Mahopac, NY – F2000 driver Tim Paul, from Mahopac, NY, kept his top-eight finishing streak alive with two straight sixth place finishes at New Jersey Motorsport Park’s Thunderbolt circuit, June 29 – July 1. The trouble free weekend for the CellMark Paper No. 06 Van Diemen of the SMR/GTP Motorsports team keeps Paul sixth in the points chase, just nine points out of third and 24 out of second, with all top eight finishes this year.
“The New Jersey weekend was mediocre. We came away with two sixth place finishes,” said Paul. “The points are incredibly close and that's good, a second place points finish is in reach. However, I need to step my game up and find that last second or so in lap time that will actually put us there naturally, and not have to rely on other competitors having trouble.”
The Franklin Pierce University student battled through excessive heat during the weekend, including a storm that ripped apart the F2000 Championship Series paddock in the middle of the night, with the No. 06 under an awning that collapsed, but luckily, with no damage to the race car.
“The weekend began with an incredible storm in the wee hours of Saturday morning,” Paul explained, “removing our canopy from the series trailer and the power from the hotel for the rest of our stay. With 100+ degree temperatures all weekend, the racing was brutal, but trying to sleep in a 90+ degree hotel room was even worse. In race one Collin Dailey ran into me going into turn three with what I can only imagine was some kind of baffling brain fade, and set us back. I was able to run him down and we finished sixth.”
The final day of the weekend on Sunday saw some schedule changes, with Series officials moving the race up to a morning slot as excessive heat and little shade in the paddock was deemed a danger to competitors.
“The second race was basically a parade in which a race broke out at the end, with the caution from a couple of first lap crashes comprising the opening lap,” Paul added. “I was able to gap the pack behind me and cruise home to a pretty easy sixth, again.”
Paul said the car was great all weekend, with engineer Glenn Phillips not at the track and advising crew chief Michael Witson by phone.
“In conclusion, the car and the team are great, I just need to find that little bit extra to pull together a podium or two this season and make a great points run,” noted Paul.
SMR/CellMark will be an associate sponsor on the #14 Mike Conway AJ Foyt Enterprises Indy Car at Mid-Ohio on August 5 and on the Streets of Baltimore on September 2. The entire SMR team and sponsors will spend the race weekends with the team and be pitside during the races. Hoping to get some pointers on how big time open wheel teams are run there are ongoing conversations for the team, with driver Tim Paul, to move up to the next level with the potential for support from Foyt Enterprises if a funding deal can be put in place. Sponsorship inquiries can be directed to Rick Paul.
Next: The F2000 Championship Series heads for rounds nine and ten of the 14-race 2012 season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, July 26-30.
About SMR: Stupid Monkey Racing (SMR) was initially formed back in 1994 to run karting events in the northeast by Rick Paul for his son Tim. After incorporating in 2003 the team initially ran sprint cars and midgets in conjunction with the Race House team. In 2010 the focus became road racing in the F2000 Series. With ongoing sponsorship from CellMark Paper USA the team continues to support driver Tim Paul and also provide series sponsorship through Hard Charger and Championship awards each year. In 2011 SMR partnered with Glenn Phillips and GTP Motorsports for engineering and logistics support resulting in a sixth place finish in the championship standings. Scotsman Stevan MacAleer continues to provide coaching services and run selected races for SMR when not racing in the Mazda Playboy Cup series. Look for the bright green and orange cars at a track near you.