Season Finale for F2000
Watkins Glen, NY – The F2000 Championship Series finale happens this weekend, with the Series’ second visit of 2011 to Watkins Glen International for rounds 13 and 14 of the year’s campaign. Remy Audette will clinch the Championship when the green flag flies for race one on Saturday, but the race for wins, rookie of the year, and second in points will rage on among a 35-plus car grid as the leaves start to change in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
Audette swept Watkins Glen in June, winning both races before literally running away with the 2011 Championship. Audette hopes a repeat performance is in order.
“The pressure is basically off,” said Audette, who will have a huge group with the No 21 Audette Racing team supporting him. “I can do the sweep again. We still want to do our best, however, and finish the year on a high note.”
Chris Livengood sits second in points, just 28 ahead of a hard-charging Tim Minor. Both drivers ran well at Watkins Glen in June.
Minor has already clinched the 2011 Masters Class Championship and Livengood is coming off his second win of the year at Lime Rock Park, driving for John Walko Racing/Work Racing.
“I just want to go to Watkins Glen and get the win that has eluded us there,” Livengood commented. “We have led races there several times and come up short. This time around I think the team is determined to end the season with a win at the Glen.”
Minor, while happy to clinch the Masters Championship, said his goal was the overall Championship.
“I just was in the wrong place at the wrong time in some of the races this season,” explained Minor, an unfortunate victim of a few first turn crashes in 2011.
“I have been at the top of the time sheets this year, and we have done a good job of being in a position to win, but I have been involved in too many circumstances that were out of my control. I will have as good a shot at the top of the podium as anyone at the Glen.”
Minor is coming off an impressive last-to-second drive in race one at Lime Rock.
Kyle Connery, who did not race at Lime Rock following a qualifying crash and a penalty from July’s Mosport first-turn incident, sits fourth in points and will race at Watkins Glen. Connery is 59 points off Livengood and the first rookie in the standings.
“It was a late decision made by the team to come to Watkins Glen. We are using the weekend as a test for next season. For the team and myself it will be a great way to shake off the past few races,” said Connery, who has won four races this year.
Rounding out the top five in points, also missing a race at Lime Rock after a penalty is HP-Tech’s Robert La Rocca, in the RFR chassis. La Rocca is still looking for his first win of the year, HP-Tech’s first F2000 win, and led at Watkins Glen in June.
La Rocca added: “Lime Rock was a very tough weekend. We showed our speed, but we made mistakes. In a way, it was a good weekend, because a lot was learned from that. The only way to bounce back is to go out and drive and apply the lessons we learned.”
La Rocca trails Connery by 36 points in the Rookie of the Year standings.
There are more storylines from the biggest entry list of the season.
Brian Tomasi returns for the first time since standing on the podium at Mid-Ohio, in his No. 96 Van Diemen Chassis.
Eric Langbein has entered his Citation chassis, after standing on the podium on the streets of Baltimore.
Angel Benitez, for Alegra Motorsports, and Tim Paul, for SMR/GTP Motorsports, are coming off their first-ever podiums at Lime Rock and were fast at Watkins Glen in June.
Somewhere between one and three Radon chassis are expected, with Peter Gonzalez joining Blake Teeter at GTP Motorsports, and Rob Nicholas returns in the No. 89 Van Diemen after running strong in the early part of the year for K-Fast Autosport.
The action gets started on Friday, October 14, with two practice sessions at 11:25 and 3:55 local time, followed by Saturday morning qualifying for race one at 11:25. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 3:55 on Saturday, and Sunday again features a 11:25 morning qualifying and 3:55 race start prior to the Series awards ceremony. Stay tuned to F2000Series.com for updates.