough qualifying session put him ninth on the grid.

“We had a sway bar issue in qualifying but the car was good for the race,” explained Audette. “It took me a few laps to get by a couple of the other cars but once we did that we were able to run down the Primus cars (Jonathan Scarallo and Nathan Morcom) pretty quickly. We did what we needed to do for the points.”

Audette, who spent most of the race in heavy traffic, remains the points’ leader, although Connery claws a few points back in a distant second place, with Minor in third.

Mid-Ohio’s first race winner, Chris Livengood, started tenth after rear-wheel damage during an off in qualifying. While Livengood dominated Friday’s race, he had to settle for a broken half-shaft that ended his race while running in seventh on the 13-turn road course.

The short turnaround time between sessions, around 40 minutes, leading up to the final race, allowed for few mistakes on a somewhat overcast day.

CellMark Hard Charger award honors are shared by Ardie Greenamyer and Bill Jordan, who both advanced six positions during round eight of the 14-race F2000 season.

The F2000 Championship Series resume at Mosport with the American Le Mans Series, July 22-24.

Race Results:

Pos No. Name Laps Total Tm Diff Gap Avg. Speed Best Tm 1 91 Kyle Connery 18 32:01.956 - - 76.130 1:25.234 2 88 Tim Minor/M 18 32:05.589 +3.633 +3.633 75.986 1:25.478 3 96 Brian Tomasi 18 32:06.128 +4.172 +0.539 75.965 1:25.249 4 10 Robert La Rocca 18 32:07.769 +5.813 +1.641 75.900 1:25.593 5 17 John LaRue/M 18 32:08.161 +6.205 +0.392 75.885 1:25.452 6 2 Nathan Morcom 18 32:17.796 +15.840 +9.635 75.508 1:26.344 7 21 Remy Audette 18 32:18.162 +16.206 +0.366 75.493 1:25.542 8 13 Jonathan Scarallo 18 32:19.485 +17.529 +1.323 75.442 1:26.546 9 3 Joe Colasacco/M 18 32:21.248 +19.292 +1.763 75.373 1:25.743 10 28 Ardie Greenamyer/M 18 32:25.453 +23.497 +4.205 75.210 1:26.430 11 22 Enzo Potolicchio/M 18 32:26.950 +24.994 +1.497 75.153 1:26.850 12 8 Mark Defer/M 18 32:27.439 +25.483 +0.489 75.134 1:26.512 13 26 Angel Benitez 18 32:27.990 +26.034 +0.551 75.113 1:26.738 14 67 Dave Weitzenhof/M 18 32:29.054 +27.098 +1.064 75.071 1:26.541 15 06 Tim Paul 18 32:31.424 +29.468 +2.370 74.980 1:26.967 16 23 Gustavo Rizzo 18 32:35.129 +33.173 +3.705 74.838 1:27.161 17 90 Robert Wright/M 18 32:35.534 +33.578 +0.405 74.823 1:27.474 18 42 Bill Jordan/M 18 32:35.881 +33.925 +0.347 74.809 1:26.555 19 51 Dan Denison/M 18 32:36.448 +34.492 +0.567 74.788 1:27.244 20 27 Craig Clawson/M 18 32:47.374 +45.418 +10.926 74.372 1:28.229 21 25 Jeff McCusker/M 18 32:55.845 +53.889 +8.471 74.054 1:29.573 22 71 Francis Kennette 18 33:26.127 +1:24.171 +30.282 72.936 1:32.109 23 7 Rodin Younessi 18 33:26.520 +1:24.564 +0.393 72.921 1:31.947 24 1 Ethan Ringel 11 22:15.299 7 Laps 7 Laps 66.964 1:26.875 25 37 Chris Livengood 10 20:44.230 8 Laps 1 Lap 65.332 1:26.479 26 83 Charles Finelli/M 4 6:45.988 14 Laps 6 Laps 80.089 1:27.495 27 31 Brendan Puderbach 3 5:24.276 15 Laps 1 Lap 75.203 1:30.911 28 70 Tom Fatur/M 0 31.758 18 Laps 3 Laps - -.---