NA-F2000: Kasements captures both Mid-Ohio poles

LEXINGTON, OHIO (June 9, 2001) --Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill., captured both poles for Saturday's and Sunday's Rounds Seven and Eight of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Completing...

LEXINGTON, OHIO (June 9, 2001) --Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill., captured both poles for Saturday's and Sunday's Rounds Seven and Eight of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Completing the top-three for Saturday's Round Seven race is Jason LaPoint, of Woodburn, Ore. and Travis Irving, of Chino Hills, Calif. Doug Bell, of St. Albans, England will start second for Sunday's Round Eight race, while LaPoint will start third.

After two days of testing in the rain, qualifying for race one and two was run under sunny skies. In the morning qualifying session, for race one, the top-five shuffled numerous times, with Kasemets leading in the early stages. The session was halted midway though the session after No. 55 Piero Rodarte and No. 19 JW Urlin had contact in turn 11. Rodarte continued, but Urlin was stranded on the track. After Urlin was towed back to the pits, qualifying resumed. After the tires came back up to temperature the shuffling of the top-three positions resumed. Early on, Irving jumped to the top of the grid, in his No. 85 Great Central Transport/Primus Racing West Van Diemen Ford. Late in the session, LaPoint, driving the No. 89 Infinity Motorsport/Regency Aviation/TrackMagic Van Diemen Ford, bettered Irving's time and looked to have the pole. As the checkered flag fell, Kasemets, driving the No. 6 MK Ind/Flexovit/TMI/TAC.com Van Diemen Ford, posted a time of 1:25.011 (95.621 mph) to grab the pole.

Early in the second qualifying session, Kasemets continued where he left off in the first qualifying session, quickly setting the tone and going to the front of the field. After just five minutes of qualifying the session was halted due to No. 32 Bryan Sellers pulling off in turn three with a broken suspension. When the session resumed, Bell in the No. 3 Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, was first on the course and used the open track to post a new fast lap for the session. LaPoint quickly responded, going marginally quicker and taking the top spot. With five minutes remaining, Kasemets regained the pole with a lap of 1:25.568 (95.023 mph). As the checkered fell on the 20-minute qualifying session both Bell and LaPoint were unable to better Kasemets' time. The poles give Kasemets three for 2001.

"This is sweet," said Kasemets, who captured the SCCA National Championship in Formula Continental at Mid-Ohio last October. "I dreamed about getting both poles, but it is only two-thirds of what I need to do this weekend. I'd love to win, but I really need to finish and will take a top-three finish."

"I'm really excited with how things have gone in qualifying," said LaPoint. "The plan was to go hard right from the start and I think it's worked. I've had a good car all weekend and I'm looking forward to the races."

"To qualify in the top-three is great," said Irving, who is making his first U.S. F2000 start this weekend. "The goal was to qualify in the top-10. With how things have gone so far this weekend I'm going to be looking for at least a top-five finish."

"It's good to be back up front, said Bell. "I couldn't get a clean lap in the morning qualifying session so I really went for it this afternoon. Obviously I'd like to win, but I'll just make the most of my opportunities in the race."

Completing the top-five for Round Seven is Bell and Billy Asaro, of Unionville, Ont. Irving and Asaro will start fourth and fifth respectively for Round Eight's race.

-U.S. F2000

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Piero Rodarte , Bryan Sellers , Tonis Kasemets , Billy Asaro