Mack Wins F1600 at WGI by .054
Watkins Glen, NY – In another classically competitive F1600 Formula F Championship Series race, Austin Mack took the win in the first of three races at Watkins Glen International. It was a six car shootout on the last lap, with Mack scoring his first F1600 win for K-Hill Motorsports by .054 seconds over Scott Andrews. Skylar Robinson completed the podium in the second K-Hill entry.
As the white flag came out it was Mack in the lead over a pair of Exclusive Autosport Spectrums followed by Robinson and two Team Pelfrey Mygales.
“There are twelve laps and I think that just about everybody got passed by everybody. You can’t give up, not until the checkered flag,” said Mack, driving the No. 44 Mygale/Honda. “I had a feeling, a premonition, that there was somebody that was coming for me going to the checkered.”
Mack, who started from the pole, made it a great day for K-Hill as the team also swept the top three spots in an earlier Atlantic Championship Series event.
Andrews led teammate and fellow Road Atlanta winner Jack Mitchell Jr. for the middle part of the race before the two K-Hill cars hunted down the race lead, with the Pelfrey teammates joining on the last lap after a 12-lap all-green flag sprint which marked round four of a 21-race season.
Coming to the checkered flag, points leader Andrews had a head of steam and pulled out, but made the move too late, losing the race by a nose.
“I mean it was pretty hectic out there and I just tried to play it smart. I managed to pick up the pieces and bring home a second,” said Andrews, who keeps his points lead and makes it four podiums in four race starts in his 2015 F1600 campaign.
Robinson scored his first F1600 podium at the same track that delivered him an F2000 victory to close out the 2014 F2000 season last October.
“Austin ran us down and it was a pretty good race from then on,” said Robinson. “I would say the field here is a lot closer than it was when I raced in England. Over there might be three or four guys who have a shot, here the whole top ten is right there.”
Making things more interesting, Andrew Hobbs and Ben Auriemma closed on the lead pack for Team Pelfrey in the closing stages of the race to complete the top five. Their third Pelfrey teammate, Robert Megennis, battled from a low of 12th to join them for the fight for the lead on the last lap, finishing sixth in an impressive effort.
Steve Bamford, coming off his F2000 win earlier in the day, went from second to 12th and forced his way back to seventh by the finish. More importantly, the Masters Class winner set fast lap, which will put him on the pole for race two of three, scheduled for Sunday morning.
Thomas McGregor finished eighth for Exclusive, with Will Harvey in ninth for Chastain Motorsports. After battling for the win on the last lap, Mitchell Jr. went off and on to complete the top ten.
Mike Scanlan finished second in the Masters Class with an 11th place run, with Sam Lockwood taking home more Masters Class hardware, third in class and 13th overall behind Andy Lewis.
Sunday will play host to two more F1600 races, rounds five and six of the 2015 season. Green flags are scheduled for 10:55am and 4:25pm.