NA-F2000: Andy Knight Road Atlanta race notes

KNIGHT BEGINS WELL IN THE UNITED STATES Christchurch driver Andy Knight made a successful start to his campaign in the 2006 Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 Championship at the Road Atlanta circuit in Braselton, Georgia this weekend. Knight...

KNIGHT BEGINS WELL IN THE UNITED STATES

Christchurch driver Andy Knight made a successful start to his campaign in the 2006 Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 Championship at the Road Atlanta circuit in Braselton, Georgia this weekend.

Knight scored two 4th placings in the series opener at the wheel of his G.FRO/NAPA Van Diemen and leaves the opening round in 3rd place in the championship point standings.

Knight battled back from a difficult beginning to the weekend when he missed the second session of practice at the 2.54 mile Road Atlanta circuit on Thursday. After setting the 4th fastest time in the opening practice, Knight was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the second. A fellow competitor spun in front of him, damaging the G.FRO/NAPA Van Diemen. That caused the New Zealander to miss much needed track time.

However 20 - year - old Knight returned to qualify 7th in the 28 - car field in Friday's qualifying session, the quickest of the G.FRO team cars.

In Saturday's opening race he was soon on the move, climbing to 3rd place on the first lap. He then became involved in a dice with Venezuelan driver Ricardo Vassmer in a battle for 3rd and 4th position. Unfortunately the race ended under a caution when American driver Chuck Lessick hit the wall at Turn 5, a lap after Vassmer had grabbed back 3rd place. The race ended with the cars unable to fight for position but a 4th place on debut was a good opening to the championship for the young kiwi.

The second race in the series was held in wet, changeable conditions and Knight, driving on dry weather slick tyres, spun on the opening lap dropping to the rear of the large field. He then turned in an impressive drive spending the remainder of the 16 laps charging back through the field bringing his G.FRO/NAPA Van Diemen back to 4th place in difficult conditions.

At the end of a hectic weekend Knight said, "it was good to get a result".

The series now moves to the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio next weekend. It is a circuit Knight has never visited before and today as he makes his way to the venue he admitted his only knowledge of the circuit was from a track map.

-lb.nz

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