NA-F2000: Mid-Ohio qualifying report

LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 8, 2003) --Jonathan Bomarito, of Monterey, Calif., captured the pole for Round Nine of the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at Mid-Ohio. Completing the top-three is Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill., and Charlie...

LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 8, 2003) --Jonathan Bomarito, of Monterey, Calif., captured the pole for Round Nine of the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at Mid-Ohio. Completing the top-three is Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill., and Charlie Kimball, of Camarillo, Calif. The top ACC qualifier is Ron Thomas, of Galena, Ohio.

Following an early morning practice session, the Zetec Championship cars took to the track just after lunch for race one qualifying. In the opening laps of the 30-minute session, the red flag was displayed stopping qualifying, when Matthew McDonough made contact with the tire barrier in turn seven. After a brief delay to retrieve McDonough, the session resumed under overcast skies. As the spec Avon tires got up to optimal racing temperatures, the times steadily began to drop. With the increased grip from the Champ Car practice, the times were soon faster than those posted in testing and during practice. At the halfway point of the session, Kasemets, driving the No. 9 FlexOvit/MK Industries/TMI Redline Oil/Team Tonis Pabst Racing Services Van Diemen Ford, moved to the top of the charts. With just over 10-minutes remaining in the session, Bomarito, in the No. 23 Valley Financial PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, bettered Kasemets time by one tenth of a second to move to the top of the charts. Almost immediately after Bomarito had posted his fast time, the session was halted for Doug Smith spinning on course. When qualifying resumed, drivers reported the track had become quite slick, allowing Kimball, driving the No. 91 Rentvillas.com PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, to retain third place on the grid. When Kyle Burts and Andrew Prendeville made contact with the wall in turn 11 late in the session, the checkered flag was thrown, ending qualifying. With a lap of 1:23.373 (97.449 MPH), Bomarito captures his third career pole position in the Zetec Championship and gains one point in the Championship standings.

"It was tough with all the red flags," said Bomarito, who is second in the Zetec Championship. "We were little concerned about the weather, so I made sure I put a quick lap in as soon as possible. I think we still have a little left for the race."

"We made some changes that worked," said Kasemets, who has won at Mid-Ohio three times. "I think we have a good car for the conditions as they develop. I hope I can continue my winning streak here at Mid-Ohio."

"We got a ways to go," said Kimball, who won the previous two rounds at Road America. "I'm going to look at Jonathan's [Bomarito] data and see if we can find some more time. I'm confident the PR1 crew will give me a great car for the race"

"The car felt really good," said Thomas, who has three career races in the Zetec Champions. "I'm a rhythm driver, so I expect without the reds I can go quicker."

Completing the top-five is Lawson Aschenbach, of Gaithersburg, Md., in the No. 2 King Automotive/M&M Welding Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford and Westley Barber, of Saffron Walden, England, driving the No. 32 Jacuzzi Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford.

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Lawson Aschenbach , Charlie Kimball , Andrew Prendeville , Westley Barber , Jonathan Bomarito , Tonis Kasemets , Doug Smith