Watkins Glen, NY – Tim Minor returned to top form, winning his sixth race of the F2000 Championship Series in 2013 and leading every lap in round seven at Watkins Glen International. Minor started second and took the lead on the opening lap, only to defend on a mid-race restart and control the pace, cruising to a win on a drying race track ahead of Kyle Connery and Santino Ferrucci, in his first career F2000 start at the age of 15.
The opening lap was treacherous, as a dry line had just emerged and cars fanned out fighting for positions, leading to a number of incidents. While that was going on, Minor was able to get by pole-sitter Connery for the lead and eventual race win in race seven of the 14-round 2013 Championship.
“We had a good set up and the car worked well. The race was clean and I just can’t thank my crew enough. The Ski Motorsports guys worked hard to make this happen. There were a bunch of weepers on the track on the opening laps, you had to watch where you were going,” said Minor, in the No. 88 Citation chassis, referencing the track weeping water on the opening laps.
Those who did well during Friday’s race at Watkins Glen kept their cars between the lines – as slicks on a race track with a slim dry line rewarded patience and many cars found their way off the track during the course of the race.
Connery could not keep up with Minor over the race distance, despite setting the fastest lap of the race and weekend.
“It was definitely a bit tricky out there,” said Connery, who drives the No. 91 CC Autosport/James Lee Racing Van Diemen and will start from pole on Saturday’s race due to his fastest race lap. “I got a great start and thought I had it but Tim’s Citation is just unbelievably fast in a straight line.”
Ferrucci was third in his first start for HP-Tech Motorsport in the No. 10 Van Diemen, matching his qualifying effort and driving a smart race in tricky conditions.
“It was an interesting and fun, great race,” said Ferrucci. “It was a good first experience in the F2000 car. It has been all about getting used to the track.”
David Grant was third for the Polestar Racing Group, in yet another strong performance for the 2012 Atlantic Champion in the No. 29 Van Diemen.
Roberto Lorena completed the top five in the second HP-Tech car, battling back from a sizeable qualifying crash that left the team quite busy between the sessions.
Tim Paul followed in sixth position, ahead of Russell Lindeman and Steve Bamford, fresh off his June Sprints Formula F win. Sergio Pasian completed the top ten.
One of the weekend’s big storylines, Fabio Orsolon, failed to capitalize, ending his race by going off the track with a mechanical issue in the No. 77 Radon entry for GTP Motorsports. Orsolon was fastest in Thursday practice and could factor in for Saturday’s race providing he finds his way to the front. The final race of the weekend’s grid will be set on the fastest race laps from today’s event.
Kevin Kopp pushed to third early in the race only to fall back a bit before going off the track and coming back to finish 21st.
Zach Craigo was also looking strong, charging from 33rd on the starting grid to almost the top ten, before an issue sent him back through the field to finish 22nd.
Retirements during the race also included Dean Baker, Federico Mosconi, Chuck Moran and Craig Clawson – all claimed during the opening lap.
Saturday’s race No. 100 in Series history will see the same front row, with Connery and Minor heading to the green flag while Grant will start third, followed by Lorena and Craigo.
Among the big movers was Jim Hanrahan in the No. 86 Radon chassis, advancing some 12 spots in the race to note the CellMark Paper Hard Charger award.
Saturday continues with race No. 100 in the history of the Championship at 11:55 local time from Watkins Glen International. Results, timing, audio and more are available on www.f2000series.com.
PosNo.NameLapsBest TmMake/ModelDiff 1 88 Tim Minor/M 14 1:54.104 Citation Zetec - 2 91 Kyle Connery 14 1:53.998 Van Diemen Zetec +1.250 3 10 Santino Ferrucci 14 1:55.053 Van Diemen Zetec +11.916 4 29 David Grant 14 1:54.931 Van Diemen Zetec +23.214 5 9 Roberto Lorena 14 1:55.732 Van Diemen Zetec +27.456 6 06 Tim Paul 14 1:56.524 Van Diemen Zetec +39.199 7 35 Eric Presbrey/M 14 1:56.689 Van Diemen Zetec +48.847 8 19 Russell Lindeman/M 14 1:56.155 Van Diemen Zetec +49.513 9 71 Steve Bamford/M 14 1:56.283 Van Diemen Zetec +50.823 10 23 Sergio Pasian 14 1:56.233 Van Diemen Zetec +52.603 11 70 Tom Fatur/M 14 1:56.939 Van Diemen Zetec +1:01.754 12 68 Steve Jenks/M 14 1:57.189 VDRF02 Zetec +1:08.404 13 86 Jim Hanrahan/M 14 1:58.408 Radon Zetec +1:17.124 14 00 Tim Dunn/M 14 1:59.035 Metrik Zetec +1:18.785 15 0 Keith McCrone/M 14 2:00.343 Metrik Zetec +1:20.780 16 7 Brent Gilkes/M 14 1:58.301 Van Diemen Zetec +1:24.014 17 01 John McCusker 14 1:59.762 RFR Zetec +1:28.416 18 83 Charles Finelli/M 14 1:58.282 Van Diemen Zetec +1:35.903 19 69 Paul Farmer/M 14 1:59.767 Radon Zetec +1:36.216 20 61 Tom Drake/M 14 1:59.285 Van Diemen Pinto +1:36.916 21 22 Kevin Kopp 14 1:58.638 Van Diemen Zetec +1:38.230 22 18 Zach Craigo 14 1:55.539 Van Diemen Zetec +1:55.546 23 90 Robert Wright/M 14 2:00.591 Radon Zetec +2:11.167 24 47 Chris Monteleone 13 2:01.324 Van Diemen Pinto 1 Lap 25 17 Kem Lall/M 13 2:03.207 Van Diemen Zetec +21.643 26 57 Scott Baroody 13 2:01.254 Van Diemen Zetec +34.710 27 97 Chris Gumprecht 13 2:04.179 RFR Zetec +55.579 28 26 Alain Matra/M 13 2:07.439 Van Diemen Zetec +1:03.357 29 39 Shane Morris 10 2:05.253 Van Diemen Zetec 4 Laps 30 31 Brendan Puderbach 9 2:10.710 RFR Zetec 5 Laps DNF 16 Chris Camadella/M 5 2:01.927 Radon Zetec 9 Laps DNF 98 Jim Libecco 5 2:02.945 Van Diemen Zetec +1.765 DNF 15 Aaron Pettipas 5 2:13.204 Van Diemen Zetec +7:08.756 DNF 77 Fabio Orsolon 3 2:17.109 Radon Zetec 11 Laps DNF 52 Dean Baker/M 0 -.--- Van Diemen Zetec 14 Laps DNF 99 Federico Mosconi 0 -.--- Van Diemen Zetec +0.190 DNF 45 Chuck Moran/M 0 -.--- Van Diemen Pinto +0.303 DNF 27 Craig Clawson/M 0 -.--- Van Diemen Zetec +0.918