Denes, Grant and Norman Lead Watkins Glen Practice
Watkins Glen, NY - Phillippe Denes, David Grant and Ryan Norman were fastest in Friday practice in F1600, F2000 and Atlantic, respectively, at Watkins Glen International. It is the second event of the 2016 Formula Race Promotions season, with seven races scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Team Pelfrey's Phillippe Denes led the afternoon F1600 Formula F Championship Series practice session on a dry but slippery track at Watkins Glen with a fast lap of 2:00.731 in his Mygale. Peter Portante was second quick in the No. 24 Mygale from K-Hill at 2:02.117. Denes also paced Road Atlanta practice to open the 2016 season in April.
Team Pelfrey's Calvin Ming followed in third, ahead of K-Hill Neil Verhagen and Exclusive teammates Ben Auriemma and Will Harvey in their pair of red and black Spectrums.
Championship points leader Steve Bamford was seventh fastest and the first of the Masters Class drivers, with Mike Scanlan in eighth and Road Atlanta winner Max Mallinen in ninth in the afternoon practice session.
The morning practice was run under wet conditions, with the track challenging for drivers. Auriemma posted the quick time of the rain session, 1.8 seconds up on second place Portante. While Portante won the season-opening race at Road Atlanta, Auriemma is hoping to take his first F1600 win this weekend, and is one of just a handful of drivers in the field that raced at Watkins Glen in 2015.
In the F2000 Championship Series, Polestar's David Grant was fastest of the day, with a quick time of 1:54.564 in a dry afternoon session, 1.4 seconds ahead of second place John McCusker. Dave Weitzenhof was third quick ahead of Brandon Dixon and Steve Jenks, all three of which are Masters Class competitors.
Championship points leader Steve Bamford lost an engine in the morning session, which was replaced in time for the afternoon practice by Rice Race Prep. He was sixth quick with Tim Paul in seventh.
The morning session, held in wet conditions, was led by Dixon, with a best time of 2:13.637 ahead of Clunie and McCusker.
Of note, Saturday's F2000 race will be the Glenn Phillips Memorial Classic, in memory of the GTP Motorsports team owner - which was among the founding teams to the F2000 Championship in 2006.
There will also be an added incentive for F2000 teams on Saturday morning, with a $150 check from CellMark Paper and two tires from Hoosier up for grabs for the pole position.
Atlantic points leader Ryan Norman led the afternoon 30-minute Atlantic practice session in the No. 48 K-Hill Motorsports Swift 016/Mazda.
Norman's fast lap of the afternoon session clocked in at 1:44.895, as the track continued to dry out after significant rain in the morning. While the track was wet, conditions were in the high 60s the afternoon session with scattered clouds.
Connor Burke was first in the Atlantic Challenge, with a lap of 1:45.516, in his first appearance in the Atlantic category since New Jersey last August for Company Motorsports in the No. 19 blue and white Swift 014/Toyota.
Of note, title contender Keith Grant was fourth quick in the afternoon session for Polestar, just behind K-Hill Motorsports driver Dudley Fleck. Lewis Cooper Jr. completed the top five in another Polestar entry.
Atlantic competitors also got 30-minutes of early morning track time in the rain, but a track issue limited timing data, with no official times reported.
Full results are available on www.F1600Series.com, F2000Series.com and www.AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com.