Lexington, OH – F2000 teams prepared for this weekend’s season finale by taking part in a two hour twilight testing session this evening. The unofficial test session ended with Benjamin Searcy turning a blistering lap of 1:24.5, edging Chris Miller, Remy Audette, Tim Minor and Matthew Inge. Searcy’s lap was almost a full half second under the track record.
“We ran that time on new tires and there was so much more in the car,” said Searcy, who has never been to Mid-Ohio before. “We also ran out of fuel on the next lap. Yesterday we had no idea we would be here. We thought the race was next weekend, it was quite hectic getting here.”
Slade Miller, who hasn’t driven an F2000 car in almost three years, ended up sixth. 30 cars posted times.
Remy Audette was quickest for most of the session and admitted there might be some new tricks on the #21.
“We’re trying to keep the car at the front of the field,” commented Audette, who is without his usual engineer, Jacques. “It’s fun to come to a track you know already, last year it was very difficult to learn this place but we finished on the podium in both races. We have nothing to lose and are here to win. We are trying some new things on the car too.”
Masters Class points leader Tom Fatur never got in a lap in due to unusual circumstances.
“We unloaded the car and the suspension was bent. It looked like a rod end broke in the trailer that caused the lower a-arm to bend. It’s like I tore a corner off before I even got here,” commented Fatur.
Slade Miller returns to F2000 competition having last raced in the Cooper Series in 2006, where he finished seventh in the standings.
Since then he has been busy contesting USAC Midgets. Miller wasted no time in getting up to speed, posting the sixth fastest time of the session.
“This car is like four times stiffer than the Midget. We used the same setup as three years ago, so we’re really happy with the time,” commented Miller.
Power In Numbers
St. Clair Motorsports has five cars under their awning this weekend including championship contender Matthew Inge. JDC has two cars, including Chris Miller, with Audette Racing fielding its usual single car for Remy.
St. Clair’s Mark Defer and Chris Gumprecht have proven they can run near the front this season. Will the games begin?
Entry List Changes
Ted Sahley replaces Mike Mazziotti in the #56 for R-Sport. Meanwhile, Group A is down to a single car for the season finale after running Colin Alexander alongside Jonathan Scarallo all year. The paddock grapevine suggests funding problems for Alexander.
Van Diemen Reinforcement Bars
Tim Minor, who ran away with the second race at Summit Point a few weeks ago for a dominating victory, and almost won the first race before spinning out in the lead, has been running a custom-made spider-web of reinforcement bars around his engine and rear suspension for a few seasons on his Van Diemen.
Following his win, at least five more cars in the F2000 paddock are sporting a similar system. Alegra teammates Fabio Orsolon and Victor Carbone have the brace, as well as Jonathan Scarallo.Championship contender Matthew Inge has it as well as the Piper chassis of Jesse Yorio.