FORMULA 600 CHALLENGE: ROUND #4 AT MID-OHIO
No one from the Southeast ran this event (gas shortage) and Jack Walbran’s group did not attend either so this made for a thin field. Jeremy Swank had rented Eric McRee’s F600 for this weekend as he awaits his new F600 to compete at the Indy Runoffs. Thank you, Eric, for this race report as I could not make it due to the gas shortage as well.
On Friday’s test day, Calvin Stewart and Jeremy Swank ran. Jeremy used the 4 sessions to familiarize himself with the subtle differences as compared to George Bugg’s F600 that he had driven at PittRace. As usual, Calvin was blazing fast and made quick work of navigating through the open wheel cars from all the various classes lumped into the test day group.
For Saturday’s qualifying, Sven deVries ended up with the Pole at a 1:35.284 with Jeremy back at a 1:47.317, steadily improving his lap times throughout the session. For the race, Sven started behind 3 Formula F’s with Jeremy starting the race with 5 FF’s between him and Sven’s Red, White, and Blue Novakar J9. On the start, Sven got a great jump on the FF’s and rounded turn 1 at the front of the pack. Sven drove cautiously the first lap attempting to build some much-needed temperature into his tires and one of the brave FF’s out-braked him going into turn 5 at the end of the long backstretch at Mid-Ohio. On lap 2, Sven got back by the top FF on that same straightaway and began to put his head down. He started clicking off some very consistent and fast laps (fastest was a 1:34.233) on the slick 2.4 mile course. Mid-Ohio is unique as compared to other tracks as much of the track surface is very polished from years of heavy use and can be quite slippery depending on ambient temperature and what group of cars was on track in the preceding session. As Sven began to pull away from the raging FF battle behind him, Jeremy had found his rhythm and started picking off FF’s trying to close the large gap Sven had carved out early in the race, getting down to a good 1:36.226. On lap 9, bad luck struck as Sven in the Randy Linn Racing/Green Hawk Computers/Satellite Racing Novakar while he rounded the carousel. Those of you who have driven Mid-Ohio know of the large bump at the apex of the right-hand carousel turn and know that it must be traversed with caution. As Sven sped over this infamous Mid O’ bump, his drive chain found itself no longer on the teeth of the rear sprocket and he was forced to retire for the day. Jeremy cruised the remaining laps of the race, building confidence with the Strategic Wealth Group Novakar Blade along with much needed track time to knock the rust off his two-year racing hiatus. Welcome back to F500, Jeremy! Jeremy has been very pleased with all the support that he received from both Mitchell Racing (along with Hoop) at PittRace and the McRee’s at M-O.
For Sunday’s race, starting on the pole but still behind a few FF’s, was Sven deVries, then 2nd was Jeremy Swank starting 5 cars behind Sven. Without a qualifying time, Calvin Stewart started at the very back of the FF/F5 lead group. At the race start, it was Sven again edging out the FF’s through turn 1 with Jeremy and Calvin also improving from their starting positions hustling the FF’s out of their way into turn 1 and through the first lap. A visibly charging Calvin was able to get past Jeremy on lap 2 on the back stretch leading down to the infamous China beach sand trap so many have fallen victim to. After a few more laps Calvin had passed all the FF’s and was starting to reel in Sven by .5 second/lap. This was shaping up to be a battle royal but once again, lady luck decided to punish Sven. After some on-track debris found its way into Sven’s path, his LF tire began to slowly deflate making right turns more and more difficult to carry any speed through. Finally, on lap 10, Sven’s tire had lost almost all air pressure and he was forced to retire as Calvin shot past him with his fastest lap of 1:33.336 in the Sabbath Truth/Hoosier Novakar Blade for the win. Jeremy continued his respectable charge through the mixed car field gaining more track positions and experience with the Suzuki GSXR 600 powered car to finish 2nd. Calvin Stewart won the Hyper Racing Hard Charger award.
For the weekend, the Series points are as follows:
- Jeremy Swank 24
- Sven deVries 22
- Calvin Stewart 20
Series points standings are now as follows:
- Cory McLeod 60
- Calvin Stewart 57
- Jack Walbran 54
- Clint McMahan 48
- Russell Strate 46
- Jeremy Swank 40
- Jeff DeLong 36
- Ryan Mayfield 30
- George Fox 23
- George Bugg 22 Tie Breaker – more races
- Sven deVries 22
- Jay Beckley 14 Tie breaker – faster lap
- Austin Morvik 14
- Carl Maier 9
- Aaron Fitzsimmons 0
We are very thankful for our valued sponsors who have made this series possible:
Hoosier Racing Tire ( www.hoosiertire.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/ )
Hyper Racing ( www.hyperracing.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. 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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