F2000: Championship Fight Hot as Series Heads to Elkhart Lake
New York, NY -- Ten races are down and four remain in the chase for the 2010 F2000 Series title as the series heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for races 11 and 12 at Road America. Victor Carbone, with five wins so far, has been in control of the points chase in his Alegra Motorsports Van Diemen since his opening weekend win at VIR, but 2007 champion Cole Morgan is just 61 points back as both drivers are coming off victories at Lime Rock Park.
For Carbone, Lime Rock produced a solid race two win, and his first DNF of the season in race one as Morgan went on for the victory, gaining valuable ground in the championship chase.
Carbone is looking forward to racing at the 14-turn Road America circuit: "I have been to Elkhart Lake with Skip Barber so I'm familiar with the track, and it's one of my favorite places," said the Brazilian. "I'm excited to race there. Plus, we have a good amount of track time before qualifying so we will be able to work on a good race setup."
American driver Morgan saw a similar up and down weekend at Lime Rock, coming from fifth to win in race one with a turn one pass on Scottish rookie Stevan McAleer. It was his second win of the year. Race two somehow produced a distant ninth place finish for the K-Hill Motorsports driver, contesting the entire race without brakes . "With only four races left we need to start finishing ahead of Victor consistently," said Morgan. "I'm going to try to focus on my next session for the rest of the year. If do my best in every session, what else can we do?"
Morgan may have his work cut out for him as the series has only gotten tougher since his title in 2007. In 32 timed sessions this season, including races, Morgan has only placed ahead of Carbone in 12 of them.
Phil Lombardi sits third in the point standings, coming off two podiums at Lime Rock, leading the Masters Class drivers and is just 63 points behind Morgan in the title race.
"The goal is still the same, to win the championship," Lombardi said. "In order to do so we are going to have to be perfect and the guys ahead of us are going to have to be anything but that. Victor and Cole will be hard to overtake, but anything can happen. Plus I have Tim (Minor) and Keith (McCrone) hot on my heels."
Minor and McCrone, both Masters Class drivers round out the top five in the points. Minor is just six points adrift of Lombardi, but will miss Elkhart Lake. Meanwhile, R-Sport's McCrone is just 23 points behind Minor.
Daniel Erickson will make the trek to Road America as well, having been the talk of the paddock at VIR and returning to F2000 to sweep Watkins Glen with two wins. At Lime Rock, Erickson spun off on the last lap, trying to get around Morgan for the win. Later in the day he drove from 14th to second, nearly running down Carbone for the win.
Stevan McAleer is looking for his first win at Road America, after having just contested four races this year with the Race House squad. McAleer took an early lead at Lime Rock and pulled away before Cole Morgan snuck around him on a restart, McAleer had to settle for second.
"At Lime Rock we proved we can run up front in a very competitive series," said the Scottish rookie. "The car was just fantastic and for the team to be halfway through their first season in open wheel racing it was a real boost for myself and everyone to be on the podium."
Meanwhile, McAleer's teammate, Tim Paul, in the #06 SMR entry, is coming off a huge crash at Lime Rock. Paul will move to the team's backup car, code-named the "bat mobile" for Elkhart Lake.
Rookie Chris Livengood will see his first familiar track of the year in Work Racing's bone-stock 1999 Van Diemen.
"Road America is actually a bit of a relief for me," Livengood said. "It's the first track of the year that I have experience on. I can actually get on track, concentrate on driving a proper line rather than playing catch-up."
Jonathan Scarallo is another driver looking for his first F2000 win. The second-year driver finished second at Road Atlanta earlier this year.
"I've been playing Forza to learn Road America," commented Scarallo. "We were plenty fast at Lime Rock but had to start further back than we would have liked. Now we just need to put a complete race weekend together with a good qualifying effort and a good race. Wins will be around the corner."
Victor Carbone's Alegra Motorsports teammate, Fabio Orsolon is still looking for a win as well. The second year driver has been on the podium multiple times but victory has snuck away from the Brazilian.
The Road America weekend will also see the return of both Arms Up and JDC, with both teams expected to field multiple entries.
The event begins on Friday with two practice sessions, with Saturday and Sunday each featuring a morning qualifying session and an afternoon race. Live updates will be available online at www.F2000ChampionshipSeries.com.
-source: f2000 championship