Salem, NH – Massively long and wide straights should produce a nail-biting triple header for the F1600 Formula F Championship Series, which takes to the new Pittsburgh International Race Complex this weekend.
Mid-Ohio’s third race ended with a margin of victory just over a tenth of a second, with Scott Andrews assuming full control of his own destiny with the points lead and three weekends and nine races to go in the No. 94 Spectrum/Honda. In his mirrors, however, are a number of well-prepared cars and fast drivers looking to find the top step of the podium.
Jordan Cane delivered his first victory on U.S. soil on Sunday morning in Ohio, in just his fifth start of the season. The No. 81 Team Pelfrey driver got the better of Skylar Robinson in a race-long shootout between the two Mygales.
Robinson was denied in all three races in early July. He started from pole in race two, and led the majority of laps, but fell victim in each round. Robinson ran strong on a differently-configured Pittsburgh in a F2000 car last year, scoring pole in a tricky wet qualifying session.
Alongside Robinson at K-Hill Motorsports, Austin Mack took a trio of top 10 finishes home with him from Ohio, but may be looking toward a similar performance that saw a win at Watkins Glen in May.
Partnering Cane at Team Pelfrey, there are three other drivers that have become a fixture at the front of the F1600 field. Ben Auriemma is coming off a second place at Mid-Ohio, while Robert Megennis also showed well on the road course with Friday's fastest practice lap. Andrew Hobbs has multiple poles throughout his 2015 campaign in the No. 83, underscoring his outright pace.
Hobbs is just one a few drivers in the field with some experience at Pittsburgh, he was fastest in Friday practice last season.
In 2014, F1600 visited a 1.2 mile short road-course in Pittsburgh, this year, that 1.2 mile track has been expanded, now 2.8 miles in length with 18 turns. What was a scrappy, short-track product in 2014 could look more like a race at Road Atlanta or Watkins Glen.
F1600 has offered up races with battles throughout the field, and the Masters Class continues to get competitive. With Steve Bamford the class of the Masters field, with an outright win at VIR, Jim Goughary was fast in Ohio, and Art Foster narrowly missed the overall podium with a fourth place run in Virginia in June.
Drivers and teams will have no shortage of track time this weekend – with four test sessions on Thursday and two official practices on Friday. Saturday features morning qualifying and an afternoon race. Sunday will show off two F1600 races, early and late.