- 05 June 2011
Watkins Glen, NY – Tim Kautz somehow recovered from an opening lap excursion that sent him back to 11th place to win at Watkins Glen in his #88 Piper/Ford. It was Kautz’s second win of the year, and fourth straight top-five finish. Bill Valet finished a very-close second, after winning on Saturday, in an entertaining closing-stages battle with Kautz. John Robinson completed the podium.
Kautz, in the Braeburn Thermostats car, set fastest lap after fastest lap while moving through the field and had luck go his way.
“There are easier ways to win a race,” said Kautz, in post-race technical inspection. “I got inpatient on the opening lap and went off in the bus stop. The car was just awesome though and I was able to make up time. Valet’s car was loose and he had a handful, if it was like yesterday I wouldn’t have been able to get close.”
Kautz also bounced back from a heavy crash during Thursday testing and finished second in Saturday's race.
Bill Valet came back from a qualifying crash this morning that saw him almost miss the race. The #83 crew rushed to repair his Swift/Ford in time for the race start.
Valet started from fifth and dove to the inside on the start, moving into second place and then inheriting the lead on the opening lap. A battle for the lead emerged midway through the race with Colin Thompson. As Valet held off the 17-year-old in the Swift/Honda, Kautz was picking off cars and six seconds back.
But things changed as Valet spun and continued, and Thompson spun to avoid him. Thompson continued but was way back in the pack while Valet came back on track just in front of Kautz, who was able to take advantage for the win.
“The door was wide open at the start down the front straight and I took advantage of it,” said Valet. “I feel bad for Colin; it’s also amazing we made the start following the crash in qualifying. I misjudged turn one and a slower car and did a lot of damage.”
John Robinson was third ahead of Jim Goughary and Forrest Hull.
Colin Thompson survived to finish sixth with Art Foster, Caitlin Johnston, Mike Scanlan and Todd Bardwell completing the top ten.
Thompson, who has veteran driver Phil Lombardi coaching him this weekend, had a rough start to the weekend that saw a wheel failure on his #5 Swift/Honda.
Further checks were made and the team found all its wheels to have cracks. Fix attempts did not pan out and the team was able to borrow wheels from another competitor. Thompson scored a break-through podium with a third place effort on Saturday.
The 2011 F1600 Formula F Championship Series continues at Mid-Ohio, with rounds five and six, June 30-July 2.
|Pos||No.||Name||Laps||Total Tm||Diff||Gap||Avg. Speed||Best Tm||Best Spd|
|22||73||Ralph Zuponcic||11||24:27.715||1 Lap||1 Lap||90.925||2:10.840||92.724|
|24||10||Ryan Leach||6||12:41.781||6 Laps||5 Laps||95.555||2:00.509||100.673|