Two Podium Finishes for Liberty Motorsports in Canada
Liberty Motorsports further established its credentials as one of the premier teams in the pro Formula Ford 2000 ranks this weekend (June 12-13), earning two podium finishes in Rounds Five and Six of the F2000 Championship Series at Mosport International Raceway. Cole Morgan finished on the podium in both races of the Canadian doubleheader, while Bobby Caldwell added a top-10 finish and Zach Craigo showed good in his 2010 racing debut.
The Liberty Motorsports trio of drivers were all looking forward to racing on the high-speed Mosport road course outside of Toronto, Ont., when the on-track action got underway on Friday via a pair practice runs. The opening day however proved to be one’s of ups and downs. On the plus side, Morgan – who was driving with the Illinois team after a scheduling conflict with his regular team – was quickest in the morning session, with Caldwell joining the former series champion among the top-10. Unfortunately the afternoon outing featured a mechanical failure for Caldwell’s No. 80 Liberty Motorsports entry and a heavy turn nine impact by Craigo in the No. 85 Rocky Mountain Medical Lasers Inc./Strahan Colorado Whiskey/Liberty Motorsports car.
Thankfully the Liberty Motorsports crew are a highly skilled group, allowing all three drivers to be back behind the wheel and challenging for top honors on day two. After a final morning practice outing and trying qualifying session – which featured Morgan spinning and damaging his No. 1 Silicon Salvage/Triad Magnetics Liberty Motorsports entry, Craigo retiring early, and Caldwell struggling to find speed – it was time for race one of the doubleheader.
With rain greeting the drivers on the grid, forcing everyone to make a quick switch to rain tires and a modified wet setup, it came as no surprise that Round Five proved to be a chaotic affair. For Morgan the action started almost immediately, as he spun exiting turn two on the opening lap, losing several positions. Fortunate to continue without any apparent damage, the championship contender rapidly charged his way back towards the front, passing car after car. Caldwell likewise enjoyed a strong run early on in the tricky conditions, battling for position just outside of the top-five. Morgan, despite battling a loss of camber shims which adversely affect the car’s handling, eventually crossed the stripe an impressive third, while Craigo, recovering from a mid-race spin, finished 13th in his 2010 debut. Caldwell unfortunately ended the race a disappointing 17th, having made contact with a spinning car a few laps before the checkered flag while comfortably inside the top-10.
Returning to the 2.459-mile track one final time on Sunday, the Liberty Motorsports racers displayed their intentions early on in morning qualifying, with Morgan earning a front-row starting position in morning qualifying, Caldwell rebounding from his late race one incident to post the ninth best time, and Craigo turning his quickest time to date.
That trend continued come race time a very short time later, as Morgan challenged for the lead early on, before eventually securing a second podium finish for Liberty Motorsports on the weekend via a runner-up result. Caldwell added a top-10 finish, taking the checkered flag a season’s best eighth, while Craigo continued his return to form with a strong 12th place run.
“The on track incidents combined with the weather changes made Mosport a very fast paced weekend for the team,” explained Liberty Motorsports’ Team Manager Chuck Lessick. “The track conditions were changing so quickly that it required many setup changes between sessions. When Morgan damaged his car during the qualifying session, the team really stepped up to the plate and rebuilt the rear wing assembly on the pit lane allowing him to go out and qualify in the top-five for the race.”