Sharon, CT – Following a dramatic weekend in New Jersey, the F1600 Formula F Championship Series points battle has tightened, with Brandon Newey enjoying a slim lead over Matias Koykka and Jeremy Grenier.
Coming off wins at VIR and Lime Rock, Newey struggled in New Jersey, but salvaged a podium in the final race of the weekend in his Mygale/Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/ Agajanian.
“Mid-Ohio is one of my favorite tracks,” said Newey. “I raced there two years ago in Skip Barber and am very anxious to go back. We have made a lot of improvements since New Jersey and I think we will roll off the trailer stronger than before.”
Meanwhile, Finland’s Koykka took home two strong finishes in New Jersey, including a second place, and led most of the first race before accidentally shutting off his Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing Spectrum/Honda going through a corner.
“Never having been to Mid-Ohio, my vision is that it is a tricky circuit,” added Koykka, who has so far won two races this season. “We'll take the No. 10 car to its limit like we have done for the first half of the season and see where we end up. I am feeling pretty confident for the remainder of the year; we caught up a lot in the last round and keep going at it one race at a time.”
Koykka, despite being from Finland, went to high school in Ohio and considers it his home race, with friends expected at the track. Between New Jersey and Mid-Ohio, he spent some time being a mechanic at a national kart race in Indiana.
Jeremy Grenier is just three points behind Koykka and 27 out of the points lead in his Citation/Honda. Grenier has so far put together the most consistent year of any driver, having stayed out of trouble.
Steve Oseth has kept a low profile in the No. 72 Citation/Honda, finding himself fourth in the points, but a bit back from the lead struggle.
Throwing a wrench into the mix at Mid-Ohio, in addition to a large grid, will be the second weekend for Koykka’s Australian teammate Shae Davies, who swept both races in New Jersey.
Davies, a factory-backed driver for the Australian-built Spectrum chassis, was the class of the field at Thunderbolt, and flew back to the street circuit in Townsville, Australia, for another Formula F race during the break.
“My preparation is similar to any other race meeting, always including fitness work, mental prep and simulator time,” explained Davies. “The simulator fills a special role for this round as I have not been to the track so it is a huge benefit to be able to be familiar.
“The biggest challenge for me will be learning the track and maximizing the set up time on the car. Also my teammate Matias will be on his game that weekend as it is technically a ‘home’ round for him and he will be keen to do well after last race.”
The weekend will also mark the return of 2011’s VIR winner Jim Goughary, who will run the rest of the season in a Van Diemen/Honda with support from Raceworks.
Mid-Ohio gets underway with twilight testing on Thursday night, July 26. The shared weekend with the F2000 Championship Series officially begins with timed practice on Friday at 8:00 and 11:35 eastern time. Saturday follows with qualifying at 8:00 and race one of the weekend at 11:45. Sunday concludes the event with 8:00 qualifying and a 11:20 18-lap or 30-minute race. Updates and live audio for qualifying and races will be available on www.F1600Series.com