Bomarito leads flag-to-flag to capture first career win at Lime Rock LAKEVILLE, CONN. (May 24, 2003) --Jonathan Bomarito, of Monterey, Calif., won Round Three of the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at Lime Rock Park. Completing the ...
Bomarito leads flag-to-flag to capture first career win at Lime Rock
LAKEVILLE, CONN. (May 24, 2003) --Jonathan Bomarito, of Monterey, Calif., won Round Three of the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at Lime Rock Park. Completing the top-three was Westley Barber, of Saffron Walden, England and Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill. Chris Dona, of Sandown, N.H., won the American Continental Championship class.
Under overcast skies, 26 Zetec Championship cars took to the demanding 1.53-mile road course for the first race of the Memorial Day weekend doubleheader. At the start, Bomarito, starting from the pole position, maintained the lead, as the field went three-abreast into turn one. As the lap progressed, several cars battled for position, with cars going side-by-side in many of the corners. Showing the speed he displayed in qualifying, when he set a new lap record, Bomarito steadily began to build a lead on second place.
As Bomarito, driving the No. 23 Valley Financial PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, built his lead, second through fourth place ran nose-to-tail. On lap 10, the field was bunched together, when a full-course yellow was displayed for Dustin Hodges crashing in West Bend. On the ensuing restart, Bomarito got a great jump holding the lead in turn one. Behind the lead trio, Kasemets, racing the No. 9 FlexOvit/MK Industries/TMI Van Diemen Ford, passed Andrew Prendeville to move into fourth place after setting up the pass for over a lap.
Midway through lap 17, Lawson Aschenbach, who had been in second place slowed on course, allowing Barber, driving the No. 3 Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, to move into second place. For the next six laps the top-three remained unchanged, with Bomarito steadily increasing his lead while dealing with lapped traffic. On lap 24, a full-course caution was displayed for Bob Wright hitting the tire barrier in turn seven.
With four laps remaining in the race, the field was given the green flag. For the third time, Bomarito got an excellent jump, using a back maker to extend his lead. For the remainder of the race Bomarito was unchallenged, capturing his first career win by 0.898 second.
"It's was a tough race," said Bomarito, who led all 30 laps. "I was able to get a great jump on all the restarts and lapped traffic seemed to actually help me. Hopefully we can do the same thing Monday in race two."
"I fought all race long," said Barber, who maintains the championship lead heading into Round Four. "We made some changes to the car from qualifying which made it better, but we still need to find a little more."
"My car was very good after the yellows," said Kasemets, who is the active race win leader, with four career wins. "Starting where I did, I was only hoping for a good finish."
"I think my experience here really helped," said Dona, who has raced at Lime Rock numerous times. "I'm getting faster every time I'm in the car and went over a second faster than I've ever gone here before."
Completing the top-five was Prendeville, of Morristown, N.J., driving the No. 25 TCW/Valvoline Andersen Walko Racing Van Diemen Ford and Craig Baltzer, of Bettendorf, Iowa, in the No. 8 Sparco/Lakefront Technologies/Decal Works/Van Diemen Scholarship JDC Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, who started eighth.