Festa narrowly misses podium in opening round of the FF2000 Zetec Western Championship. Atlanta, GA -- 17-year-old driver for PR1 Motorsports, Chris Festa, narrowly missed earning the final spot on the podium in the opening round of the Formula...
Festa narrowly misses podium in opening round of the FF2000 Zetec Western Championship.
Atlanta, GA -- 17-year-old driver for PR1 Motorsports, Chris Festa, narrowly missed earning the final spot on the podium in the opening round of the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Western Championship this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. In only his second FF2000 Zetec event since moving up from kart racing, Chris challenged the Western Series drivers and the winning team from round #1 of the Eastern Series for the number three spot, missing by only a second. Festa's teammates, Charlie Kimball and Jonathan Bomarito scored back-to-back first and second place finishes.
"I'm really proud of the entire team," said Bobby Oergel, team owner and manager, "All three drivers, the crews and engineers worked together to pull off a great weekend. Chris just got better as the weekend progressed. He never made a mistake, was relentless in pursuit of the leaders and made some good on track passes. He did really well for only his second event."
On Saturday, Chris pushed to try and challenge for 4th place, but was thrown off the pursuit in the closing laps by a lapped car in the infield sections. "We could've had 5th and seriously gone after 4th," said Festa, "A lapped car held me up all through the infield and I lost too much ground to really challenge before the end of the race."
Sunday was a different story, "We were quicker and I was able to aggressively go after the front-runners and pressed hard to close up to the gearbox of the 3rd place car, but my tires were beginning to go off and I just couldn't push on past in the last few laps."
"We're thrilled to have raced these guys so well," said Festa, "They're good experienced drivers. I'm just happy to have a couple good finishes to kick off my first season in a car. If it weren't for the PR1 team, we wouldn't be there. I owe them and my sponsor, CareCentric, everything. Congratulations to Charlie, Jonathan and the whole PR1 team on a fantastic weekend."
"Chris is learning fast and reaching new levels," said Oergel. "In a few more events he'll continue to move up and close the experience gap. We have a great group of drivers and crew that work extremely well together. Hopefully we can turn that into some more good finishes in the coming events."