Braselton, GA – A late restart saw 18-year-old Skylar Robinson charge from third to first to take the win with a last-lap pass in his debut F2000 Championship Series race to open the 2014 season at Road Atlanta. Robinson, driving the No. 6 Citation for Eric Langbein Racing, got past Kevin Kopp and then drafted his way by Series Champion Tim Minor en route to victory. Kopp found his way to second as he muscled his way by Minor in the last turn heading to the checkered flag. Minor was third.
“I messed up a bit in turn seven, locked up the brakes and Minor was able to get by on the last lap, and then I was able to draft past him for the lead and win,” said Robinson, a Georgia native with a large group of supporters at the track this weekend.
Kopp marked his best ever F2000 finish after two third places in 2012, and led a number of laps before falling to third and getting past Minor at the last second in his No. 66 Van Diemen for Kopp Motorsports.
“Had a great start, following Sergio Pasian, and after that I watched the Citations battle it out and that was what I needed to keep up,” said the 25-year-old.
Minor meanwhile, who swept both races at Road Atlanta in 2013, will not be able to do the same in 2014 despite setting the pace all weekend and starting from pole.
“That was a competitive race,” said the F2000 veteran. “After the long caution there was pickup on the tires and the car was a handful at the end under green, but it looked like everyone was dealing with that. There’s always tomorrow.”
Following the two Citations and Kopp’s 1998-built Van Diemen was David Grant, in the first of two brand new Spectrum F2000 cars, maintaining form from his fourth-place grid position.
Canadian Sergio Pasian started third and found his way into the lead as the green flag dropped on a chaotic start, but failed to maintain the point for long under the Britain West team flag.
The second of the new Spectrums followed with Thomas McGregor in sixth position in his F2000 Series debut for Exclusive Autosport. Jim Libecco improved a handful of positions to finish in seventh ahead of Sam Beasley, Tim Paul and John McCusker
Following Minor, who finished third overall, were Steve Bamford and Eric Presbrey, 11th and 12th, and second and third in the Masters Class for drivers over 40.
The race ran 15 of 18 scheduled laps, ending short due on its 30-minute time window to a long caution for contact between Momentum Motorsports driver Quinlan Lall and the No. 83 of Charles Finelli.
Other drivers failing to finish included Robert Wright, who retired with suspected mechanical problems, Connery Kearby and Brent Gilkes.
Robinson earned bonus points with the fastest lap of the race.
Sunday continues the weekend at Road Atlanta with a F2000 qualifying session at 8:20am followed by race two of the 2014 F2000 season at 5:20pm.