Portante Leads Practice at PittRace
Wampum, PA - The fastest lap of the day in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series came in the afternoon session as K-Hill Motorsports driver Peter Portante led the way with a time of 1:46.818, four tenths up on Team Pelfrey's Phillippe Denes, the Championship points leader.
Portante is coming off a strong weekend at Mid-Ohio that saw him return to victory lane, while Denes held onto his points lead and looks to do the same ahead of the triple-header weekend at Pittsburgh.
"We need to go and win races, some people will always think championship but you need to have the confidence to believe you can win consistently, and if we do that we don't need to worry about the championship points," said Portante.
Rounding out the top five at the conclusion of the afternoon session were Kaylen Frederick, Neil Verhagen and Calvin Ming. Steve Bamford was the first of the Masters Class runners with a sixth place effort, with Hans Ada and Thomas Schwietz following.
Earlier in the day the times were a bit slower as K-Hill driver Neil Verhagen led morning practice with a lap of 1:47.515, just .101 seconds ahead of teammate Portante, with Frederick in third.
"I drove the expanded Pittsburgh track in my Skip Barber school when the track first opened in July of 2015," said Frederick, who drives the No. 80 Mygale/Honda for Team Pelfrey. "I’m a huge fan of this course and find it among the best that I’ve driven in the series. The deep 80 feet dive in elevation at turns four and five is enormously fun, as well as the climb back out over the crest at turn six. Another highlight is that the track has a 2.8 mile combined length, and longer courses always add variety and challenge."
Following Frederick on the morning time sheets were Ming and Denes, while Bamford and Ada repeated their morning and afternoon performances, sixth and seventh quick, respectively, in both sessions.