NA-F2000: Homestead round three race report

Asaro Captures First U.S. F2000 Win At Round Three In Homestead HOMESTEAD, FLA. (April 8, 2001)--Billy Asaro, of Unionville, Ont., Can., won Round Three of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Asaro Captures First U.S. F2000 Win At Round Three In Homestead

HOMESTEAD, FLA. (April 8, 2001)--Billy Asaro, of Unionville, Ont., Can., won Round Three of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Jeff Harrison, of Grapevine, Texas and Peter Gray, of Aberdeen, Scotland, completed the top-three.

Coming off a career-best finish of second place in Round Two, Asaro drove a strong race to capture his first U.S. F2000 win. Driving the No. 96 www.keymotorsport.com Van Diemen Ford, Asaro moved into second place on the opening lap behind his teammate Marc-Antoine Camirand. On lap two, Asaro passed his teammate to take the lead. The duo, along with Jason LaPoint quickly began to distance themselves from the rest of the field. The lead evaporated on lap six, when a full-course caution was displayed for Vanina Ickx, who had spun and stalled on course. Following the lap 10 restart, Camirand pressured Asaro and retook the lead. On the subsequent lap, the field was once again bunched back together with a full-course caution, for debris on the track. The lap 15 restart had the Key Motorsport duo remain at the front of the field. Never far behind, Asaro took the lead for a second time on lap 17. Asaro maintained the lead for the next 15 laps, at times leading by as much as a second and a half. On lap 32 an incident involving Doug Bell and Niki Coello resulted in a safety taking to the course in the infield section of the course. Camirand used this incident to build momentum on Asaro and take the lead. Camirand proceeded to stretch his lead until lap 38, when he encountered lapped traffic and was involved in an incident in turn four ending his race. Asaro inherited the lead, which he would never relinquish en route to 2.223 seconds margin of victory

"The win is a good way to finish the weekend, " said Asaro. "It's disappointing my teammate isn't here, but I think I deserved the win. Last time I had good run like this was in FF1600. I hope it continues."

Driving the No. 82 Moto1.net/Motorsports Ranch Van Diemen Ford, Harrison worked his way to the front to capture his first podium finish of 2001. Harrison got a good start moving up to fourth place. He remained in that position, holding off repeated challenges from Arie Luyendyk Jr., until the lap 10 restart. On the restart he moved into third place. For the next 28 laps Harrison remained in contact with the lead duo, but was unable to challenge for position. When Camirand went off course on lap 38, Harrison moved into second place. The finish is a career-best and the second podium finish of his career.

"I just didn't have enough car to go for the win," said Harrison. "At a certain point you have to just keep the car on the track and go for points." Gray drove what was likely the most exciting race. Starting second last in the No. 2 Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, Gray drove a superb race to finish third. Getting a good start, by lap six Gray was in 13th place. Taking full advantage of the restarts, Gray had moved up to sixth place by the mid point of the race. On lap 26, Gray passed Luyendyk Jr. to move into fourth place. He remained in that position until lap 38 when he was promoted to third place. By moving up 18 spots in the race Gray earned the Taylor Engineering "Shark" award. The finish matches his finish in Round One and gives him two top-three finishes in three starts.

"That was fun," said Gray. "It reminded me a lot of last year in England when I was constantly fighting for every position. I'd love to win a race this year, but it's going to be a battle as the level of competition in the series is great."

Completing the top-five was Memo Rojas, of Mexico City, Mexico and Tom Dyer, of San Rafael, Calif. Rojas who moved up from 15th place was awarded the Pi Research Hard Charger award, while Dyer was awarded the Truechoice Drive of The Day award for his race.

-USF2000-

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Marc-Antoine Camirand , Memo Rojas , Billy Asaro , Niki Coello , Arie Luyendyk Jr.