Millville, NJ – At the end of a scorching day in New Jersey with temperatures flirting with the triple digits, Australia’s Shae Davies led the final F1600 Formula F Championship Series practice session at New Jersey Motorsport Park’s Thunderbolt course with a lap of 1:22.122. Davies, in his first F1600 Series start, is contesting rounds five and six of the 2012 season in the No. 9 Spectrum/Honda for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing.
New-comer Davies is a factory driver for Spectrum in Australia, coming to race here during a break in his Down Under season. Davies has already won a race in Australia this year, through three rounds, and in addition was able to test the Spectrum chassis on the spec Hoosier tires in Australia, although with a Ford Duratec engine.
“This car is a little slower than the Duratec,” said Davies, driving the No. 9 Spectrum/Honda. “But, it is quicker in the corners with the slick tires.” A morning practice session was cut a bit short for Davies with fuel delivery issues to his Honda Fit motor.
Davies said he leaves the United States on Monday to head back to Australia to strap into another Spectrum next weekend for a race in Queensland. He is expected back for theF1600 rounds at Mid-Ohio in July.
Meanwhile, teammate Matias Koykka was quick in the morning session and second fastest behind Davies in the afternoon.
“It’s another new track, and very different from VIR and Lime Rock,” said Koykka, who has won two of four races this weekend. Koykka spent the month off between Lime Rock and New Jersey in Finland after graduating from highschool in Ohio, where he is staying for the summer.
Following Koykka on the practice one time sheets were Roberto Lorena, Jeremy Grenier, Garett Grist – the first of the Mygale/Hondas for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian.
“I have been going to a gym much more to get physically ready for this weekend,” said Grist. “I’ve never been here before but I’ve heard good things and this track should make for great racing. The expectation is to win like every other weekend; we learned a lot about my driving style since Lime Rock and how to make the car work.”
Grist spent some of the time off between events at the Montreal F1 race, in a Formula F car in one of the support events for the Bryan Herta team.
Davies was fifth fastest in the morning. Following the top in that session were Steve Oseth, Championship points leader Brandon Newey, Art Foster, John McCusker and Ross Devoe.
A few hours later, on an even hotter race track in New Jersey, the Cape Motorsports duo dominated the time sheets with Colin Thompson third after missing Lime Rock. Then it was Lorena, Oseth, Grist, Foster, Grenier, McCusker and Newey.
Making matters even more challenging for a few teams was a summer storm that rolled through the paddock Thursday night, with high winds having their way with a number of awnings, one of which was found well down the front straight in the morning.
The weekend continues with Saturday morning qualifying at 8:00 a.m. and race one at 10:10, both feature live audio and updates on www.F1600Series.com, as does Sunday, with qualifying taking place at 8:00, followed by the conclusion of the F1600 weekend with race two at 11:35.
Pos No. Name Best Tm Best Spd In Lap Diff Gap 1 9 Shae Davies 1:22.122 98.634 6 - - 2 10 Matias Koykka 1:22.978 97.616 9 +0.856 +0.856 3 5 Colin Thompson 1:23.231 97.320 6 +1.109 +0.253 4 17 Roberto Lorena 1:24.739 95.588 5 +2.617 +1.508 5 72 Steve Oseth 1:25.136 95.142 11 +3.014 +0.397 6 97 Garett Grist 1:25.411 94.836 8 +3.289 +0.275 7 21 Art Foster 1:25.439 94.804 10 +3.317 +0.028 8 12 Jeremy Grenier 1:25.505 94.731 12 +3.383 +0.066 9 01 John McCusker 1:26.629 93.502 14 +4.507 +1.124 10 98 Brandon Newey 1:27.025 93.077 3 +4.903 +0.396 11 14 Ross Devoe 1:27.934 92.115 6 +5.812 +0.909 12 2 Mike Scanlan 1:28.247 91.788 13 +6.125 +0.313