Watkins Glen, NY – Familiarity will close the F2000 Championship Series season with a riveting Championship battle – the closest since 2010. After visits to two new-to-F2000 race tracks in Pittsburgh and Thompson, the open wheel contingent now returns to the full course at Watkins Glen for rounds 13 and 14 to close out the year and decide whether Tim Minor or Skylar Robinson will be the 2014 Champion.
Minor has three wins at the track, while Robinson has a sole second place and a DNF in May. It’s the veteran vs. the kid – as Minor has established himself as one of the fastest F2000 drivers in the country over the years, and Robinson – who just graduated from high school - is on the scene, hoping to win and quickly move up the ladder.
Minor has relied on a handful of wins and consistent finishes to build his points lead – but was uncharacteristically not in the victory hunt over the last four races. That hiccup allowed Robinson to pounce, scoring a dynamic rain pole at Pittsburgh and following it up with a full points sweep, two poles and two wins, at Thompson. If Minor was just a tad off the pace, don’t expect it to continue at Watkins Glen, as the veteran has had more than a month to work on his Citation chassis and was recently testing at Summit Point.
Over 12 F2000 races in 2014 winners have included Minor, Robinson, Sam Beasley, Thomas McGregor and John LaRue – the latter took a shock win at Mid-Ohio in July.
The additional three victors are all expected to race at Watkins Glen. Beasley swept Pittsburgh and ran strong at Thompson, while McGregor used his Australia-built chassis to cruise to a dominant victory at VIR in June. LaRue was the master of Mid-Ohio, dominating the weekend, but will have to face a track he does not have the same experience at. LaRue shares a similar Citation chassis with Minor and Robinson, but has a much different aero package. Beasley, meanwhile, has put the tried and true Van Diemen from Polestar back into the conversation over the last few race weekends.
Elsehwere, there are family pairings. Austin McCusker makes the move up from F1600 to join brother John at Dotworks Racing in a pair of RFRs. Kem Lall is entered in a Radon alongside son Quinlann in a Van Diemen and coming off a season-best finish at Thompson.
Jason Rabe returns after skipping Thompson and Pittsburgh for a sports car ride, and super-fast Canadian talent Zacharie Robichon will make his Series debut for BGR Team Grote in a Van Diemen.
The Fall October weekend at Watkins Glen has seen cold temperatures in two prior visits, which could keep team engineers busy throughout the weekend.
Friday kicks off rounds 13 and 14 of the year, and the season finale, with twin free practice sessions. The schedule for Saturday and Sunday each include a morning qualifying session and afternoon race.