Verhagen Caps Mid-Ohio Weekend with Win
Lexington, OH - Neil Verhagen went from fourth to first on the last lap to win round 12 of the 2016 F1600 Formula F Championship Series season at Mid-Ohio in the No. 3 for K-Hill Motorsports. Kaylen Frederick and Steve Bamford completed the podium.
After failing to finish in the morning race after a suspension failure, the win is a key points haul for Verhagen, who started sixth.
"It wasn't an easy race," said Verhagen. "We were sitting in fourth most of the race and found our way around all the other guys. It was a great race in the end."
Verhagen spent most of the race in the lead pack, which traded the lead by the lap and was eventually slimmed down to five cars on the final lap at Mid-Ohio.
Frederick scored his best F1600 finish to date in his sixth start of 2016, leading the first seven laps from pole. The Team Pelfrey driver saw his car's battery fail on the false grid of the morning race. By the time the problem was solved, he was laps down, but pulled out a flying lap to put himself on pole for the afternoon race.
"We were struggling with some battery issues," said Frederick. "I decided to come out and do a quick lap to try to get pole. I tried pulling away at the start of this race since I got a great start. But, Neil is a fast driver and he caught right back up to me. It was a great battle for the podium at the end."
Bamford completed the podium with the Masters Class win.
"The last lap we were catching some traffic and it screwed some guys up in the Key Hole (turn)," Bamford said. "I'm not sure what happened with the two Pelfrey cars but one really slowed up and we just had to run down the back straight and right to the finish."
Morning race-winner Calvin Ming finished 13th after leading coming to the white flag, and was towed in after the checkered flag behind a Mid-Ohio safety team truck.
Saturday winner Peter Portante finished fourth, while Phillippe Denes ran in the lead group early but fell back, finishing fifth ahead of Andy Melvin, Max Mallinen and Jeffrey Bartz.
Of note, Melvin and Bartz had strong debut weekends in pro F1600 competition.
Scott Rubenzer and Cliff Johnson took second and third in the Masters Class, ninth and tenth overall.
The F1600 Formula F Championship Series gathers next at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, August 5-7, for rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2016 season.