NA-F2000: Pacific F2000 Sonoma notes

Hildebrand Goes Two For Two in Pacific F2000 at Infineon Raceway Sonoma, Calif. (July 17, 2005) -- J.R. Hildebrand enjoyed a banner weekend at the Infineon Technologies Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway, following up his maiden Pacific ...

Hildebrand Goes Two For Two in Pacific F2000 at Infineon Raceway

Sonoma, Calif. (July 17, 2005) -- J.R. Hildebrand enjoyed a banner weekend at the Infineon Technologies Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway, following up his maiden Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Mickey Thompson Tires/Cooper Tire victory on Friday with another flag-to-flag win this afternoon with the #66 Jim Russell Racing School/Spy Optic Mygale SJ04.

Hildebrand, 17, from Sausalito, Calif., was followed home by PR1 Motorsports teammates Mike Forest, 23, from Edmonton, Canada, and 16-year-old Dane Cameron from Sonoma, Calif.

"It was just a great day for the team," said Hildebrand, who had qualified for his second successive pole position yesterday with a lap at 1m 35.090s, an average speed of 95.783 mph.

"We basically just had the same game plan as on Friday. I knew we had a good car and I knew it was good on cold tires, so I pushed as hard as I could at the beginning and made sure I couldn't be ravaged at the first corner. After that I was pretty much able to do my own thing and bring it home."

Hildebrand completed the 18-lap race in 31 minutes, 02.006 seconds at an average speed of 88.047 mph.

John Lombardo Jr., from Brea, Calif., made a fine start and ran in second position for much of the race before the gear shift linkage failed on his #30 NAPA Auto Parts/Valvoline/Denso/P-1 Racing Van Diemen RF02, causing him to pull off just three laps from the finish.

Fellow Van Diemen driver Robert Podlesni had high hopes of repeating his career-best second-place finish from Friday, but on this occasion his #84 Dave Freitas Racing Van Diemen RF03 wasn't handling entirely to his satisfaction. The 18-year-old from Thousand Oaks, Calif., eventually made a mistake in Turn Two, slipped two wheels onto the grass in Turn Two and lost a couple of positions.

"I just got caught out," said Podlesni. "It was just one of those things. I was able to catch up to the two guys in front of me near the finish but I ran out of time before I was able to find a way past them."

Forest's second-place result in the #8 Dynacor/Miracle Sealants/Earth Water Mygale SJ04 -- allied to the two bonus points earned for posting the fastest lap of the race -- enabled him to maintain a slender two-point advantage over teammate Hildebrand after eight of the season's 12 races.

"It was a lot like Friday," said Forest. "I didn't make a good start but I made a couple of passes and was able to turn some good laps. To be honest, I didn't think I'd get the fastest lap, and I wasn't looking at the dash (read-out), but that's a pleasant bonus."

Young Cameron, who currently leads the Infineon-based Jim Russell School's SCCA Formula Russell Championship, was even more delighted to earn his first F2000 podium in just his second professional start.

"I'm pretty excited," said Cameron. "We made a couple of changes to the car which helped a lot. The car was good. Plus, a couple of people had problems and I took advantage of them."

Podlesni finished hot of Cameron's heels in fourth place as the first Van Diemen, followed by veteran Bob Negron, from San Jose, Calif., who drove a typically smooth race in his #25 fengshui5.com Van Diemen RF99 to take fifth ahead of Jim Russell Racing School graduate Todd MacNaughton's BWM Engineering Van Diemen.

The highest-placed runner with one of the older, carbureted Ford Pinto engines (as opposed to the fuel-injected Zetec motors which power the majority of the field) was 18-year-old Chris Spreitzer, from Phoenix, Ariz., who finished an impressive ninth in the #7 BWM Engineering Van Diemen-Loyning RF94.

The next two rounds of the Pacific F2000 Championship will take place at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, in Buttonwillow, Calif., on Labor Day weekend, September 3/4.

Results from Round 8:

1. J.R. Hildebrand (Mygale SJ04); 2. Mike Forest (Mygale SJ04); 3. Dane Cameron (Mygale SJ04); 4. Robert Podlesni (Van Diemen RF03); 5. Bob Negron (Van Diemen RF99); 6. Todd MacNaughton (Van Diemen RF02); 7. Chris Hundley (Van Diemen RF05); 8. Mark Peller (Van Diemen RF01); 9. Chris Spreitzer (Van Diemen RF94-Loyning/Pinto); 10. Peter Hastrup (Van Diemen RF02); 11. Carl Scott (Van Diemen RF96-Ivey/Pinto); 12. Les Phillips (Mygale SJ05); 13. Doug da Costa (Van Diemen RF02); 14. Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi (Van Diemen RF03); 15. Shaun Modisette (Van Diemen RF02); 16. Dwight Rider (Van Diemen RF02); 17. Al Salvo (Mygale SJ04), -1 lap; 18. John Gluckin (Van Diemen RF01), -1 lap; 19. Thomas Browne (Van Diemen/Pinto), -1 lap; 20. Peter Hansel (Van Diemen RF02), -1 lap; 21. Scott Foutch (Van Diemen RF03), - 1 lap; 22. Tom Modisette (Van Diemen RF96-Ivey/Pinto), -1 lap; 23. John Lombardo Jr. (Van Diemen RF02), -3 laps; 24. Scott Rarick (Van Diemen RF03), -3 laps; 25. Tim Harris (Mygale SJ05), -3 laps; 26. Bill Modisette (Van Diemen RF05), -3 laps; 27. Steven M. Kries (Van Diemen RF01), -4 laps; 28. Efrain Olivares Jr. (Van Diemen RF97-Ivey/Pinto), -10 laps; 29. Clark Cambern (Mygale SJ05), -15 laps.

Winner's race time: 31 minutes 02.006 seconds.
Winner's average speed: 88.047 mph.
Margin of victory: 7.306 seconds.
Fastest qualifier: Hildebrand, 1m 35.090s, 95.783 mph.
Fastest race lap: Forest, 1m 36.132s, 94.745 mph.

Championship positions (after 8 of 12 races): 1. Forest, 146; 2. Hildebrand, 144; 3. Harris, 62; 4. Podlesni, 61; 5. Lombardo, 55; 6. Brad Jaeger (Mygale SJ04), 43; 7. Ian Lacy (Van Diemen RF03), 42; 8. Cambern, 32; 9. Foutch & Negron, 29; etc.

-js-

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Hans Peter , Al Salvo , Brad Jaeger , Ian Lacy , Dane Cameron , Thomas Brown , J.R. Hildebrand , Mike Forest