F2000: Nicholas Leads Thursday Testing
Lexington, OH -- The F2000 Championship Series field enjoyed three and a half hours of twilight testing on Thursday evening at Mid-Ohio, ahead of this weekend's finale to the national championship. Many teams spent the session on old tires, just familiarizing themselves with the track before official practice begins tomorrow, Friday September 3. Masters Class veteran Rob Nicholas set the fastest time at 1:24.07, under the existing track record, in his first F2000 race since Watkins Glen in July.
"We had the new rear wing, and new rear brakes and rear uprights, which all helped," said Nicholas. "It's a bit typical that all us old guys like me come off the trailer fast, meanwhile the kids will keep getting faster each session. The car is really good, it's almost perfect."
Championship leader Victor Carbone can clinch the 2010 title on Saturday with a solid drive against Cole Morgan who sits 79 points back with 110 points available. Carbone was sixth fastest.
"Today wasn't any different," commented Carbone, who just started his senior year in high school. "We had a lot of track time so we worked on the car, we've wanted to try a couple ideas for a while and today was a good opportunity. It also gave me some time to work on some varying lines through the madness corner complex."
For Carbone, it has been a headline-stealing season, with six wins in 12 races, and a sole DNF. A large contingent will be here for the rest of the weekend with Carbone's Alegra Motorsports squad to cheer him on.
Quick Australian Daniel Erickson will contest the weekend in an ADSA/Wright owned Van Diemen prepped by Primus Racing. The Australian spent the summer swing of races with Quantum Mechanics/Primus Racing.
Despite the last minute team switch, Erickson was still second fastest in the car usually piloted by F2000 veteran Al Guibord Jr.
Audette Racing made its first appearance since winning at Mosport with Remy Audette running strings of laps throughout the long testing window. Audette said his goal was to "mix it up with the front of the field, and try to win both races," and was third quick overall. Following Audette and rounding out the top five were Phil Lombardi and Tim Minor.
Jonathan Scarallo, who won the most recent round of the season in thrilling fashion at Road America missed the testing session and will miss tomorrow's two practice sessions. The young American is competing in the Team USA Scholarship shootout in Arizona for a chance to represent the stars and stripes at various Formula Ford events in England this fall. Scarallo will strap into his R-Sport Van Diemen for the first time this weekend on Saturday morning for qualifying session one.
The last event of the year continues with two practice sessions on Friday, September 3. Both Saturday and Sunday feature morning qualifying sessions followed by afternoon races.