F2000: Livengood and Erickson Split Watkins Glen Poles Watkins Glen, NY -- F2000 rookies Chris Livengood and Daniel Erickson each took a pole and three championship bonus points in a somewhat untraditional day for the ...
F2000: Livengood and Erickson Split Watkins Glen Poles
Watkins Glen, NY -- F2000 rookies Chris Livengood and Daniel Erickson each took a pole and three championship bonus points in a somewhat untraditional day for the F2000 Championship Series that saw double qualifying sessions run in succession for rounds seven and eight of the 2010 season at Watkins Glen with IndyCar. Livengood will start from pole in race one on Saturday and Erickson will take the 32-car field to the green on Sunday.
American rookie Livengood was second quick in the morning's practice session before taking his first career F2000 pole with a lap of 1:53.596 for race one of the weekend. The #37, which was recently converted from Pinto to Zetec by Work Racing, will start on pole for race one and will come from fourth for race two.
"The changes we made this morning were right on the money. I think I can drive better through the back half of the track too," said Livengood, who is running a bone-stock 1999 Van Diemen chassis for Work Racing with engineering support provided by John Walko.
Lining up alongside Livengood for race one will be Australian rookie Daniel Erickson, who paced both practice sessions. Erickson is well remembered for showing up at VIR, resetting the track record, taking both poles and nearly running away with the second race before a spark plug wire ruined his day.
Completing the top ten for the first race of the weekend were Keith McCrone, who was the fastest Masters Class driver in third for R-Sport, Rob Nicholas, Fabio Orsolon, Jonathan Scarallo, Cole Morgan, Victor Carbone, Stevan McAleer and Tim Minor.
Both Orsolon and Scarallo are bouncing back from big crashes at Mosport just a few weeks ago.
In the first qualifying round, championship points leader Victor Carbone was actually faster than anyone else, but will surrender his two fastest laps for bringing out the black flag in this morning's practice session. The Brazilian will have to come from eighth on Saturday, his worst starting position of the year. Carbone will start second for Sunday's 14-lap race in his Alegra Motorsports #23 Van Diemen/Zetec.
"I'm going to have to get a clean start tomorrow and try to work my way up front," said Carbone. "The car feels great and if weren't for the penalty I'd be on the pole for the first race."
In the second qualifying session, Daniel Erickson's lap of 1:53.047 was relatively untouched as the young Australian takes his third pole of the year and misses out on another track record by a couple hundredths.
"We made a few first changes in the first session which obviously didn't work," said Erickson. "We went back to the regular setup for the second qualifying session and it went to plan."
Championship points leader Victor Carbone will line up second alongside Erickson, which is reminiscent of race one at VIR. At that race, Carbone got the drop on an inexperienced Erickson in his first rolling start ever to take what was then his first win of the year.
Fabio Orsolon, Carbone's Alegra Motorsports teammate will line up third next to Chris Livengood. Keith McCrone continued to be the quickest of the Masters Class drivers rounding out the top five.
Rob Nicholas, Tim Minor, Jonathan Scarallo, Cole Morgan and Tim Minor followed in positions sixth through 10.
Interestingly enough, both pole times set were faster than World Challenge's GT pole lap of 1:54.657.
2007 F2000 title winner Cole Morgan bounced back from a hiccup during practice that tore the rear wing off the #1 to qualify seventh for race one and ninth for race two. Morgan currently sits second in the standings.
"We're all baffled," said Morgan. "It seems like something is broken but we keep throwing these changes at the car and nothing happens."
Scottish rookie and F2000 newcomer Stevan McAleer, in the #14 Race House entry, battled engine issues in the morning sessions to end up qualifying ninth and 11th in his F2000 Series debut. Teammate and former sprint car/midget driver Tim Paul will start 21st and 24th in the #06 SMR car.
Also competing in the F2000 qualifying sessions was James Winslow, who is looking for some more track time before his Indy Lights race at Watkins Glen. Winslow may contest the F2000 races in the K-Hill Motorsports #42 Van Diemen. The Indy Lights competitor qualified 18th and 13th.
Last year's Watkins Glen winner, Phil Lombardi will line up 11th in race one and tenth in race two.
Local driver Craig Clawson qualified 16th and 14th in the #27 entry.
Chris Gumprecht crashed in afternoon practice to miss the first qualifying session. Meanwhile, Dan Denison crashed during the first qualifying session and Charles Finelli battled mechanical problems.
Chris Camadella was a late addition to the F2000 grid in the second AcceleRace Motorsports entry.
The F2000 action continues at Watkins Glen with race one, tomorrow, July 3, at 10:15am (GMT -- 5) and race two on Sunday at 11:00am.