Tricky conditions for Round 6 tighten up the chase for Fran-Am 1600. Sonoma, California (10/11/02) -- High winds and plenty of liquid sunshine failed to dampen the spirits of the competitors during this weekend's Fran-Am 1600 event at Infineon...
Tricky conditions for Round 6 tighten up the chase for Fran-Am 1600.
Sonoma, California (10/11/02) -- High winds and plenty of liquid sunshine failed to dampen the spirits of the competitors during this weekend's Fran-Am 1600 event at Infineon Raceway (formerly Sears Point), California.
World Speed Motorsports lost half of their awning and most drivers found themselves slipping and sliding around the demanding road course but the racing action represented what has happened all season long with no clear favourite emerging throughout the weekend. In fact, even the points battle tightened up somewhat after the checkered flag fell on Sunday afternoon.
Pole-sitter Darryl O'Young was fast all weekend. "This is one of my favourite racetracks and we have the right set-up. I'm ready to take my first victory!" said a confident O'Young before the start.
However, a first turn spin and the resulting melee quickly spoiled O'Young's chances, leaving perennial front-runners Michael McDowell, John Knudsen and championship points leader Tim Barber to duke it out for the victory.
The trio finished in the aforementioned order at the finish with Barber finding his speed a little too late in the race to extend his points lead. (On the very last lap he set a time almost 2 ½ seconds faster than anyone else.)
The finishing order means that the quest to win a brand new Fran-Am 2000 racecar comes down to the final double-header event at Phoenix Firebird Raceway in two weeks time. The 1600 series will headline the finale weekend alongside the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship series and both series will attend the Year-End Banquet on Sunday, November 24.
Top 3 Qualifying Results (in the dry):
1. Darryl O'Young 1:47.951
2. Michael McDowell 1:48.261
3. Tim Barber 1:48.287
Full Race Results (in the rain):
1. Michael McDowell, Glendale, AZ, Worldspeed Motorsports, 1:54.310
2. John Knudsen, Ontario, CA, 1:57.188
3. Tim Barber, San Francisco, CA, Conversion Techniques Motorsports, 1:51.990
4. Peter Nosler, Menlo Park, CA, Porter Racing, 1:59.310
5. George Latus, Portland, OR, Latus Motorsports, 1:58.592
6. Frank McCormick, San Francisco, CA, Worldspeed Motorsports, 1:58.000
7. David Hollander, Oakland, CA, 2:06.909
8. Darryl O'Young, Vancouver, BC, Conversion Techniques Motorsports, No Time
Fastest Race Lap: Tim Barber 1:51.990
Fran-Am 1600 Points Standings After 6 Races:
1. Tim Barber 170 pts
2. John Knudsen 138 pts
3. Michael McDowell 118 pts
4. Darryl O'Young 80 pts
5. Keith Nunes 76 pts
6. Peter Nosler 66 pts
7. George Latus 52 pts
8. Frank McCormick 50 pts
9. TJ Millington 20pts
10. David Hollander 8pts
The Fran-Am 1600 Regional Championship series is the first step in Fran-Am Sport's Driver Development Program, with drivers eventually making the jump to race in the Fran-Am 2000 Series. Each Fran-Am 1600 event features a $7000US prize fund with the overall series champion winning a brand-new Fran-Am 2000 car ready to race the next season