Koykka made it three poles so far, in 2012. (photo: Valet)Lakeville, CT – Matias Koykka made it three poles in a row, remaining perfect in qualifying in 2012 and leading the way for race one qualifying around the 1.53-mile seven-turn Lime Rock Park road course in the No. 10 Spectrum/Honda for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing. Koykka will lead the field to green from the SOS Children’s Village Pole with a fast lap of 53.5 alongside Brandon Newey, who qualified second.

“It’s a good start to the weekend,” said Koykka, 17 years old and from Finland. “It’s another new circuit for me, we tested here Tuesday and the learning process has been good. The guys are doing a great job.”

Following race one on Saturday morning, and race two on Saturday afternoon, Koykka will road-trip home, overnight, to Ohio, to graduate high school.

Koykka will look to bounce back after leading in the second race at VIR, but failing to finish and surrendering valuable points after contact with another car.

Newey, the Championship points leader with two strong finishes, including a win at VIR, battled through a steering issue which limited him in practice one, and a fuel pump issue that left his Bryan Herta Autosport Mygale/Honda in the paddock for practice two. But, the American hopeful bounced back, thanks in part to laps around Lime Rock from his Skip Barber days, qualifying second.

Lining up third in his best qualifying in 2012 by far will be Roberto Lorena, from Quantum Racing Services in a Van Diemen/Honda. Lorena, from Brazil, rebounded from a big spin on the downhill  section of Lime Rock during the opening part of the session, somehow not hitting anything.

Jeremy Grenier qualified fourth following two top tens, including a fifth place, at VIR in April in the No. 12 Citation/Honda, under the Eric Langbein engineering awning.

Garett Grist, part of the Sofina Foods Driver Development Program, rounded out the top five in the second of the Bryan Herta Mygale/Hondas. Grist finished second in the last Series race at VIR.

2011 Lime Rock race winner and reigning F1600 Formula F Champion Bill Valet failed to turn a lap during the 25-minute session in the No. 83 Swift DB-6/Ford with gearbox issues. Valet also noted that the rubber compounds being put down from the Trans Am Series competitors were proving to be a “challenge” with car handling.

Valet’s team expects to have the No. 83 ready to go for both races on Saturday, and now can look forward to challenging for the CellMark Paper Hard Charger award, starting last in race one. Race two’s grid will be set on race one’s fastest laps.

John McCusker will start near the back of the field, incurring a Series penalty after missing a checkered flag in practice.

In two morning practice sessions at Lime Rock, which is the northwestern corner of Connecticut, it was Koykka on top as the temperatures rose over the short road course. In fact, no one else got close to the Finnish driver in the Spectrum as he as well ahead of the field with a fastest practice lap of 53.038.

The aspiring driver set that time in the first practice, followed by Art Foster, Garett Grist, Joe Colasacco and Valet. In the second practice he was slower, but still the fastest, on top of the time sheets with Colasacco, Jeremy Grenier, Grist and Foster following.

The weekend continues 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 .

F1600 Qualifying:

Pos No. Name Best Tm Best Spd In Lap Diff Gap
1 10 Matias Koykka 53.573 102.813 9 - -
2 98 Brandon Newey 54.103 101.806 22 +0.530 +0.530
3 17 Roberto Lorena 54.582 100.912 7 +1.009 +0.479
4 12 Jeremy Grenier 54.671 100.748 12 +1.098 +0.089
5 97 Garett Grist 54.677 100.737 8 +1.104 +0.006
6 72 Steve Oseth 54.847 100.425 17 +1.274 +0.170
7 21 Art Foster 55.075 100.009 12 +1.502 +0.228
8 3 Joe Colasacco 55.258 99.678 16 +1.685 +0.183
9 4 Bob Detrick 55.557 99.141 7 +1.984 +0.299
10 2 Mike Scanlan 55.770 98.763 24 +2.197 +0.213
11 14 Ross Devoe 55.837 98.644 12 +2.264 +0.067
12 11 Doug Stout 56.837 96.909 18 +3.264 +1.000
13 01 John McCusker 57.442 95.888 21 +3.869 +0.605
14 99 Sean Maisey 57.538 95.728 3 +3.965 +0.096
15 44 Ed Callo 58.509 94.139 4 +4.936 +0.971
16 83 Bill Valet -.--- - 0 - -