NA-F2000: Urlin Mid-Ohio race notes

JW Urlin of London, Ontario, finished eighth and was awarded the Taylor Engineering "Shark" award in round eight of the US Formula 2000 National Championship yesterday. The eighteen-year-old was competing in a doubleheader race weekend at the ...

JW Urlin of London, Ontario, finished eighth and was awarded the Taylor Engineering "Shark" award in round eight of the US Formula 2000 National Championship yesterday. The eighteen-year-old was competing in a doubleheader race weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, an event that was a roller coaster for JW as he experienced a series of highs and lows.

On Saturday morning, during the first qualifying session, Urlin had to dive off the track to avoid a car that had spun. Unfortunately, his car brushed against a barrier, bending the front suspension. Following some quick, makeshift repairs, JW was back out on the track, albeit with a misaligned car. Despite the poor handling and precious little time left in the session, he drove superbly to qualify thirteenth in a field of 29 cars.

With the car fully repaired for the second qualifying session, JW was confident of achieving a top-ten grid position for Sunday's race. Oddly, however, he was somewhat slower and his disappointment was obvious when he saw that he ranked only nineteenth in the session.

Race one took place on Saturday afternoon. Starting thirteenth, JW figured he had a good shot at a top-five finish, but he hadn't counted on bad luck slapping him in the face again. Less than halfway through the 25-lap race, JW radioed the crew saying that the car's handling had suddenly gone very sour. He patiently nursed the car home to fifteenth place.

Post-race examination revealed that a piece on the front anti-roll assembly had broken.

Fortunately, Sunday saw JW put the bad luck behind him. After starting nearly two-thirds of the way down the 29-car grid, Urlin drove a smart and steady race to take his Budget Rent-A-Car / London Auto Glass car to eighth place. The drive, which resulted in a gain of eleven places, netted him the Taylor Engineering "Shark" award. This is the second time this season JW has been presented with a Shark.

"I just concentrated on being smart and staying in the race," JW said after Sunday's race. "I was worried about something breaking, especially in the last few laps, but everything was okay. That was a relief because we've had some lousy luck. It was good for the whole team to finish off the weekend with a good run. We all worked hard, especially the crew who were pretty busy fixing things."

The next event on the USF2000 schedule takes JW to Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, July 7 and 8.

-MJ

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Series Other open wheel