WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (May 20, 2001)â€“Billy Asaro, of Unionville, Ont., won Round Five of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Watkins Glen International. Memo Rojas, of Mexico City, Mexico and Mike Potekhen, of Phoenix,...
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (May 20, 2001)–Billy Asaro, of Unionville, Ont., won Round Five of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Watkins Glen International. Memo Rojas, of Mexico City, Mexico and Mike Potekhen, of Phoenix, Ariz., completed the top-three. Scott Rubenzer, of Brookfield, Wis. won the American Continental Championship race.
As is typical at Watkins Glen, the start and restarts played a key role in the outcome of the race. At the green flag, the entire field made it through turn one without incident, unlike Round Four. Mike Andersen, of Green Pond, N.J., maintained the lead, while numerous cars swapped position behind him. Starting 15th, Asaro quickly began to make his way to the front, moving into sixth place by lap three. When a full-course caution appeared, for a car off in the gravel in the boot on lap five, he was in fifth place. The ensuing restart proved to be wild. The field went three-wide down the straight in turn one and once again heading to the bus stop. The beneficiary of all the action proved to be Asaro. By midway through the lap he had gained the lead. Once in the lead, Asaro, driving the No. 69 www.keymotorsports/POPS Van Diemen Ford, began to pull away from the field along with the second place car, Andersen. The duo looked to be in control of the race, until another full-course, for a crash in corner 11, bunched the field back together. Asaro got a great restart and never relinquished the lead en route to 2.366 seconds margin of victory. For his strong drive, Asaro was awarded the Taylor Engineering “Shark” award, for moving up 14 positions in the race, and the Pi Research Hard Charger award. The win in both rounds of the doubleheader at Watkins Glen extends Asaro’s point standings lead to 29 points (117-88).
“I just had an incredible day,” Asaro. “I tried not to do anything stupid and we moved up. Key Motorsport is awesome. They keep giving me a car that can get me to the front.”
After a disappointing race in Round Four, Rojas rebounded to capture a podium in Round Five. Driving the No. 15 Telmex Van Diemen Ford, Rojas moved up one spot on the opening lap of the race to move into sixth place. When the first caution came out, Rojas was in fifth place. Rojas would maintain this position until the final lap of the race. Using some daring passes, Rojas moved into second place and secured his second podium of the season. The finish moves Rojas into second place in the standings.
“This is a good way to finish a tough weekend,” said Rojas. “We’ve been fast in every session so I thought I could run up front. The team did a great job getting me back up front after yesterday’s accident.”
Potekhen, driving the No. 87 P.D.R/Twin Season’s .com Van Diemen Ford, got a good start to the race, moving into second at corner one, after starting a career-best third. Potekhen, driving a good pace was able to maintain the position in the early stages of the race and through the first restart. On the second restart, he held off numerous charges, after be shuffled back to third, to capture his first career podium finish.
“The race went really well,” said Potekhen. “After the morning warm-up and with the car running so consistent, we were really looking forward to the race.”
Rubenzer, driving the No. 11 Storage Battery Systems/Trojan Battery Co. Carbir Ford, battled all race long to capture the ACC win. Rubenzer and Billy Hagar, of Tuttle, Okla., who won Round Two, swapped the class lead six times during the race. After losing the lead on the final restart, Rubenzer was able to regain it before the checkered flag came out. The win moves Rubenzer to within six points of the championship lead.
“It was a good race,” said Rubenzer. Me and Billy [Hagar] were even all weekend. He would lead for a while, then I would lead a while. It was kind of luck of the draw as to who would win.”
Completing the top-five was Andersen and Arnold Brinkmann, of Quito, Ecuador.