- 23 May 2012
Sharon, CT – Two wild races at VIR in April ended with a win for Brandon Newey, who leads the point standings for Bryan Herta Autosport in the Mygale/Honda, and a victory for Matias Koykka, driving the Spectrum/Honda. As the F1600 Formula F Championship Series heads to Lime Rock Park, those two are expected to battle along with 2011 Champion Bill Valet, returning for a one-off, and a number of other fast, young rookies, in addition to a field of F1600 veterans.
Newey edged out his teammate to take the second race in Virginia, taking over the lead in the point standings.
“The key to keeping up the momentum would be to just take it race by race and performing like I know we can,” said Newey, 19 years old. “My goal for Lime Rock is to just go there and do the best we can as a team. I know my guys will give me the tools to succeed, and the Mygale chassis is very fast and I can only see it getting better as we become more accustomed to the car.”
In between Virginia and Lime Rock, Newey finished his freshman year at Purdue University.
Missing out on a win at VIR was Garet Grist, Newey’s teammate, who had to settle for second place, by inches.
“Heading into Lime Rock I think the biggest thing to improve on is getting the car better on new tires,” said Grist. “We had a winning car at VIR, I just didn't put all the pieces together like I should have. I think if we improve those two thing,s we will be very hard to beat. Getting the damage on Sunday also really took away our chances of getting the win.”
That lead battle at VIR also featured Koykka for a short time as the young Finnish driver led from pole, but retired after an off. Koykka gave Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing its first F1600 win at VIR, in the first race, and also delivered the first win for the Spectrum chassis.
“The speed we had with the No. 10 car in the opening round was great and we continue to push forward,” said Koykka, who took both poles at VIR. “Without the collision in race two we would've probably had a perfect weekend, but that only left us hungry for the second round.
“From Lime Rock I'll head to my high school, Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, to graduate,” added Koykka, who also said he has never been raced at any of the tracks on this year’s schedule.
Joining those three at the front of the field will be 2011 Lime Rock race winner and Series Champion, Bill Valet, back for a one-off and expected to be very fast in the No. 83 Swift DB-6/Ford.
Tied for fourth in points are Jeremy Grenier, in a Citation/Honda, and Art Foster, who also won at Lime Rock last season, driving a Van Diemen/Ford.
Another young racer, John McCusker, spent the weeks between VIR and Lime Rock karting, and hopes to continue to pick up speed in his Van Diemen/Honda.
Two practice sessions on Friday lead into a 4:20 pm qualifying session, with a short warm-up on Saturday, May 26, followed by F1600 races at 11:00 am and 4:00 pm, both 30 laps or 30 minutes. Live audio will be available for qualifying and both races at www.livestream.com/F2000 and updates, results, photos and more will be posted on www.F1600ChampionshipSeries.com .