Portland hosts maiden wins for Knudsen and Martinez Jr. Round 13 - Saturday 22nd July 2000 Class John Knudsen celebrated his first win of the season in Formula TR 2000 as he claimed the checkered flag at Portland ahead of his...
Portland hosts maiden wins for Knudsen and Martinez Jr.
Round 13 - Saturday 22nd July
John Knudsen celebrated his first win of the season in Formula TR 2000 as he claimed the checkered flag at Portland ahead of his team-mate and two- time winner Dominic Scheer. Knudsen's Round 13 success came from pole position and he capped an outstanding day of racing on the support bill to the American Le Mans Series with a complete sweep of the points by capturing fastest lap of the race as well.
Knudsen capitalized on the absence of series-leader Carl Skerlong, who was competing in the Star Mazda race at Portland that day, to close the gap to his teenage rival while finally taking a win following seven runner-up finishes this season. Scheer, who qualified third, came home in second place as the race ended under yellows with front-row starter Bret MacDonald, driving the #18 CT Motorsport entry, returning to the podium for the first time since Round 8 in May.
The Welch Racing trio of Adam Davis, Derek DeBoer and Dustin Welch returned to competition following a two-round absence and rounded out the top-six in that order respectively. Davis put in a notable performance given he was driving his Formula Renault 2.0ltr without the update kit enjoyed by his rivals and was therefore disadvantaged by close to 20bhp.
With the race ending under caution and finishing earlier than planned due to time restrictions ahead of the ALMS start, Bob Siska and Paul Mashouf completed the field. Siska had earlier surprised the competition with the fastest time in final practice on Friday.
Round 13 - 2000 Class Results: 1st Knudsen, 2nd Scheer, 3rd MacDonald, 4th Davis, 5th DeBoer, 6th Welch, 7th Siska, 8th Mashouf
1st - John Knudsen: "Well it's nice to finally break out of a second place finish and get the win. I'm hoping it won't be my last. It was a good race, I passed my team-mate to score it making us both winners this season which is great for the team!"
2nd - Dominic Scheer: "I'm happy to be back on the podium and happy for the whole Knudsen Racing team that we scored a 1-2 finish with the boss first!"
3rd - Bret MacDonald: "Basically I kept it clean and got a podium. It was pretty hot and slippery out there and hard to keep up with John and Dominic but top-three's a good finish."
The Formula TR 1600 Series welcomed a new winner to the top-spot of the podium at Portland International Raceway as Kimball Racing's Luis Martinez Jr. triumphed in Round 13 ahead of series-leader Parker Kligerman and his Paladin Motorsports team-mate Liam Kenney.
Martinez Jr. battled race long with Kligerman, winner of nine races this season, and despite initially losing the lead to Parker, Luis made sure he was there to pass when the right opportunity presented itself. He briefly led on lap 10 only for Kligerman to fight back but Martinez Jr. moved ahead once again and with the race ending earlier than planned and under the yellows for a spin involving Kerstin Smutny, Martinez Jr. celebrated the win.
Kenney's third place effort marked his first time back in the top-three since Round 8 and his sixth podium in 2006. Billy Goshen delivered a solid run to fourth ahead of pole-sitter Alexander Rossi who lost out to Martinez Jr. and Kligerman at the start before dropping back further following an off-track excursion which broke a shock and ended his run at the top.
George Latus enjoyed a successful return to competition at Portland, his first outing of the season capped with a top-six finish having qualified eighth earlier in the day. Tony Welch was another driver back in action having missed the previous two rounds but his day was over before it began as he blew the motor on the #11 Welch Racing entry at the start.
Round 13 - 1600 Class Results: 1st Martinez Jr., 2nd Kligerman, 3rd Kenney, 4th Goshen, 5th Rossi, 6th Latus, 7th Lynch, 8th Grisdale, 9th Smutny, 10th Welch - DNF
1st - Luis Martinez Jr.: "I'm really pleased to get my first win. Parker and I really fought it out on track today, I think we even touched at one point but we kept it clean after that! It's too bad the race had to finish under yellows as I was having a great time out there!"
2nd - Parker Kligerman: "We started the weekend pretty far back and our strategy was to make a decent start and go from there. I tried to hold off Luis but couldn't in the end and he got me at the first chicane. The yellows came out then and that's how we finished."
3rd - Liam Kenney: "I was fasted in practice but a flat tire in qualifying hindered my chances. The handling of my car wasn't great in the race following a set-up change we made in the morning, I was fighting it the whole time but I held on to finish third for the podium!"
Round 14 - Sunday 23rd July
Carl Skerlong returned to action on Sunday and while he was beaten to pole position by eight hundredths of a second by Saturday's race winner, John Knudsen, the 17-year-old returned to form as he stormed to a dominant win in the afternoon, his eleventh victory of the season.
Carl's absence from Round 13 had allowed Knudsen to close the gap in their points battle at the head of the championship standings and as the pair took the start of Sunday's race it looked like another thrilling exchange would follow as they sprinted around Portland International Raceway fighting for the lead. It was to prove short-lived however as an off- course excursion at Turn 5 by Knudsen, caused by a rear suspension failure, ended his weekend prematurely.
Bret MacDonald assumed second place but with Carl streaking off into the distance there was little he could do to prevent the reigning Formula TR 1600 Champion from taking the win. Welch Racing's Derek DeBoer ensured MacDonald had enough to keep himself busy with as he shadowed in third,
eventually scoring his first podium of the season - a welcome rewarded having missed the two previous rounds.
Adam Davis again put in an impressive performance and just missed the podium by a second as he trailed DeBoer at the flag. Dominic Scheer was less pleased with his race having qualified third he dropped back at the start and finished up fifth at the flag.
Round 14 - 2000 Class Results: 1st Skerlong, 2nd MacDonald, 3rd DeBoer, 4th Davis, 5th Scheer, 6th Siska, 7th Mashouf, 8th Welch - DNF, 9th Knudsen - DNF
1st - Carl Skerlong: "It was pretty satisfying to come back in today and collect the win. I just missed out on pole and John and I had a good race until he had his problems."
2nd - Bret MacDonald: "I drove a better race today but had nothing for Carl and obviously benefited from John's DNF. I'm happy with the weekend and look forward to the next."
3rd - Derek DeBoer: "I had a really good weekend. The team put together an awesome car, our set-up worked really well despite the heat and the challenging conditions. I just wish the race had been longer to see what else I could have done."
Alexander Rossi picked up his fourth victory of the season and his first since taking back-to-back wins at Reno-Fearnley Raceway in Rounds 9 and 10 to put a frustrating Round 13 at Portland firmly behind him. The Nevada teenager claimed his second pole position of the weekend before going on to dominate the 22-lap race from start to finish, collecting fastest lap of the race and the four bonus points to go with it along the way.
Parker Kligerman was again forced to settle for second place but the series leader's remarkable consistency means he's yet to finish off the podium in 14 starts this season, a tremendous achievement for the rookie racer who now holds a massive 181 point advantage over Luis Martinez Jr. in the title chase. Round 13 winner, Martinez Jr., came home third to pass Billy Goshen in the points standings exiting Portland.
Goshen scored his second-straight fourth place finish having qualified fourth earlier in the day. Liam Kenney, following a fine podium finish the previous day, similarly matched his qualifying performance, starting fifth and finishing there at the flag. Knudsen Racing's Kerry Lynch rounded out the top-six but a lap down on the leaders.
Round 14 - 1600 Class Results: 1st Rossi, 2nd Kligerman, 3rd Martinez Jr., 4th Goshen, 5th Kenney, 6th Lynch, 7th Grisdale, 8th Latus, 9th Smutny
1st - Alexander Rossi: "We switched cars following Saturday's race, the team doing a phenomenal job to get it ready! I put the car on pole and set a new track record in the process before taking today's win. I'm happy to have such a perfect result considering the past three races haven't gone my way."
2nd - Parker Kligerman: "We made some improvements to the car for Sunday but after the star we couldn't catch Alexander. The Paladin Motorsports crew worked really hard all weekend and we still lead the championship which is the main thing."
3rd - Luis Martinez Jr.: "My car wasn't as good today but luckily we still managed to finish on the podium. I had to adapt to what the car was doing but it's still a good result and overall I'm really happy with how this weekend's gone."
The Formula TR Pro Series Championship now heads to Thunderhill Park, California for Rounds 15 & 16, 12th-13th August.
Formula TR 2000 Points Standings after Round 14:
1st Carl Skerlong (603), 2nd John Knudsen (507), 3rd Dominic Scheer (438), 4th Bret MacDonald (391), 5th Bob Siska (292), 6th Paul Mashouf (238), 7th Dustin Welch (219), 8th Derek DeBoer (196), 9th Dino Bruno (138), 10th Adam Davis (124)
Formula TR 1600 Points Standings after Round 14:
1st Parker Kligerman (646), 2nd Luis Martinez Jr. (465), 3rd Billy Goshen (460), 4th Alexander Rossi (409), 5th Liam Kenney (390), 6th Tayler Malsam (324), 7th Kerry Lynch (324), 8th Kerstin Smutny (279), 9th Cam Grisdale (240), 10th Tony Welch (98), 11th George Latus (64)