Evans is Victorious in Round 8 at Mazda Raceway, Extends Points Lead
Monterey, CA. – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the undulating, 2.238 mile, eleven turn course played host to the eighth round of the Pacific Formula 1600/2000 Championship as part of the San Francisco Region’s SFR Championship Series Double Regional, NORPAC Divisional Runoffs Qualifier. The race was won by Andrew Evans in his first season competing in 2-liter cars, taking his Second victory of the season.
Qualifying for Sunday’s race was held on Saturday afternoon and held in near perfect conditions with partly sunny skies with temperatures in the seventies.
The session was led by Andrew Evans, #27, ProFormance Racing School, PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen, having switched from Goodyear to Avon tires, who set a time of 1:28.074 a whopping 1.329 seconds ahead of second place qualifier Tom Hope, #18 Primus Racing Parts, H & M Racing Van Diemen and Bob Negron, #8, Hoosier, Rosie’s At The Beach, Terri Negron Web Design Van Diemen, these two both in the 1:29 range. These three were followed by Peter Thomas, #7 Refrigeration Control Co., PR1 Van Diemen, Harin de Silva, #96, DFR Van Diemen and Peter West, #99 Frank Monise Motors, Ken Partch, Racing Optics, Zombo.com, DFR Van Diemen with Michael Manning, #25 Cypress Lane Racing, Fast Forward Racing Components, Dauntless Racing Cars, Van Diemen unable to participate due to his engine failure in the morning race.
Sunday’s race was the next to last of the weekend with a scheduled start at 2:30pm giving Manning the opportunity to get his car repaired before the race but the task was too daunting and he never managed to make it to the grid.
After a ten minute delay for track clean up from a car depositing a liberal amount of oil on the track at turn 8, the green flag waved and the field was off and this time it was Andrew Evans who emerged with the lead ahead of Bob Negron, Tom Hope, Peter West, Peter Thomas and Harin de Silva.
Evans continued in the lead as the field began to encounter slower cars and begin the lapping process during which Hope managed to get past Negron for second place and began his chase of Evans while at the same time Thomas was closing on West for fourth and de Silva still in sixth.
West managed to hold off Thomas for several laps before the handling began going away and Thomas was through into fourth place with only Negron between him and his second podium of the season. While Evans maintained a comfortable lead over Hope, Thomas continued closing on Negron eventually demoting Negron down to fourth place.
On his way to his second victory of the season, Andrew Evans managed to also put up the race’s fastest lap which is good for two bonus points and along with the bonus points for pole position maximized his points total for the race which gives him a substantial 25 point lead heading to the final race of the season.
Tom Hope kept his championship hopes alive finishing in second place and also garnering the victory in the Expert Class. Hope will need a little good fortune but with double points available for the season finale, anything is within the realm of possibility.
Peter Thomas completed the podium finishing in third place, running consistently while putting in his best lap times of the weekend.
Bob Negron’s fourth place finish was a disappointment after his victory on Saturday and highlights the competitiveness of the series and he did find some consolation in taking the Master Class win.
Peter West struggled to fifth place with an ill handling car which from midrace grew worse with each successive lap, a testament to his skill in keeping in on the track to the checkered flag.
Harindra de Silva took sixth place in his newly prepared “Shadow” liveried Van Diemen, prepared by Dave Freitas Racing.
Round nine, the series’ season finale is to be held in conjunction with the SCCA National Championship Runoffs, October 6-12, 2014. It will be a single race with double points to determine the series champions.