Nathan Morcom is the leading rookie and second outright in the American F2000 Series after today’s second round at Virginia International Raceway.
The Australian teenager followed up his sensational debut victory in Round 1 with an eighth placing in Round 2 that was almost as remarkable, if not as successful, as his previous day’s performance.
An incident just seconds after the start left Morcom, who had qualified sixth after being baulked badly during his quickest lap, languishing among the tail-enders of the 28-car field.
But a great recovery drive had him back into the top 10 by the halfway mark of the 14-lap, 74km race.
A podium result looked possible until his Rondo Van Diemen’s engine began to overheat, forcing him to back off to ensure he made it to the finish.
Despite the mechanical handicap, Morcom held station and took the chequered flag, which had greeted race winner and new F2000 Series points leader Remy Audette 37 seconds earlier.
“Someone pushed me off at the first corner, and with all the rain yesterday the grass was really slippery, so it took me forever to get back onto the track,” Morcom said.
“That put me about 20th after the first lap – from then on I concentrated on finishing the race and scoring as many points as I could.
“I made up a dozen places by half distance, but then the engine temperature started to rise and I had to short-shift to keep the revs down.
“It was disappointing not to have a chance of going for a second win today, but I’ve come away from the weekend with a win in my first F2000 race, and top rookie and second overall in the points, which isn’t too bad,” he said.
The next two rounds of the F2000 Series will be on May 6-7 at Road Atlanta.