Grist was fastest for Bryan Herta Autosport in the Mygale/Honda. (photo: Dennis Valet)Alton, VA – A new crop of young drivers separated themselves from the rest of the F1600 Formula F Championship Series field during two practice sessions at VIR as newcomer Matias Koykka led the final session of the day ahead of Bryan Herta Autosport Mygale/Honda driver Garett Grist, who was fast in the morning, and set the fastest time of the day.

Koykka, from Finland, is driving the Spectrum/Honda for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing in his first season out of karting, and ran a quick lap of 2:00.496.

Meanwhile Grist vaulted to the front of the field in the morning session with a fast lap of 2:00.358.

“The car is really good, and we are making lots of adjustments,” said Grist, a 17-year-old Canadian driver who is a member of the Sofina Foods Drivers' Development Program.

While those two battled over first place in the final session, Joe Colasacco was third quick in a Van Diemen/Honda ahead of Colin Thompson, for TTO Motorsports, and Mike Scanlan in a Swift DB6/Honda.

Thompson had handling issues on his Swift DB6/Honda during the earlier session, but his team apparently found enough in the car to send the No. 5 back to the front of the field.

F1600 newcomer Roberto Loreno put in his best effort of the weekend for Quantum Racing Services, sixth fastest in the afternoon. Loreno was followed by Steve Bamford, in another Mygale, and Art Foster.

2011 Lime Rock winner Foster battled electrical issues during the morning session but bounced back in the afternoon, and was first of the Ford-powered F1600 entries.

Jeremy Grenier was ninth quick while Brandon Newey, Grist’s Bryan Herta Autosport teammate, rounded out the top ten in the No. 98 Mygale/Honda.

Last year’s qualifying lap record of 2:00.860 should be set to tumble as the fast times during Friday’s practice sessions were well under the existing mark set in 2011 in a Mygale/Honda.

By the second and final session of the day at 5:40 local time, the temperature had peaked just above 70 degrees with scattered clouds. Weather is predicted to improve through Sunday, with a high of 75 expected Saturday and a high of 81 called for on Sunday with limited cloud cover, which should provide a ideal setting to start the 2012 season.

The opening weekend of the F1600 Formula F Championship Series continues with qualifying and race one tomorrow, Saturday, with a similar schedule on Sunday, April 15. Live audio, commentary, photos and more are available on www.F1600Series.com

Practice 2 Results:

Pos No. Name Best Tm Best Spd In Lap Diff Gap
1 10 Matias Koykka 2:00.496 97.696 9 - -
2 97 Garett Grist 2:01.089 97.218 8 +0.593 +0.593
3 3 Joe Colasacco 2:03.078 95.647 9 +2.582 +1.989
4 5 Colin Thompson 2:03.143 95.596 8 +2.647 +0.065
5 2 Mike Scanlan 2:03.525 95.301 11 +3.029 +0.382
6 17 Roberto Lorena 2:03.995 94.939 1 +3.499 +0.470
7 07 Steve Bamford 2:04.153 94.818 2 +3.657 +0.158
8 21 Art Foster 2:04.223 94.765 6 +3.727 +0.070
9 12 Jeremy Grenier 2:04.227 94.762 4 +3.731 +0.004
10 98 Brandon Newey 2:04.310 94.699 3 +3.814 +0.083
11 72 Steve Oseth 2:04.675 94.421 3 +4.179 +0.365
12 01 John McCusker 2:05.676 93.669 9 +5.180 +1.001
13 23 John Butkovitch 2:05.822 93.561 10 +5.326 +0.146
14 19 Tim Dunn 2:06.079 93.370 3 +5.583 +0.257
15 86 Kevin Brumbaugh 2:07.153 92.581 1 +6.657 +1.074
16 41 Sean Maisey 2:07.216 92.536 6 +6.720 +0.063
17 76 Jim Lee 2:07.382 92.415 9 +6.886 +0.166
18 18 Dan Pyanowski 2:09.514 90.894 9 +9.018 +2.132
19 35 Russ McBride 2:09.759 90.722 3 +9.263 +0.245
20 50 John Nesbitt 2:11.010 89.856 10 +10.514 +1.251

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