F2000: American Rookie Searcy Dominates at Lime Rock Lakeville, CT -- American rookie Benjamin Searcy took his second win of the 2009 F2000 season today at Lime Rock Park. Searcy started from the pole position and led all 25 laps,...
F2000: American Rookie Searcy Dominates at Lime Rock
Lakeville, CT -- American rookie Benjamin Searcy took his second win of the 2009 F2000 season today at Lime Rock Park. Searcy started from the pole position and led all 25 laps, only having to fend off one challenge from fellow American Chris Miller, going into turn one on a restart Miller got inside Searcy but couldn't quite pull off the move. Searcy then took off, lapping in the mid 50.5 second range, faster than his qualifying times.
"The car was just great," said Searcy in victory circle. "I got nervous with the yellow and the restart and that's when Chris Miller got alongside me. He didn't get by and from there I just checked out on the rest of the field."
Searcy's Z-Sports team owner, Ron Boltik commented, "We were doing the rain dance right before the start of the race because we knew Ben could dominate in the rain. Today we proved he could do it in the dry too."
Searcy and Miller split the victories in the doubleheader at VIR last month. Chris Miller and his JDC Motorsports team had to settle for a distant second. "I didn't have the pace to stick with Searcy. Congratulations to him and Z-Sports. It was a good race though and we got some good points. We're going to make some changes on the car and we should be in a good position to put it on pole Monday," commented Miller.
Matthew Inge made it an all American podium, a true rarity in open wheel racing. Inge started fourth and spent most of the race behind championship points leader Remy Audette. With four laps to go Audette got balked by the slower car of Chris Gumprecht on the downhill and had to get on the brakes. Inge was able to get alongside in the St. Clair Motorsports Van Diemen and pass Audette going into turn one on the inside.
"The race went really well," explained Inge, who earns two championship bonus points for setting fast lap. "The start went well and it was so slick on the first few laps, cars were sliding all over the place. I was just sort of following Remy (Audette) but couldn't do anything until slower traffic got in his way."
Audette had to settle for fourth but continues to lead the points standings by just two points over Matthew Inge.
John Dole rounded out the top five and was the first of the Masters class drivers.
Finishing sixth was Al Guibord Jr., having starting ninth Guibord put on a show for the packed hillsides of Lime Rock Park. Guibord spent lap after lap trying to get by Brian Belardi, diving inside him going into turn one multiple times. Eventually Guibord sneaked by Belardi and left him behind, moving up to sixth by the end of the race.
Guibord said: "I had a horrible start and it's very difficult to pass here. I didn't want to take a big risk and it took me a while to get past Belardi, when I did I just started picking off cars one by one, it was a great run."
Jonathan Scarallo finished seventh and spent most of the race into the top five until a soft brake pedal cost him two positions in the closing laps. Scarallo, the 2008 Bertil Roos champion, finished 11th in round two at VIR and is picking up speed as he comes to grips with the F2000 car.
Brian Belardi, Chris Camadella and Caitlin Johnston rounded out the top ten.
Johnston, Searcy's Z-Sports teammate started in 13th and fell back to 17th on a restart early in the race. She battled her way back to log her second straight top ten finish.
Fabio Orsolon was the lone Alegra Motorports car in the field, running in the top ten most of the day but eventually finishing 11th , as the car developed understeer during the 25-lap race. Orsolon's teammate Victor Carbone never even saw the green flag as the starter on the Zetec motor the Alegra team spent the afternoon hustling to install failed on the grid.
Tom Fatur, Friday's fast man, started in fifth for today's race but spun off during the opening laps causing the yellow flag and never recovered, finishing 19th.
The action resumes on Monday with a 9:00AM qualifying session followed by an 11:00AM race start, stay tuned to F2000ChampionshipSeries.com for the latest.