Carbone Holds Off Erickson to Win at VIR Alton, VA -- Victor Carbone led every lap at VIR on his way to taking his first career F2000 Series victory over Australian rookie Daniel Erickson by two-tenths of a second. Carbone, driving for Alegra ...
Carbone Holds Off Erickson to Win at VIR
Alton, VA -- Victor Carbone led every lap at VIR on his way to taking his first career F2000 Series victory over Australian rookie Daniel Erickson by two-tenths of a second. Carbone, driving for Alegra Motorsports in his second F2000 season, timed his start beautifully from the outside of the front row, taking advantage of pole sitter Erickson, who had never done a rolling start before. Erickson would fall back to third, only to reel the Brazilian in from 1.8 seconds away as the two ran nose-to-tail for the closing laps in a thrilling start to the 2010 F2000 Season.
"My start was perfect, as soon as the green flag waved I was gone," commented Carbone, who also gives Alegra their first F2000 win. "At the end, Erickson was super fast and was all over me but I was able to just barely hold him off. The car was amazing and it shows the great job the team did over the offseason."
Erickson tried a last-lap pass attempt on Carbone only to have the door shut, but walks away from his first race ever with a second place effort, in a modest 33-car field. Additionally, in qualifying he set a new track record and earned bonus points for pole as the run for the 2010 national championship begins this weekend.
"I misread the start," said Erickson, driving the #02 for Primus Racing. "I've never done a rolling start before and dropped back to third, by the time I got around (Tim) Kautz and into second, it took some work to catch Victor (Carbone). The car was good and quick all around."
At the drop of the green, F2000 newcomer Tim Kautz went from sixth to second, and held station in third before two spins left him finishing well down the order.
Completing the podium was Carbone's Alegra teammate Fabio Orsolon, also from Brazil. Cole Morgan finished fourth and set the fastest race lap.
"The outside line at the start got shuffled, I got pushed back to sixth and was boxed in with nowhere to go," Morgan, the 2007 F2000 Champion, said. "I knew we had the fastest car out there, and the fast lap shows it."
Remy Audette rounded out the top five, and was running solidly in third before a quick off-course excursion cost him precious time.
Jonathan Scarallo, driving his second F2000 year and now with the R-Sport team finished sixth. Scarallo said: "It was a fun race, on the start we got shuffled back to tenth and I was able to pick a bunch of guys off and nearly got Remy (Audette) on the last lap. R-Sport gave me a great car and hopefully tomorrow we can qualify a bit better. "
Finish seventh and winning the Masters Class was Phil Lombardi, in the #3 GTP Motorsports Van Diemen. "I am disappointed here today, we've been working hard on the car and it is numb to all the changes we're making," Lombardi commented.
Chris Gumprecht followed in eighth position, with rookie Chris Livengood in the Pinto-powered Van Diemen in ninth ahead of 2008 Masters Class Champion Tim Minor.
Dave Weitzenhof, seven-time SCCA National Champion, finished 11th in the only Citation chassis on the 33-car grid. Jesse Yorio followed in 12th, in the newest hardware and the only Piper in the field. Bobby Caldwell, Al Guibord Jr, and Tim Kautz made up 13th-15th.
The field ran an extra pace lap in "missing man" formation in remembrance of Joe Stimola, who was also the chief engineer for Alegra's F2000 program. The Alegra team dedicated their win to Stimola.
Keith McCrone, driving for R-Sport, was the CellMark Paper Hard Charger of the day, going from 30th to 17th in the 14-lap caution free feature event of the afternoon at VIR.
The action continues tomorrow with a mid-day qualifying session followed by an afternoon 30-minute or 14-lap race. Fans and competitors can follow live updates, news and photos on www.F2000ChampionshipSeries.com or on Twitter @F2000.