Minor Edges McGregor: Friday VIR Practice
Alton, VA – Tim Minor may be looking more carefully in his mirrors for the rest of the VIRginia International Raceway F2000 Championship Series event as Thomas McGregor failed to steal the top spot in Friday practice, but missed out by just .051 seconds. Minor paced practice with a fast lap of 1:52.628, with McGregor second in the Spectrum chassis for Exclusive Autosport, and David Grant third in another Spectrum ahead of rounds five and six of the 2014 season in the F2000 Series.
While Minor commented the new pavement and lack of Oak Tree meant he was looking for new reference points for most of Thursday’s four practice sessions, he managed to still set the fastest time of two long Friday practice sessions in the No. 88 Citation for Ski Motorsports. Minor is coming off three straight wins and swept the 2013 F2000 weekend in Virginia – and will leave nothing to chance this weekend – with plans to walk the track Friday night and get a closer look at the new pavement and potential turn in markers.
The big story, however, was second and third – with McGregor pacing morning practice on a slower track before barely missing the top spot in the afternoon with Grant in third for Polestar. While the new Spectrum chassis continues to get up to speed, both Exclusive and Polestar are aided by Spectrum chassis designer and engineer Michael Borland who is at VIR this weekend, from Australia, turning wrenches for his customers.
It was a banner day for Polestar with Sam Beasley in fourth in the No. 42 Van Diemen, backing up a morning second place performance while Chris Livengood put a heavily-updated RFR in the top five in the afternoon session on a hot and greasy 17-turn race track.
Skylar Robinson was sixth on the time sheets for Eric Langbein Racing in an afternoon session that saw the addition of some 10 minutes of track time, while Sergio Pasian and Jim Libecco followed in a pair of Van Diemens.
John McCusker and Kevin Kopp completed the top ten with Kopp battling through ECU and electrical problems on Thursday and during Friday morning practice. Following practice, Kopp Motorsports found a clutch problem and will be at the track late into the night fixing the No. 66.
Following in 11th was the K-Hill No. 14 of Jason Rabe as the driver has switched Van Diemen chassis following the first two events and is sporting a new, lower-profile rear wing on the car.
Quinlan Lall only completed a handful of laps after missing the morning practice with a mechanical issue following Thursday testing.
Tim Paul withdrew from the weekend after an engine failure in Thursday testing.
While 24 cars turned laps in the afternoon session, the top 15 were under the 1:55 time mark and the front of the field were under Minor’s 2013 qualifying lap record of 1:53.903.
The weekend gets busier as Saturday morning has F2000 qualifying at 9:30am and a race at 2:10pm, with round six of the 2014 14-round season on Sunday set by a 10:05am qualifying session and 2:40pm race.