COOPER WINS F1000 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE AT THE JUNE SPRINTS Novak/Van Diemen driver led Jaremko and Stecher to the checkered flag at Road America ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (June 21, 2009) -- The battle for supremacy in the F1000 National ...
COOPER WINS F1000 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE AT THE JUNE SPRINTS
Novak/Van Diemen driver led Jaremko and Stecher to the checkered flag at Road America
ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (June 21, 2009) -- The battle for supremacy in the F1000 National Championship Presented by George Dean Racing Engines and Taylor Race Engineering resumed over the weekend (June 20-21), with all the top drivers in the class taking to the famed Road America road course as part of the prestigious SCCA Chicago Region June Sprints. Glenn Cooper successfully defended his June Sprints crown, taking the F1000 class win for a second consecutive year in Wisconsin, leading Mark Jaremko and John Stecher to the checkered flag.
The official on-track action for the Formula 1000 (FB) competitors commenced on Friday morning via the lone practice session. As expected, the opening session featured the majority of the FB drivers ensuring their cars were working properly and getting acclimated to the fast road course. When the checkered flag waved Brandon Dixon (Citation F1000) had turned the fastest time, ahead of Jaremko (Phoenix F1K 09) and James Michael (Stohr F1000).
Returning to the 4.0-mile track after the lunch break, everyone was set to significantly lower their fast times thus far in the first of two qualifying sessions. Unfortunately, the combination traffic -- combined 34 FB and FE cars on-course at once -- and a severe incident in the session, prevented most drivers from turning their quickest potential lap. When the checkered flag waved, three-time SCCA Formula Continental National Champion Niki Coello (Ralph Firman Racing F1000) had turned the fastest time, earning the provisional pole position. Second and third quickest in the session were Kyle Oberndorf (Stohr F1000) and Jaremko.
Race day at Road America for the F1000 National Championship drivers got underway early on Saturday morning with the final qualifying session. With the combined times from the two sessions setting the grid for the afternoon race, everyone set about turning some fast laps. While the majority of the front-runners were unable to better their session one times, primarily due to traffic, Jaremko rose to the occasion. The three-time SCCA D Sports Racing National Champion turned a fast lap of 2:12.239, earning the class pole position for the 2009 June Sprints. Coello and Cooper (Novak/Van Diemen RF99 F1000) were second and third in the session, but unable to match the second and third place times from Friday's session.
When the cars lined up for the 13-lap after the lunch break, one change was immediately apparent, Coello was not on row two, having been penalized multiple positions for an infraction in qualifying. As a result, Cooper lined up third, alongside Stecher (Stohr F1000) on row-two. This proved extremely beneficial, as Cooper almost immediately vaulted into the lead when the green flag waved. With Oberndorf slotting into P2, the duo quickly established a multi-car advantage over Jaremko, who was being chased by Coello and Stecher. The order among the top-four remained constant throughout the opening five laps, with Oberndorf repeatedly challenging for the lead. The first change for position within the lead pack occurred when Coello suddenly began slowing, before eventually retiring with an overheating engine. Unfortunately for Oberndorf, having greatly entertained the fans by constantly challenging Cooper, his chances at win ended in a similar fashion on lap 11, when his engine expired. With a sizeable advantage over second place, Cooper ran mistake-free to the checkered flag, earning his second consecutive Formula 1000 win at the June Sprints. Jaremko, never coming under any threat as well in the closing stages, finished second, while Stecher completed the podium celebrations. Dixon, in only the second race for the Citation chassis was fourth, while Chris Waterman (Speads FB) in his first SCCA National race and having overcome a cockpit fire on Friday, finished fifth.
Pursuit of the F1000 National Championship Presented by George Dean Racing Engines and Taylor Race Engineering title, which has a $5,000 points fund, resumes with further SCCA Club Racing Nationals across the USA. The title fight concludes with the championship race on November 6-8, at Road Atlanta, as part of the American Road Race of Champions event. Jaremko currently leads David Burkett (Stohr F1000) and Cooper in the point standings.