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May 05, 2014 - 01:54 PM
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Hope Wins Round 4 to Sweep Weekend Events
Posted by: newsla on May 05, 2014 - 01:53 PM
Support Series News
Hope Wins Round 4 to Sweep Weekend Events

Tom Hope was victorious in round four of the Pacific Formula F1600/F2000 Championship was held Sunday at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on the 3.020 mile, 25A road course in Buttonwillow. His victory allowed him to close to within four points of the championship lead with 5 races yet to be held, signaling his intent to claim this season’s title.


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There was a brief 10 minute warm-up in the morning before the cars were gridded for their 10:05am race. Grid positions were established by either fastest qualifying time or fastest lap in Saturday’s sprint race which ever was better. The F2000 group lined up with Andrew Evans on the pole followed by Tom Hope, Yufeng Luo, Bob Negron, Michael Manning, Peter West, Peter Thomas, James Hakewill, Zach Craigo, Harindra DeSilva, Les Phillips, Nick Kodenko and Chuck Raggio.

Under partly cloudy skies and with temperatures in the mid-seventies the field took the green flag and as on Saturday it was Yufeng Luo in the #6, DFR Van Diemen who seized the lead from Bob Negron, #8, Terri Negron Web Design, Van Diemen; Tom Hope, #18 H & M Racing Van Diemen. Michael Manning was fourth in his #25 Cypress Lane Racing, Fast Forward Racing Components, Dauntless Racing Cars, Van Diemen followed by Peter West, #99 Frank Monise Motors, Zombo.com, DFR Van Diemen; James Hakewill, #88 Van Diemen; and Harindra de Silva, #22 DFR Van Diemen in positions 4 thru 7. Andrew Evans, #27, PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen was shuffled back as a result of contact between Peter Thomas, #7 Refrigeration Control Co., PR1 Van Diemen and Zach Craigo, #27, Rocky Mountain Medical Lasers, Van Diemen, both cars retiring on the spot, and came across the line at the end of the first lap in eighth place. The final three places were held by Les Phillips, #2, Swiss Implants, Porterfield Brakes Van Diemen; Nick Kodenko, #3, Kodenko Jeans, Kodenko Engines, Van Diemen and Chuck Raggio, #14, Apex Orthopedics of California, Inc., Scuderia Raggi Van Diemen.

With Luo leading, Hope was again on the charge taking second place from Negron on lap three and applying the pressure to Luo before finally displacing him and taking the lead on lap six. From here Hope looked very strong and seemed to easily control the race pace.

Meanwhile Evans was eager to make up the lost places and began to work his way through the field having disposed of DeSilva on lap two. Continuing his charge he passed Hakewill on lap four and West on lap seven and was now into fifth place. Two more laps and he was past Manning and closing on Negron for third place. Evans chased down Negron on the fourteenth of sixteen laps got a run coming out of the esses and attempted a pass into the Sunset corner. Evans was carrying too speed while Negron gave him plenty of room. Evans’ car ran wide taking himself and Negron off into the dirt. Both managed to continue, Evans in third place and Negron now nursing his car home with a bent left front wing and steering arm.

Late race contact between Luo and Hope resulted in a broken nose on Luo’s Van Diemen as Hope defended his position. Luo then dropped back to finish 14.074 seconds behind Hope at the checker. The win gave Hope his second win of the weekend, the second Expert Class victory and second place in the point standings. Hope looks very strong and hi new Van Diemen showed well this weekend.

For Luo it was his second podium finish in two races in the series and signaled he is a force to be reckoned with again leading the Dave Freitas Racing team to another podium.

Andrew Evans after being caught out by the Thomas/Craigo incident managed a storming drive up through the field claimed the final step on the podium despite the controversial passing attempt on Negron late in the race. Evans continues to maintain the points lead as a result of bonus points earned for pole positions and fastest race laps.

Bob Negron, having limped home to his second fourth place finish of the weekend, claimed another master Class victory and moved up six places in the points to fourth.

Series newcomer Michael Manning finished in fifth for the second day in a row and was followed by Peter West in sixth, James Hakewill in seventh, Harindra DeSilva in eighth, Les Phillips in ninth and Chuck Raggio in tenth.

Nick Kodenko retired on lap three with a broken CV joint.

The series now moves on to Portland International Raceway on July 4-6 for rounds 5 and 6.
F2000 Qualifying: 1. Andrew Evans, (Van Diemen-G), 1m46.368s; 2. Tom Hope, (Van Diemen-A), 1m46.848s; 3.Yufeng Luo, (Van Diemen-H), 1m46.997s; 4. Bob Negron, (Van Diemen-H), 1m47.443s; 5. Michael Manning, (Van Diemen-H), 1m48.464s; 6. Peter West (Van Diemen-H), 1m48.501s; 7. Peter Thomas, (Van Diemen-G), 1m48.807s; 8. James Hakewill, (Van Diemen-A), 1m49.172s; 9. Zach Craigo (Van Diemen-G), 1m49.481s; 10. Harindra DeSilva (Van Diemen-H), 1m50.082s; 11. Les Phillips, (Van Diemen-G), 1m50.185s; 12. Nick Kodenko, (Van Diemen-G), 1m52.415s; 13. Chuck Raggio, (Van Diemen-H), 1m55.620s; 14. Bill Kincaid, (Van Diemen-A), no time. Tires: A-Avon, C-Cooper, G-Goodyear, H-Hoosier.

F2000 Round 4 (16 laps): 1. Hope; 2. Luo, +17.074s; 3. Evans, +17.744s; 4. Negron, +25.147s; 5. Manning, +1 lap; 6. West, +1 lap; 7. Hakewill, +1 lap; 8. DeSilva, +1 lap; 9. Phillips; +1 lap; 10. Raggio, +1 lap; 11. Kodenko, +13 laps; 12. Thomas, +16 laps; 13. Craigo, +16 laps.

Fastest race lap: Evans, 1m46.481s.
Expert class winner (over 35): Hope.
Master class winner (over 50): Negron.

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