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Jul 08, 2014 - 04:25 PM
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Craigo Chases Down Luo And Takes Victory In Round Six
Posted by: newsla on Jul 08, 2014 - 04:21 PM
Support Series News
Craigo Chases Down Luo And Takes Victory In Round Six

Round Six of the Pacific Formula F1600/F2000 Championship saw series rookie Zach Craigo, in only his fourth start in the series lead the last two laps to claim victory on Sunday at Portland International Raceway.


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Run in conjunction with the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour event, the series made its return to Portland International Raceway after a 9 year absence. The historic 12-turn, 1.967 mile road course has been the scene of many classic battles from the days of the IMSA Camel GT Series to the more recent Champ Car series.

Race day dawned sunny, clear and warm and after hardship laps were run in the morning, cars were gridded for their 11:15am 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, #127, ProFormance Racing School, PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen, on the pole followed by Zach Craigo, #27, Rocky Mountain Medical Lasers, Van Diemen; Yufeng Luo in the #6, DFR Van Diemen; Tom Hope, #18 H & M Racing Van Diemen and Michael Manning, #25 Cypress Lane Racing, Fast Forward Racing Components, Dauntless Racing Cars, Van Diemen, all of whom lapped in the 1 minute 15 second bracket. Next were Peter West, #99 Frank Monise Motors, Ken Partch, Racing Optics, Zombo.com, DFR Van Diemen; Peter Thomas, #7 Refrigeration Control Co., PR1 Van Diemen and Chuck Raggio, #14, Apex Orthopedics of California, Inc., Scuderia Raggi Van Diemen.

Once again the series was able to get a split start enabling their group to start behind the remaining classes in the group and settle into their race before encountering traffic.

At the green flag both groups safely navigated the Festival turns (chicane), often a scene of opening lap incidents due to the inviting nature of a very wide front straight, and once again Zach Craigo surged ahead leading Yufeng Luo, Tom Hope, Peter West, Michael Manning, Andrew Evans and.

Lap two saw Luo take the lead and begin to pull away from Craigo who was closely followed by Hope, Manning, West, Evans and Thomas.

Evans took fifth place from West on lap three and began closing in on Manning for fourth a position he was not to obtain as around lap twelve he lost second gear and began to drift backwards eventually finishing in seventh.

The order remained constant for most of the rest of the race with Luo leading Craigo by almost three seconds. Undaunted, Craigo began to claw his was back toward Luo until by lap 23 the pair were now nose to tail and for Craigo it was time to make his move. He passed Luo and went on to victory leading the final two laps of the race. The win was his first in the series and just to put an exclamation point on things posted the fastest lap at 1:15.354, faster than his fastest qualifying lap.

Second place went to Yufeng Luo with a strong performance leading most of the race laps.

Tom Hope finished in third, a good rebound after the disappointment of the retirement on Saturday. His third place finish also good enough to claim the Expert Class win.

Fourth place went to Saturday’s round 5 victor Michael Manning, who just did not quite have the pace of the leaders today.
Peter West finished in a solid fifth position which also earned him the Master Class win for the second day in a row, a solid finish for West and his new sponsors Ken Partch and Racing Optics.

Peter Thomas came home in sixth and was followed by his teammate Andrew Evans.

The series now moves on to Monterey, CA for rounds 7 and 8 to be held on the scenic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 12, 13 & 14.

F2000 Qualifying: 1. Andrew Evans, (Van Diemen-G), 1m15.357s; 2. Zach Craigo (Van Diemen-G), 1m15.462s; 3. Yufeng Luo, (Van Diemen-H), 1m15.563s; 4. Tom Hope, (Van Diemen-A), 1m15.791s; 5. Michael Manning, (Van Diemen-H), 1m15.866s; 6. Peter West (Van Diemen-H), 1m16.494s; 7. Peter Thomas, (Van Diemen-G), 1m16.680s. Tires: A-Avon, C-Cooper, G-Goodyear, H-Hoosier.
F2000 Round 6 (25 laps): 1. Craigo; 2. Luo; 3. Hope; 4. Manning, +1 lap; 5. West, +1 lap; 6. Thomas, +1 lap; 7. Evans, +1 lap.
Fastest race lap: Craigo, 1m15.354s.
Expert class winner (over 35): Hope.
Master class winner (over 50): West.

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