Verhagen Wins on Friday at VIR
Alton, VA - Neil Verhagen won an exciting Friday evening F1600 Formula F Championship Series race at VIRginia International Raceway. After taking the white-flag three wide, K-Hill's Verhagen emerged to win by a few car lengths after a race-long all-green-flag battle among four cars on the F1600 Championship finale weekend in Virginia. It is one step closer to the title for the F1600 points leader. Kaylen Frederick and Phillippe Denes followed for Team Pelfrey.
"I made a move on Phillippe on the last lap. I looked back on the straight and saw him and Kaylen battling, so I had the gap," said Verhagen, who drives the No. 3 K-Hill Mygale/Honda and is coming off a dominating victory at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. "It's been a great week."
Frederick led a handful of laps for Team Pelfrey in the No. 80 PilotONE Racing entry in round 19 of the season, and finished second by mere inches to teammate Denes.
"It's great to be back on the podium," said Frederick, who is also racing for Pelfrey in F2000 at VIR.
Denes also led early, but settled for the final podium spot at the 17-turn VIR for Team Pelfrey.
"The last lap was intense. It was good, hard and close racing," said Denes. "I was trying to get by Neil for the win but things just didn't work out. I had a close battle with Kaylen for second place."
After running in the lead pack early, Team Pelfrey's Calvin Ming fell back on lap five and charged back to the front, catching the lead group on the last lap. Ming kept his title hopes alive with his recovery drive to salvage a fourth place result. His frantic pace also rewarded him the fastest lap of the race, putting him on pole for the VIR weekend's second F1600 race on Saturday morning.
Pole-sitter Peter Portante, driving the No. 24 K-Hill Motorsports entry, finished fifth, while teammate Hans Ada followed in sixth.
Auriana Racing driver Joe Colassaco won the Masters Class in his first start of 2016 in the No. 4 Van Diemen/Honda.
"It's good to be back," said Colassaco. "These kids are quick. It was fun, these guys are really talented and they behaved themselves. I wish I was able to race all year with them, maybe I could make up that gap a bit."
Bob Perona and Mike Scanlan followed on the Masters Class podium, while Greg Rice rounded out the top-ten in a Reynard/Ford.
With the Championship battle drawing to a close, F1600 drivers get two more shots at race wins and points in Virginia to close out 2016, with round 20 scheduled for Saturday morning and round 21 for Sunday morning.