LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 9, 2003) --Jonathan Bomarito, of Monterey, Calif., won Round Nine of the 2003 Formula Ford Zetec Championship part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Completing the top-three was ...
LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 9, 2003) --Jonathan Bomarito, of Monterey, Calif., won Round Nine of the 2003 Formula Ford Zetec Championship part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Completing the top-three was Charlie Kimball, of Camarillo, Calif. and Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill. Ron Thomas, of Galena, Ohio, won the American Continental Championship class.
On a damp, but drying track and under overcast skies, Bomarito led the 26-car field to the green flag. Going three-abreast down the back straight, Bomarito maintained the lead, with his PR1 Motorsports teammate moving into second ahead of Kasemets, in the No. 9 FlexOvit/MK Industries/TMI/Redline Oil/TEAM Tonis Pabst Racing Racing Services Van Diemen Ford. Working together, Bomarito and Kimball attempted unsuccessfully to pull away from Kasemets. On lap five, a full-course caution was displayed, bunching the field back together. Following four laps under caution, Bomarito got a great jump on the restart, never being challenged for the lead. While Bomarito and Kimball, driving the No. 91 Rentvillas.com PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, built a gap, third through fifth began running nose to tail. On lap 11, championship leader Westley Barber passed Lawson Aschenbach for fourth place. With the race fast nearing its conclusion, both Kasemets and Kimball slowly began to close on Bomarito, who was battling a stuck throttle cable. With three laps remaining in the race, the second full-course caution was displayed, for a car high-sided on the course. Quickly clearing the problem, racing resumed with a two-lap dash to the checkered flag. Showing the pace that earned him the pole position, Bomarito, in the No. 23 Valley Financial PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, ran uncontested to the checkered flag, winning by 0.386 second. In capturing his second career Zetec Championship win, Bomarito reduces Barber's championship lead to 12 points (217-205) and earns $5,000 in prize money.
"I'm so happy to be here," said Bomarito, who captured his other Zetec Championship win at Lime Rock Park. "The start worked just as I planned, with Charlie [Kimball] moving in behind me. Early in the race I heard some noises, which turned out to be the stuck throttle cable, but I kept driving hoping I could make it to the finish. Hopefully I can repeat the win tomorrow and leave here with the championship lead."
"It's a lot easier to take finishing second when your teammate wins," said Kimball, who entered the race having won the previous two rounds. "I tried to get a run on Jonathan [Bomarito] on the second restart, but it's real hard to challenge for the lead unless the leader makes a mistake. I think I have a good car to battle for the win tomorrow."
"It's real difficult to pass here," said Kasemets, who has now finished on the podium six times at Mid-Ohio. "I never had any real pressure from behind, so I concentrated on the guys in front of me, but they never made any mistakes."
"The yellow flags helped me out," said Thomas, who has now won three ACC races in Zetec Championship competition. "Early in the race I got hit from behind and spun out. Luckily I was able to work my way back to the class lead and win again here at Mid-Ohio."
Completing the top-five was Barber, of Saffron Walden, England, in the No. 32 Jacuzzi Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford and Aschenbach, in the No. 2 King Automotive/M&M Welding Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford.
Time of race: 32 minutes, 55.099 seconds.
Average speed: 78.197 mph
Margin of victory: .38599 seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-19, #23 Jonathan Bomarito(R)
Fastest race lap: #25 Andrew Prendeville(R), 1:24.610 (96.073 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #23 Jonathan Bomarito(R), 1:23.373 (97.499 mph)