F2000 Title Fight Accelerates into Mid-Ohio Double Header
Salem, NH – Trials, tribulations and a number of exciting, action-packed races have opened the door for the title fight to tighten in the F2000 Championship Series as the 14-race Formula Race Promotions season sees its mid-point, with rounds seven and eight of 14 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend. Steve Jenks sits first in the Championship as eight drivers could leave Mid-Ohio on Sunday night with the points lead.
Jenks, driving for Tumenas Motorsports, was coming off a race one win at VIR when a day later, he was involved in a turn-one, lap-one incident with 2017 Champion Brandon Dixon. The result: a large points penalty for Jenks, while Dixon soldiered home without the result he was looking for from pole position, leaving VIR third in the points battle.
“The level of competition is fantastic,” said Jenks. “We have led a race in all three weekends this year so I know we have the car to compete at any track. I have more laps at Mid-Ohio than any other track the Series visits so I’m confident we can find the speed. With so many cars that can win a race on a given day, I think consistent podiums will carry the day for the Championship.”
Tim Paul saw his first win slip away at VIR, retiring from the lead on lap two in the same race that produced the first-turn fireworks. Paul, driving for R-Sport, will be looking for redemption a track that robbed him just a few seasons ago, when he came together with eventual champion Robert La Rocca as the two went for the same piece of real estate fighting for the lead heading into the Keyhole, one of Mid-Ohio’s iconic corners.
“(The team) has methodically worked backwards, perfecting the biggest weaknesses and I felt like a powerhouse at VIR for the first time,” said Paul. “The plan is the same for Mid-Ohio, but I come in with much smaller and fewer weaknesses to begin with.”
James Roe is the most recent F2000 race winner, but is another driver that has spent time with series officials, having been hit with a post-Watkins Glen points penalty. While the ArmsUp Motorsports pilot capitalized on Sunday in Virginia, it was another contested piece of shared race track that sent him and Reece Everard spinning off course in Saturday’s VIR race while battling for the top spot.
“I have never driven the track so just like every track this year I am going to have to learn it extremely quickly,” Roe said, of the highly technical Mid-Ohio course.
Everard sits seventh in points, despite having missed both Watkins Glen races. He has produced a number of solid results with a relatively small effort, with Everard joined by his father and a small family crew.
“Tough track, strong competition,” Everard added, ahead of Thursday afternoon load-in at Mid-Ohio.
And missing out on all the fireworks, 17-year-old Simon Sikes has logged a race win and a number of strong finishes, staying out of trouble to quietly propel himself to second in the standings.
And there are potential spoilers, starting with John LaRue, who is on the entry list and may have more laps around Mid-Ohio than the entire field combined, including a number of F2000 wins at the 13-turn track in the No. 17.
The action starts Thursday evening with twilight testing, followed by official practice on Friday while Saturday and Sunday both feature morning qualifying sessions and afternoon races.
Stay tuned to www.F2000Ssries.com for the latest