O’Connor Closes VIR Weekend with Victory
Alton, VA – Tyler O’Connor took the checkered flag to win at VIR in round nine of the 2018 F1600 Championship Series by a slim margin of just .057 seconds after a race-long battle over 13 green flap laps. O’Connor beat teammate Yuven Sundaramoorthy to the line in a photo finish on a warm summer day in Virginia, with a third K-Hill car for Dario Cangialosi just another tenth of a second back in third.
“I am so happy for the team; this is what we work hard for. At one point we had all four cars in the top four and were working as a team to break away from the pack,” said O’Connor. “Man, what a fun race! Between me and my teammates, I love racing those guys. This track is amazing, and I wanted this one so bad, I wasn’t going to be denied.
“I was a little worried going into the last lap leading,” O’Connor continued. “Luckily I got a good run out of the Oak Tree corner. It was pretty tight into turn 14. I busted the floor off in the rain yesterday, the team did an amazing job getting it back together.”
After driving through the field in the rain on Saturday, Sundaramoorthy turned in a second place result in the No. 13, his best finish of the weekend which was limited on track time as he missed sessions with a SAT Chemistry exam.
“I was hoping to get Dario into turn 14 and get Tyler after that. Running that close, the engine was getting hot and we weren’t getting enough power,” said Sundaramoorthy.
Cangialosi finished third, after coming home first in mixed conditions in Saturday’s race two.
Ryan Bjerke finished fourth, matching his race one result at VIR for Raceworks, while Baylor Griffin completed the top five.
In the Masters Class, Joel Haas took the victory over Scott Rubenzer and Mike Scanlan.
Polestar’s Alex Barron dominated the race early, leading most of the laps before the halfway mark. Barron would fail to finish, retiring on lap eight after battling for the lead with four K-Hill teammates.
The F1600 Championship Series season continues with rounds 10, 11 and 12 from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, June 29 – July 1.