Connery On Top at Mid-Ohio

August 10, 2013
Connery held off Minor and LaRue for the race win. (photo Ryan Wise)

Lexington, OH – Kyle Connery took his fourth win of the 2013 F2000 Championship Series at Mid-Ohio, fighting his way to the point and eventually holding off Championship leader Tim Minor. Connery keeps the title fight alive another day, and takes a few points back off Minor’s huge lead with just three races to go, including round 12 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday. John LaRue finished third ahead of David Grant as the top four cars were nose-to-tail for most of the race.

While John LaRue led from the pole in his Citation chassis, an early race incident between Kevin Kopp and Tim Paul set up a restart that allowed Connery a chance to move up through the pack after falling as low as fifth. Once the No. 91 Van Diemen from CC Autosport and James Lee Racing found the lead, Connery never relinquished, leading the last few laps in a sprint to the finish that saw the top four cars duke it out on every lap.

“On the start we had an issue with the throttle position sensor and lost some ground,” said Connery. “By the time we had the first caution I was in fourth or fifth behind Jim Libecco and I knew we had to go hard and fight for the win. We had to fight for it today; we’re going to keep fighting to the end of this Championship.”

Minor took the Masters Class victory with his second straight runner-up result at Mid-Ohio, and hounded Connery for the last handful of laps once he disposed of LaRue. Minor took home more points in the No. 88 Citation for Ski Motorsports and moves even closer to clinching the title with three races to go.

“Kyle just had a good car today,” said Minor, who reset the lap record during the race. “I could not get out of the keyhole and we picked up understeer through the race. I did all I could to adjust the car; I could catch Kyle on the back stretch but it’s hard to pass back there safely. I need to finish and win the Championship. That’s what I’m here for.”

Minor and Connery remain the only two drivers to win a race in 2013.

LaRue finished a career-best third after a pole position in the No. 17 entry.

Polestar’s Grant came home inches behind in fourth and was in the mix the entire race, also moving through the field from his seventh place starting position. Grant will strap into a F1600 car for that race as well, where he qualified a Van Diemen on the outside of the front row.

HP-Tech rookie teammates Santino Ferrucci and Roberto Lorena finished fifth and sixth, respectively, while Jim Libecco had to settle for seventh after running as high as third early in the 18-lap race.

Tim Dunn put in one of the best efforts yet for the Metrik chassis and R-Sport, with an eighth place effort.

Tom Fatur and Italian racer Federico Mosconi completed the top ten at Mid-Ohio in round 11 of the 14-race F2000 season.

The F2000 Championship Series continues with the first of the remaining three races on Sunday, at 11:35 am local time after an 8:00 am morning qualifying session. Follow live at www.f2000series.com.

Corrections: An early version of this report stated that Tim Dunn had won the CellMark Paper Hard Charger, while in fact, it was Steve Bamford, going from 28th to 16th.

Race Results:

PosNo.NameLapsBest TmMake/ModelDiff 1 91 Kyle Connery 18 1:24.932 Van Diemen Zetec - 2 88 Tim Minor/M 18 1:24.331 Citation Zetec +0.588 3 17 John LaRue/M 18 1:24.628 Citation Zetec +0.972 4 29 David Grant 18 1:24.595 Van Diemen Zetec +2.375 5 10 Santino Ferrucci 18 1:24.668 Van Diemen Zetec +6.250 6 9 Roberto Lorena 18 1:25.723 Van Diemen Zetec +13.798 7 98 Jim Libecco 18 1:25.559 Van Diemen Zetec +16.267 8 00 Tim Dunn/M 18 1:26.440 Metrik Zetec +27.386 9 70 Tom Fatur/M 18 1:26.268 Van Diemen Zetec +27.969 10 99 Federico Mosconi 18 1:26.653 Van Diemen Zetec +34.366 11 90 Robert Wright/M 18 1:26.349 Radon Zetec +34.744 12 51 Dan Denison/M 18 1:26.020 Van Diemen Zetec +34.975 13 68 Steve Jenks/M 18 1:26.156 Van Diemen Zetec +35.321 14 83 Charles Finelli/M 18 1:26.288 Van Diemen Zetec +35.789 15 67 Dave Weitzenhof/M 18 1:26.441 Citation Zetec +37.592 16 71 Steve Bamford/M 18 1:26.614 Van Diemen Zetec +37.887 17 69 Paul Farmer/M 18 1:26.727 Radon Zetec +39.022 18 7 Brent Gilkes/M 18 1:27.165 Van Diemen Zetec +41.865 19 0 Keith McCrone/M 18 1:27.816 Metrik Zetec +48.047 20 16 Peter Gonzalez/M 18 1:28.476 Radon Zetec +55.038 21 86 Jim Hanrahan/M 18 1:28.365 Radon Zetec +55.426 22 01 John McCusker 18 1:28.075 RFR Zetec +56.767 23 21 Jose Armida 18 1:26.170 Van Diemen Zetec +1:07.382 24 1 Kem Lall/M 17 1:29.003 Radon Zetec 1 Lap 25 72 Francis Kennette 17 1:31.492 Mygale Zetec +25.265 26 73 Vaughn Horvath 13 1:28.017 Van Diemen Pinto 5 Laps DNF 22 Kevin Kopp 1 2:03.924 Van Diemen Zetec 17 Laps DNF 06 Tim Paul 1 2:05.098 Van Diemen Zetec +0.604