F2000: Miller Wins Action Packed Race by a Tenth at VIR Alton, VA -- Chris Miller got around Remy Audette during round two of the 2009 F2000 Series and went on to take the checkers by just a tenth of a second over Matthew Inge in a...
F2000: Miller Wins Action Packed Race by a Tenth at VIR
Alton, VA -- Chris Miller got around Remy Audette during round two of the 2009 F2000 Series and went on to take the checkers by just a tenth of a second over Matthew Inge in a highly competitive race at VIR. At the drop of the green it was all Canadian Remy Audette as he was able to get by Matthew Inge for second and then drafted past Chris Miller on the back straight and took the lead.
Audette pulled a gap to more than three seconds while Miller and Inge had to work their way around Tim Minor who had drafted his way into second on the opening lap. Then Audette was balked by lapped traffic going into turn 13 halfway through the race and Miller pounced, getting by him on the entrance to the front straight. A few corners later Audette made a mistake and went off the track at Oak Tree, allowing Matthew Inge to move into second.
Inge wasted no time in catching Miller, posting the fastest lap of the race at 1:55.440. The American duo pulled away from Remy Audette at a pace of almost a second a lap. Inge caught Miller and pulled alongside him multiple times in the closing laps but couldn't get past, allowing Miller to take the win by just .126 seconds.
"The start was not as planned," said Miller in victory circle. "I got drafted by a couple guys at the start but I was able to get around Minor and then Audette. Remy (Audette) had to check up due to a lapped car ad I took advantage. Inge and I had a great race at the end."
Matthew Inge commented, "Wow. It was a hard fought race. I fell to fourth at the start but I kept working. The car just got better and better. Audette went off at Oak Tree and I got around him. Chris Miller and I had a great race, I got alongside him a few times but he had the line into the corner and I couldn't get by."
Audette, who took the lead early and lowered the track record in yesterday's qualifying session had to settle for third place. "The start was very good. I passed Matt (Inge) on the front straight and then I got past Chris (Miller) at the end of the back straight," explained Audette. "There were two lapped cars a few laps later. I got past one and the second looked like he was giving me room and all of a sudden he slammed the door on me. I jumped a curb and Chris got by me. I then made a mistake at Oak Tree and Matt got past."
2008 Masters class champion Tim Minor came home in fourth overall and was the first of the Masters class entrants, running second for a few laps at the start of the race. "I could have taken the lead at one point," said Minor. "I dropped back to third and then the car developed a huge high speed understeer and I lost a lot of time. Remy (Audette) went off at Oak Tree and I almost hit him. I did all I could to avoid running into him. It was a good race and I'm happy with fourth."
Jesse Yorio rounded out the top five in his Piper chassis. He was followed by Guibord Jr., Lombardi, Szykulski, Alexander and Johnston.
A bottleneck at the drop of the green caused a minor incident for the 28-car field on the front straight in the middle of the field putting Bobby Caldwell a few laps down with a broken wing. "I didn't see anything and then there was just a shock cover in my face. I hit one of the Alegra cars," commented Caldwell.
Caldwell had contact with the Alegra Motorsports car of Victor Carbone, who was forced to pull off the track in the first corner. His teammate Fabio Orsolon worked his way up to fifth before a broken axle ended his race.
Group A Racing finished their first F2000 race with Colin Alexander coming home in ninth with teammate Jonathan Scarallo placing 16th. "I'm still getting used to my new gearbox," said Alexander, who didn't even start yesterday's race when a broken gearbox left him stranded on the grid. "Driving wise everything went real well. We were pulling multiple car lengths on people in the esses. I had a great race and an overall blast dicing with Caitlin for ninth."
Caitlin Johnston came home tenth in her Z-Sports Van Diemen after finishing 12th in yesterday's race."It was great, I ran my fastest lap of the weekend during the race," said Johnston. "The start was nuts, I was caught right behind the incident. There were cars careening everywhere that I had to dodge."
Johnston's Z-Sports teammate, Benjamin Searcy, who won yesterday's wet-dry race by fifteen seconds over Audette, suffered gearbox problems that caused a spin stranding him off the track.
USF1's Ken Anderson was on hand to congratulate the top three finishers on the podium during the victory celebration.
The F2000 Championship Series resumes on May 23-25 at Lime Rock Park.