NA-F2000: Road America qualifying one report

ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (August 1, 2003) --Westley Barber, of Saffron, England, captured the pole for Round Seven of the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at Road America. Completing the top-three is Charlie Kimball, of Camarillo, Calif., and...

ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (August 1, 2003) --Westley Barber, of Saffron, England, captured the pole for Round Seven of the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at Road America. Completing the top-three is Charlie Kimball, of Camarillo, Calif., and Andy Brumbaugh, of Blythewood, S.C. The top ACC qualifier is Mike Rodney, of Lafayette, Colo.

Starting early Friday morning, qualifying for race one of the Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America doubleheader got underway in tricky conditions. As the cars rolled on to pitlane, the track was still damp from heavy rain showers overnight. Having only run testing sessions on Thursday prior to qualifying, a number of drivers used the early stages of the 30-minute session to familiarize themselves with the track. As the session progressed, the track steadily got drier and times steadily dropped, with several drivers posting times in the 2:14 range. Just after the midway point, the session was briefly halted when a driver went-off course in turn three. After a brief stoppage, qualifying resumed with numerous drivers attacking the course. After running fourth or fifth fastest most of the session, Barber jumped to the top of the charts at the 25-minute mark, driving the No. 32 Jacuzzi Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford. While giving Barber a good draft on his fast lap, Kimball, in the No. 91 Rentvillas.com PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, posted his fastest lap of the session, to move into second position. With several drivers battling for the final top-three starting position, Brumbaugh, driving the No. 86 Andy LLC/Corby Concepts Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, posted his fastest lap of the session on the final lap, to capture the position. Barber's pole position time of 2:13.916 (107.530 MPH) sets a new lap record and gives the young English driver his fifth pole of 2003 and third in a row.

"It's was hard work out there," said Barber, who currently leads the Championship by 41 points. "After testing we were a little behind, so we made a bunch of changes last night. The team did a great job and I got a bit of luck which helps on a long track like Road America."

"I'm ready to go racing," said Kimball who has won previously at Road America in the June Sprints. "I knew Westley [Barber] had a quick lap, as we were running together and hoped to benefit from a draft, but things didn't work out unfortunately. It's going to be an interesting race."

"It's nice to start up front," said Brumbaugh, who has finished in the top-10 the past four races. "Yesterday was difficult, but we got quicker each session out and were able to continue to get better in qualifying. Hopefully we can put the car on the front-row in qualifying for race two and run a great race."

"I was able to post a good lap right at the end of qualifying," said Rodney, who is making his Zetec Championship debut at Road America. "I didn' t run yesterday, so it took a while for me to get comfortable."

Completing the top-five is Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill., in the No. 9 FlexOvit/MK Industries/TMI Pabst Racing Services Van Diemen Ford and Andrew Prendeville, of Morristown, N.J., in the No. 25 TCW/Valvoline Andersen Walko Racing Van Diemen Ford.

-usf2000-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Charlie Kimball , Westley Barber , Andy Brumbaugh , Tonis Kasemets
Teams HART