Slow Start at Watkins Glen in the Rain

July 2, 2009
Orsolon was able to get track time on both dry and wet Hoosier tires.

Watkins Glen , NY – After a very damp morning, the dark clouds moved away to give the huge F2000 field a few minutes of dry running before the skies opened again, making it a very short opening practice session for rounds seven and eight of the season.


The very short session saw championship points leader Matthew Inge top the charts with a lap of 1:58.461, which is quite a few seconds behind last year’s track record of 1:53.874.

“The car felt good but we’re going to make some changes,” said Inge, who is coming off his first career win at Mosport. “I hate the rain and when it started raining there were people passing me left and right acting like they had rain tires on, it was very entertaining watching them all slide off the track.”

Fatur was caught out by the rain and ripped the front wing assembly off his Van Diemen.

Unfortunately, the damp track caught out the Masters Class points leader, Tom Fatur, as he slid his #70 into the tire wall, destroying his front wing and the left front corner. Lime Rock Masters Class victor John Dole was involved and returned to the paddock with a broken front wing. Tyler Hunter took the worst of it all in his first F2000 session of the year, ripping off his rear wing and right rear corner as he slid backwards into the turn eight tirewall. Teammate Mark Felsen lost a front wing in turn eight moments later.

“It was raining so hard all of a sudden you just couldn’t see anything,” said Felsen, who also makes his first appearance of the 2009 season. “I stuffed it in the tire wall in turn eight and my teammate (Hunter) backed it in.”

The extensive session stoppage along with the rain sent many teams back to the paddock, calling it a day. But a handful of teams changed to wet-weather Hoosier tires to allow their drivers those precious extra minutes to learn the track. Alegra Motorsports went to the Hoosier wets for Fabio Orsolon while JDC wasn’t far behind, changing tires for Chris Miller while Z-Sports did the same for Caitlin Johnston.

“I was trying to learn the track and then it just started pouring,” Orsolon commented. “We put the rain tires on during the black flag and the car felt good in the wet, but we’re going to need to make some changes to the dry setup.”

Jonathan Scarallo added: “I was just about to start getting going and then the rain came out. We went out again on slicks but the track was wet so it was a waste. Colin (Alexander) and I are going to have to learn the track in a hurry tomorrow morning.”

 

The teams take to the track tomorrow, Friday July 3rd, for an 8:30am practice session followed by a midday qualifying session and an afternoon race.

Full Session Results

Pos No. Name Best Tm Best Spd In Lap Diff Gap 1 02 Matthew Inge 1:58.461 102.413 3 - - 2 70 Tom Fatur/M 1:59.207 101.773 3 +0.746 +0.746 3 8 Mark Defer/M 1:59.472 101.547 3 +1.011 +0.265 4 5 Keith McCrone/M 1:59.854 101.223 3 +1.393 +0.382 5 10 Benjamin Searcy 2:00.286 100.860 3 +1.825 +0.432 6 3 Phil Lombardi 2:00.778 100.449 1 +2.317 +0.492 7 85 Chris Miller 2:00.954 100.303 2 +2.493 +0.176 8 4 Chris Camadella/M 2:01.021 100.247 2 +2.560 +0.067 9 27 Craig Clawson/M 2:01.416 99.921 2 +2.955 +0.395 10 26 Fabio Orsolon 2:02.232 99.254 3 +3.771 +0.816 11 11 Matt McDonough 2:03.242 98.440 1 +4.781 +1.010 12 21 Remy Audette 2:03.519 98.220 2 +5.058 +0.277 13 56 Mike Mazziotti/M 2:03.693 98.082 2 +5.232 +0.174 14 90 Robert Wright/M 2:03.805 97.993 2 +5.344 +0.112 15 22 Jonathan Scarallo 2:03.822 97.979 2 +5.361 +0.017 16 95 Al Guibord, Jr. 2:03.881 97.933 2 +5.420 +0.059 17 97 Chris Gumprecht 2:04.446 97.488 2 +5.985 +0.565 18 28 Ardie Greenameyer 2:04.964 97.084 2 +6.503 +0.518 19 60 Dwight Rider/M 2:05.054 97.014 2 +6.593 +0.090 20 7 Brent Gilkes/M 2:05.282 96.838 3 +6.821 +0.228 21 25 Jeff McCusker/M 2:05.557 96.625 1 +7.096 +0.275 22 08 John Dole/M 2:05.560 96.623 2 +7.099 +0.003 23 96 Alejandro Munoz 2:05.631 96.569 1 +7.170 +0.071 24 12 Colin Alexander 2:06.462 95.934 1 +8.001 +0.831 25 17 Ty Hunter 2:07.403 95.225 2 +8.942 +0.941 26 20 Caitlin Johnston 2:07.846 94.895 2 +9.385 +0.443 27 15 Mark Felson 2:08.151 94.670 2 +9.690 +0.305 28 89 Rob Nicholas 2:08.947 94.085 1 +10.486 +0.796 29 80 Bobby Caldwell 2:10.662 92.850 2 +12.201 +1.715 30 94 Blake Teeter 2:12.031 91.888 2 +13.570 +1.369 31 51 Dan Denison/M 2:13.504 90.874 2 +15.043 +1.473 32 00 Chris Burke -.--- - 0 - - 33 33 Len Amato -.--- - 0 - - 34 41 Brian Belardi -.--- - 0 - - 35 47 Scott Gesford -.--- - 0 - -