Mehan Wins at Watkins Glen; Rickards Re-Takes Points Lead
Watkins Glen, NY – Evan Mehan won a race that saw a lead pack of 11 cars trade the lead back and forth until the Chastain Motorsports driver was able to separate himself from the group to take his second victory of the 2014 F1600 Formula F Championship Series at Watkins Glen International. Finishing second, setting fast lap and re-taking the points lead was Garth Rickards – who now leads the Championship by a single point over Ayla Agren going into the final race of the season on Sunday. Augie Lerch finished third.
Rickards has yet to win a race but took back the points lead and added two key bonus points with the fastest lap of the race in the No. 83 Team Pelfrey machine. The Championship leader coming into the day, Agren, finished sixth for Team Pelfrey in the No. 81 Mygale/Honda, after missing qualifying on pole by eight thousandths of a second. Agren and Rickards will now head to Sunday for the season finale race with the 2014 title up for grabs.
In the No. 29 Chastain Motorsports car, Mehan had perhaps the fewest laps of the top finishers as he did not make the race starts in the F1600 Series’ May visit to the Glen. Mehan becomes only the third active driver in the field with multiple wins after a victory at Thompson on Labor Day weekend.
In second at the checkered flags, Rickards aggressively moved through the lead group after starting outside the top five.
Pelfrey teammate Lerch finished third while Jack Mitchell Jr. charged from ninth on the grid to the race lead in his No. 93 Spectrum/Honda, but finished fourth.
Mitchell Jr. missed Friday practice due to a badly-scheduled Chemistry exam, and is now just three points ahead of Lerch in the fight for third in the Championship chase. Both drivers were mathematically eliminated from the overall title after Saturday’s first race, round 13 of the 14-race 2014 season.
Pole-sitter Nikita Lastochkin finished fifth, leading multiple laps and having an entertaining early race battle for the lead with Sam Chastain, who muscled his way by for the lead on the opening lap, only to see Lastochkin get around him a few corners later. Lastochkin also reset the F1600 track record during qualifying with a time of 1:56.781.
While Agren recovered to finish sixth after dropping to 11th, it was not the result the second-year driver was looking for – losing the points lead.
Will Harvey finished seventh for WISKO Racing with Jim Goughary, Sam Chastain and Art Foster following.
Also in the mix on the last lap was Steve Bamford, who hassled Evan Mehan for the lead for a large part of the race. Bamford was well involved in the fight for second and did not make the turn in for the chicane, missing the corner and finishing 12th.
Point totals as noted above were calculated per Series rules of dropping the lowest two finishes of the season.
The F1600 Formula F Championship Series concludes on Sunday at Watkins Glen with a 9:30am qualifying and 2:00pm race, the final race, round 14, of the 2014 season.
PosNo.NameLapsBest TmMake/ModelDiff 1 29 Evan Mehan 12 1:58.117 Mygale Honda - 2 83 Garth Rickards 12 1:57.776 Mygale Honda +0.505 3 82 Augie Lerch 12 1:57.978 Mygale Honda +3.706 4 93 Jack Mitchell, Jr. 12 1:57.889 Spectrum Honda +3.776 5 80 Nikita Lastochkin 12 1:57.815 Mygale Sj Honda +4.591 6 81 Ayla Agren 12 1:58.241 Mygale Honda +4.851 7 24 Will Harvey 12 1:58.674 Mygale Sj Honda +5.261 8 7 James Goughary/M 12 1:58.426 Van Diemen Honda +5.612 9 27 Sam Chastain 12 1:58.168 Mygale Sj13 Honda +6.022 10 21 Arthur Foster/M 12 1:58.665 Spectrum 014 Honda +6.220 11 13 Andrew Hobbs 12 1:58.863 Mygale Sj Honda +8.542 12 07 Steve Bamford/M 12 1:58.006 Mygale Sj11 Honda +14.160 13 28 Andrew Lewis 12 2:01.482 MagaleSj Honda +35.076 14 2 Mike Scanlan/M 12 2:00.781 Spectrum Honda +35.525 15 70 Sam Lockwood/M 12 2:00.681 Spectrum 014 Honda +35.602 DNS 18 Dan Pyanowski/M 0 -.--- Van Diemen Honda -