NA: Thunderhill sees exciting races

Ingham and Knudsen on Top in 2 Liter at Thunderhill Points Leader Skerlong Nips Both 1600 Wins By Travis Braun Seth Ingham of Odyssey Motorsports and John Knudsen of Knudsen Racing each got their taste of victory on June 26th at Thunderhill...

Ingham and Knudsen on Top in 2 Liter at Thunderhill
Points Leader Skerlong Nips Both 1600 Wins

By Travis Braun

Seth Ingham of Odyssey Motorsports and John Knudsen of Knudsen Racing each got their taste of victory on June 26th at Thunderhill Raceway Park in the Formula TR 2 liter class. Ingham's teammate, Carl Skerlong, pulled off an impressive double victory over the rest of the 1600 field.

Formula TR tried a different format for the shortened weekend by practicing and qualifying on Saturday, and running both races on Sunday. This meant that the field rolled out for the first race at eight o'clock Sunday morning when the track was cold and slippery.

The first 2 liter race began with pole sitter Seth Ingham relinquishing the lead to John Knudsen in turn one. Knudsen held off Ingham until lap two when Ingham worked his way by in turn nine. Derek Sabol driving for Team Bucknum drove a hard race as well, slipping by Knudsen late in the race for second. However, Ingham already had too much of a lead, taking the victory over Sabol in second and Knudsen in third.

Ingham commented after the race, "Knudsen got the jump on me again as he's been doing pretty much every single race. I followed him for a lap and a half before I passed him going up the hill into turn nine. I started pulling away and about four laps into it I had a big lead and I was on cruise control taking care of lapped traffic."

"Seth did a great job," Knudsen said. ". . . . I had a tire leaking which wouldn't allow me to keep up with their pace. Third place isn't too bad so we'll see what happens in the next one."

Sabol remarked, "I didn't get such a good start. . . . I started catching back up and passed Dustin [Welch] and passed Knudsen. After being behind Welch and Knudsen for so long Ingham already had a big lead."

At the green flag of Sunday's second 2 liter race, Seth Ingham once again jumped out into the lead with Knudsen and Sabol battling for second. In a series of misfortunes on lap three, Ingham spun in turn five hitting and popping the left rear tire, and Sabol pulled his Team Bucknum machine off the track with an electrical problem. This handed the lead to Knudsen with Dustin Welch of Welch Racing in second. That's how the field would finish with Bret MacDonald of CT Motorsport rounding out the top three.

Knudsen had this to say about his first win at Thunderhill, "I was lucky. It was gifted to me. I had a good drive; just ran smooth. Good and easy and everybody else did the work for me."

Sabol commented after the race, "Everything was pretty much going along great. . . . I was right on Knudsen's tail and going through turn two the car just cut out on us. I had some kind of an electrical problem."

The first 1600 race Sunday morning had pole sitter Adam Davis of Welch Racing leading the field into turn one, closely followed by Carl Skerlong. Towards the end of lap one, Davis and Skerlong slid off the track in turn nine, Davis losing control in the grass and Skerlong managing to keep his Odyssey Motorsports's car straight to regain second. This put Auston Harris into the lead followed by Skerlong and then Philip Metzger in third. Skerlong worked his way back up to Harris and snuck by him in turn thirteen to take the lead. Skerlong came out on top with Harris in second and Metzger in third. A late race spin by George Latus in his Speed Secrets's machine allowed Kerry Lynch of Knudsen Racing to capitalize for the masters' race victory.

Skerlong commented, "In turn nine Davis went straight off and I followed him thinking he was running the line. . . . Harris passed us and got the lead. For three or four laps I followed him sticking my nose in a few places but couldn't get it. Finally going into turn 13 I late braked him to the inside and got him there. He stayed with me for about three laps and I finally got a gap and took it to the finish."

"It was a pretty good race," CT Motorsport's driver Harris remarked. "It could be a lot better. We had a little bit of OS coming into the race."

Metzger said "The track was a little cold since we were the first ones out on the track. . . . We lost one position on the start which wasn't too bad, but we made that up in turn nine after Davis spun out. It was a pretty clean race. We stayed in third for the majority of the race."

Masters' race winner Kerry Lynch had this to say, "George [Latus] snuck down in beside me into turn two and walked away a little bit. Then my tires started to come in and I knew the car was going to start to hook up and things went really well."

Sunday's second and final 1600 race had Adam Davis once again lined up at the front of the grid. Carl Skerlong and Auston Harris managed to slip by Davis, pushing him back into third. Davis proceeded to work his way back past Harris as he tried to close the gap to Skerlong. Davis ran out of time as Skerlong took the victory with Harris in third and George Latus claiming the masters' race.

Skerlong had this to say of his win, "I tried to put a gap on Harris and Davis. . . . The car felt good for the first half of the race but then I think the tires got over heated and the car got really loose. I slowed down because I thought I had a bigger gap than I did. With three laps to go Adam caught me and I held him off. It was fun, a good race towards the end."

Davis remarked, "Skerlong got ahead of me and got a gap between me and Harris. It took me a few laps to get around Harris, more than it should have. I finally got around him and by that time Skerlong was ten seconds ahead."

"I had a lot of fun with Adam Davis," Harris commented. "He tried to squeeze me out a little bit. It could have been better but overall it has been a good day."

The Formula TR Pro Series is back at Portland International Raceway for the next two rounds of racing on the 27th and 28th of August.

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers John Knudsen , Travis Braun , Auston Harris , Carl Skerlong , Brett MacDonald , Seth Ingham