Jul 03

F1600, F2000, Atlantic Sunday recap

Next assembles at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, August 5-7

Formula Race Promotions logo Calvin Ming, John LaRue and Ryan Norman won in F1600, F2000 and Atlantic, respectively, on Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Neil Verhagen won the second F1600 race later in the day.

F1600 Morning Race

Calvin Ming prevailed in round 11 of the 2016 F1600 Formula F Championship Series, taking the victory on Sunday morning at Mid-Ohio ahead of Team Pelfrey teammate Phillippe Denes and K-Hill’s Peter Portante.

“The race was good from the start. We tried to stay in the lead pack and in the end it worked out. It was a good battle with the front group and I can’t thank Team Pelfrey enough,” said Ming.

Ming was among a lead group of five cars, also including Denes, Portante and Masters Class winner Steve Bamford. Neil Verhagen also led multiple laps in the No. 3 K-Hill Motorsports Mygale/Honda, but was sidelined when a suspension upright failed.

For Denes, it was a big points day as Verhagen finished well down the order.

“It was a good race, staying up front the whole time. Calvin just got better of us on the last lap. It was a good one-two result for the team,” Denes said.

Portante was unable to repeat his Saturday win, but moved from fifth to third in the late stages of the race.

“I’m pretty happy with the result, it’s the best I’ve done at 8 a.m.,” said Portante. “The car was good, we were hanging on at the start of the race and eventually got there. The podium result is pretty solid.”

Bamford won the Masters Class with a fourth place finish overall, while Andy Melvin put in another strong drive to complete the top five in the No. 23 entry.

Max Mallinen improved a handful of positions to finish sixth for Swan Motorsports, with Jeffrey Bartz behind him, and Scott Rubenzer and Cliff Johnson following.

Both Rubenzer and Johnson scored Masters Class podiums, second and third, respectively, in class, while Hans Ada completed the top ten for K-Hill after running as high as fifth.

Of note, Kaylen Frederick failed to roll off the grid, with Team Pelfrey quickly locating and fixing an issue on the car.

Frederick rejoined the field a few laps down, but was able to set the fastest lap of the race, putting him on pole for Sunday afternoon’s final F1600 round at Mid-Ohio.
F1600 Afternoon Race

Neil Verhagen went from fourth to first on the last lap to win round 12 of the 2016 F1600 Formula F Championship Series season at Mid-Ohio in the No. 3 for K-Hill Motorsports. Kaylen Frederick and Steve Bamford completed the podium.

After failing to finish in the morning race after a suspension failure, the win is a key points haul for Verhagen, who started sixth.

“It wasn’t an easy race,” said Verhagen. “We were sitting in fourth most of the race and found our way around all the other guys. It was a great race in the end.

Verhagen spent most of the race in the lead pack, which traded the lead by the lap and was eventually slimmed down to five cars on the final lap at Mid-Ohio.

Frederick scored his best F1600 finish to date in his sixth start of 2016, leading the first seven laps from pole. The Team Pelfrey driver saw his car’s battery fail on the false grid of the morning race. By the time the problem was solved, he was laps down, but pulled out a flying lap to put himself on pole for the afternoon race.

“We were struggling with some battery issues,” said Frederick. “I decided to come out and do a quick lap to try to get pole. I tried pulling away at the start of this race since I got a great start. But, Neil is a fast driver and he caught right back up to me. It was a great battle for the podium at the end.”

Bamford completed the podium with the Masters Class win.

“The last lap we were catching some traffic and it screwed some guys up in the Key Hole (turn),” Bamford said. “I’m not sure what happened with the two Pelfrey cars but one really slowed up and we just had to run down the back straight and right to the finish.”

Morning race-winner Calvin Ming finished 13th after leading coming to the white flag, and was towed in after the checkered flag behind a Mid-Ohio safety team truck.

Saturday winner Peter Portante finished fourth, while Phillippe Denes ran in the lead group early but fell back, finishing fifth ahead of Andy Melvin, Max Mallinen and Jeffrey Bartz.

Of note, Melvin and Bartz had strong debut weekends in pro F1600 competition.

Scott Rubenzer and Cliff Johnson took second and third in the Masters Class, ninth and tenth overall.

The F1600 Formula F Championship Series gathers next at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, August 5-7, for rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2016 season.



A lap 12 pass for the lead gave John LaRue the victory to close out the F2000 Championship Series weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The No. 17 driver ended his streak of second place finishes, taking his first win of 2016 over Brandon Dixon and Steve Bamford in round eight of the season.

“We’re very happy. We chased the car all weekend and it finally came to us,” said LaRue, who passed Championship leader Bamford for the race lead on lap 12 on the back straight and never looked back.

“Steve is always so quick and he has so many laps, he’s a heck of a racer. I figured if we kept him in sight we’d have a chance at it,” LaRue noted.

LaRue also set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:24.569.

Dixon followed in second, improving his finishing place one position after a third place run in Saturday’s race and taking the opportunity after Bamford spun in turn one.

“I know Steve spun and that gave me an opportunity,” said Dixon, in the No. 5 Citation. “After getting by Steve I was pretty much doing qualifying laps because I thought he might be coming. That was all I had.”

Bamford started on pole, led early, and completed the podium in third place in the No. 07 entry for Rice Race Prep.

“It was an interesting race with John. I made an adjustment in turn one (while running second) and spun and Brandon got by me. All in all third isn’t bad,” Bamford said.

The third place run ended Bamford’s win streak, which stood at four after a single victory at Watkins Glen in May, two at VIR in June, and one on Saturday at Mid-Ohio.

The race saw two tense periods, with the first being a green flag on the back stretch to start the 30-minute event. However, a first lap incident involving Brendan Puderbach and Peter Gonzalez produced a safety car and a mid-race restart. The clean-up also forced the planned 21 laps to a 30-minute timed window, with competitors logging 18 laps at Mid-Ohio on Sunday afternoon.

The McCusker brothers, John and Austin, completed the top five for Dotworks Racing, as Austin picked up five spots after starting in tenth.

Robert Allaer followed in sixth, with Dave Weitzenhof in seventh, followed by Steve Jenks, who started fourth. Connor Gawry and Robert Wright completed the top ten.

F2000 next takes to the track for rounds nine and 10 of the season, held at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, August 5-7.



From the outside of the front row, K-Hill Motorsports driver Ryan Norman charged into the lead on the opening lap at Mid-Ohio and led from there on out, taking the victory in round eight of the Atlantic Championship Series season.

It was a bounce-back drive for the No. 48 of Norman in his Swift 016/Mazda after gearbox trouble dropped him from second to third in Saturday’s race.

“We had an awesome start, going three wide. I out-braked everyone and was able to run consistent laps from there in the lead. I need to thank all the friends and family members that came out to support me, and K-Hill Motorsports for a great car,” said Norman, who extends his Atlantic points lead.

Starting third, David Grant, who won on Saturday, passed pole-sitter and brother Keith for second on lap three and pulled a gap. However, there was drama for the 2012 Atlantic Champion on lap 16 when David Grant fell back to fourth due to a spin – promoting Keith Grant to second and Chris Ash to third.

Four laps later, Grant took his No. 29 back to the podium by passing Ash for the third spot.

Richard Zober also made a move on Ash for fourth a few laps later as the two Comprent teammates battled for position at Mid-Ohio.

Towards end of race, Keith Grant picked up the pace and cut a seven-plus second lead down to three, but could not close any further on race leader Norman.

“Someone my speed comes at the end of the race. I have to work on that,” said Keith Grant, in the No. 40 Polestar Swift 016/Mazda.

David Grant said: “I had a pretty good start. I got past Keith early and was slowly catching Ryan. I caught a slower car that held me up and I lost my concentration and lost it. It was my fault for spinning and it is what it is. It took a while for the car to come back to me. Thank you to Polestar for the help this weekend.”

Zober would finish fourth while Lewis Cooper Jr. moved around Ash late in the race for fifth. Those three drivers had a early race battle and were often running in close proximity on the track battling for position.

Bob Corliss had a solid weekend in the Atlantic Challenge category, taking home twin victories in the No. 17 Swift 014/Toyota from Comprent Motorsports. Corliss’ points haul will surely help him in his bid to take the Challenge title at the end of the season.

Of note, Bruce Hamilton retired with reported electrical issues.

With the double-race weekend in the books at Mid-Ohio, the Atlantic Championship Series next assembles at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, August 5-7.

source: F1600Series.com, F2000Series.com, AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com