NA-F2000: Road America round 7, 8 summary

Foster Takes First Win as Two Britons Share Victory Spoils at Road America Elkhart Lake, Wis. (August 7, 2005) -- Joey Foster claimed an overdue maiden victory yesterday (Saturday) in Round 7 of the Cooper Tires Championship Series for Formula...

Foster Takes First Win as Two Britons Share Victory Spoils at Road America

Elkhart Lake, Wis. (August 7, 2005) -- Joey Foster claimed an overdue maiden victory yesterday (Saturday) in Round 7 of the Cooper Tires Championship Series for Formula Ford 2000 cars at the fast and challenging 4.0-mile Road America circuit. But the Englishman's hopes of an emphatic double success evaporated this afternoon following a controversial clash in Round 8 with fellow countryman Jay Howard, who went on to secure his seventh victory of the season.

The two young Britons once again proved to be the class of the field, although Livonia, Mich., veteran Jason Byers upheld American honor by claiming a pair of podium finishes during the weekend with the #28 A&B Refrigeration/St. Clair Motorsports Van Diemen RF03.

Howard, whose #22 newhoneys.com/British Racing Drivers Club/Aiken Racing Van Diemen RF03 had remained unbeaten this year after six races, maintained his stellar form by taking the pole for Round 7. Howard leapt into the lead when the green flag waved on Saturday afternoon, only to be adjudged by the race stewards to have jumped the start, earning himself a drive-through penalty.

"As far as I understood [the rules], the pole man sets the pace for the start and that's it," said Howard, who disagreed with the call but duly served his penalty a couple of laps into the race. The controversy was rendered moot shortly afterward when his car suffered a broken right-front upright which ended his day.

Foster inherited the lead and pulled clear of the chasing pack to take a well-deserved victory in the Cape Motorsports #3 Bradfords/BRDC/Keenpine/Woodpecker Pine Van Diemen RF01.

"It's more of a relief than anything," admitted Foster. "We've been so close [to winning] so many times this year, and every time it had slipped from our grasp. So this feels just great. I've finally broken through and I can't wait to do it again."

Byers enjoyed a spirited battle with fellow veteran Gerald Kraut, from North Oaks, Minn., before the pair finished in that order. Kraut's #5 Dougherty & Co. Van Diemen RF03 was followed across the line by JDC Motorsports teammate Noah Bystrom, from Eden Prairie, Minn., who excelled in just his third Cooper Series start at the wheel of the #10 Cooper Power Tools/Apex Universal Joint Division Van Diemen RF05.

Sunday's Round 8 began with Foster on the pole position, by virtue of having posted the fastest lap in he previous day's race. Howard, meanwhile, started back in the eighth position.

By midway around the opening lap, Howard had charged up into second place behind his fellow Briton. The pair battled cleanly for the lead for several laps before Howard thought he saw an opportunity heading into the heavy braking area at Turn Five.

"I was quite a bit quicker than him," claimed Howard, "but he was defending well, which was fine by me. I was going to have a go [under braking] down the inside, but I decided not to, and as I pulled back out behind him, Joey braked a little bit earlier than I expected and I crashed into the back of him. It wasn't deliberate; it was just one of those things."

Both cars ran off the road, with Foster spinning and falling to eighth place. Howard resumed, his car's nosecone in tatters.

Byers gratefully took the opportunity to lead a Cooper Series race for the very first time, but he was no match for Howard, who regained the advantage at Turn Five on the following lap and sped away to the victory.

An irate Foster quickly made up for the lost ground, posting the fastest lap of the race for the second day in succession, but wound up just 1.852 seconds shy of Howard at the checkered flag.

"It's very frustrating, because I really wanted the two wins," said Foster.

Byers was satisfied -- no, delighted -- with his second podium finish of the weekend: "I had so much fun," he said. "St. Clair Motorsports did a great job with the car. It was a Cinderella weekend for me, to come away with two podiums and two wins in the Cooper Masters Series [for drivers over 35 years of age]."

Bystrom again drove well to finish fourth for the second consecutive day, while former Canadian Formula Ford Champion Chris Guerrieri took fifth in his #11 Aiken Racing Van Diemen RF05.

Ricardo Vassmer, from Caracas, Venezuela, continued his domination of the Cooper Gold Cup series (for older, Pinto-engined cars) by taking a pair of victories in Comprent Motorsports' #25 UltraLub Van Diemen RF01.

Chris Carlson, from Eden Prairie, Minn., placed second in class on each day in his #73 Van Diemen.

The next two rounds of the Cooper Tires Championship Series for Formula Ford 2000 cars will take place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, August 27/28.

Results from Round 7:
1. Joey Foster (Van Diemen RF01); 2. Jason Byers (Van Diemen RF03); 3. Gerald Kraut (Van Diemen RF03); 4. Noah Bystrom (Van Diemen RF05); 5. Steve Thomson (Van Diemen); 6. John Lombardo Jr. (Van Diemen RF02); 7. Chris Guerrieri (Van Diemen RF05); 8. Chris Hundley (Van Diemen RF05); 9. Olivier Comeau (Van Diemen); 10. Chris Meredith (Van Diemen RF02); 11. Ricardo Vassmer (Van Diemen RF01-Pinto*); 12. Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi (Van Diemen RF03); 13. John Graham (Van Diemen RF03); 14. Chris Carlson (Van Diemen-Pinto*); 15. Chuck Lessick (Van Diemen RF05); 16. Dan Bruggeman (Van Diemen RF01-Pinto*); 17. Michael Wettstein (Van Diemen-Pinto*); 18. Walter Vollrath (Van Diemen-Pinto*); 19. Philip Metzger (Van Diemen RF02); 20. Brian Cleary (Van Diemen-Pinto*); 21. Dan Denison (Van Diemen); 22. Brian Burke (Carbir DS3-Pinto*); 23. Doug Smith (Van Diemen RF05); 24. John Gluckin (Van Diemen RF01); 25. Nick Haye (Van Diemen RF01); 26. Jay Howard (Van Diemen RF03); 27. Brian Tomasi (Van Diemen RF01); 28. David Clarke (Van Diemen RF05); 29. Nick Boulle (Van Diemen RF01).

* Cooper Gold Cup contestants (for Pinto-engined cars)

Winner's race time: 26 minutes 58.040 seconds
Race distance: 12 laps/48 miles
Winner's average speed: 106.790 mph
Margin of victory: 10.390 seconds

Fastest qualifier: Howard
Fastest race lap: Foster, 2m 13.371s, 107.970 mph

Results from Round 8:
1. Foster; 2. Howard; 3. Byers; 4. Bystrom; 5. Guerrieri; 6. Kraut; 7. Hundley; 8. Meredith; 9. Smith; 10. Metzger; 11. Vassmer*; 12. Carlson*; 13. Graham; 14. Lessick; 15. Boulle; 16. Tirinnanzi; 17. Clarke; 18. Comeau; 19. Burke*; 20. Denison; 21. Gluckin; 22. Cleary; 23. Vollrath; 24. Thomson; 25. Haye; 26. Bruggeman*; 27. Lombardo; 28. Tomasi; 29. Wettstein*. Note: * Cooper Gold Cup contestants (for Pinto-engined cars)

Winner's race time: not given
Race distance: 12 laps/48 miles
Winner's average speed: not given
Margin of victory: 1.852 seconds

Fastest qualifier: Foster, 2m 13.371s, 107.970 mph
Fastest race lap: Foster, 2m 12.634s, 108.569 mph

Unofficial championship positions (After 8 of 14 rounds): 1. Howard, 222; 2. Foster, 157; 3. Byers, 116; 4. Guerrieri, 110; 5. Meredith, 91; 6. Smith, 90; 7. Kraut, 85; 8. Matt McDonough (Van Diemen RF02); 84; 9. Enzo Potolicchio (Van Diemen RF03), 72; 10. Haye, 58; etc.

Next rounds: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio, August 27/28.

-js-

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Joey Foster , John Graham , Chris Meredith , Steve Thomson , Dan Bruggeman , Brian Tomasi , Dan Denison , Olivier Comeau , Jay Howard , Nicholas Boulle , David Clark , Nick Haye , Enzo Potolicchio , Doug Smith