Salem, NH – Eleven of 21 F1600 Formula F Championship Series races run in 2016 were decided by a victory margin under one-tenth of a second. There were 20 races that were decided by a victory margin of half-a-second or less, and of the tight races, three came down to thousandths of a second.
The closest finish came at New Jersey Motorsports Park, where Calvin Ming won by .001 seconds. The result was so tight it took multiple camera angles to verify the results as anxious drivers waited for trophy hardware next to the podium. By this point in the season, Series officials had become experts at mounting video cameras at the start/finish line to verify close finishes.
Ming beat his teammate Denes to the line for the win in that race, while eventual Champion Neil Verhagen finished third, just four hundredths of a second behind.
The second closest finish of the season came at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, where this time it was Verhagen powering to the win for K-Hill Motorsports by .002 seconds, ahead of Kaylen Frederick with another tenth back to Ming in third.
The next day, Verhagen extended his victory margin to .009 seconds over Ming, while K-Hill’s Peter Portante was a tenth back in third in another classic F1600 race.
Some other victories margins reported by timing and scoring software were also close: .011, .011, .025, .025, .045, .060, .0643 and .076.
And it was nothing new for the F1600 Championship Series, as things only got tighter at the front. A season ago, in 2015, the closet margin of victory over 21 races was .039 seconds, with six races being decided by a tenth of less, and 19 of 21 decided by less than half-as-second.
Will it get closer in 2017? The season opens at VIR, April 28-30.