F2000: Erickson Wins Race One at the Glen
Watkins Glen, NY -- Daniel Erickson notched his first F2000 win in his third ever start by getting around pole-sitter Chris Livengood midway through an all green race that saw 32 cars get through turn one without incident. Fellow rookie Livengood led from the drop of the green with Erickson holding station on his gearbox, halfway through the 14-lap lap race Erickson pounced, never looking back to take the win for Quantum Mechanics/Primus Racing. Rounding out the top five behind Work Racing's Livengood were Tim Minor, Cole Morgan and championship points leader Victor Carbone.
"Once I got the lead I just tried not to mess anything up," said Erickson, from Australia. "I got a good run at Chris (Livengood) midway through the race and went for it. I feel confident going into tomorrow but it won't be easy."
Chris Livengood, a rookie out of the karting ranks, notched his best finish of the year and first F2000 podium with his second place effort. To Livengood's credit, the #37 is a fully stock 1999 Van Diemen and the team is running a small program.
"The start went to plan," Livengood commented. "Around lap eight or so I started picking up understeer and was making more mistakes than Daniel (Erickson). He caught me going into the chicane and got away so I decided just to save my tires for tomorrow."
Tim Minor started tenth, and got an amazing run going into turn one to take fourth place, eventually moving into third to round off the podium and take the Masters Class victory.
"I got almost everyone going into turn one," commented Minor. "It wasn't my exact plan but it was a great start. Later on I got it sideways in the busstop and lost the leaders. So from there on I conserved my tires for tomorrow's race."
The top 11 cars all ran laps under the existing race record, with Cole Morgan notching the fastest lap, gaining a couple points back on Carbone in the chase for the national title with his fourth place finish for K-Hill/Liberty Motorsports.
Carbone, however, managed to finish fifth after starting eighth and running as low as 12th. The young Brazilian started eighth for Alegra Motorsports after losing his two fastest laps during qualifying for bringing out a black flag. Carbone actually set faster laps than the pole time during qualifying.
"I was supposed to start first but obviously started eighth due to the penalty," Carbone said. "I had a bad start and fell back but the car was great so I was able to move up during the race. I just wish the race was longer since the car was so good. Tomorrow I'm back on the front row so it should be good."
Rob Nicholas finished sixth ahead of Keith McCrone, James Winslow, Fabio Orsolon and Phil Lombardi, last year's Watkins Glen victor.
Stevan McAleer, in the Race House #14 entry, also nailed the start from ninth on the grid, going to third before a broken rear sway bar in his Van Diemen relegated him to 11th, which is still best finish of the year for the SMR/Race House squad.
"I studied the rules on the green flag so knew I could go when I saw it," McAleer, in his first ever F2000 start, said. "I managed to get to third and then the understeer came so I just hung on from there."
Charles Finelli knabs the CellMark Paper Hard Charger award by advancing 15 positions, going from 30th to 15th.
The F2000 action continues at Watkins Glen with race two, tomorrow, July 4, at 11:00am (GMT -- 5).