NA-F2000: Mid-Ohio Race Report

LEXINGTON, Ohio - Irishman Jeff Wright earned his first-career U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision victory, topping Dan Wheldon, of England, on a wet track at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Miller Lite 200 FedEx...

LEXINGTON, Ohio - Irishman Jeff Wright earned his first-career U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision victory, topping Dan Wheldon, of England, on a wet track at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Miller Lite 200 FedEx Championship Series Weekend. Andy Lally, of Northport, N.Y., was third. Making only his second-career start, and his first in the No. 24 Jetboy/Casabella/Cape Van Diemen Ford, Wright jumped from fourth on the grid and battled Wheldon wheel-to-wheel for the first 14 laps of the 22-lap, 49.676-mile contest before pulling away on a progressively drying track. Wright, who is a protege of Formula 1 driver Eddie Irvine, beat polesitter Wheldon to the checkered flag in the 36-minute, 47.314-second contest by 4.446 seconds. "I don't really know what to say-- it's very pleasant," said Wright, 22. "This really exceeded my expectations for my first race here. The track changed quite a bit throughout the race, and the grip moved from the black parts of the track back onto the concrete. I was concerned after blowing an engine in practice because of the money, but the team put together a great car and now my money situation is much better." Wheldon gained ground on points leader Marc-Antoine Camirand, now trailing by 12 points 233 to 221 with three races to go, but had hoped for one better in the No. 5 Jayhard/Primus Racing Van Diemen Ford. "I think at the beginning of the race he was putting a little more away in his tires than I was," said Wheldon. "By half distance, my tires were gone because the circuit had dried so much. I'm happy to cut the (points) deficit in half, but I would have liked to win this race in front of all these people." Lally moved from 10th on the grid to challenge for second before the race was over in the No. 72 Tyrolean Auto Sports/Carbir Motorsports Carbir Ford, earning the Taylor Race Engineering "Shark" Award for improving seven positions. "The Carbir is really good in the rain," said Lally, who won in wet conditions at Road Atlanta earlier this year. "The track conditions were changing and it was all about adjusting your line to compensate. I think if I had just one more corner, I could have had Dan (Wheldon)." Daniel Muniz, of Costa Rica, finished fourth, followed by Camirand, of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada.. Justin Pritchard, of Pickerington, Ohio, won the ACC class, ninth overall, for older cars.

Source: SCCA/SCCA Pro Racing/USRRC

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Marc-Antoine Camirand , Andy Lally , Justin Pritchard