Lall’s Fourth Place Run at Mid-Ohio
Mid-Ohio, July 2, 2015. Twilight Testing. With Quinlan Lall stalled sideways on the race track, a fast-moving David Grant had little time to react, and Lall even less time to wait for the impact. Spectrum front to Van Diemen side, with Grant flicking the steering wheel just enough to send the impact to the rear portion of Lall’s car. The incident took Grant’s car out commission for the weekend and left Lall’s Momentum Motorsports entry in pieces.
“The jump turn is a completely blind corner, and I had spun and was parked in a very precarious position. The drivers couldn't see me, and I couldn't see them. I just caught a glimpse of Grant as he came over the crest. When he turned left instead of right, I knew that it would be a hefty impact,” Lall recalled. “In that split second I had a chance to brace myself for the hit. I didn't know just how hard it would be. Thankfully my brilliant Speed Seat and all of the safety equipment did its job. Both Grant and I were able to walk away, that's the main thing.”
Three days later, 15-year-old Lall would weave his way to fourth place in the second F2000 Championship Series race of the Mid-Ohio Formula Race Promotions weekend.
“Ultimately walking away from the weekend with a fourth place finish after the adversity we faced felt like a race win,” continued Lall. “And everyone in Momentum Motorsports should hold their heads high for what we achieved that weekend.”
The damage from Thursday night’s testing incident looked like a parts pile dropped from an airplane on the track. Momentum Motorsports worked late, and then again early, replacing what amounted to most of the car – uprights, suspension pieces, bodywork, the floors, sidepods, both wings, a diffuser, wing brackets and quite a few other pieces.
By Friday afternoon, Joe Atkinson and Phil Borden, as well as team owner Phil Picard, had the car ready and waiting for Lall. It was an early Friday for Atkinson and Borden, who had left their homes in upstate New York at 4 a.m. on Thursday to be in Mid-Ohio to support Momentum’s F2000 effort.
With specific instructions to drive it at 70 percent to shake it down, Lall put in a lap for tenth fastest in that session.
“I was definitely nervous about getting back behind the wheel. The car had been heavily hit and for Momentum Motorsports to rebuild the car after the amount if damage sustained was really epic and I will continue to give a huge thanks to everyone that helped put the car back together,” said Lall .”I just wanted to log laps and ensure that everything got up to temperature and nothing fell off. We ultimately placed P10 in the first session we went out in after the rebuild.”
“He said the car was good, we put it back on the scales and fine-tuned it for qualifying on Saturday morning,” said Picard. “We were all taken back, to be 15 years old and to have the level of maturity to get hit that hard and get right back in the car … it’s impressive.”
That continued on Sunday, as Lall moved from eighth to sixth on the opening lap, avoiding a crash in front of him in the first turn. A solid restart followed, and he passed and battled with Eric Filgueiras for a top five spot.
“We had a great race-long battle, and we drove each other hard but clean. Ultimately we finished fourth. I was pushing as hard as I could to get onto the podium, but it was just out of reach,” Lall added.
Momentum now heads to the Pittsburgh International Race Complex with a two car effort, with Lall being joined by Jonathan Teixeira, July 31 – August 2.