Coming into the penultimate weekend of the 2015 F2000 Championship Series hosted at New Jersey Motorsports, Spencer Racing driver Eric Filgueirashad his sights set to continuehis podium momentum and gain valuable points. "We had a very up and down race weekend at Pittsburgh, and as these weekends wind down its going to be so important that I stay focused on the track and do everything I can to maximize our points with these final four races,” said Filgueiras in a pre-race interview.
“It's going to come down to who makes the least amount of mistakes.” With less than 5 points separating 3 drivers battling for third place in the championship and only 21 points from overtaking 2nd from competitor Steve Bamford it’s going to come down to the wire every race. Every position, minute, and second matters for the Spencer Racing Team.
Although the weekend began business as usual, it was 1 day short of the normal schedule. Without a Thursday test, Filgueiras faced the challenge of learning and figuring out how to be fast on a trackforeign to him with only two practice sessions before Saturday’s qualifying. Friday consisted of carving around NJMP on old tires and adjusting the car to the track while trying to formulate race day strategies.
With the team focused on the task at hand, they prepared the car for Q1 of the weekend. Butdisaster struck early and in a most bizarre fashion when the team was strapping the 21 year old driver into his machine fuel began to spew out around the car andinto the entire enginebay. Quickly the team assessed the situation and learnedthat heat expansion in the fuel cell forcedfuel out of the overflow. The team had no choice but to scrub thequalifying session and start from 18th, the very last positionfor Saturday’s race.
With new tires on the car, and a focused mindset, Filgueiras set off when the green flag dropped. Carefully and assertively picking off one competitor after another, the Florida nativefound himself in 9th halfway through the race under a full course caution. He knew this would be his best opportunity to strike. At the drop of the green he fought his way through the remainder of the field, eventually ending the race in a solid 4th position, a very impressive feat for any driver.
Sunday qualifying moved along with more smoothly than the previous day with Filgueiras starting theSunday race in 5th. Again, having a good start and realizing when the best moves should be made, Filgueiras found his marks consistently and after the halfway point was solidly in 2nd where he would be uncontested for the remainder of the race.
“This was certainly one of the most trying, but most rewarding weekends so far!” remarked Filgueiras. “We had trouble early on but my team and I rebounded the only way we know how to, with persistence and passion. I can’t thank my Team Owner JimSpencer and my Mechanic/Father enough for their support through it all“.
All of this weekend’s success was accomplished with the constant support of Lipten Energy Solutions, Kovi Consulting, SPEEDCOMCommunications,HAWK Performance, BELL Helmets,Oakley, A&B Graphics,GoPro, RaceQuipandDark Horse Pros. (Watch Eric’s drive from 18th to 4thhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3IqbnAe8oI)
Join Spencer Racing at the final round of 2015 F2000 Competition October 16-18 atPittsburgh Race Complex!