Urlin fifth at Road Atlanta. Toronto, Ontario (October 11, 2002): JW Urlin of London, Ontario, finished fifth today in the second of two races staged by the US Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at Road America, near Brazelton, Georgia. In ...
Urlin fifth at Road Atlanta.
Toronto, Ontario (October 11, 2002): JW Urlin of London, Ontario, finished fifth today in the second of two races staged by the US Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship at Road America, near Brazelton, Georgia. In another race, held yesterday, Urlin exited in dramatic fashion when a tire blew with just over four laps remaining.
Following a two month break in the schedule, 26 entries showed up at Road America for two races on the 4.088-km road course. Holding fourth in the championship with an impressive record that has seen him do everything but win a race this year, Urlin was looking for a pair of good finishes to gather some points as the season winds down.
Unable to get the car handling at it's optimum, Urlin suffered a little in qualifying, girdding his car eleventh and eighth for the pair of races.
"Atlanta was just not our track," Urlin said, "The Budget Rent-A-Car/Mygale Cars/OTM Motorsports machine has been beautiful at most of the tracks we've been at this year, but we just couldn't get that last little bit out of it at Atlanta. We were confident of doing better in the races though and targeted top-five finishes."
Urlin's optimism was not misplaced and in yesterday's race, he rapidly carved his way though the field. By lap six, he'd moved up three places from his eleventh-place start and midway through the twenty-lap sprint, he was sixth. A few laps later, however, he started loosing ground as the left-front tire began to deteriorate. By lap fifteen he was back to eighth when the tire blew apart at corner six. The car hurtled nose-first into a barrier at high speed, but the chassis did its job and protected the young racer who turned nineteen just ten days ago.
Today, Urlin struggled in the early laps, his engine sounding off key. After falling to tenth, the motor suddenly came back on song and he began advancing through the ranks. On lap thirteen, he moved into fifth where he would remain for the duration.
"Yesterday's race was, obviously, a big disappointment," said Urlin. "We had a good set up on the car and I was driving well. We deserved a top-five finish. When the tire started to go, I had to back off a bit, but tried not to give up too many places, then it just let go. I went straight off and it was easily the hardest hit I've ever experienced. A huge impact. Today was a good rebound and I have to thank my engineer, Dan Campbell, and my dad for all their work rebuilding the car after the crash. They were really meticulous and everything worked perfectly."
The 2002 USFF2000 Championship will be concluded with a pair of races at Virginia International Raceway, October 26-27.