NA-F2000: Series VIR race two notes

Morgan Wins by a Car-Length at VIR Alton, VA Cole Morgan held off Remy Audette and capitalized on Daniel Erickson's misfiring engine to take his first F2000 win since taking the 2007 F2000 Championship title. Erickson,...

Morgan Wins by a Car-Length at VIR

Alton, VA Cole Morgan held off Remy Audette and capitalized on Daniel Erickson's misfiring engine to take his first F2000 win since taking the 2007 F2000 Championship title. Erickson, the Australian rookie, led from pole and had pulled out to a two second gap as Morgan and Audette diced for second. With three laps to go the Zetec in Erickson's #02 started to misfire, and he ended up a distant tenth with a very sick-sounding motor. Fabio Orsolon finished third, making it an American-Canadian-Brazilian podium

"The start kind of just happened," said Morgan, who went from fifth to second before taking the lead in his K-Hill Motorsports Van Diemen. "We were turning some really good laps and then the tires started to go away and Remy (Audette) caught me. (Daniel) Erickson slowed near the end and I knew Remy was all over me and I made sure he couldn't get any runs."

Morgan's margin of victory was four-tenths of a second, compared to round one's two-tenths margin of victory. Both VIR races were run in their entirety without any full-course cautions.

Audette, who was sporting a Sponge Bob charter on his steering wheel, commented: "I was pushing hard and felt faster than Cole in some areas, the team gave me an awesome car. During the last few laps I was hoping he would make a mistake but we'll take second."

Fabio Orsolon finished third for the second day in a row ahead of his teammate Victor Carbone, who won round one and Rob Nicholas, who wins the Masters Class.

"We struggled all weekend with broken parts," Nicholas, driving under the K-Fast awning, said. "We got a great start, going to seventh from 13th and I had hooked up with (Jonathan) Scarallo for a few laps before he went off at Oak Tree."

Scarallo started fourth and got shuffled backwards on the start. The young American was able to work his way back to fifth in the 33-car field, while setting fastest race lap. He recovered from a mid-race spin to finish seventh, behind his R-Sport teammate Keith McCrone.

Tim Kautz and Bobby Caldwell, both driving for Liberty Motorsports finished eighth and ninth, and Daniel Erickson hung on for tenth.

Erickson hung on for 10th. (click for high-res)

Daniel Erickson nailed his second-ever rolling start and pulled a nice lead out on Cole Morgan. The Australian, driving for Primus Racing, scored poles for both rounds, resetting the track record. He was caught off guard by his first rolling start in round one and missed winning the race by two-tenths of a second. That wasn't the case at VIR today, as he controlled the race pace until an unfortunate engine problem brought him home in tenth.

"The car was absolutely perfect, the guys did a great job but I'm absolutely devastated," commented Erickson. "I had a 2.5 second gap and then I heard an unfortunate noise from the motor and my lead was gone."

Rookie Billy McLaughlin, who had a hard crash during Thursday testing, finished a solid 15th for K-Hill, behind Dave Weitzenhof, Tom Fatur, Mark Defer and Bob Wright.

22-year old Chris Keller, who wasn't officially driving on Sunday until about 8pm on Saturday night, finished 19th after the crew of the #83 prepped the chassis late into the night. A last second setup was dialed in after qualifying.

A lap one incident took out Phil Lombardi and Tim Minor, who both were expected to be quick at VIR. Chris Gumprecht lost his gearbox early in the race and Chris Livengood, driving the only Pinto-powered entry in the field, was running solidly in the top 15 before an off-course excursion in turn one put him back in the pack.

Craig Clawson, who has started every F2000 Championship Series race to date, earned the CellMark Paper Hard Charger by improving 10 positions from start to finish.

The 2010 F2000 season continues at Road Atlanta May 6-8.

-source: f2000

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