Connery held off Minor and LaRue for the race win
Connery keeps the title fight alive another day, and takes a few points back off Minor’s huge lead with just three races to go, including round 12 at Mid-Ohio on Sunday. John LaRue finished third ahead of David Grant as the top four cars were nose-to-tail for most of the race.
While John LaRue led from the pole in his Citation chassis, an early race incident between Kevin Kopp and Tim Paul set up a restart that allowed Connery a chance to move up through the pack after falling as low as fifth. Once the No. 91 Van Diemen from CC Autosport and James Lee Racing found the lead, Connery never relinquished, leading the last few laps in a sprint to the finish that saw the top four cars duke it out on every lap.
“On the start we had an issue with the throttle position sensor and lost some ground,” said Connery. “By the time we had the first caution I was in fourth or fifth behind Jim Libecco and I knew we had to go hard and fight for the win. We had to fight for it today; we’re going to keep fighting to the end of this Championship.”
Minor took the Masters Class victory with his second straight runner-up result at Mid-Ohio, and hounded Connery for the last handful of laps once he disposed of LaRue. Minor took home more points in the No. 88 Citation for Ski Motorsports and moves even closer to clinching the title with three races to go.
“Kyle just had a good car today,” said Minor, who reset the lap record during the race. “I could not get out of the keyhole and we picked up understeer through the race. I did all I could to adjust the car; I could catch Kyle on the back stretch but it’s hard to pass back there safely. I need to finish and win the Championship. That’s what I’m here for.”
Minor and Connery remain the only two drivers to win a race in 2013.
LaRue finished a career-best third after a pole position in the No. 17 entry.
Polestar’s Grant came home inches behind in fourth and was in the mix the entire race, also moving through the field from his seventh place starting position. Grant will strap into a F1600 car for that race as well, where he qualified a Van Diemen on the outside of the front row.
HP-Tech rookie teammates Santino Ferrucci and Roberto Lorena finished fifth and sixth, respectively, while Jim Libecco had to settle for seventh after running as high as third early in the 18-lap race.
Tim Dunn put in one of the best efforts yet for the Metrik chassis and R-Sport, with an eighth place effort, also taking the Hard Charger honors from CellMark Paper.
Tom Fatur and Italian racer Federico Mosconi completed the top ten at Mid-Ohio in round 11 of the 14-race F2000 season.
The F2000 Championship Series continues with the first of the remaining three races on Sunday, at 11:35 am local time after an 8:00 am morning qualifying session. Follow live at www.f2000series.com.
|1||91||Kyle Connery||18||1:24.932||Van Diemen Zetec||–|
|2||88||Tim Minor/M||18||1:24.331||Citation Zetec||+0.588|
|3||17||John LaRue/M||18||1:24.628||Citation Zetec||+0.972|
|4||29||David Grant||18||1:24.595||Van Diemen Zetec||+2.375|
|5||10||Santino Ferrucci||18||1:24.668||Van Diemen Zetec||+6.250|
|6||9||Roberto Lorena||18||1:25.723||Van Diemen Zetec||+13.798|
|7||98||Jim Libecco||18||1:25.559||Van Diemen Zetec||+16.267|
|8||00||Tim Dunn/M||18||1:26.440||Metrik Zetec||+27.386|
|9||70||Tom Fatur/M||18||1:26.268||Van Diemen Zetec||+27.969|
|10||99||Federico Mosconi||18||1:26.653||Van Diemen Zetec||+34.366|
|11||90||Robert Wright/M||18||1:26.349||Radon Zetec||+34.744|
|12||51||Dan Denison/M||18||1:26.020||Van Diemen Zetec||+34.975|
|13||68||Steve Jenks/M||18||1:26.156||Van Diemen Zetec||+35.321|
|14||83||Charles Finelli/M||18||1:26.288||Van Diemen Zetec||+35.789|
|15||67||Dave Weitzenhof/M||18||1:26.441||Citation Zetec||+37.592|
|16||71||Steve Bamford/M||18||1:26.614||Van Diemen Zetec||+37.887|
|17||69||Paul Farmer/M||18||1:26.727||Radon Zetec||+39.022|
|18||7||Brent Gilkes/M||18||1:27.165||Van Diemen Zetec||+41.865|
|19||0||Keith McCrone/M||18||1:27.816||Metrik Zetec||+48.047|
|20||16||Peter Gonzalez/M||18||1:28.476||Radon Zetec||+55.038|
|21||86||Jim Hanrahan/M||18||1:28.365||Radon Zetec||+55.426|
|22||01||John McCusker||18||1:28.075||RFR Zetec||+56.767|
|23||21||Jose Armida||18||1:26.170||Van Diemen Zetec||+1:07.382|
|24||1||Kem Lall/M||17||1:29.003||Radon Zetec||1 Lap|
|25||72||Francis Kennette||17||1:31.492||Mygale Zetec||+25.265|
|26||73||Vaughn Horvath||13||1:28.017||Van Diemen Pinto||5 Laps|
|DNF||22||Kevin Kopp||1||2:03.924||Van Diemen Zetec||17 Laps|
|DNF||06||Tim Paul||1||2:05.098||Van Diemen Zetec||+0.604|
source: Monty Mathisen, mathisenmedia.com, photo Ryan Wise