Mosport Post Weekend Notebook

July 26, 2011
Racing action

The F2000 Championship Series releases a statement following Mosport regarding aggressive driving, the drivers involved in turn one at Mosport chime in, updates on Zach Craigo and Gustavo Rizzo, and more from an eventful weekend north of the border.

F2000 Series Statement

While we have had great racing amongst talented drivers this season we have also seen an alarming amount of overly aggressive driving.

Driver awareness and discipline must improve immediately as there are people growing disgusted with the repair bills and that obviously impacts entry levels.

In the past we have used probation as the initial step in order to get a drivers attention with the next step be being points and money penalties, with the ultimate consequence of disqualification and/or removal for some period of time. For those in points battles that is significant, however for a driver not concerned with points, exclusion is the only recourse.

Blocking and chopping will not be tolerated and in the instance where there is incontrovertible proof of such behavior [Onboard video, knowledgeable off track observers, multiple drivers reports] extreme measures will be implemented, beginning at Lime Rock on September 16-17 for the second to last round of both F2000 and F1600 series.

This stops now. We demand safe clean racing of our competitors and fully intend to guarantee that to the entrants. 

Zach Craigo

Colorado’s Zach Craigo was having a banner weekend for Front Range Motorsports with his best qualifying (seventh) and F2000 finish (sixth) to date.

The driver of the #9 was unfortunately a bystander of the first turn mess on lap one of Saturday’s race, with a wing striking his helmet, and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

X-Rays were negative, although Craigo did sustain a concussion.

“We were quick out of the box this weekend and Front Range and Wendell Miller were great to work with,” Craigo noted. “Going into turn one, I was right behind the leaders and there was a white car turning in. I was pretty much the pinball at that point. I remember getting out of the car and collapsing, and waking up at the hospital later.”

Craigo did, however, walk to the ambulance at the track.

“I’m disappointed; we didn’t represent what the F2000 Series is on Saturday. I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, I feel like we could have been on the podium with our tire management.”

With one sticker Hoosier on for the race (out of six allotted for both qualifying sessions and races) and very few laps during qualifying, Craigo had the tire saving strategy nailed down going into the race.

The #9 was sporting a new sponsor in ConCorR, a service that can test for concussions at the track in about 10 minutes on the internet.

Gustavo Rizzo

Rizzo was another driver that had a hospital transport during the weekend following a high-speed crash in turn four during Friday’s race.

While the Alegra Motorsports #23 was left in bits, Rizzo walked away and is back at home in Brazil where he will have surgery this week on a broken finger.

Quotes from the Front of the Field: Turn 1 - Saturday

Tim Minor: “All I saw was Robert (La Rocca) and Kyle (Connery) get together. Cars were spinning, and I went off drivers left to avoid it and got on the gravel nose first into the tire wall.”

Minor was quick to note: “You can’t win a race in the first corner, and certainly not in this group.”

Kyle Connery: “I got a great start on Chris (Livengood) , I went to the outside and then tucked back in. I think (Robert) La Rocca tried to squeeze the gap, which wasn’t there. Pretty sure this puts us out of contention for the title unless we win the last four races.”

Robert La Rocca: “I was right behind Chris, following his line into turn one. As we are all turning in, Chris and I are on the inside line and Kyle is on the outside. Kyle turned in on me, and we both got together. Going at that speed, it is fairly easy to go two wide, and also possible to go three wide. For race one, Kyle, Tim (Minor), and myself went three wide in turn one without a problem.” 

Tim Paul: “We got the green and Brent (Gilkes) and I got a good jump on the inside line and I was able to sneak through under Angel (Benitez) and get up almost even next to Dan (Denison),” explained Paul.

“Then I saw the puff of tire smoke and saw parts begin to fly as a white RFR jumped up on top of another white car.

“Brent darted toward the outside as they slid up and I just held my inside line as it looked pretty clear. I watched the mess slide up toward the outside of turn one and collect pretty much everyone I could see in front of me. I just stayed low and clear and drove around the flying debris,” Paul continued.

Dan Denison: I started the race on the outside of the fourth row and held my position on the outside into turn one. About halfway through the turn, I could see the mayhem in front of me on the inside and center of the track.  I couldn’t really see what was happening, just the dust and the cars sideways and everybody scrambling to get through.

Then I saw Kyle’s white wing and nose cone about 50 ft in the air, coming my way, end over end.  It looked like it had a lot of sharp edges, so I kept going left, since the inside looked pretty crowded.

I went off on the outside, onto the grass, then into the gravel. I thought that I was going to be able to make it through the gravel and back onto the track, but then, out of the dust, I saw Zach (Craigo) straight in front of me. Brakes and steering aren't much help in the gravel, so I plowed into him. Sorry Zach!

Bummer.  I was having a good weekend and was looking forward to a good scrap with Dwight (Rider) and Brent.