BYSTROM CONVERTS POLE INTO F2000 CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES WIN AT ROAD ATLANTA Noah Bystrom converted his first series pole position into an inaugural F2000 Championship Series win on Friday, scoring the victory in Round Three at Road Atlanta. Joining...
BYSTROM CONVERTS POLE INTO F2000 CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES WIN AT ROAD ATLANTA
Noah Bystrom converted his first series pole position into an inaugural F2000 Championship Series win on Friday, scoring the victory in Round Three at Road Atlanta. Joining the Andersen Racing race winner on the podium in Georgia were championship leader Matt McDonough and rookie Terrick Mansur.
Getting the green flag in ideal sunny conditions, the 32-car F2000 Championship Series field fanned out heading into turn one. Greatly entertaining the fans on hand, the leaders went through the opening turn side-by-side. Van Sicklen, getting a superb start in his VS Racing car, passed the polesiter Bystrom going up the hill into turns two and three. Sticking right on the Round Two race winner's rear tail, Bystrom regained the lead entering the chicane on the opening lap. While the start of lap two witnessed the entire top-five tightly bunched together, by the completion of the lap, Bystrom and Van Sicklen had established a small gap on the intense fight for the final podium position.
Running in close formation, Mansur, McDonough, Ricardo Vassmer (Andersen Racing), Juliana Gonzalez (Andersen Racing) and Phil Lombardi (PMC Racing) repeatedly went two and three wide around the course while battling for third place. As the battled ragged for position, a change at the front occurred, when Van Sicklen took over the top spot for a second time. Lap after lap, Bystrom looked for a way past into the lead, while third through sixth place repeatedly shuffled. Just prior to halfway point of the 18-lap race, the order at the front changed, when within two laps Bystrom passed for the lead and Mansur in his Andersen Racing car caught and passed Van Sicklen. This pass for the lead would prove the turning point for Bystrom, as once out front he turned some very quick laps, establishing a sizeable lead on second place, which now featured Mansur, McDonough, Van Sicklen and Gonzalez doing battle. This battle for position further grew by a car, when Cole Morgan in his St. Clair Motorsports entry, having charged all the way from the rear of the field, made his presence felt. Dicing for position through every corner, the order among the top-five changed one final time, when McDonough passed Mansur just prior to Morgan and Van Sicklen having contact, resulting in the race winner ending his race in a gravel trap. When the checkered flag finally waved, Bystrom, having led the entire second half of the race, scored his first series win by 1.673s over McDonough. Completing the top-five were Morgan, who captured the Hard Charger award, and Gonzalez.
Round Four of the 12-race season will take place Sunday, May 12, at Road Atlanta, following qualifying earlier in the day. Entering the final race of the doubleheader, McDonough leads the championship standings by 16 points over Bystrom, who in turn is six points ahead of Mansur.
-credit: f2000 championship series