F1600 Looks to WGI Weekend
Salem, NH – A tight F1600 Formula F Championship Series field led by Road Atlanta race winners Jim Goughary and Franklin Futrelle head to rounds three and four of the 14-race 2014 season at Watkins Glen International this weekend.
With two tightly-contested races at Road Atlanta, a field of aspiring drivers saw the veterans claim top honors. Goughary took the overall and Masters class wins to close the weekend in a Ski Motorsports Van Diemen/Honda on Sunday, while Futrelle, a professional driver coach, stole the win from Goughary on Saturday in his No. 97 Raceworks Spectrum/Honda.
The entry list is similar to Road Atlanta, highlighted by a plethora of young-drivers, but is now bolstered by two-high profile additions in SCCA standout Reid Hazelton and 2011 F1600 Champion Bill Valet. Hazleton’s Van Diemen/Ford finished second at the Runoffs last year while, Valet has switched his Championship-winning Swift DB-6 from Ford to Honda power.
And there are other changes too. Chastain Motorsports adds a second car for Evan Mehan, who will field the No. 29 Mygale/Honda in his first season in cars, moving up from karts. The 19-year-old joins Sam Chastain, who will be in the No. 27 Mygale/Honda, repaired following a notably large incident at Road Atlanta.
Nikita Lastochkin will join Ayla Agren, Augie Lerch and Garth Rickards, and potentially another entry at Team Pelfrey. Rickards showed well at Road Atlanta but lost the lead on a last-lap spin, while Agren scored another podium in her sophomore F1600 campaign.
Another driver to watch is Exclusive Autosport’s Jack Mitchell Jr., who charged through the field to finish second from starting nearly last at Road Atlanta in the No. 93 Spectrum/Honda.
Long straights and naturally flowing corners could produce an epic F1600 pair of races at Watkins Glen, as the Series comes off a Road Atlanta weekend that saw a 12-car break-away pack that contested the lead for the better part of the race.
Steve Bamford came out of Atlanta with a pair of top five finishes and Masters Class trophy hardware, and is another driver that has been knocking on the door for his first win.
F1600 joins F2000 and the Atlantic Championship Series for a double-header weekend event pairing with NARRA, and the three open-wheel series are expecting a combined field of at least 75 cars.
The weekend gets going on with a pair of practice sessions this Friday, May 16, with Saturday and Sunday both featuring a qualifying session and a race.