A wild start for F1600 at Watkins GlenWatkins Glen, NY – Bill Valet started on pole, taking back the lead on the first lap and fighting off a very fast Tim Kautz late in the race to take his first F1600 Formula F Championship Series race win in the #83 Swift/Ford. Championship leader Kautz finished second, driving a Piper/Ford, setting the fastest lap of the race at 1:57.9. Colin Thompson completed the podium in a Swift/Honda.

“I thought I had a good start and then all of a sudden there were like three cars next to me,” said Valet. “Those other guys came around and I was in fourth and behind me it looked like a huge wreck was about to happen but everyone went through clean. I managed to get back into the lead through the bus stop and then just put the pedal down. The full course yellow ate up the lead but it was a good experience.

Valet held off Kautz in the closing stages“Tim had a lot of pressure on me late in the race, his car was much better in the high speed stuff,” continued Valet. “He tried to make a move once but couldn’t get by. I was able to gap him a bit here and there, but he was close enough though that if I made one mistake he would go by. I was at 100 percent and it was a lot of work.”

Valet takes over the lead of the SOS Children’s Village Watkins Glen Cup, and gains valuable ground on Kautz in the championship standings.

Kautz, in the Braeburn Thermostats Piper/Ford, looked to have something for Valet on a mid-race restart, and again in the closing stages, but couldn’t find a way past Valet as the two separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

Thompson traded places with Hull and finished on the podiumThompson bounced back after a rough start to the weekend to finish third – his first F1600 podium. Thompson was also the first Honda-powered car on the results sheet. The team battled through cracked wheels and traded the podium position back and forth with Series newcomer Forrest Hull. Art Foster finished fifth.

John Robinson elected to use his Swift/Ford over his Swift/Honda, finishing sixth ahead of a hard charging Chris Keller, who missed qualifying with a mechanical gremlin. Keller started 21st and drove the #33 Van Diemen/Honda to seventh position, winning the CellMark Paper Hard Charger. Keller is sharing the #33 car this weekend and is not expected to race on Sunday.

Caitlin Johnston scored her third straight top ten, finishing eighth with Todd Bardwell and John Groom completing the top ten.

Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing had a rough day at the Glen. Ryan Leach was in the battle for the lead early in the race but suffered an incident. Teammate Shannon McIntosh had a reported mechanical issue with her car and failed to finish, retiring to the paddock during the race.

VIR winner Jim Goughary had to settle for a DNF when he lost a wheel from his Piper/Honda. Goughary led the field into turn one from the start, splitting the front row, but fell back from there, eventually losing his left-rear wheel.

Action from Watkins Glen International follows tomorrow, Sunday, June 5, with a 10:00 a.m. qualifying session and 12:30 p.m. race. All times are eastern.

Race Results:

Pos No. Name Laps Total Tm Diff Gap Avg. Speed Best Tm
1 83 Bill Valet 12 25:28.529 - - 95.245 1:58.079
2 88 Tim Kautz 12 25:28.995 +0.466 +0.466 95.215 1:57.900
3 5 Colin Thompson 12 25:37.940 +9.411 +8.945 94.662 1:58.561
4 71 Forrest Hull 12 25:38.007 +9.478 +0.067 94.658 1:58.756
5 24 Art Foster 12 25:38.832 +10.303 +0.825 94.607 1:59.037
6 19 John Robinson 12 25:44.206 +15.677 +5.374 94.278 1:59.223
7 33 Chris Keller 12 25:56.890 +28.361 +12.684 93.509 1:59.068
8 68 Caitlin Johnston 12 25:58.115 +29.586 +1.225 93.436 2:00.339
9 35 Todd Bardwell 12 26:02.933 +34.404 +4.818 93.148 2:01.489
10 63 John Groom 12 26:13.460 +44.931 +10.527 92.525 2:02.468
11 11 Doug Stout 12 26:18.593 +50.064 +5.133 92.224 2:02.229
12 21 John Butkovitch 12 26:30.450 +1:01.921 +11.857 91.536 2:03.986
13 91 Doug Hobby 12 26:42.966 +1:14.437 +12.516 90.822 2:05.269
14 36 Steve Roux 12 26:46.484 +1:17.955 +3.518 90.623 2:06.362
15 99 Sean Maisey 12 26:58.137 +1:29.608 +11.653 89.970 2:06.957
16 73 Ralph Zuponcic 12 27:14.552 +1:46.023 +16.415 89.067 2:07.518
17 18 Dan Pyanowski 9 20:09.004 3 Laps 3 Laps 90.312 2:01.989
DNF 10 Ryan Leach 5 11:40.401 7 Laps 4 Laps 86.608 1:59.517
DNF 01 Shannon McIntosh 4 9:55.077 8 Laps 1 Lap 81.549 2:09.133
DNF 7 Jim Goughary 2 4:18.770 10 Laps 2 Laps 93.767 2:06.103
DNF 4 Bob Detrick 2 4:34.430 +15.660 +15.660 88.416 2:12.014
DNS 74 David James 0 -.--- - - - -.---
DNS 14 Ross Devoe 0 -.--- - - - -.---
DNS 2 Mike Scanlan 0 -.--- - - - -.---

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