VIR Post-Weekend Notebook
Tim Minor – Ski Motorsports
As the front of the field gets more and more competitive, with new teams, new cars, and more aspiring drivers every year, Masters Class driver Tim Minor continues to plant his Van Diemen on the podium.
Minor won outright in a dominating performance at Summit Point in 2009 and said he has his sights locked onto a win at Road Atlanta.
Minor could have won on Saturday at VIR in the rain, before going off the track as it poured on his dry Hoosier tires, and on Sunday, he easily landed on the podium bringing home a Masters Class victory for the #88 team. Minor dedicated the Masters Class win to Tricia Rieffle calling her "his biggest fan."
The veteran ran a partial season in 2010, and in eight races, finished in the top five six times. (not counting Mid-Ohio, where damage sent Minor home early). With stats like that, expect the former Masters Class Champion to figure in for the overall run to the F2000 Championship.
HP-Tech and RFR Report
Series newcomers HP-Tech Motorsports looked like regulars in a deeply talented F2000 paddock. The Florida-based team rolled two new white RFR/Zetecs out of the trailer and proceeded to score a second place (on dry tires in the rain) on Saturday, followed by a top five on Sunday with driver Robert La Rocca, a rookie from Venezuela.
Amid much speculation about the new chassis selection coming into the two-liter ranks, the RFR fit right in.
Afterburner Racing joined HP-Tech with a third RFR for veteran Brian Tomasi, but battled through problems all weekend.
Series officials expect at least three additional RFR chassis for the next rounds at Road Atlanta. Stay tuned!
Where da RADON at?
Speaking of new chassis, the most talked-about of them, the Radon, was missing at VIR.
F2000Series.com was able to track down Dr. Nathan Ulrich, principal behind the new car.
“We have redesigned the car to comply with the ruling of the SCCA Court of Appeals, and have finished modifying the first few cars. We will start our testing program shortly, and once we have solved any teething problems we will start racing. I'd much rather be at an F2000 race weekend than back here at the shop,” commented Ulrich.
The VIR weekend fashion internet award has to go to Kevin Firlein of K-Fast Autosport. Firlein wasn’t exactly “lacin up his Air Force Ones,” but did bring some nifty shoes to the paddock.
The unofficial pitstop competition during Saturday's race showed HP-Tech in the lead with a fast stop for Giancarlo Potolicchio's #22 RFR. For a Series that does not normally run any pitstops during races, watching the teams react to the weather was highly entertaining.
Another shoutout should go to John Walko Racing, who was high up on the time charts in the pits, having Chris Livengood go to rain tires and using all hand tools during the stop to leapfrod Audette on pit strategy.
Slightly overlooked in the first weekend of the 2011 season was the new workload for the existing Series staff, who suddenly found themselves much more busy with the new F1600 Formula F Championship Series. However, the seasoned veterans of the F2000/F1600 corporate umbrella made it look easy.
Corrections and Amplifications
(borrowed from our friends at The Wall Street Journal)
- Mark Defer actually won the CellMark Paper Hard Charger for the second race at VIR, going from 22nd to 14th, an improvement of eight positions. The original race release claims a six position gain shared with two other drivers.
- Other notes: Ralph Firman was onhand at VIR, the man behind the new RFR and most, if not all Van Diemens in both paddocks | VIR 2011 (Race 1) will go on the list in the odd race part of the history books along with, VIR 2007, Elkhart Lake 2008, Watkins Glen 2009 and Mosport 2010 | The margin of victory in the first-ever F1600 race was .005 seconds, or just about 10 inches of race car.