F1600 Thursday Testing Notebook
After two and a half hours of track time split into five 30-minute sessions. Jim Goughary’s Piper/Honda emerged at the top of the time charts (combined) at VIR, running a 2:01.792 followed by John Robinson at 201.999, Bill Valet, Art Foster and Sam Beasley. Ryan Leach, Brian Graham, Mike Scanlan, Rick Baribeault and Colin Thompson rounded out the top ten.
Jim Goughary Draws First Blood
Jim Goughary, in a Piper DF5/Honda, drew first blood in the history of the F1600 Formula F Championship Series, putting his Piper on top of the time charts in the first testing session in Series history by a stunning 1.5 seconds (see “sandbagging”- below).
Goughary, out of Jupiter Florida, has a long history of racing experience and plenty of laps around VIRginia International Raceway.
Goughary bounced back to lower his fast time, taking the honors of fastest official time during the test day, late in the afternoon.
Tim Kautz, current standing SCCA National Formula F Champion, is contesting the weekend in a Piper/Ford and has proven to be quick.
With a deep grid set for this weekend’s opener, many may be looking to challenge, and get past the current National champion.
Kautz even ran a couple F2000 Championship Series races in 2010, regularly at the front of the field.
Notably, Kautz did not have a transponder in his car today, looking to stay under the radar.
Hats off to Honda Performance Development (HPD) in its support of the F1600 Formula F Championship Series, not only has HDP helped revive a fading class with a new powerplant, but, HPD has also sent two service representatives to VIR to offer trackside support for the Honda Fit engine.
Double DB6 Scheme Foiled
John Robinson’s plan to pick the better of two identically prepared DB6s, one with a Honda and one with a Ford, was foiled this morning when his Honda-equipped Swift DB6 had a clutch expire.
Robinson said in the pre-race story, “what better way to package spares than to bring a complete car,” and caused a bit of a stir by bringing both engines – ready to go in similarly prepped cars.
Many competitors spent the day making massive setup changes on their Formula F race cars. The reason? Tires.
While nothing is odd about the spec Hoosier rubber, some racers are used to running on different brands in SCCA regional and national events, and are still finding the right setup to suit the F1600 standard tire.
The time sheets from the morning sessions showed huge time differences, prompting some in the paddock to wonder about any potential sandbagging going on.
Multiple entries were not running transponders.