Formula Race Promotions Competition Level Soars at Mid-Ohio with New and Returning Winners
Formula Race Promotions Competition Level Soars at Mid-Ohio with New and Returning Winners
It was the second event on the Formula Race Promotions (FRP) calendar for 2021 and it was a huge success for the national level program. Taking on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with more than 100 competitors scattered across all FRP classes, the competition level was high with new race and retuning champions finding their way to the top step of the podium. With only a few short weeks off, the series staff will now shift their focus to the next event at Barber Motorsports Park.
“A great success and a perfect weekend for FRP and our competitors,” explained Bob Wright. “Mid-Ohio is one of our favorite tracks with an awesome facility, and the track staff, the Lake Erie Flaggers and our team put on a great program. Thank you to them all, as well as the series teams and competitors for their commitment to FRP. We welcomed new faces and new winners to FRP this past weekend and can’t wait to continue expanding our footprint as we roll through 2021. Thank you again to everyone for all of your support.”
Returning to the series and picking up right where he left off, 2020 F1600 Champion Simon Sikes scored the pole position by .271 over Ax Kametches. Two-time 2021 race winner Nicholas d’Orlando clocked the third quickest time while Joey Brienza and Will Holtz rounded out the top-five. Joe Colasacco was sixth on the charts but was the quickest driver in the F1600 Masters ranks as David Livingston and Scott Rubenzer secured the second and third place starting spots.
In the first F1600 wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend, Simon Sikes asserted himself as the driver to beat taking the point and driving to the win. Sikes took the win over Ax Kametches and d’Orlando scored his third podium result of the year. Billy Frazer was the best of the rest in fourth as he finished just ahead of Will Holtz in P5. Dave Livingston was tenth on track but the top F1600 Masters driver ahead of Joe Colasacco and Scott Rubenzer.
Sikes started race two from the pole position ahead of d’Orlando and Jonathan Lee and the top-three finished where they started. Sikes dominated race two before a late race caution bunched the field back up, but perfection on the restart allowed the Rice Race Prep driver to pull away and take the win by .470. d’Orlando added another podium result as Lee edged Team Pelfrey’s Hugh Esterson and Will Holtz for the final podium position. Always the class to provide close competition, the top-five drivers quickest lap times were separated by a mere .172. Dave Livingston found his way to the top step of the F1600 Masters podium in race two narrowly beating Joe Colasacco. The ever-consistent Scott Rubenzer slotted into the third position adding another podium result to his resume.
Sikes lined up next to Esterson for the start of the third and final race of the weekend as d’Orlando and Lee occupied row two. Again, it was Simon Sikes on top outdueling Nicholas d’Orlando for the win as the duo traded fast lap honors and the top spot-on multiple occasion. Billy Frazer earned his first podium result of 2021 in third as Will Holtz and Ayrton Houk finished fourth and fifth respectively. David Livingston would again earn top honors in the F1600 Masters class with Scott Rubenzer in second and Sam Lockwood in third.
The Atlantic Championship series started their FRP season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course reorganized into the Open Class (Swift 016 entries) and the Restricted Class (Swift 014, Tatuus PM18, Pro Formula Mazda, FR Americas). Hans Peter claimed the pole position by 1.883 in the Open Class, with teammate and son Charlie Peter leading the Restricted Class just behind Dudley Fleck who clocked the second fastest qualifying lap. Hans had to retire after five laps, giving Fleck an unfettered run for the first Atlantic win of the season, followed by Larry Howard and Richard Zober rounding out the Open Class podium. Bob Corliss handily led the Restricted Class until contact on lap 17 in turn 1 ended his weekend drive for the podium. Charlie Peter claimed the top spot with newcomer Austin Hill finishing second.
Returning to the track on Sunday, Charlie Peter earned the pole position with a blistering lap of 1:18.823 as he outpaced his father Hans and Saturday’s winner Dudley Fleck. Continuing his momentum from qualifying, Charlie led the field early but had to retire on lap 15 and it was dad Hans Peter who went on to take the win, with Dudley Fleck securing the second step on the podium and Larry Howard and Richard Zober finishing third and fourth respectively. Chris Ash made his first appearance in the top-five driving forward to earn a fifth-place finish in race two.
Alex Mayer continued his dominance in F1000 earning the pole position by a scant .250 over Nicho Vardis who was just ahead of Shane Prieto. Mayer would go on to take the race one victory, his third win of the season with Vardis pushing him all the way until the end to finish in second. Shane Prieto was able to join Mayer and Vardis on the podium in third with Reilly Harris and Tim Pierce finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
Sunday would see a new name up top in qualifying as Nicho Vardis claimed the pole position courtesy of a 1:21.889 on lap fourteen of his qualifying session to edge Saturday’s race winner Alex Mayer and Shane Prieto. Vardis would get redemption on Sunday climbing to the top of the F1000 results sheet and taking the victory in the second race of the weekend. Mayer soldiered along for another consistent run and podium result in the second position as Prieto secured his second podium result of the weekend in third. Reilly Harris was once again in the top-five in fourth while Thomas Cadwalder edged his way into the top-five in fifth.
John LaRue scored the overall pole position for the combined F2000 and F2000C classes while Mackenzie Clark earned top honors in F2000 for race one. With some new and younger drivers joining the class, the F2000 grid was one of the largest that has been seen in quite some time, signaling a welcome and hopeful renewed interest in the F2000/FC class of racing.
In race one it was Mackenzie Clark who rocketed to the front of the field and never looked back. Scoring the fastest lap of the race, Clark topped the podium blocks ahead of round two race winner Michael Varacins and multi-time podium winner Trent Walko. Austin Hill was able to edge Thomas Cadwalader for fourth as Robert Wright narrowly missed the top-five with a sixth-place finish.
Picking up where he left off on Saturday, it was Clark who secured the fastest lap in the morning qualifying session, outpacing Michael Varacins and Trent Walko who slotted themselves into second and third respectively. Clark did not stop there as he went on to dominate race two taking the checkered flag by 15.631 over Walko who advanced forward from his third place starting spot to come home second. Dexter Czuba, FRP’s 3rd place F1600 Champion from 2020, scored his first career F2000 podium in third as Austin Hill and Robert Wright finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Eastern Pro 4 Challenge
Hayden Bowlsbey secured top honors in qualifying one to take the first ever Easter Pro 4 Challenge pole position. Christian Weir was the best of the rest in second with Jake Bonilla in third. Bowlsbey continued his front of the field presence when the wheel-to-wheel action commenced to take the first win in series history. Weir was able to maintain his second place starting position to join Bowlsbey on the podium while Bonilla locked down the third position. Oscar Haffar and Max Parker rounded out the top-five.
Returning to the track on Sunday, Christian Weir claimed the top honor in the second Eastern Pro 4 Challenge qualifying session of the weekend as he edged Saturday’s race winner Hayden Bowlsbey by less than two tenths of a second. It was Bowlsbey who was able to get the last laugh though returning to the front of the field and scoring his second consecutive Eastern Pro 4 Challenge win. Weir was able to hold on for the second position as Jake Bonilla rounded out the podium. Max Parker advanced forward to earn a fourth-place result with Oscar Haffar coming home fifth.
It was all Sam Ryan in the pair of Formula Vee qualifying sessions as the #07 entry secured both pole positions. With a fast lap of 1:44.671 in qualifying one, Ryan improved on his efforts in qualifying two to score the pole position with a 1:44.261. Unfortunately for Ryan, he was not able to hang on to his advantage in the first race of the weekend falling one position to second behind Trevor Carmody. Carmody score the win, despite not being the fastest car on track as Ryan finished second, sandwiched between the Carmody duo of Trevor and Raymond. Tim Sager was able to slot his FV machine into the fourth position just ahead of Chris Elwell who rounded out the top-five.
Improving from his fifth-place finish in round one, Chris Elwell jumped to the top of the results sheets during the second Formula Vee race of the weekend. In a drag race to the checkered flag, Elwell beat Sam Ryan by a scant .051 with Tim Sager coming home third. Raymond Carmody continued his top five presence with a fourth-place finish as Dean Curtis beat Sherman Engler to the line for fifth/
In a sixteen car VS2000 grid, it was John Thompson who topped the charts in qualifying, demoralizing the field with a lap that was 1.162 faster than any of his competition. Rob Sherwood clocked the second-best time to line up outside row one while Brent Gernert was third. Thompson went on to win race one of the weekend as he outpaced Sherwood to the checkered flag by .680. Henry Payne V was able to find his way to the third step oof the podium just ahead of Samuel Payne and Mark Coombs as the top-five were separated by less than three seconds after the 17-lap race.
Race two of the weekend saw Sherwood jump to the top of the results sheet as he dominated the Sunday morning race. Taking the win by more than ten seconds, Sherwood was the class of the field. John Thompson was the best of the rest in second as he narrowly beat Henry Payne V for the second step of the podium. Henry Payne and Samuel Payne put three Paynes in the top-five as Nate Scigliano had a tremendous race advancing forward from 15th on lap one to finish in the sixth position.
Sherwood continued his winning ways in race three on Sunday as he was able to run away and take the checkered flag by 1.456 over Henry Payne V. Henry Payne put a pair of Paynes on the podium with his third-place finish and three in the top-five again as Samuel Payne finished in fifth, just behind the fourth-place runner of Rodney Kendall.
Phil Kingham was once again the drive to beat in the Right Coast Formula Ford Series as he dominated the two qualifying sessions earning a pair of pole positions. Never putting a wheel wrong in race one, Kingham dominated the event to add another win to his resume. Wayne Nicolette put his #2 entry in the second position ahead of Dan Pyanowski as the trio celebrated on the podium. Steve Roux earned a fourth-place finish in race one on the weekend as Michael Rand rounded out the top-five.
Sunday was once again Phil Kingham’s day as he dominated the Formula Ford class. Behind him, the podium positions would change as the runner up from Saturday was out on the opening lap. Opening the door for others, Michael Rand took advantage of the scenario and asserted himself to the second position as Steve Roux improved on his Saturday’s fourth place result to stand on the third step of the podium on Sunday. Chip Van Slyke scored his best result of the weekend with a fourth-place effort while Sam Eyer rounded out the top-five.
Kingham started race three from the pole position as Wayne Nicolette would start on his outside. Dan Pyanowski and Steve Roux occupied row two ahead of Rand and Garey Guzman in row three. Kingham completed the trifecta claiming his third win of the weekend, third fast lap honor and third trip to the top step of the podium. Nicolette would finish 2.672 adrift of Kingham to earn the second step of the podium while Steve Roux gained one position to come home third. Dan Pyanowski solidified another top-five result in fifth as Thomas Venturino climbed from his P8 starting spot to finish fifth.
Wright contined, “We managed to stay on time, despite the influx of entries and I had a lot of ‘Thank You’s’ at the end of the weekend. It is always nice to see smiling faces leaving the track. That to me is a sign that we are doing a great job!”
It is only a few short weeks until the next FRP event as the series will travel south to the picturesque Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama over the May 20th – 23rd weekend. Stay tuned for all the details, news, and information regarding the event, and find details about the event on the FRP website at racefrp.com.