Hard Charging Kenney Wraps Season with Podium
Sterling, Virginia (November 12, 2007) -- Liam Kenney concluded his rookie season in the Formula TR Pro Series 2000 Championship with his 12th podium finish of the year claiming second place in Round 20 at California's Buttonwillow Raceway Park on Saturday, 10th November.
Kenney arrived at Buttonwillow looking to cement third overall in the final standings having recovered from a slow start to the season, where he sat last after the opening rounds in March, but a brace of victories from Position One Motorsport's Luis Martinez Jr. in Rounds 19 and 20 allowed the Californian to leapfrog Kenney in the points despite another solid weekend from the Virginia teenager.
Finishing just his second season of open-wheel racing fourth overall, Kenney's on-track accomplishments, which included three wins behind the wheel of his self-run #95 Liam Kenney Motorsports entry, were again recognized as he picked up the 'Gatorz Hard Charger' award at the end of season banquet. Kenney becomes the first back-to-back recipient of the award having lifted the same accolade a year earlier having contested the Formula TR Pro Series 1600 Championship in 2006, where he again finished fourth overall in his rookie season.
Already a winner at Buttonwillow Park this season, Kenney, one of just four drivers to win races this season, felt confident on his return to the track but when Round 19's qualifying session was cut short his best time, a 1m46.634s, was only good for fourth on the grid with Champion-elect Billy Goshen capturing pole ahead of Martinez Jr.
The race itself proved to be a fairly static affair with Kenney holding on to fourth ahead of series veteran John Knudsen. While successfully tailing the top-three leaders, Liam's chances of progress were thwarted by multiple full-course cautions triggered by events in the 1600 class. With the race actually ending under yellows, Kenney's fourth place finish translated into a fourth place starting slot for Round 20 later in the day -- the season finale. At the head of the pack Martinez Jr. celebrated his second win of the season ahead of Goshen in second and Christian Franck in third.
A great start by Liam in Round 20 was almost jeopardized before the first corner as he found himself sandwiched between Goshen and Franck on the sprint to the turn. Skillful driving allowed Kenney to take Goshen for third and he wasted little time in filling Franck's mirrors as they battled for second. Succumbing to Liam's pressure tactics, a slight wobble from Franck allowed his rival to slip by for second and Kenney duly set his sights on Martinez Jr. ahead. While he closed the gap, the 12 lap race proved too short for Liam to make a difference and he took the checkered in second place, his 12th top-three of the season, with John Knudsen rounding off the podium celebrations.
"I drove hard to finish second in the final race as I wanted to end the year on a high," reflected Kenney. "It's a little disappointing to drop to fourth overall in the standings but considering this was a one-year deal to run a team ourselves we certainly can't complain about the season we've had, especially since we were last to begin with. I can't thank everyone involved in the team enough, they all did a fantastic job and we exceeded all our goals, we won races, fought hard -- it's been great!"
Liam Kenney enjoys backing from Network Solutions, Mobil 1, Piloti Shoes, Mothers Waxes and Polishes, OG Racing and Ristorante Zeffirelli.
Formula TR 2000 Final Standings -- R20/20: 1st Goshen (739) - CHAMPION, 2nd Knudsen (713), 3rd Martinez Jr. (652), 4th KENNEY (648), 5th Franck (614)