NA-F2000: WDW race story

Besnard Comes From 31st to Take Closest F2000 Ever LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- David Bensard, of Sydney, Australia, came from 31st starting position to win the closest-ever U.S. F2000 National Championship race, part of the Pep Boys Indy...

Besnard Comes From 31st to Take Closest F2000 Ever

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- David Bensard, of Sydney, Australia, came from 31st starting position to win the closest-ever U.S. F2000 National Championship race, part of the Pep Boys Indy Racing League Indy 200 Weekend at Walt Disney World Speedway.

Besnard, driving the No. 13 Primus Racing Karts Van Diemen Ford, took the lead from Robby McGehee, of St. Louis, Mo., with two laps remaining to win the 50-lap, 50.0-mile race by 0.028-second -- the closest finish in U.S. F2000 history. Besnard averaged 68.269 mph en route to victory, and set the race's fastest lap, with a time of 28.212 seconds (127.605 mph), breaking his 1997 mark of 28.253 seconds (127.420 mph).

"We had a problem in qualifying that's so embarrassing I don't even want to say what it was," said Besnard. "I knew we had a fast car after warm-up, and once we knew it was fixed, it was just a matter of making it up to the front. The team really gave me a fast car today."

McGehee, driving the No. 2 Energizer Van Diemen Ford, started second and led the first 48 laps before being passed by Besnard. McGehee, who finished third at Disney last year, attempted to re-pass coming out of the final turn, but came up just short.

"After running so well here last year and this year's second place, I think this place owes me a win, " said McGehee. "The Conti team gave me an excellent car all weekend, David just pulled me well on the final restart. I wish the final caution would have lasted a couple laps longer."

The fourth, and final, caution was brought out on lap 40 for an accident between the then third- and fourth- place cars of Thiago Bezerra, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Jeff Horne, of Valencia, Calif. Dr. Henry Bock reported that Bezerra, who started from the pole, was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition with a non-surgical, closed-head injury.

The accident promoted Andy Lally, of North Salem, N.Y., to third place in the debut of the new Bowman chassis.

"I just waded my way through the field and kept it steady," said Lally. "I was never in any real danger when Horne and Bezerra crashed -- but I was glad the caution lasted as long as it did, because I was able to catch my breath. He (Bezerra) had a hard hit."

Rounding-out the top-five were Jon Herb, of Indianapolis, Ind., and Sam Hornish, of Defiance, Ohio. Howie Liebengood, of Vienna, Va., won the "B" class for cars two years and older. Besnard was awarded the Taylor Race Engineering "Shark" Award for improving 30 positions.

Cycling legend Greg LeMond was black-flagged for jumping a restart, and finished 22nd after running as high as seventh.

Source: USF2000 Online

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Robby McGehee , Jon Herb , Andy Lally , Howie Liebengood