WGI Weekend Notebook

July 8, 2010
Race two was another victory for Daniel Erickson

What an awesome weekend for the F2000 Series. The championship produced two 14-lap, caution free races that left the crowd in awe with battles for the lead in each one. Daniel Erickson snuck around Chris Livengood in race one to take the flag. While in race two, Victor Carbone and Erickson went side-by-side on the last three laps for the win, going to Erickson.

Young Guns

The F2000 Series seems to be attracting more young talent than ever. All the usual suspects showed up at Watkins Glen to race, and were joined by Daniel Erickson and Stevan McAleer, adding more “aspiring” open-wheel depth to the field. And mixing it in with all the veterans continues to produce some of the best open-wheel racing in North America.

More Than Two Hands

Fans in attendance needed more than two hands, or nine fingers, to count cars at the F2000 double-header at Watkins Glen. 32 cars on Saturday, 30 on Sunday. More than anyone else!

Livengood at the Front: Great Story

Livengood took his first podium on Saturday

The little guy can still run at the front in the F2000 Series. Case study: Chris Livengood.

The 24-year old grad student from the Pittsburgh area was a relative unknown in the F2000 paddock as the season started, but Livengood, with plenty of karting experience, quickly found his way to the front in a 1999 Van Diemen with a stock aero-setup and narrow wheelbase. No whizzy bits, no crazy tricks. Watkins Glen produced two top fives, including a second place, and a pole.

Work racing is running Livengood with an extremely limited budget to the point where the team sleeps in their trailer on race weekends.

McAleer’s Video Game Contest

Stevan McAleer brought a long resume of karting, Skip Barber and Formula BMW to the F2000 grid with his Race House squad, but the young Scot had an interesting video game story to share.

An RBS-sponsored event in the UK years ago saw racing simulators in all the train stations. The top time from each station would go to a test day at Silverstone where the eventual winner would get two VIP passes to the Silverstone Grand Prix, and get to play Mark Webber.

McAleer not only beat all 18,000 other lap times in the game, but bested the F1 ace as well.

Lap Times

Livengood’s pole lap on Friday was a full second up on a World Challenge Volvo GT car, and even faster than the World Challenge GT Vipers.  Then you start talking 10-15 seconds faster than the World Challenge GTS and TC cars. Not bad for a 11 year old chassis design. Erickson's pole lap was nearly a full one and a half seconds up on the World Challenge pole time.

When confronted about lap times, a spokesperson for World Challenge said: "Yeah, your cars weigh like 80 pounds."

Practical Jokes

Rand's scooter, hidden away!

The biggest weekend of the season saw the usual practical jokes being played in the F2000 world. On Thursday night, a Radon frame magically vanished from the back of a GTP truck and was put in another team’s rig.

Series boss Michael Rand fell victim twice, having his scooter locked in the handicapped stall of the WGI bathrooms, and seeing his truck toilet papered on Saturday night. Perhaps the latter was a thank you note, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Al Guibord, Jr. also arrived at the track Sunday morning to find a couple of rolls of toilet paper carefully wrapped around his Van Diemen.

McDonough’s New Gig

Like any past well-spoken Series champion, Matt McDonough found himself in the track announcer booth on Saturday doing color commentary for race one of the weekend. Surprisingly, the Series did not receive any FCC fines.

McDonough joins the likes of Rusty Wallace, Darrel Waltrip and a bunch of other guys that never won anything. Look for Fast-Matt to return to track announcer duties at Lime Rock.

Fat Boys

Dan Wheldon with Fat Boy Racing gear!

Fat Boy Racing stole the show when it came to entertainment, as usual. The Long Island based squad showed up with an “open trailer” so to speak that was a genius concept. Moreover, the team hosted a small F2000 gathering at the Tiki Bar, right in Watkins Glen on Saturday night, alongside a very entertaining bridal party.

Justin Wilson and Dan Wheldon joined the Fat Boy ranks over the weekend as both were pictured with Fat Boy Racing apparel.