Kotyk Wins in Hard Fought Race One!
Despite a hampered qualifying, Jonathan Kotyk found the lead and controled race one.
Temperatures rose to a warm eighty-six degrees for the first of three F1600 races here at Mid-Ohio. Alex Scaler at the point, he bunched the field off of the keyhole turn heading towards the green flag. The green flag waved and field rushed down the back straight. Through Thunder Valley, around The Carousel, and across the finish line for the first time, it was Kotyk in the lead, Scaler in second, and Josh Green in third.
Two packs started to form, a leading group of six, and a midfield pack comprised of seventh through thirteenth place. The battle for the lead saw Kotyk in control, Green in second and looking aggressive, Scaler positioned tight off of Green, Christian Lall Dass in forth, Dexter Czuba in fifth, and Chris Horan in sixth. At the end of the back straight Green tried a move on Kotyk, one lap on the outside of him, the next down the inside. Kotyk remained in control. Meanwhile Czuba, Dass, and Horan battled fiercely, they changed spots with Dass falling to sixth.
The midfield pack kept pushing on, Bryce Aron in the seventh spot started to broke off from the pack but remained too far adrift of the front pack to make any headway there. Ayrton Ori holding down eighth but with several competitors directly on his tail.
With eight laps to go the lead pack was starting to lose Christian Lall Dass, it’s unclear if an error was made or if he simply wasn’t ready for the pace of the top five. Given the draft he likely will be able get back in the hunt though. Kotyk still leads, Green in second, Scaler in third, Czuba in fourth, and Horan in fifth but looking hungry.
Green gets the pass made in turn five, but by the entry of turn six it’s Kotyk back in control of the pack. Bryce Aron in seventh runs the fastest lap of the race thus far despite being all by himself. At the end of the back straight Kotyk still leads, but this time Green and Scaler go side by side. Just behind, Czuba and Horan go side by side as well. Dass now over a second adrift in sixth.
Five laps to go, Green attempts a pass on the outside of Kotyk, the pass isn’t possible. Kotyk keeps his spot. The lead pack bunches and that lets Dass is back in to the picture. The top six are within one second of each other at the line, Czuba is in third, Horan now finds himself in fourth, and Scaler fell to fifth.
Three laps left, again Green pushing on Kotyk at the end of the back straight, this time on the inside. Again, it’s not to be. Kotyk’s track position doesn’t allow Green to get the run he needs.
On the penultimate lap, Kotyk has a gap. The race looks to be for second now. Four drivers fight for it. At the checker, no change in position for the top three, it’s Kotyk, Green, and Czuba. Horan is fourth, Dass fifth, and Scaler sixth. In master’s, Scott Rubenzer won, Cliff Johnson was second, and Mike Scanlan was third.