Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Weekend Recap

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted September 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm F1600 Series, F2000 Championship, Star Mazda

F1600 Championship Series

Bill Valet used his home-track knowledge of Lime Rock Park to win his second race of the 2011 F1600 Formula F Championship season in Round Seven. Valet nipped Art Foster by .318 seconds at the stripe, but both Valet and Foster were an afterthought when the checkered flag waved. All eyes were on Colin Thompson who drove from dead last to third. Drive of the weekend? I think so. Well, maybe not …

In Round 8, Foster proved his season-best finish of second during the first race of the weekend wasn’t a fluke. Similar to Valet, Foster was at home on the Lime Rock Park circuit — a course he considers his home track. Ryan Leach was second, 0.372 seconds astray and Thompson piloted his way to another third-place result.

Honorable mention should go to Jim Goughary who qualified on pole for both races at LRP.

The F1600 drivers conclude their season on Oct. 14-16 at Watkins Glen International.

F2000 Championship Series

Championship leader Remy Audette earned his fifth win of the 2011 F2000 Championship Series season on Saturday at Lime Rock Park. He basically put on a clinic after surviving a Turn 1 incident on the opening lap of the weekend’s first race, winning by 14.285 seconds over Tim Minor. Angel Benitez scored a podium finish in the 28-lap race — his first of the season.

Did I say Colin Thompson had the drive of the weekend?  Yes, I think I did. Those watching the F2000 Championship race might argue, though. Minor — who was involved in the aforementioned first turn clash — drove from last to second. His performance might steal the honor, you be the judge.

Current runner-up in the championship, Chris Livengood was bumped from competition (following the T1 incident) in the weekend’s first race. Having lost so many points to Audette — with championship hopes seemingly gone — some would bow out. Not Livengood.

He rebounded to win Round 12 — starting from off-pole to Audette — stretching his lead over the Canadian to 5.610 seconds. Audette maintained an 88 point lead by finishing second, while Tim Paul capped off his best race of the year, finishing third.

Star Mazda

No one could touch Connor De Phillippi at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday as the talented pilot drove to a 1.671-second lead after starting from pole position. He was plain fast.

While De Phillippi was fast, Vautier was consistent. The Frenchman seized the 2011 Star Mazda Championship with a fifth-place result in the Series’ season-finale. Vautier never finished outside the top-five this season; logging four wins, four pole positions, four fast laps and six podiums driving for three-time champs JDC MotorSports. Vautier was Mr. Consistent in the No. 5 machine.

De Phillippi’s teammate Nick Andries finished second, his fourth runner-up result of the season. A win isn’t far off. The impressive combination of De Phillippi and Andries helped earn Team Pelfrey the team championship. De Phillippi concluded the season second overall with Andries third in the drivers’ standings.

Zach Veach finished an exemplary third Sunday in his second-ever Star Mazda race. Patrick McKenna made a solid return to the championship with a fourth-place result.

Make sure to follow Junior Open Wheel Talent on Twitter (@JOWT) for up-to-date junior formula car news.


One Comment

  1. Tyler Ford on October 13, 2011 6:23 pm

    Just wanted to send a little note about this 15 year old from Carson City, Nv. He has been racing in the Pacific F2000 series and just won the championship and was not able to run 2 of the races and still took the title.

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