Daniel Erickson's sensational second race comeback makes amends for first race disappointment Winners are grinners, but even though Daniel Erickson didn't win Round 10 of the American F2000 Championship Series at Lime Rock Park today he was ...
Daniel Erickson's sensational second race comeback makes amends for first race disappointment
Winners are grinners, but even though Daniel Erickson didn't win Round 10 of the American F2000 Championship Series at Lime Rock Park today he was grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
Why? He'd just staged a sensational comeback from 14th starting position to second place, trailing Brazilian Victor Carbone by less than 1.5 seconds at the finish of the 25-lap 60km/37-mile race.
The young Australian started mid-grid following a severe engine misfire that sidelined his Van Diemen just five laps into the second qualifying session (see July 23 news release).
But the Primus/Quantum Racing entry was firing on all cylinders in the race.
Erickson steered clear of a first corner dust-up to vault up to seventh place on the opening lap, then picked off the drivers ahead almost at will.
In fact, Erickson looked to have a chance at grabbing an unlikely win as he closed to within less than a second of Carbone in the final laps.
But Carbone's tyres were in better shape, and with no problems lapping slower cars he was able to maintain a small but sufficient margin to the finish.
"I had a good start, and managed to get to the inside going into Turn 1, which was good because there were cars everywhere - they must have been four wide!" Erickson said.
"That put me up to seventh, and a few laps later I was fourth.
"I passed Fabio Orsolon for third, then I came up behind Phil Lombardi, who I knew would give me a fight because he's very competitive.
"When he was held up by lapped cars coming onto the main straight, I went to the inside and drove all the way down the white line to get him into Turn One.
"I caught up to Victor fairly easily, but the constant traffic and my tyres, which had gone off, prevented me from getting close enough to challenge him."
Erickson said that the hot and humid summer weather, a contrast with Friday's wet conditions, made the race one of the toughest he'd driven as well as one of the most satisfying.
"It was incredibly hot out there, but the car was great and we had the fastest lap.
"I'm always after a win, but starting from 14th I thought even top five was optimistic, so I'm extremely pleased to finish second."
Erickson's result in Round 10 was almost a mirror image of his performance in Round 9 earlier in the day.
A gamble on car set-up for the dry and hot conditions didn't pay off, but after losing several places from pole position he battled his way back to second behind 2007 F2000 series winner Cole Morgan.
An unsuccessful last lap challenge on Morgan left Erickson sliding off the track, and by the time he scrambled onto the bitumen to complete the lap he was 12th.
Fastest race lap was small compensation for the disappointed Aussie.
"The car was set up to lead from pole position, but first gear was too tall and I got swamped at the start," he said.
"When I lost the lead it was always going to be an uphill battle, but I started making ground and was able to pass cars lap after lap.
"Then there was a safety car late in the race and it was still out on the last lap, so there was a green-white finish (as in NASCAR, with two racing laps to the chequered flag).
"At the restart I couldn't get past Cole because of my tall first gear, so on the last lap I tried to go for glory into the first turn.
"I went for the outside, but I got on the marbles and the car just washed out.
"I've done that move before at other circuits and made it stick, but I didn't have enough experience here to know where the grip is.
"It was a mistake, but at least the car was fast enough to get the fastest lap."
Erickson retained his sixth position in the F2000 Championship Series pointscore after the Lime Rock Park rounds, and after outscoring the fourth and fifth drivers over the weekend he is now in a four-way fight for third place.
Although his funding remains extremely tight, he is hopeful of contesting the next two rounds of the series at Road America in Wisconsin on August 6-8.
-source: Daniel Erickson PR