Daniel Erickson dominates early at Watkins Glen Daniel Erickson was the dominant driver during official practice and qualifying for rounds seven and eight of the American F2000 Championship Series at Watkins Glen International today. On his...
Daniel Erickson dominates early at Watkins Glen
Daniel Erickson was the dominant driver during official practice and qualifying for rounds seven and eight of the American F2000 Championship Series at Watkins Glen International today.
On his first visit to the upstate New York racetrack, and only his second race meeting driving a 'wings and slicks' racing car, Erickson topped the timesheets in three of the day's four sessions.
The young Australian driver set the fastest lap in both practice sessions, and qualified on pole position for round eight on Sunday.
His 1m 53.047s pole lap came within 32 thousandths of a second of the F2000 qualifying record for the 5.5km (3.4 mile) former US Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit in upstate New York.
A similarly scant margin - 27 thousandths of a second - was all that stood between Erickson's Quantum Mechanics/Prime Racing Van Diemen and another pole position in tomorrow's seventh round of the highly competitive US series.
A total of 31 cars took part in qualifying for the series, which boasts by far the largest line-up for a US openwheel development category.
"Being fastest in both of the practice sessions was pleasing, considering we were still working on the car set-up," Erickson said.
"It wasn't quite right in the first (round seven) qualifying session, so second starting position wasn't bad under the circumstances.
"We got it right for the second (round eight) qualifying session, though."
Erickson added that he was baulked by slower cars several times during what would otherwise have been pole-setting laps in the first qualifying session.
"Jon (Baytos, Prime Racing's owner) was watching around the back of the circuit, and he said that he timed me at 1:53.3 or 53.2 quite a few times, but then I would catch slower traffic and by the end of the lap it was 53.8 or 53.9."
Erickson said that he was confident of a good showing in both 30-minute races, although the competition was likely to be fierce with only fractions of a second separating the frontrunners.
"It's been good so far," he said. "I picked up the track layout quite quickly, and we've just motored on from there.
"We should have good race pace. The car's really good through the tight sections, where some of the others seem to struggle a bit.
"But with everyone so even there's no way to build much of a gap until the tight corners near the end of the lap.
"It's going to be interesting going into the chicane at the end of the back straight on the first lap!"
-source: daniel erickson PR