NA-F2000: Pikes Peak Lally Qualifying Report

Lally Qualifies Third in His Bowman For Saturday's F2000 Race at PPIR FOUNTAIN, Colo., Sept. 25 - Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y., qualified third for Saturday's U.S. Formula 2000...

Lally Qualifies Third in His Bowman For Saturday's F2000 Race at PPIR

FOUNTAIN, Colo., Sept. 25 - Andy Lally of Northport, N.Y., qualified third for Saturday's U.S. Formula 2000 race at Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway, the first of two F2000 races scheduled for the 1.34-mile road course this weekend.

Lally, in the Highcroft Racing Red Line Oil Bowman BCS Quicksilver Ford No. 5, turned a lap at an average speed of 86.647 mph. Only polesitter David Besnard of Sydney, Australia (87.047 mph) and Tim Duit of Edmond, Okla. (87.000 mph) were faster in the 34-car field.

"We made a shock change and a spring change before the session which helped a lot," Lally said. "Then we made another adjustment to the shocks and changed to a different set of scuffed tires during the yellow in the session, and that helped us advance from 10th to third."

It was the 11th time that Lally has qualified in the top 10 this season and the second time he's qualified third. His best qualifying run so far this season was second at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

This weekend marks the first time the series has competed on the PPIR road course, although it held a race on the oval here last year.

Further changes are being made to the set-up on Duncan Dayton's Highcroft Racing Bowman BCS, as he ended up 26th in the qualifying session. In the practice session right before qualifying, Lally was seventh and Dayton was 21st.

Many drivers are chasing the 11-turn track here this weekend with wildly varying results, jumping forward and back through the field when different sessions are compared. For example, Jacek Mucha of Laval, Que., was ninth-fastest in the practice session before qualifying, but he'll start right in front of Dayton in Saturday's race because he qualified 24th.

Friday's qualifying session was held in the heat of the afternoon and with a brisk breeze blowing. "I could definitely feel it," Lally said of the wind, which kicked up dust periodically too.

Qualifying for the second F2000 race here this weekend (the season finale) is scheduled for Saturday morning at 8 a.m. The first 36-lap/48.24-mile race is set for 12:45 p.m. Saturday.

The season concludes on Sunday with the second race at 10:15 a.m., followed by the series' banquet Sunday night.

This weekend's races benefit the Children's Hospital here.

Television coverage of the first race is scheduled to air on Speedvision on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. EDT, with Sunday's race airing on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 5 p.m. EDT on the same network.

Besnard has already clinched the championship.

Dayton, who resides in North Salem, N.Y., has been busy racing all over the world recently. Two weekends ago he qualified fourth and finished third in a 1972 Formula 2 car in a vintage race at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium. "That race was run in a monsoon," Dayton related.

That weekend he and Sid Hoole also co-drove a T70 Lola in a race there. "I started dead last in a 42-car field and got up to fifth," Dayton said. "Then I pitted for fuel and our driver change, and we ended up 12th."

Last weekend Dayton competed at the Goodwood Festival in England. He raced a 1964 Brabham BT11 Formula 1 car there. He qualified third and led every lap until the half-way point, when the engine let go.

Former Indy 500 winner Danny Sullivan drove another car Dayton owns in that event, a 1962 Lola MK4 Formula 1 car. Sullivan started sixth and won.

Both of those cars are powered by 1.5-liter V8 Climax engines.

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