Livengood Flag-to-Flag at Mid-Ohio

July 2, 2011
Livengood (left) led from the start.

Lexington, OH – Chris Livengood started from the pole and led all 18 laps at Mid-Ohio to take his second career F2000 Championship Series win and second win at Mid-Ohio in a repeat performance of 2010. Livengood, driving for Work Racing with support from John Walko racing, led from the drop of the green, briefly holding off Brian Tomasi in the Afterburner Racing Van Diemen. Tomasi would finish second by just under two seconds with Robert La Rocca completing the podium.

“That race went really well. The first lap and a half was insane on cold tires,” said Livengood, who becomes the fourth different winner in seven races in the 2011 F2000 season. “Then I just started to hit my marks and it all went well from there. Mid-Ohio just feels like home.”

The short turnaround time between sessions, just 35 minutes, leading up to the race, allowed for few mistakes on a warm, 85*F day in Ohio.

Brian Tomasi, was is in his Afterburner Van Diemen this weekend after competing in previous rounds in the RFR chassis, and is expected to be back in the RFR cockpit at Mosport as the team awaits the arrival of a new engine.

“We got a great start,” explained Tomasi, who is the standing National Formula Continental Champion. “Chris almost went off the track on the opening lap but kept it on the track and then just gapped us.”

Robert La Rocca meanwhile, was the first RFR chassis. La Rocca snuck around Championship leader Remy Audette in lapped traffic in the #10 HP-Tech entry.

“Started picking up the pace through the race and got past Remy (Audette) when Kyle (Connery) spun,” explained La Rocca.

Joe Colasacco finished fourth, also passing Audette in traffic, to win the Masters Class.

Audette stretches his points lead despite his worst finish of the year.

Audette meanwhile, extended his points lead yet again on Canada Day, as his closest rivals had rough days at the 13-turn road course.. The Canadian, by finishing fifth, logged his worst finish of the season, surprisingly. Jonathan Scarallo was sixth in the Primus Racing Van Diemen.

“The car was good but the track was good and then bad,” said Audette, on a very hot day in Ohio. “I gained some time in places and lost time in others, overall goal was to finish and we did that.”

Tim Minor was looking strong after pacing the Thursday practice day but had an issue on the second lap of the race, sending him back to 12th place. The veteran rebounded to finish a strong seventh ahead of Nathan Morcom, for Primus Racing, John LaRue, and Ethan Ringel, also in a RFR chassis but for McLaughlin Motorsports.

Prior to the race Minor said: “The key here is to make your front tires last, if you can’t do that you can’t be fast.” And tire perseveration has been the phrase of the weekend with many teams battling through intense wear on their Hoosiers.

Alegra Motorsports was one of those teams battling through tire issues, which they had thought to have traced to a faulty camber gauge. The Miami-based squad however, may still be looking for the problem and finished unusually down the order with Gustavo Rizzo in 12th after running as high as eighth and teammate Angel Benitez in 15th, coming off a fourth place effort at Watkins Glen at the last race.

Connery retired with a mechanical issue but did drop back during the race after a spin while battling with Audette for third. Connery did manage, however, to notch a handful of bonus points by running the fastest lap of the all-green-flag first race of the doubleheader weekend at Mid-Ohio. Connery was listed as having finished 25th.

Thomas Schwietz won the CellMark Paper Hard Charger award for advancing seven positions to finish 13th in his Piper/Zetec.

Tom Fatur missed the race start as the GTP Motorsports crew spent a large amount of the day replacing the fuel cell in his #70 Van Diemen. Craig Clawson also missed the start after a broken halfshaft in qualifying – and with the short, 30-minute turnaround time between sessions, could not make the grid. Enzo Potolicchio was another car that encountered problems during qualifying that could not be resolved in time for the green flag.

ArmsUp Motorsports who came into the weekend with aspiring F2000 drivers Zach Veach and Spencer Pigot, who regularly run in a different F2000 series, decided to not participate in today’s activities and will not contest the rest of the event. Interestingly, both drivers did attend the drivers’ meeting earlier in the day and the crew was busy working on both Van Diemens.

Saturday, July 2 continues with practice and qualifying sessions, at 3:30 and 4:25, and the final race of the weekend 5:20.

Race Results:

Pos No. Name Laps Total Tm Diff Gap Avg. Speed Best Tm 1 37 Chris Livengood 18 26:34.029 - - 91.792 1:25.114 2 96 Brian Tomasi 18 26:36.017 +1.988 +1.988 91.677 1:25.487 3 10 Robert La Rocca 18 26:40.439 +6.410 +4.422 91.424 1:25.141 4 3 Joe Colasacco 18 26:42.040 +8.011 +1.601 91.333 1:25.187 5 21 Remy Audette 18 26:42.362 +8.333 +0.322 91.314 1:25.107 6 13 Jonathan Scarallo 18 26:48.654 +14.625 +6.292 90.957 1:25.542 7 88 Tim Minor/M 18 26:48.796 +14.767 +0.142 90.949 1:25.099 8 2 Nathan Morcom 18 26:56.514 +22.485 +7.718 90.515 1:26.090 9 17 John LaRue 18 26:56.890 +22.861 +0.376 90.494 1:25.826 10 1 Ethan Ringel 18 26:57.803 +23.774 +0.913 90.443 1:26.147 11 8 Mark Defer/M 18 27:02.530 +28.501 +4.727 90.179 1:26.046 12 23 Gustavo Rizzo 18 27:05.970 +31.941 +3.440 89.988 1:26.180 13 72 Thomas Schwietz/M 18 27:06.553 +32.524 +0.583 89.956 1:26.274 14 67 Dave Weitzenhof/M 18 27:06.676 +32.647 +0.123 89.949 1:26.329 15 26 Angel Benitez 18 27:07.245 +33.216 +0.569 89.918 1:26.383 16 51 Dan Denison/M 18 27:09.658 +35.629 +2.413 89.785 1:26.400 17 06 Tim Paul 18 27:10.036 +36.007 +0.378 89.764 1:26.672 18 42 Bill Jordan/M 18 27:11.664 +37.635 +1.628 89.674 1:26.114 19 90 Robert Wright/M 18 27:12.148 +38.119 +0.484 89.648 1:26.339 20 83 Charles Finelli/M 18 27:22.380 +48.351 +10.232 89.089 1:26.963 21 25 Jeff McCusker/M 18 27:51.399 +1:17.370 +29.019 87.542 1:29.012 22 31 Brendan Puderbach 17 26:48.571 1 Lap 1 Lap 85.908 1:29.268 23 71 Francis Kennette 17 27:02.221 +13.650 +13.650 85.185 1:29.361 24 7 Rodin Younessi 16 27:29.723 2 Laps 1 Lap 78.838 1:35.149 25 91 Kyle Connery 14 22:33.807 4 Laps 2 Laps 84.062 1:24.862 26 28 Ardie Greenamyer/M 11 16:59.243 7 Laps 3 Laps 87.729 1:25.724 DNS 27 Craig Clawson/M 0 -.--- - - - -.--- DNS 22 Enzo Potolicchio/M 0 -.--- - - - -.--- DNS 61 Zach Veach 0 -.--- - - - -.--- DNS 70 Tom Fatur/M 0 -.--- - - - -.--- DNS 81 Spencer Pigot 0 -.--- - - - -.---