Kenney Breaks Fontana Podium Jinx Sterling, Virginia (June 05, 2007) -- Liam Kenney returned to California Speedway last weekend, Saturday 2nd -- Sunday 3rd June, and finally quashed the podium jinx that had blighted his progress at...
Kenney Breaks Fontana Podium Jinx
Sterling, Virginia (June 05, 2007) -- Liam Kenney returned to California Speedway last weekend, Saturday 2nd -- Sunday 3rd June, and finally quashed the podium jinx that had blighted his progress at the Fontana track during the opening four rounds of the 2007 Formula TR Pro Series 2000 Championship. Scoring a third place finish in Round 7 on Saturday, the 15-year-old capped Sunday's Round 8 performance with a second place effort to move up to fifth overall in the Driver Standings approaching the half-way point of the season.
With his previous best finish on the 2.8-mile road course a fourth place finish from Round 2 back in March, Kenney was determined to put on a better showing on the series' third trip to the California Speedway last weekend. Heading into the double-header meeting off the back of successive victories in Rounds 5 and 6 at Willow Springs Raceway, Liam's pace was again evidenced in Saturday's qualifying, the #95 Liam Kenney Motorsports entry collecting its seventh straight top-five grid slot with the fourth fastest lap time, a 1m05.729s to pole-sitter John Knudsen's 1m04.929s.
Round 7's 30-minute sprint race failed to lack excitement with a little too much of it coming the way of Liam as he fought to keep race leaders John Knudsen and Billy Goshen in his sights while dicing in and out of the slower 1600 class traffic. Despite the top-two's attempts to put some daylight between themselves and Kenney at the start, the Virginia-based rookie kept himself in the thick of the action ably reeling them in as the race progressed. While traffic proved to be an issue it didn't stop Liam from securing his first podium finish at the California Speedway, the teenage racer happy to break the top-three in Fontana for the first time this season following home Knudsen and Goshen at the flag.
Sunday's qualifying session mirrored that of Saturday's with Kenney again posting a second-row grid slot, just six hundredths of a second slower than third placed Luis Martinez Jr. and three tenths behind double pole-winner, John Knudsen. Round 8 in the afternoon was again a tight affair with Liam launching off the line, swiftly moving himself up into third place. Having raced hard and fair with Luis Martinez Jr., Kenney held third before benefiting from a spinning John Knudsen to climb to second before a yellow flag incident curtailed racing momentarily. Holding a defensive line at the restart, Liam maintained second to the checkered, the race stopping early due to an incident in the 1600 class, Kenney finishing behind race winner Goshen and ahead of Christian Franck in third.
"I'm pretty happy with the outcome of the weekend," Kenney declared. "It maybe didn't all go our way but it was definitely an improvement on our earlier visits to Fontana. We again learned a lot, we've got happier memories of the track now but importantly we kept everything together ahead of this weekend's race meeting at Buttonwillow. We tested there earlier this season and it's safe to say it's one of my favorite tracks, I've logged tons of miles there and in fact it was the first circuit I ever drove on! As a team we feel pretty comfortable that we can do well there this weekend!"
California's Buttonwillow Raceway Park hosts Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2007 Formula TR Pro Series 2000 Championship, Saturday 9th -- Sunday 10th June 2007