Kasemets captures first win Of season at Mid-Ohio. LEXINGTON, OHIO (June 30, 2002) -- Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill., won Round Eight of the 2002 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Completing the...
Kasemets captures first win Of season at Mid-Ohio.
LEXINGTON, OHIO (June 30, 2002) -- Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill., won Round Eight of the 2002 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Completing the top-three was Sean McIntosh, of Coquitlam, B.C., Can. and Bryan Sellers, of Centerville, Ohio. Kip Meeks, of Grove City, Ohio, won the ACC class.
The Zetec Championship got under way in front of a large audience around the picturesque 2.258-mile road course. At the start, on the back straightaway, the polesitter, JW Urlin and McIntosh drag raced to the first turn. As the leaders got on the brakes, Kasemets squeezed between the Urlin and McIntosh to take the lead. As the lap progressed Kasemets established a gap on McIntosh, while Lawson Aschenbach passed Urlin to move into third place. For the opening six laps the top-five remained unchanged, however the battle for sixth through tenth place was a hard fought battle, with numerous cars going side-by-side around the course. On lap seven Sellers began pressuring Travis Irving for fifth place, passing for the position in the Keyhole on the following lap. Sellers quickly began to close on Urlin, while Kasemets, in the No. 9 MK Industries/TMI/Redline Oil Pabst Racing Services Van Diemen Ford, stretched his lead over McIntosh to over a second and a half. By lap 16, Sellers had moved into fourth place, behind Aschenbach, while Kasemets and McIntosh, in the No. 24 Kirmac Carstar/PPG/Lordco Auto PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, built a comfortable lead at the front of the field. On lap 18, Aschenbach made mistake and went wide into a corner, allowing Sellers to move into third. With his car going away late in the race, McIntosh could not challenge Kasemets for the lead and quickly was under pressure from Sellers. In the final few laps, Sellers, in the No. 3 Yes Network/3-Dimensional Services/Arai/Sparco Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, repeatedly pressured McIntosh for position, but never was able to make the pass for position. At the checkered flag, Kasemets had won his first race of the season by 2.365 seconds and moved up to fifth in the point standings.
"The Championship is still alive," said Kasemets, who led the Zetec Championship in wins in 2001, with three. "At the start I saw an opportunity to take the lead and I took it. These cars are so close and the competition so good, you have to make the most of your opportunities."
"Tonis [Kasemets] just surprised me at the start," said McIntosh, who's second place finish is a career best. "I was concentrating on Urlin at the start and all of a sudden there was Tonis. I love this track and I'm really looking forward to coming back here in August."
"I always knew I had a good car that could challenge for position in the race," said Sellers, who leads the championship, 178-145, over Jeffrey Jones. "With the caliber of drivers in this series it's always hard to pass, so that made for some interesting racing today. I'm happy to finish on the podium and take home valuable points."
"I had a good start," said Meeks, who won at Mosport earlier in the year. "It's really good to race with the pro's, as you learn a lot and it makes you go quicker."
Completing the top-five is Urlin, of London, Ont., Can., in No. 19 the Budget Rent A Car OTM Motorsports Mygale Ford and Lawson Aschenbach, of Gaithersburg, Md, in the No. 32 Forsythe/King Auto/M&M Welding PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford.