Kenney Climbs with Third Win of the Season Sterling, Virginia (June 12, 2007) -- Liam Kenney's third win of the 2007 Formula TR Pro Series 2000 Championship helped boost the 15-year-old rookie to fourth in the standings at the halfway stage...
Kenney Climbs with Third Win of the Season
Sterling, Virginia (June 12, 2007) -- Liam Kenney's third win of the 2007 Formula TR Pro Series 2000 Championship helped boost the 15-year-old rookie to fourth in the standings at the halfway stage of the title fight following Rounds 9 and 10 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, 9th-10th June.
Kenney captured the victory in Round 9 on Saturday, his fifth straight podium finish, before nursing a damaged #95 Liam Kenney Motorsports entry to a sixth place finish on Sunday afternoon in Round 10 at the California track. His Buttonwillow points haul moved him from fifth to fourth overall in the Driver Standings, Kenney sitting with 221 points to series leader John Knudsen's 281, with ten rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0-litre powered open-wheel series remaining.
Scoring back-to-back victories at Willow Springs Raceway in May, followed by two podium finishes at the California Speedway seven days prior to Buttonwillow, Liam's momentum continued to serve him well as he recorded a third place qualifying effort ahead of Round 9 on Saturday. Posting a 1m47.412s lap time, just one hundredth of a second slower than Billy Goshen in second on the grid, Kenney was confident he'd have the race pace to challenge Goshen and pole-sitter Luis Martinez Jr.
Straight into second at the start of the race, Kenney hounded Martinez Jr., the pair quickly becoming locked in a battle for the lead leaving their rivals trailing behind in their wake. Contact between the two young chargers resulted in damage to the front-nose of Liam's #95 car but this failed to deter the Virginia racer. Lining Martinez Jr. up heading into the Star Mazda Turn, Kenney dove up the inside of his fellow rookie and assumed the lead having made his gutsy move stick. From there Liam sprinted to the checkered, celebrating another victory and fastest lap of the race at the end of lap 16 ahead of Martinez Jr. and John Knudsen who came home third.
Sunday's outing proved to be more dramatic for Kenney but he again demonstrated his mettle to add to his points tally. Despite a bent push-rod, Liam managed to land a second-row grid slot for Round 10. Dropping to fifth at the start he quickly reclaimed fourth and found himself at the tail of a four-car train fighting for the lead. As the action unfolded Liam later found himself helpless to avoid contact with a car that had gone off but more dramatically darted straight back on-track directly in his path.
Jumping on the brakes, the contact between the two severely damaged the front-end of the #95 car with the shock cover flapping like a rag in front of Liam. While he successfully ripped the damaged piece off during the caution period, the crash-affected handling on Kenney's car thwarted his attempts to challenge for the lead and he nursed the stricken vehicle to a sixth place finish. Martinez Jr. won the race followed across the line by Billy Goshen and John Knudsen.
"Well I was in the wrong place at the right time," Kenney stated. "It's a tough result, I knew we could have been fighting for the win on Sunday but it wasn't to be. That said I can't be too upset looking at the bigger picture as I won Saturday's race. It was a fun weekend and an education as always!"
Miller Motorsports Park, Utah hosts Rounds 11 and 12 of the 2007 Formula TR Pro Series 2000 Championship, Saturday 14th -- Sunday 15th July 2007