BESNARD WINS SEVENTH IN F2000, TIES SERIES RECORD
FOUNTAIN, Colo. (September 26, 1998) -- David Besnard, of Sydney, Australia, won his seventh U.S. F2000 National Championship race of the season at the Children's Hospital Grand Prix of Colorado at Pikes Peak International Raceway -- tying Chris Simmons' 1993 record of seven victories in a season.
Besnard, driving the No. 13 Primus Racing Karts Van Diemen Ford, averaged 79.153 mph for the 36-lap, 48.28-mile race to beat teammate Sam Hornish Jr., of Defiance, Ohio, by 1.578 seconds. Besnard extended his points lead to 89 points over second place Ryan Hampton, who finished 28th.
After starting on the pole, Besnard saw the No. 5 Red Line Oil/Highcroft/Maida Bowman Ford go into the lead on lap two -- just as the course went yellow for a lap-one incident involving Robby McGehee, Steve Rikert, Bobby Oergel and Mirl Swan. Lally, Besnard and Hornish Jr., driving the No. 7 Hornish Bros./Fountain City Leasing Van Diemen Ford, put on an amazing show after returning to green on lap six until Besnard took the lead on lap 16 for good. Lally ended his day with broken suspension after a lap-20 incident with Jonathan Bottoms.
"This was actually a difficult race for me," said Besnard, who clinched the Championship in late August at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "My car was really set up for the infield and Andy's was good on the oval, so I just needed to try to get by and get away in the twisty, tight parts. We came here to win races, but equaling the record for wins is a definite bonus."
Hornish Jr. had his best-ever finish -- the first Primus Racing one-two if the season.
"I thought I had something for David at the beginning, but once I got around Andy (Lally), he was too far away," said Hornish Jr. "This was the most fun I've had in the car all year with all of the dicing. One-two is great for our team. I just wish it was the other way around."
Aaron Justus, of Cardiff by the Sea, Calif., finished third in his first U.S. F2000 start since 1996, followed by career-bests by Rolando Quintanilla, of Mexico, and Ian Lacy, of Arcata, Calif.
Quintanilla earned the Competition Data System's Drive of the Day, while Alejandro Garcia, of Venezuela, was awarded the Taylor Race Engineering "Shark" Award for improving 17 positions, from 25th to eighth.
With his sixth-place finish, Marc-Antoine Camirand, of Trois-Rivieres, Que., Can., clinched Rookie of the Year honors.
FOUNTAIN, Colo. -- Results from the 36-lap, 48.24-mile U.S. F2000 National Championship Round 13 race, part of the Children's Hospital Grand Prix of Colorado at Pikes Peak International Raceway, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, class, car, laps and reason out (if any).
1. (1), David Besnard, Sydney Australia, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
2. (4), Sam Hornish Jr., Defiance, Ohio, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
3. (5), Aaron Justus, Cardiff by the Sea, Calif., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
4. (13), Rolando Quintanilla, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
5. (15), Ian Lacy, Arcata, Calif., F2A, Tatuus, Ford, 36.
6. (21), Marc Antoine Camirand, Trois-Rivieres, Que., Can., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
7. (20), Joey Scarallo, Hauppauge, N.Y., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
8. (25), Alejandro Garcia, Venezuela, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
9. (2), Tim Duit, Edmond, Okla., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
10. (19), Mike Johnson, Gainesville, Ga., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
11. (17), Christian Coggins, Atlanta, Ga., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
12. (26), Duncan Dayton, North Salem, N.Y., F2A, Bowman BC5 Ford, 36.
13. (12), Jeff Glenn, Pleasanton, Calif., F2A, Carbir DS3 Ford, 36.
14. (9), Greg LeMond, Medina, Minn., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
15. (24), Jacek Mucha, Laval, Quebec, Can., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
16. (23), Jon Herb, Indianapolis, Ind., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
17. (18), Tom Wood, Calgary Alberta, Can., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 36.
18. (32), Jeff Smith, Terre Haute, Ind., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 36.
19. (22), Larry Foyt, Houston, Texas, F2A, Tatuus Ford, 36.
20. (28), Tom Sporney, Parker, Colo., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 36.
21. (29), Barry Gilbert, Englewood, Colo., F2B, Swift DB-6 Ford, 36.
22. (16), T.J. Bell, Sparks, Nev., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 35.
23. (30), Tom Beck, Lakewood, Colo., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 35.
24. (33), Wilmer Valentin, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 35.
25. (31), Alan Gilbert, Denver, Colo., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 35.
26. (34), Jay Buerger, Englewood, Colo., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 34.
27. (27), Larry Oberto, Seattle, Wash., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 31, MECH.
28. (6), Ryan Hampton, Glendora, Calif., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 26.
29. (3), Andy Lally, Northport, N.Y., F2A, Bowman BC5 Ford, 20, CONTACT.
30. (8), Jonathan Bottoms, Buffalo, N.Y., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 19, CONTACT.
34. (7), Robby McGehee, St. Louis, Mo., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 0, ACC.
33. (10), Steve Rikert, Rhinebeck, N.Y., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 0, ACC.
31. (11), Bobby Oergel, Palmetto, Fla., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 0, ACC.
32. (14), Mirl Swan, Topeka, Kansas, F2B, Vector Ford, 0, ACC.
Time of race: 36 minutes, 34.009 seconds.
Average speed: 79.153 miles-per-hour
Margin of victory: 1.5779 seconds
Lap leaders: Lap 1, No. 13 Besnard; laps 2-15, No. 5 Lally; laps 16-36, No. 13 Besnard.
Fastest race lap: No. 88, Ryan Hampton, 0:55.822 (86.417 mph), Record
Fastest qualifier: No. 13, David Besnard, 0:55.418 (87.047 mph), Record
Cautions: One for four laps.