F2000: Searcy Takes Lime Rock Pole - New Track Record Lakeville, CT -- Benjamin Searcy took pole for round three of the 2009 F2000 season at the last possible second during today's qualifying session at Lime Rock. Searcy logged a 50.668, which...
F2000: Searcy Takes Lime Rock Pole - New Track Record
Lakeville, CT -- Benjamin Searcy took pole for round three of the 2009 F2000 season at the last possible second during today's qualifying session at Lime Rock. Searcy logged a 50.668, which broke the standing track record of 51.400 by an enormous margin. Chris Miller, Remy Audette and Matthew Inge rounded out the top five.
"We were running 50.8s the entire session," explained Searcy, who won the season opener in his Z-Sports Van Diemen/Zetec in the wet in his first ever F2000 start. "We changed some aero on the car with a few minutes to go and then on my last lap I changed my line just a little bit into turn one which did it. It's going to be tough to pass in the race so it'll be important to try to stay out front at the start."
Fellow American Chris Miller wasn't far behind, only eight thousandths of a second to be exact. Miller delivered a 50.676 just seconds before Searcy's pole lap to knock points leader Audette off the pole.
"It was a good session. We made some little changes and were able to get a good lap at the end even though I got held up a little by slower traffic. The car is going to be good for the race," said Miller, driving the #85 Miller Milling JDC Motorsports entry.
Canadian Remy Audette had pole and appeared to be the man to beat for most of the session with his fast lap of 50.703. He will line up third for the 5:15pm 32-lap feature event of the day at Lime Rock. "The crew told me to keep pushing at the end," commented Audette. "At the end there was a slower car in front of me going into turn one and with the yellow flag waving I wasn't allowed to pass. It's going to be a very tight race since the times are so close."
Matthew Inge qualified fourth with a lap of 50.726.
Tom Fatur, who paced yesterday's practice day wasn't far behind as he qualified fifth and was the fastest of the Masters class drivers. "I'm keeping up for us old guys. The session was ok, we solved our charging issues and actually have two alternators on the car right now which is costing us some power. We could have probably gone a bit faster during the session but I wanted to save the tires for the race, especially the last five or ten laps," said Fatur.
Jonathan Scarallo, John Dole, Chris Camadella, Al Guibord, Jr. and Fabio Orsolon rounded out the top ten as the first sixteen cars qualified within a second of one another, making this one of the closest fields in series history.
Alegra's Victor Carbone lost an engine in this morning's session and the Alegra Motorsports crew is rushing to put another engine, borrowed from Jesse Yorio, into the car to make the grid for the race. Meanwhile local favorite Phil Lombardi also lost an engine during the morning practice session and his weekend is done.