Billy Asaro holds the lead in the US Formula 2000 National Championship following a double-header race event at Road America near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The two races, held yesterday following qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday, yielded...
Billy Asaro holds the lead in the US Formula 2000 National Championship following a double-header race event at Road America near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The two races, held yesterday following qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday, yielded greatly contrasting results for the nineteen-year-old racer.
Billy qualified ninth and third respectively for races yesterday morning and afternoon. In the first race, Asaro climbed from ninth to third on the first lap. A few laps later he was challenging for the lead. However, at the halfway point of the fourteen-lap race, it looked like Asaro's run would come to a disappointing conclusion as the rear wing appeared to be coming apart.
As the race went on, the wing assembly collapsed and was dragging behind the car. Incredibly, the talented and determined young driver continued in second place and it was not until near the end of the race that he was finally caught and fell back to finish third. His stirring effort was rewarded with the Truechoice Drive of The Day award.
"The Key Motorsport / Bellville Rodair car was set up perfectly for the race," commented Asaro. "Without the wing failure I had the win, I'm sure of it. The car became a bit of a handful as the wing came apart, but I was able to keep up a good pace and hold second place for a while. Once I was caught there was no point in fighting. Third was good, all things considered."
Steve Djelebian, owner of Key Motorsport was ecstatic about the amazing display. "To finish without a rear wing at Road America says a lot about the talent of this young driver," he said. "This was truly a remarkable effort by Billy. To drive without a rear wing and to finish third is truly a remarkable achievement."
Sadly, Billy's afternoon race ended before the green flag was thrown. As the field accelerated toward the start, several cars broke formation and the start was waved off. The front two rows, including Billy on the second row, eased off, but some of the cars behind kept charging. Asaro's car was hit from behind and knocked sideways. He shot off the track and into a wall beside the start/finish straight. The driver emerged disappointed but uninjured. The car, however, was not going to move without being carried away.
"From what I understand, there was a bit of a mess behind me. That's why you want to qualify up front, so you're away from that stuff," the Markham, Ontario, resident said. "I had a serious shot at a win, certainly a lot of points, then I get hit from behind. I feel robbed."
Following the morning race, Asaro's championship lead had grown to a massive 47 points as he held 181 to Jason LaPoint's 134. By the end of the day though, LaPoint, who finished second in both races this weekend, had reduced the gap to 22 points as he climbed to 159.
August 11 is the next event on the USF2000 calendar, the Miller Lite 200 at Mid Ohio with Championship Auto Racing Teams.
"We'll be back as strong as ever at the next race," Asaro said. "Things like this will just make the team and myself even more determined."