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Oct 07, 2013 - 02:49 PM
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Kelley, Herta Victorious in Season Finale
Posted by: newsla on Oct 07, 2013 - 02:46 PM
Support Series News
Kelley, Herta Victorious in Season Finale


The Season finale of the Pacific Formula F1600/F2000 Championship Series was held Sunday afternoon at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Bobby Kelley, the 2012 F2000 champion, returned and was victorious in the F2000 group while Colton Herta won his third race of the weekend to complete a sweep of the weekend’s event. The series is racing with the Vintage Auto Racing Association during the Datsun-Porsche Shootout Event.

 

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The race was schedule to begin at 12:50pm and was held under sunny skies and slightly breezy conditions and temperatures approaching eighty degrees.

With starting positions based on the finishing positions from the morning race which meant the F1600 group was lead to the green by Colton Herta in his #98, PR1 Motorsports w/BHA Curb-Agajanian entry sponsored by DVS shoe Company, Curb Records, Mygale N. America, OMP, Bell Helmets, Penske Shocks, Mygale/Honda and Alex Keyes, #32, Lynx Racing, Spectrum/Honda. Joey Bickers, #34, PR1 Motorsports Mygale/Honda and Andrew Evans, #19, Lynx Racing Spectrum/Honda made up row two and were followed by Les Phillips, #89 Swiss Motorsports, Porterfield Brakes, Mygale SJ04/Honda and newcomer Tazio Ottis in the #17, HPD, Piper Honda for Cameron Racing.

The F2000 group was led by Patricio O’Ward #6 POW Motorsports, Pequeneces, DFR Van Diemen. O’Ward was followed by Bobby Kelley driving the #2, DFR Van Diemen, Bob Negron, #9,Terri Negron Web Design, fengshuimebaby.com, Van Diemen, Ira Fierberg in his #27, Pinnacle Performance, Sparco USA, DFR, Van Diemen, Peter West, #99, Frank Monise Motors, Zombo.com, Kodenko Jeans, T.J. Martell Foundation, DFR Van Diemen, Peter Hastrup, #62, Western Building Materials, DFR Van Diemen, and Tom Hope, #18, H&M Racing, Dart, Carbir.

Kelley took the lead as the green flag waved and was closely followed by O’Ward, Negron, Fierberg, Hope, Hastrup and West.
Kelley led the first two laps before O’Ward re-took the position and began to put some distance between himself and Kelley while the rest of the field held station, this tight circuit not providing many passing opportunities. West did manage to chase down Hastrup and take sixth place on lap six and by halfway, the order was O’Ward, Kelley, Negron, Fierberg, Hope, Hastrup and West.

During the second half of the race the drivers settled into their rhythms and set about consolidating their positions. Around this time Kelley slowly began to reel in O’Ward, as his tires began to lose their grip and on lap thirteen, Kelley was through and back into a lead he was to hold to the finish. The 2012 Series champion was able to finish the weekend as successfully as he had a year ago when he claimed his title.

Although O’Ward’s tires were gone he managed to maintain enough pace to hold his position and finish in second place. He also managed the races’ fastest lap.

Bob Negron, who beat Ira Fierberg to third position at the start eased ahead throughout the race and by the end was 9 seconds ahead but more important than that gained three valuable points by finishing ahead of Fierberg enabling him to claim not only the Master Class Championship but the overall title as well. It was a fine effort for his independent operation and shows how level the field is in F2000.

Ira Fierberg finished fourth, just missing the title, but having one of the strongest seasons and best performances of his career.
Fifth place went to Tom Hope, managing to break the string of bad luck and have his best finish since Buttonwillow claiming the Expert Class trophy.

Peter West finished sixth ahead of DFR teammate Peter Hastrup after a spirited battle. Hastrup finished in seventh.

Joey Bickers asserted himself to grab the lead of the F1600 group determined to claim at least one win during the weekend.
Bickers was followed by Herta, Keyes and Evans, all in close attendance with Phillips and Ottis trailing the field. This order was short lived as on lap two Bickers lost first place to his teammate Colton Herta, who went on to win.

For Herta, the victory was his tenth in the fifteen races run and also claimed his eleventh fastest lap.

With Joey Bickers now in second place, he became vulnerable to the attacks of Alex Keyes who dived inside Bickers at turn two where contact was made with the result being Keyes having to retire the car with a bent pushrod, only three laps into the race. Bickers held second place until the end of the race finishing nine seconds adrift of Herta.

Alex Keyes retirement meant it was up to the second Lynx driver, Andrew Evans to take up the charge and he did not disappoint mounting an early challenge to Bickers pushing him until near the end and finished in a strong third place, his first podium in six races.

After a steady race, Les Phillips finished fourth and claimed the Expert Class win. Phillips was followed home by Tazio Ottis who brought the Piper home in fifth with Keyes claiming sixth place.

The single-seat, open-wheel F2000 cars are powered by 2-liter Ford Zetec engines and run on Hankook tires supplied by Sierra Tire. The F1600 cars will be powered by either the 1500cc Honda Fit engine or the 1600cc Ford ‘Kent’ engine and will run on Toyo tires.

F1600 Qualifying (round 15): 1. Colton Herta (Mygale/Honda); 2. Joey Bickers (Mygale/Honda); 3. Alex Keyes, (Spectrum/Honda); 4. Andrew Evans (Spectrum/Honda); 5. Les Phillips (Mygale SJ04/Honda); 6. Tazio Ottis (Piper/Honda).
F1600 Round 15 (15 laps): 1. Herta; 2. Bickers, +9.422s; 3. Evans, +20.608s; 4. Phillips, +1 lap; 5. Phillips, +1 lap; 6. Ottis, +1 lap.

F2000 Qualifying (round 15): 1. Patricio O’Ward (Van Diemen; 2. Bobby Kelley (Van Diemen); 3. Bob Negron (Van Diemen); 4. Ira Fierberg (Van Diemen); 5. Peter West (Van Diemen); 6. Peter Hastrup (Van Diemen);7. Tom Hope (Carbir).

F2000 Round 15 (16 laps): 1. Kelley; 2. O’Ward, +1.739s; 3. Negron, +27.039s; 4. Fierberg, +36.322s; 5. Hope, +41.763s; 6. West, +53.827; 7. Hastrup, +55.498s.

Fastest race lap: F1600 Herta, 1m33.277s. F2000 O’Ward, 1m24.873s.
Expert class winner (over 35): F1600 Phillips, F2000 Hope.
Master class winner (over 50): F2000 Negron.


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