Rabe Bounces Back to CellMark Paper Hard Charger Run
Monticello, NY – Jason Rabe endured a weekend full of bad luck, but recovered for a 23rd to seventh run in Sunday’s F2000 Championship Series race at VIRginia International Raceway. In fact, Rabe picked up 15 of those spots in the first three laps before running down a number of cars in the front of the field and working his way into seventh to score the Hard Charger award for the 14-lap event.
A full test day on Thursday was supposed to afford the K-Hill Motorsports driver some two hours of practice in his No. 14 Van Diemen, however, an engine misfire sidelined the car for the day.
“It was a rough start for myself and the K-Hill guys,” said Rabe. “We lost all of the test day with that issue, and I was making up seat time during qualifying sessions.”
Luck would surface, however, as Rabe managed to qualify his season best, sixth place for Saturday’s race.
“We were late to the grid with a fuel pump issue, however, which forced us to start last, and the race ended in turn one when the car shut off,” he explained.
The crew traced the issue to a wiring issue – a plastic connector worth a few cents that controlled the fuel pump – and Sunday was supposed to start well with an early-morning qualifying.
“We thought the wiring issue was fixed, but qualifying proved otherwise, as the car shut off on the out lap, forcing us to start dead last for Sunday’s race,” Rabe continued.
More determined than ever, the problem was fixed for real this time.
“I needed to prove that I’m competitive in pro racing. Especially with the uncertainty of sponsorship for the remaining season,” Rabe said. “I guess I went from 24th to eighth in the opening three laps, and by then the field was spread out, but I could see I was reeling in the fourth through sixth cars but by then the race was over.”
Calling it one of his best drives ever, Rabe thanked Delaware Investments and Monticello Motor Club for the opportunity, and further impresses the paddock with his pace despite lack of any realistic seat time his competitors had throughout the weekend.
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