Alton, VA – Thomas McGregor drove to the checkered flags for round five of the F2000 Championship Series at VIRginia International Raceway to give Exclusive Autosport and the new Spectrum chassis their first F2000 wins. McGregor beat out Skylar Robinson in a gripping closing-laps battle, with Robinson settling for second ahead of Sam Beasley for Polestar in his best finish to date.
McGregor makes it his first F2000 win as well – and strings together another podium finish in his Championship pursuit.
“I got a good start and was able to move into the lead, we had a heck of a car here,” said McGregor – adding a thank you to Spectrum designer Michael Borland who was wrenching on the Spectrum at VIR this weekend, in from Australia. “I passed Skylar with three to go on the back stretch.”
Robinson’s pursuit of his second F2000 win ended when he ran out of road chasing McGregor with two laps to go in the all-green-flag race. The brief off-track excursion cost him enough time to eliminate any chances of reeling in the Spectrum.
“I was able to get by Tim Minor and Sam Beasley at the start, and then ran down McGregor,” said Robinson, who led most of the middle portion of the 14-lap race. “I’m not sure what happened to Tim, but we have a car here to win tomorrow. If I hadn’t messed up there at the end we would have been closer.”
Beasley scored his first F2000 hardware with a third place trophy in the No. 42 Van Diemen following a strong second-place qualifying effort.
“I think we had a car to hang with the leaders but I just didn’t have a good start,” Beasley noted.
Tim Minor started from pole, quickly losing the lead in the opening set of corners. Minor dueled with Robinson and McGregor in the early stages of the race before he was forced to avoid Robinson, going off track and sending him tumbling down the order to 12th. Minor recovered to finish seventh, notching the Masters Class win on the day.
Chris Livengood was 12 seconds back for a fourth place finish in the RFR chassis, while Kevin Kopp recovered from gearbox problems to come home fifth from a 12th place starting position.
David Grant finished in sixth, ahead of a hard-charging Minor, and then completing the top ten it was John McCusker, Jim Libecco and Steve Bamford.
Bamford’s Rice Race Prep crew had his No. 71 split in half just before the race with an apparent mechanical issue. The finish gave Bamford second place honors in Masters Class following his first place Masters Class run in the F1600 race just an hour prior to the F2000 event.
After a dynamic qualifying performance in sixth, Jason Rabe was late to the grid in the No. 14 Van Diemen and pulled off with a reported mechanical issue at the drop of the green flag.
After switching from the Radon to the Van Diemen, Momentum's Quinlan Lall finished 16th as he continues to get acclimated to a different chassis.
Sunday June 8 continues for F2000's 14-race season from VIR with a 10:05am qualifying session and 2:40pm race start for round six of 2014.
PosNo.NameLapsBest TmMake/ModelDiff 1 93 Thomas McGregor 14 1:51.864 Spectrum 014Z - 2 6 Skylar Robinson 14 1:51.833 Citation +1.343 3 44 Sam Beasley 14 1:52.388 Van Diemen +5.386 4 73 Chris Livengood 14 1:52.300 Rfr +12.265 5 66 Kevin Kopp 14 1:52.243 Van Diemen +12.580 6 29 David Grant 14 1:53.388 Spectrum 014Z +22.061 7 88 Tim Minor/M 14 1:52.027 Citation F2k +24.690 8 01 John McCusker 14 1:53.659 Rfr 12 +25.447 9 98 Jim Libecco 14 1:53.247 Van Diemen Rf05 +38.352 10 07 Steve Bamford/M 14 1:54.569 Van Diemen Rf08 +44.282 11 83 Charles Finelli/M 14 1:54.993 Van Diemen RF01 +58.059 12 70 Tom Fatur/M 14 1:55.140 Van Diemen +59.163 13 19 Doug Stout/M 14 1:54.403 Van Diemen Rf05 +1:04.058 14 25 Nick Palacio 14 1:54.596 Van Diemen RF01 +1:04.670 15 23 Sergio Pasian 14 1:53.430 Van Diemen Rf +1:18.282 16 31 Brendan Puderbach 14 1:56.948 Rfr +1:19.193 17 11 Quinlan Lall 14 1:56.122 Van Dieman Rf05 +1:21.250 18 26 Alain Matrat 13 2:02.679 Van Diemen Rf99 1 Lap 19 52 Dean Baker/M 12 1:54.705 Van Diemen Rf05 2 Laps 20 7 Brent Gilkes/M 11 1:55.063 Van Dieman Rf03 3 Laps 21 35 Eric Presbrey/M 7 1:57.016 Van Diemen 7 Laps DNF 90 Robert Wright/M 4 1:55.618 Radon Rn10 10 Laps DNF 76 Beau Borders 2 1:58.629 Van Diemen Rf-01 12 Laps DNF 14 Jason Rabe 0 -.--- Van Diemen 14 Laps