Rosamond, California (May 24, 2003) -- The battles for the lead were intense under the California sun at Willow Springs Raceway as drivers from the Fran-Am 1600 and Fran-Am 2000 USA West series took to the track on Saturday afternoon for round two...
Rosamond, California (May 24, 2003) -- The battles for the lead were intense under the California sun at Willow Springs Raceway as drivers from the Fran-Am 1600 and Fran-Am 2000 USA West series took to the track on Saturday afternoon for round two of the 2003 season.
In the 1600 category, 14-year-old rookie Colin Braun was competing in first-ever formula car race with newcomer Team Speed Secrets. Braun impressed all observers by snagging the pole while current points leader Darryl O'Young of CT Motorsports started second and Knudsen Racing's Brian Frisselle qualified third. At the drop of the green flag, Braun led the pack into the first turn and would hold onto first place until the fifth lap when O'Young made his move and took the lead. Soon after John Knudsen also passed Braun sending the rookie back to third.
A fierce battle for the lead had O'Young, Knudsen, Braun and Frisselle switching positions on nearly every lap. Although Frisselle, who qualified fourth, eventually took the lead and set the fastest race lap, a late race spin dropped him to sixth. His spin caused a chain reaction as O'Young and Knudsen both spun trying to avoid him, handing Braun the lead.
The rookie didn't look back as he drove to victory in his first-ever formula car race. Knudsen recovered from his late spin to claim second place and 15-year-old Brad Coleman of Worldspeed Motorsports rounded out the top three with his second podium finish in as many races. O'Young finished fourth while Fran-Am rookie, Garrett Zine of Knudsen Racing battled hard from his eighth place qualifying position to finish fifth in his first formula car race.
O'Young's fourth place finish leaves him with a slim two point lead in the championship over second place Knudsen heading into round three tomorrow.
"This was an incredibly exciting race," said Steve Henry, Race Director for the USA West series. "Braun's victory just proved how unbelievably talented these young kids are. They have had very little trouble making the transition from karting to Fran-Am and have shown themselves to be capable and knowledgeable racers."
The 2000 race played to a very similar tune as pole sitter Dino Bruno of Team Bruno battled for the lead with second-place qualifier Richard Biscevic of Knudsen Racing. Bruno came into round two with a slim lead in the championship points standings over Biscevic and was hoping to increase his championship lead with a repeat performance of his win in Phoenix.
Bruno got his wish as he claimed his second-consecutive victory with the wave of the checkered flag. Biscevic had to be content with another second place finish while rookie Tatsuo Sasaki from Japan finished third in his first Fran-Am race.
The doubleheader weekend at Willow Springs Raceway concludes on Sunday afternoon with races for both the Fran-Am 1600 and Fran-Am 2000 USA West Series.
For full race results and more information on the Fran-Am Series, please visit our website at www.fran-am.com.