FORMULA 600 CHALLENGE SERIES: ROUND #1 AT THE JUNE SPRINTS
With great weather all weekend, the drivers were so happy to finally get on track in racing mode and knock the rust off after a long layoff. F500 class had 15 entries and were combined with the FF’s and the FV’s which made for very congested sessions all weekend even with the split starts. The fast drivers qualified up front with Calvin Stewart leading the way with a 2:22.750 followed by Aaron Ellis, James Weida and Eric McRee.
Since Calvin does not race on Saturday (his Sabbath), Aaron Ellis had the pole and was able to slip away from the F500 pack to an uneventful lead and win with a fast lap of 2:24.352. There was more dicing in the rest of the field as Eric McRee and James Weida duked it out until the very last lap as Eric spun in Turn #6, handing 2nd place to James but recovering to finish 3rd. Darrel Greening came in 4th. Behind them, George Bugg (new to this track) and Jason Martin (Series newcomer) were dicing every lap with George beating Jason at the finish line.
With Calvin back on pole for the Sunday race, it developed into a great race with the fast drivers all over each other the whole race. The top four of Calvin, Aaron, James and Eric stayed clued to each other the whole race. Eric was able to move up past Aaron to 2nd right behind Calvin on the first lap. For the rest of the race, Eric was pushing on Calvin through all the heavy traffic and FOUR yellow flags in different corners for lots of action followed by James and Aaron. With four laps remaining, Calvin was a little faster through the carousel and the kink while Eric was faster through Turn #1 all the way down to Turn #5 and traded the lead momentarily three times during these 4 laps. On the last lap this battle intensified as Calvin broke his clutch cable at Turn #5. Eric was right on Calvin’s rear but there was the 4th yellow at Turn #6. As they approached Turns #8 and #9, Calvin had trouble shifting allowing Eric to get by entering the sweeper. As they entered the front straight coming up the hill to the checker, Calvin caught Eric’s draft and was closing up quickly but Eric also caught a draft from another F500 and barely held off Calvin for the close finish. Eric’s fastest lap was a 2:24.191. Not far back, James Weida finished 3rd followed by Aaron Ellis in 4th. Behind them, Steve Jondal, Jason Martin and George Bugg swapped positions never letting up until, with 3 laps remaining, coming out of Canada’s Corner, George’s shift cable became disconnected from his paddle, ending his race. A more detailed race report by George Bugg will be posted shortly. George’s Sunday race video is posted on our series FB page – enjoy on a BIG screen.
After the first round, the Series points standings are as follows:
- Eric McRee 24
- Aaron Ellis 22
- George Bugg 20
- Jason Martin 18
- Calvin Stewart 16
Note – A tie breaker of the fastest lap was needed for George Bugg and Jason Martin. It was close:
Driver Race 2 Grid Race 2 Results
Jason Martin 2:32.091 2:31.690
George Bugg 2:32.747 2:30.464
Round #2 will be at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, July 17-19.
We are very thankful for our valued sponsors who have made this series possible:
Hoosier Racing Tire ( www.hoosiertire.com )
Solo Performance Specialties (SPS) (www.soloperformance.com)
Pegasus Auto Racing Supplies (www.PegasusAutoRacing.com)
Hawk Performance ( www.hawkperformance.com )
Winding Road Racing (www.WindingRoadRacing.com )
MPT Industries ( www.mptindustries.com )
Design Engineering, Inc. (http://www.designengineering.com/)
The Formula 600 Challenge series was developed to help promote an affordable open wheel formula car series to showcase talent without large financial race budgets. 100% of the sponsorship money and products go to the drivers. The Formula 600 open wheel cars use a 600cc motorcycle engine and a 6 speed sequential transmission revving up to 15,000 rpm with speeds in excess of 140 mph. The sound of this drive train is likened to an F1 car.
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