Lime Rock Thursday Notebook
Lakeville, CT – In this edition: a tight schedule for Friday awaits the teams and drivers of the F2000 Championship Series, expect a lot of “clear lap” excuses in qualifying, Connery talks about the penalty, and updates to the RFR chassis (and we write one sentence about the Radon).
Tight Schedule for Friday
For those still having night terrors following the Mid-Ohio schedule, which Series officials promised was a “one time experiment,” Lime Rock may look a bit daunting as well.
Friday features four sessions, including three in the afternoon. For the F2000 teams, just 40 minutes separate practice and qualifying for race one, with one hour and 40 minutes between qualifying for race one and qualifying for race two.
Commented Chris Livengood: “The schedule doesn't bother me, Mid-Ohio's was at least as bad, so with a bit of luck we will sail smoothly at Lime Rock.”
Lime Rock’s short 1.53 mile almost-all-right-turn format makes it the shortest track on the 2011 schedule.
Packing the trademark huge F2000 field onto the seven-turn road course for qualifying usually leaves a few drivers further down the grid than usual due to traffic, so expect the usual “clear lap” and “traffic” excuses to fly.
Connery: “Penalty Doesn’t Affect Me”
A big talking point in the paddock is the Series penalty handed down to Kyle Connery following a crash at Mosport.
A one-race ban in effect for race one at Lime Rock leaves Connery, a Championship contender, sitting on the sidelines and is the biggest penalty in recent memory for the F2000 Series.
“The penalty doesn't affect me mentally,” explained Connery. “I'm here to do a job and it's to win. Even though I don't agree with the final decision made by the Series officials, I respect their ability to protect the interest of the series and its competitors. Our team, however, will be paying close attention to the penalties administered in the future and expect ourselves as well as other teams to be treated fairly.”
Another round of updates to the Ralph Firman Racing chassis for HP-Tech Motorsport is set to debut this weekend at Lime Rock.
“We have made some changes to the car,” explained Robert La Rocca, driving the No. 10 entry. “We did some testing during the break, and we are happy with the way the car changed. We're going to go out and do what we've been doing all season long. The car is finally at a place where it is competitive, and we believe we can definitely win.”
Just one Radon chassis for Lime Rock. Blake Teeter is expected to drive the No. 77 for GTP Motorsports but Matt McDonough is on standby and may get in the car for practice.