NA-F2000: Road America race one report

ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (July 8, 2001)-Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill., won Round Nine of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Road America. Jason LaPoint, of Woodburn, Ore. and Billy Asaro, of Markham, Ont.,...

ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (July 8, 2001)-Tonis Kasemets, of Mundelein, Ill., won Round Nine of the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision at Road America. Jason LaPoint, of Woodburn, Ore. and Billy Asaro, of Markham, Ont., Can., completed the top-three. Scott Rubenzer, of Brookfield, Wis., won the ACC class.

Early Sunday morning race one of the doubleheader at Road America was run under tricky track conditions. At the start, Kasemets, starting in second, got a good jump on the polesitter, LaPoint. Kasemets took the outside line into turn one and was able to take the lead. As the cars behind battled for position and struggled for grip, Kasemets began to extend his lead. By lap two, Kasemets had a half second lead on second place. As the progressed, Kasemets, driving the No. 6 MKInd/Flexovit/Pabst Racing Services Van Diemen Ford, posted the fastest lap of the race and extended his lead. Never challenged for the lead, Kasemets took the checkered flag 8.71 seconds ahead of second place, for his second win of 2001.

"What a race," said Kasemets. "I got a good jump at the start and was able to get a run on Jason [LaPoint] into turn one. Once I got out front I just tried to drive safely and not use up my car. I didn't have to drive on the edge which helped."

At the start of the race, LaPoint and Kasemets went into turn one fighting for position. Battling for traction LaPoint fell back into second place. LaPoint maintained second place until turn six, when LaPoint was forced wide and went four wheels off. LaPoint maintained control and rejoined back in eighth position. Driving the No. 89 Infinity Motorsport/Regency Aviation/TrackMagic Van Diemen Ford, LaPoint quickly began working his way back up to the front. After making his way through traffic, LaPoint moved into second on lap 12. The second place finish was his second consecutive podium finish.

"I knew I had a good car," said LaPoint. "At first I thought it would be hard to make up spots, but I soon realized I was catching people. It was difficult as people drove defensively, but I had a great car."

Starting ninth, Asaro immediately began moving up at the green flag. Driving the No. 69 KeyMotorsport.com/POPS Van Diemen Ford, Asaro had moved into third place by the end of lap two. After passing Mike Potekhen for second, Asaro looked to be closing on Kasemets. On lap nine, corner workers began reporting that Asaro's rear wing was coming apart. At the end of the next lap, the left side of the rear wing had collapsed and began dragging. Asaro drove the ill handling car the remainder of the race, giving up second place on lap 13 and holding off a hard charging Piero Rodarte at the checkered flag. The drive earned Asaro the Truechoice Drive of The Day award.

"I'm really happy with the result," said Asaro. "Everyone was all over the place at the start and I capitalized on other people's mistakes. At the end I knew I couldn't hold off Jason [LaPoint] and just tried to save my podium finish."

Driving the No. 11 Storage Battery Systems/Trojan Battery Co. Carbir Ford, Rubenzer lost the ACC lead at the start of the race. Rubenzer, a local driver, used his knowledge of the track as the race progressed to make the most of every opportunity. On lap eight, Rubenzer retook the ACC lead and never relinquished it, en route to his third class win of 2001.

"It was a very entertaining race," said Rubenzer. "At the start a lot of crazy stuff was going on and I just concentrated on staying clean. The car got better as the race went on and I was able to retake the lead and get the win, which is important."

Completing the top-five was Rodarte, of Mexico City, Mexico and Tom Dyer, of San Rafael, Calif. Mark Dismore, of Greenfield, Ind., was awarded the Pi Research Hard Charger award for his strong drive to seventh place. Alexander Figge, of Aspen, Colo., was awarded the Taylor Engineering "Shark" award, after he moved up 11 positions in the race.

-U.S. F2000

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Mark Dismore , Piero Rodarte , Tonis Kasemets , Mike Potekhen , Billy Asaro , Tom Dyer
Teams HART