Braselton, GA – Kyle Kirkwood won the opening race of the 2015 F1600 Formula F Championship Series with a last lap move on Steve Bamford in a chaotic event at Road Atlanta. The Mygale/Honda driver for Chastain Motorsports tracked down Bamford from a second away on the last lap as Scott Andrews finished third in the Exclusive Autosport Spectrum while Skylar Robinson and Jack Mitchell Jr. completed the top five.
“This is all new to me after some karting but overall it’s an awesome feeling,” said Kirkwood. “With the white flag out I thought I was too far back but I was able to catch him and pull off the pass.”
Second place finisher and Masters Class winner Bamford added: “This is the draft in F1600; you can’t lead into the last lap. I thought I had enough space but I made a small mistake.”
Finishing third and avoiding some of the mid and late-race incidents after pacing Friday practice was Australian driver Scott Andrews in the No. 94 entry.
“Everyone seemed to race fair,” said Andrews, who led a handful of laps. “I can’t wait for the next one.”
In his first ever F1600 start, Skylar Robinson drove the second entry for K-Hill Motorsports through the field to finish fourth, while Jack Mitchell Jr. was the second Exclusive Autosport car in the top five with his teammate, Thomas McGregor, following in sixth.
Robinson will start on pole for Sunday morning’s race by running the fastest lap in the 13-lap race.
Pole sitter Andrew Hobbs fell back on the first lap and managed a seventh place result for Team Pelfrey, with Austin Mack in eighth place for K-Hill. Art Foster and Andrew Lewis completed the top ten.
While Bamford took the Masters Class honors, Foster scored a second place in the Masters division with a ninth place finish, while Jim Goughary rounded out the Masters podium with an 11th place result in his Van Diemen from Primus Racing.
Leading multiple laps was Will Harvey, who finished 17th after a last lap incident in turn one but will start fourth in race two on Sunday morning with a quick lap during the race.
Two races take place on Sunday, with both race grids set by fast laps from the previous race in the new-for-2015 21-race season format. The starting grid for Sunday morning's race will see Robinson lead the field to the green with Kirkwood on the outside of the front row. Jack Mitchell Jr., Will Harvey, Thomas McGregor and Andrew Hobbs make up rows two and three.
Into turn 10 on lap four an incident took place taking out Robert Megennis and Ben Auriemma. Both Team Pelfrey drivers walked away but the track required extensive cleanup meaning the race went to its 30-minute time window as opposed to 17 laps.
The F1600 Championship Series season continues on Sunday from Road Atlanta with rounds two and three. Follow live on www.F1600Series.com.
Full race results are available on www.F1600Series.com under the results tab.