Newey out front at VIR. (photo: Dennis Valet)Alton, VA – Brandon Newey took his first F1600 Formula F Championship Series win in only his second race in the Bryan Herta Autosport Mygale/Honda, edging out his teammate Garett Grist, in a side-by-side photo finish at VIR.

An early-race battle sidelined Saturday’s winner Matias Koykka following contact with the leaders. Colin Thompson finished third, and challenged for the lead before going off the track briefly.

For their Series debut weekend, Sunday marked a milestone for the Bryan Herta squad with a one-two finish in Virginia.

“After a bad start to the weekend with the upright failing, this is a good way to end it,” said Newey, who bounced back after a practice crash on Thursday. “We wanted to stay glued to Garett on the last lap due to the draft and I was able make my move down the back straight on the last lap.”

Grist, meanwhile, knew he was a sitting duck on the last lap due to damage sustained earlier in the race.

“I knew I had no straightaway speed,” he said, “and I didn’t want the lead coming onto the back stretch, I made my one allowed move but Brandon still got by me.”

Thompson rebounded from 11th to finish an impressive third in his Swift/Honda. Thompson was challenging for the lead early in the race before spinning.

“I was being bump-drafted down the back straight and was going for the lead,” said Thompson. “I simply braked too late and went across the grass, spun, and had to wait for a bunch of cars to go by.”

Joe Colasacco finished fourth with Art Foster rounding out the top five in the first of the Ford-powered cars.

Steve Bamford was sixth, followed by Jeremy Grenier, Steve Oseth, Sean Maisey and Mike Scanlan.

Saturday’s winner, Matias Koykka, looked set for a repeat as he battled with the Bryan Herta entries and Colin Thompson in the opening laps of the race. However, the Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing driver came together with Grist, ending his day in the Spectrum/Honda which started from the SOS Children’s Villages pole.

It was another blockbuster opening weekend for the F1600 Series, with two close finishes. Koykka edged out Thompson, along with Newey and Grist on Saturday, in a battle that featured the cars going four wide down the front straight. A day later, in this race, it was the Bryan Herta teammates side by side at the line, with  a margin of victory of just .042 seconds.

With one weekend and two rounds down at VIR, the season continues with 10 more races and five weekends, next up is Lime Rock Park, May 25-26.

Race Results:

Pos No. Name Laps Total Tm Diff Gap Avg. Speed Best Tm Best Spd
1 98 Brandon Newey 12 26:02.047 - - 90.435 2:02.669 95.966
2 97 Garett Grist 12 26:02.089 +0.042 +0.042 90.433 2:02.925 95.766
3 5 Colin Thompson 12 26:09.338 +7.291 +7.249 90.015 2:02.946 95.749
4 3 Joe Colasacco 12 26:09.751 +7.704 +0.413 89.991 2:03.498 95.321
5 21 Art Foster 12 26:10.057 +8.010 +0.306 89.974 2:03.759 95.120
6 07 Steve Bamford 12 26:10.479 +8.432 +0.422 89.950 2:03.727 95.145
7 12 Jeremy Grenier 12 26:12.366 +10.319 +1.887 89.842 2:02.485 96.110
8 72 Steve Oseth 12 26:13.116 +11.069 +0.750 89.799 2:03.813 95.079
9 41 Sean Maisey 12 26:34.997 +32.950 +21.881 88.567 2:04.782 94.341
10 2 Mike Scanlan 12 26:35.092 +33.045 +0.095 88.562 2:04.860 94.282
11 17 Roberto Lorena 12 26:37.835 +35.788 +2.743 88.410 2:03.630 95.220
12 23 John Butkovitch 12 26:40.245 +38.198 +2.410 88.276 2:05.714 93.641
13 19 Tim Dunn 12 26:40.919 +38.872 +0.674 88.239 2:06.167 93.305
14 86 Andy Brumbaugh 12 26:48.866 +46.819 +7.947 87.803 2:06.212 93.272
15 01 John McCusker 12 27:04.800 +1:02.753 +15.934 86.942 2:08.005 91.965
16 76 Jim Lee 12 27:27.768 +1:25.721 +22.968 85.731 2:09.875 90.641
17 18 Dan Pyanowski 12 27:28.285 +1:26.238 +0.517 85.704 2:09.146 91.153
18 35 Russ McBride 12 27:51.252 +1:49.205 +22.967 84.526 2:09.671 90.784
19 50 John Nesbitt 7 16:30.804 5 Laps 5 Laps 83.169 2:09.859 90.652
DNF 10 Matias Koykka 3 7:24.815 9 Laps 4 Laps 79.395 2:03.090 95.637