FORMULA 600 CHALLENGE SERIES: ROUND #3 AT MID-OHIO
The threat of tornadoes that have been devastating the mid-west never materialized and the Mid-Ohio Super Tour pretty much dodged the weather bullet. But this threat along with bad luck for some of the drivers reduced the number of entries for this weekend. Initial qualifying was led by perennial contender, Calvin Stewart, with a 1:30.983, followed by Eric McRee at a 1:31.824, then David Lapham with a 1:32.284. By the way, David’s car is the only one (of 3) Rakavon’s (Novakar spelled backwards) built originally with a motorcycle drivetrain. There is more about this later. For the Saturday race, it quickly developed into a close battle between David Lapham and Eric McRee with Eric leading for the first 8 laps. Under heavy braking from the back straight into Turn #4, David Lapham hit Eric McRee in the right rear of his car sending Eric off course while David kept going. Eric was not able to catch David so in impound the Stewards reviewed the contact incident and dropped David by one position to 2nd. Eric did, however, improve his lap time to a 1:31.478.
For the Sunday race, a cold front with rain had come through on Saturday night so that by race time it was clear with the temperature in the 60’s meaning that the lap times would be improving. The grid was still Calvin Stewart, Eric McRee and David Lapham. On the first lap, David showed that he has become fast in a F600 and was able to get around the outside of both Calvin and Eric as they went THREE WIDE in turn #4! David led for four laps until Calvin got back around on the 5th lap also at Turn #4. It was Calvin, David and Eric until David made a mistake later at the Keyhole and went off to the right. Calvin gapped Eric until the last 5 laps when Eric caught up and began hounding Calvin with Eric trying to pass at Turn #4 several times. Calvin was just too fast down the straights. On the white flag lap, Eric got a good run off the Keyhole corner and was closer to Calvin than any time before going into Turn #4 at the end of the back straight and made his last shot move inside Calvin as they approached the apex under heavy braking with FF’s around them. When Eric got side-by-side with Calvin at the apex, Eric started slipping sideways and they came together broadside. This sent Calvin off into the gravel trap on the left and Eric snap spun off to the right ending up high-centered on the edge of the track. The race ended with the finishing order staying the same since there was a standing Yellow at Turn #4 with Calvin in first with a 1:29.649, Eric in second with a 1:29.824 and David in third with a 1:30.510 best time. Eric’s onboard video shows the race long battle and keeps you on the edge of your seat – https://youtu.be/LSIjkuMzqEQ WHEW!!
Back to what I was talking about at the beginning of this race report. The 14-year old track record of 1:29.360 set by Brian Novak in the 2005 Runoffs at Mid-Ohio is still standing. Brian’s car? The very first Rakavon with its short-lived reverse engine mounting (intake on the front and exhaust on the back side). Calvin Stewart got close this weekend but was just under .3 second behind as the fastest of the three Novakars.
After three rounds the Series points are as follows:
- Eric McRee 70
- Clint McMahan 40
- Jeff Delong 40
- Jack Walbran 40
- Calvin Stewart 34
- David Lapham 22
- Craig Laprade 20
- George Fox 16
Round #4 will be at Gingerman Raceway, July 20-21.
We are very thankful for our valued sponsors who have made this series possible:
Metalloid Corporation of Sturgis, Michigan (www.metalloidcorp.com )
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 )
The Formula 600 Challenge Series was developed to help promote an affordable open wheel formula car class to showcase talent without large financial race budgets. There are no paid staffers and one hundred percent of all sponsorship monies and product goes directly to the drivers in our series mostly as a tow fund payment for each race. The Formula 600 open wheel cars use a 600cc motorcycle engine and a six-speed sequential transmission revving up to 15,000 rpm with speeds in excess of 140 mph. The sound of these cars is likened to F1 cars.
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