Braselton, GA - In what is shaping up to be another big year for the 21-race F1600 Series, Peter Portante, who started from pole, went from third to first on the last lap of Road Atlanta to win the season opener in his K-Hill Motorsports Mygale.
"These guys are nuts," said Portante, who won on his Series debut. "The draft was insane. I tried to break away but everyone became friends to catch me."
Team Pelfrey's Phillippe Denes finished second while Steve Bamford won the Masters Class with a third place finish for Rice Race Prep. Denes was just inches behind the race winner, while Bamford also led laps and was leading when the white flag came out.
"We almost had it," added Denes, "it was a close race."
A solid drive from Neil Verhagen produced a fourth place finish for K-Hill, and the fastest lap of the race which put him on pole for the second race of the day and earned him Championship bonus points.
Calvin Ming completed the top five for Team Pelfrey just ahead of Swan Motorsports driver Max Mallinen, who charged from 17th to sixth over the course of 19 green-flag laps on a cool spring day at Road Atlanta.
The race saw the lead group go from 10 cars to seven as the laps wound down, but it was a usual F1600-style battle with multiple lead changes among the leaders by the lap.
Of note, Exclusive's Ben Auriemma finished seventh while teammate Trenton Estep led early but was forced to retire.
While Bamford won the Masters Class, it was Douglas Voss and Mike Scanlan in second and third in class.
Full results from all sessions are available on www.F1600Series.com, www.F2000Series.com, and www.AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com.