Daniel Erickson seeks all-round improvement at Road America
Two promising but ultimately disappointing performances in the latest F2000 Championship Series rounds have made Daniel Erickson determined to make amends at Road America next weekend (July 7-8).
After winning Rounds 7 and 8 at Watkins Glen on July 3-4, Erickson placed 12th and second in Rounds 9 and 10 at Lime Rock Park on July 23-24.
In an up and down race meeting, the young Australian driver once again defied convention by qualifying his Primus/Quantum Racing Van Diemen on pole position for Round 9.
This despite never having been to the Connecticut circuit before, and having only damp one wet practice session to familiarise himself with the tricky layout before a saturated qualifying session.
But in the race a sluggish start lost him several positions before the first corner, and a last lap tactical error cost him a certain second place when he unsuccessfully challenged for the lead.
Round 10 was an almost mirror-image, as Erickson started 14th following engine problems in qualifying, but charged through the top half of the field to finish less than 1.5 seconds behind the winner.
Fastest laps in both races added four more points to his championship tally.
Now Erickson heads to the 6.5km (4 mile) Road America excited by the challenge of mastering arguably America's finest road racing circuit.
"First of all it's a long lap - around 2 minutes 15 seconds in an F2000 car - and very fast," he said.
"Looking at the circuit map the throttle is wide open a lot of the time, and although there are some right-angle corners there are some pretty fast ones too.
"I really love high-speed circuits - they're great fun!"
Erickson said that he was happy that the Road America race meeting timetable was back to 'normal', with the usual two practice sessions on Friday, then qualifying and Round 11 on Saturday, and qualifying and Round 11 on Sunday.
"At Lime Rock Park there was one practice session and two qualifying sessions on Friday, then the two races on Saturday.
"It rained on Friday, so we didn't get the chance to set the car up properly for Saturday.
"The regular timetable makes it a little easier for drivers like me who haven't been to the circuit before."
Nevertheless, Erickson cautioned that Road America could produce some surprises, as not many of this year's F2000 Championship Series drivers have prior experience at the venue.
"Only a few frontrunners have driven at Road America before, because it wasn't on the schedule last year," he said.
"Those who were there the last time, back in 2008, will have an advantage."
Erickson concluded by saying that he was looking for an improved all-round performance at Road America.
"It was a mistake going for glory in the first race at Lime Rock Park, because I didn't know the circuit well enough to know if the move would stick.
"I learned from that mistake in the next race - 42 points for second is a lot better than 17 points for 12th! - but throwing away those 25 points really hurt.
"The competition will be tough at Road America, so I need an error-free weekend to have a chance of finishing on the podium in both races."
-source: daniel erickson PR