Telitz Recovers for Road Atlanta Win in Dramatic Race
Braselton, GA – In a race that featured three-wide battles, leaders starting from the back, cars cycling through the field and a yellow flag period after the leaders made contact, it was Aaron Telitz coming out on top in a F1600 Series contest that ended up being a mix of survival, speed and race craft. The WISKO Racing Mygale/Honda driver started on pole, went off while leading, and recovered from 12th to take the lead with two corners to go on the last lap ahead of Adrian Starrantino, Ayla Agren and Steve Bamford.
The field was mixed taking the green flag, as Starrantino and Bryan Herta Autosport teammate Sam Chastain were sent to the back of the line after arriving at the false grid late. Starrantino would carve his way through the field in a mere two laps and settled for second after 16 laps.
But it was all about WISKO’s Telitz, delivering the first win and pole for the team on its second F1600 Series weekend. Telitz essentially “spun and won,” after going off in the opening stages of the race and battling back from 12th, helped by a full course caution brought out when Starrantino and Jake Eidson made contact while going for the lead in turn three.
“That was an absolutely crazy race,” said Telitz, who won the third round in the 12-race 2013 F1600 Series season. “I messed up on my own in turn five but the caution helped. The last six laps were a shootout between four cars. Going down the back stretch I wanted to be third on the last lap because the draft was much better, and it worked out that way. That was the most intense race ever.”
Starrantino would survive the race to finish second, starting from the back and making contact with Eidson’s Spectrum/Honda. The Mygale driver also faced adversity on Thursday with a big practice crash, and a car with mismatching body panels re-assembled by his Herta crew.
Agren, meanwhile, would make it her second third place finish in a row in her No. 96 Mygale/Honda – staying out of trouble and running at the front the entire event.
Fourth place went to surging Bamford, who looked like he could win the race as he battled for the lead in the closing stages, leading multiple laps. The Masters Class driver led into the last lap and lost the lead in turn 10.
“I know what to do tomorrow now,” said Bamford. “Teltiz went in deep in turn 10 and I had to give it up, and then the other two cars got through, it was let them through or crash. Teltiz really drove it in there.”
Joe Colasacco rounded out the top five with Paul Alspach in sixth and Scott Rubenzer in seventh.
Lew Cooper followed in eighth in the Van Diemen/Ford from Polestar – reassembled in just two hours after the veteran had a relatively large incident in early morning warm-up.
Art Foster and Mike Scanlan completed the top ten.
Retirements included Slade Miller, who pulled in with two laps to go, along with Jim Goughary, who went off, and the already-mentioned Eidson with suspension damage on the Spectrum.
Eidson will have to carve valuable points lost to the leaders back on Saturday. Coming into the event, he sat second in points off two second place finishes. Before contact at Road Atlanta he had briefly led, also falling back through the pack with an early off, but passing cars left and right in no time, working his way back to the front.
The F1600 Series continues on Saturday from Road Atlanta with 8:30 qualifying for an 11:10 race start (local time). Follow live on www.F1600Series.com.
PosNo.NameClassLapsTotal TmDiffGapAvg. SpeedBest Tm 1 13 Aaron Telitz F16. 16 28:55.971 - - 84.278 1:30.663 2 98 Adrian Starrantino F16. 16 28:56.263 +0.292 +0.292 84.264 1:30.785 3 96 Ayla Agren F16. 16 28:57.176 +1.205 +0.913 84.219 1:30.618 4 07 Steve Bamford/M F16. 16 28:57.306 +1.335 +0.130 84.213 1:30.906 5 3 Joe Colasacco/M F16. 16 29:01.381 +5.410 +4.075 84.016 1:31.130 6 66 Paul Alspach F16. 16 29:01.575 +5.604 +0.194 84.007 1:31.637 7 31 Scott Rubenzer/M F16. 16 29:01.869 +5.898 +0.294 83.993 1:31.270 8 0 Lewis Cooper III/M F16 16 29:09.429 +13.458 +7.560 83.630 1:31.487 9 21 Art Foster/M F16. 16 29:12.840 +16.869 +3.411 83.467 1:31.882 10 2 Mike Scanlan/M F16. 16 29:25.591 +29.620 +12.751 82.864 1:33.002 11 06 Austin McCusker F16. 16 29:25.702 +29.731 +0.111 82.859 1:33.541 12 97 Sam Chastain F16. 16 29:42.975 +47.004 +17.273 82.056 1:31.292 13 26 Wes Allen F16. 16 29:45.800 +49.829 +2.825 81.926 1:35.242 14 75 Don Baggett F16 15 27:39.679 1 Lap 1 Lap 82.642 1:31.793 15 5 Dan Oseth F16. 15 27:40.538 +0.859 +0.859 82.600 1:32.383 16 16 Slade Miller F16. 15 28:30.076 +50.397 +49.538 80.207 1:31.649 DNF 10 Jake Eidson F16. 5 8:38.247 11 Laps 10 Laps 88.220 1:29.884 DNF 7 Jim Goughary F16. 2 17:10.026 14 Laps 3 Laps 17.755 2:23.845