NA-F2000: Road America race two qualifying report

Barber continues Pole Streak at Road America ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (August 2, 2003) --Westley Barber, of Saffron, England, captured the pole for Round Eight of the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at Road America. Completing the top-three...

Barber continues Pole Streak at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (August 2, 2003) --Westley Barber, of Saffron, England, captured the pole for Round Eight of the 2003 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at Road America. Completing the top-three is Charlie Kimball, of Camarillo, Calif., and Jonathan Bomarito, of Monterey, Calif. The top ACC qualifier is Mike Rodney, of Lafayette, Colo.

Qualifying for race two of the Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America commenced under ideal early morning conditions. With a dry track and the increased rubber from Champ Car qualifying on Friday, drivers immediately began posting fast lap times. Continuing where he left off on Friday, Barber immediately jumped to the top of the speed charts at the start of qualifying. Responding to the challenge, Kimball, driving the No. 91 Rentvillas.com PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, began posting times just marginally slower than Barber.

As the session progressed, the times steadily dropped, with the top-five changing from lap to lap. By the midway point of the 30-minute session, Barber and Kimball remained first and second, with James Gue posting the third fastest time. Unlike most sessions, where drivers pit for changes during qualifying, the leaders elected to stay out on Saturday, due to the time that would be lost in the very long Road America pitlane. Using a steadily improving car, Bomarito, in the No. 23 Valley Financial PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, moved into third place late in the session. With less than five minutes remaining in qualifying, the session was halted, when Doug Prendeville crashed into the turn one wall.

Unable to clear the debris in the time remaining, the session was checkered, giving Barber the pole position. Driving the No. 32 Jacuzzi Cape Motorsports Van Diemen Ford, Barber captured his sixth pole of the season with a lap of 2:12.974 (108.291 MPH), which bettered the lap record he set during Friday qualifying.

"The car actually wasn't as good as yesterday," said Barber, who has captured the pole for six of the eight races thus far in 2003. "I kept pushing all session long and the team did a great job letting me know what I needed to do. I'm really looking forward to the race."

"Unfortunately we went the wrong way in setup changes," said Kimball, who has three consecutive front-row starts. "The I think I have car to run with Westley [Barber] in the race, so it should be fun and having my teammates up-front with me should help."

"Unlike yesterday I was able to stay out the whole session and get some quick times in at the end," said Bomarito, who suffered a mechanical failure late in qualifying for race one. "PR1 as usual gave me a great car, so I'm can't wait for the races to start."

"The track had a lot more grip today," said Rodney, who captured the ACC pole for race one on Friday. "Racing in the Zetec Championship is a nice step up from the club racing I usual do."

Completing the top-five is Chris Festa, of Atlanta, Ga., in the No. 19 Care Centric PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen Ford and Andrew Prendeville, of Morristown, N.J., in the No. 25 TCW/Valvoline Andersen Walko Racing Van Diemen Ford.

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Mario Andretti , James Gue , Charlie Kimball , Andrew Prendeville , Doug Prendeville , Westley Barber , Jonathan Bomarito , Chris Festa
Teams HART