NA-F2000: Watkins Gen Race One Story

BESNARD BEATS CAMIRAND TO TAKE FOURTH IN F2000 WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Australian David Besnard claimed his fourth victory on the U.S. F2000 National Championship season, winning the first half of the Watkins Glen International...

BESNARD BEATS CAMIRAND TO TAKE FOURTH IN F2000

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Australian David Besnard claimed his fourth victory on the U.S. F2000 National Championship season, winning the first half of the Watkins Glen International doubleheader after a race-long battle with new Canadian sensation Marc-Antoine Camirand.

Besnard started the 20-lap, 49.0-mile contest from the pole, his fourth-straight, and led every lap, but his drive was not an easy one as Camirand stuck with him the entire time, passing him once with six laps left, only to be immediately re-passed going into turn one. Besnard completed the race, which was slowed for two laps with one caution, in 32 minutes, 11.154 seconds, averaging 91.344 mph.

"My car was very good under breaking," said Besnard of the No. 13 Primus Racing Karts Van Diemen Ford. "When (Camirand) tried to pass, I was able to out-brake him. A millisecond is all it takes and that's what I had."

Camirand, who started second in the No. 96 Key Tours Van Diemen Ford, dogged Besnard the whole way, never falling less than 1.283 seconds back to come home 0.955-second behind.

"I tried to take the lead with about six laps to go, but it didn't work," said the St. Leonard D'Aston, Quebec driver. "The team gave me a great car and I'm very happy with second and hope to get another top-three tomorrow."

Andy Lally, of Northport, N.Y., equaled his career-best finish with a third, battling his No. 5 Maida/Red Line/Highcroft Bowman Ford with the No. 88 American Instruments Tatuus Ford of Ryan Hampton the entire race.

"It was awesome racing," said Lally, who started sixth. "Ryan Hampton and I had the best race of our lives there. Our cars were perfectly mismatched. I bet we passed each other more than 10 times during the race – one lap three times."

Hampton, of Glendora, Calif., came home fourth, with Homestead winner Robby McGehee finishing fifth. Michael Durand, of Wayland, Mass., won the "B" class and local driver Steve Rikert, of Rhinebeck, N.Y., was awarded the CDS "Drive of the Day" after improving from his 25th starting spot to finish sixth.

Besnard now enjoys a massive 48-point lead, 158 to 110 over Hampton, followed by McGehee with 109, Lally with 91 and Mike Johnson with 72.

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Provisional results from the 20-lap, 49.0-mile U.S. F2000 National Championship Round Five race at Watkins Glen International, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, class, car, laps and reason out (if any). 1. (1), David Besnard, Sydney, Australia, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 2. (2), Marc Antoine Camirand, St. Leonard D'Aston, Que., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 3. (6), Andy Lally, Northport, N.Y., F2A, Bowman BC5 Ford, 20. 4. (10), Ryan Hampton, Glendora, Calif., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 20. 5. (5), Robby McGehee, St. Louis, Mo., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 20. 6. (25), Steve Rikert, Rhinebeck, N.Y., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 20. 7. (13), Greg LeMond, Medina, Minn., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 8. (7), Mike Johnson, Gainsville, Ga., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 9. (16), Ric Rushton, Santa Fe, N.M., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 10. (12), Bobby Oergel, Palmetto, Fla., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 11. (14), Ryan Walker, Okemos, Mich., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 20. 12. (11), Michael Durand, Wayland, Mass., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 13. (20), Joey Scarallo, Hauppauge, N.Y., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 14. (28), Larry Oberto, Seattle, Wash., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 15. (27), Alejandro Garcia, Venezuela, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 16. (3), Anthony Simone, Stouffville, Ontario, Can., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 17. (18), Ryan Jones, Honeoye Falls, N.Y., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 18. (29), Howie Liebengood, Vienna, Va., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 19. (24), Jeff Smith, Terre Haute, Ind., F2A, Tatuus Ford, 20. 20. (32), Dean Oppermann, Pottstown, Pa., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 21. (26), Mike Williams, Hayden Lake, Idaho, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 22. (8), Jon Herb, Indianapolis, Ind., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 23. (17), George Forgeois, New York, N.Y., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 20. 24. (33), Robert Lisey, Wadsworth, Ohio, F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 19. 25. (34), Wilmer Valentin, Puerto Rico, F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 19. 26. (23), Guy Cosmo, Bohemia, N.Y., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 18, n.a.. 27. (15), Christian Coggins, Atlanta, Ga., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 15. 28. (30), Bob Wright, Old Chatham, N.Y., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 15. 29. (31), Dana LaLiberte, Ann Arbor, Mich., F2B, Van Diemen Ford, 13, n.a.. 30. (35), Duncan Dayton, North Salem, N.Y., F2A, Bowman BC5 Ford, 13. 31. (21), Rolando Quintanilla, Nuevo Larado, Mexico, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 12. 32. (4), Sam Hornish Jr., Defiance, Ohio, F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 11, n.a.. 33. (9), Jonathan Bottoms, Buffalo, N.Y., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 10, n.a.. 34. (22), James Yott, Montreal, Quebec, Can., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 3, n.a.. 35. (19), Tim Duit, Edmond, Okla., F2A, Van Diemen Ford, 0, n.a..

Time of race: 32 minutes, 11.154 seconds. Average speed: 91.344 miles-per-hour Margin of victory: 0.955-second Lap leaders: Laps 1-20, No. 13 Besnard Fastest race lap: No. 96, Marc Antoine Camirand, 1:15.228 (117.243 mph) Fastest qualifier: No. 13, David Besnard, 1:15.149, (117.36 mph) Cautions: One for two laps.

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