Matias Koykka was well under the track record and fastest. (photo: Jose Rosado)Watkins Glen, NY – Championship contender Matias Koykka paced both practice sessions ahead of the doubleheader season finale at Watkins Glen for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing. However, his main rival, American Brandon Newey, was second quick in the last session by just a couple thousandths of second in the Mygale/Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian.

The first practice round took place in cold and windy conditions with a few snow flurries occurring at the end of the session.

The drivers faced some difficulty in morning practice due to the cold weather, and for many this was their first time at Watkins Glen. Koykka led that session in the Spectrum/Honda ahead of Quantum Racing Services' Roberto Lorena in a Van Diemen/Honda, the same car that won both races at Watkins Glen in 2011.

Later in the day however, it was Koykka ahead of Newey, Lorena, Neil Alberico and Keenan Harris.

Due to age restrictions for drivers, Newey’s season teammate  Garett Grist is unable to complete at the Glen. Grist’s replacement for the weekend, 18-year-old Adrian Starrantino from California, scored a time in the top ten during morning practice.

Koykka also has to drive without his usual teammate this weekend. Replacing Shae Davies in the No. 9 Spectrum is 20-year-old Neil Alberico, who has racing experience in Formula F in Great Britain, in addition to F2000. Alberico was fourth fastest in the morning practice session. New comer, 21-year-old Canadian Harris, rounded out the top five.

There were multiple periods of alternating sleet and sunshine in between practice rounds, making it difficult for teams to decide on car setups.

The second practice of the day took place late in the afternoon with temperatures slightly warmer than the morning session with sunshine. The change in weather, and the knowledge gained from morning practice caused lap times to drop. The top five fastest drivers were the same in both sessions, with a slight change up in their order.

Koykka again held the fastest lap time of 1:57.200 in the afternoon session, significantly improving on his morning time. Newey came in right behind Koykka with an almost identical time of 1:57:261. Lorena also improved his time from the morning session, but fell behind Newey  with a time of 1:58:539. Alberico and Harris kept their spots from the morning practice as fourth and fifth fastest.

Both Koykka and Newey broke the track qualifying and race records with their practice times.  If they maintain those times tomorrow, they are capable of officially resetting the records for the F1600 Series.

Saturday is forecasted to see colder temperatures than were experienced Friday as well as periods of rain in the afternoon, which can make a difference in track conditions, tire performance, and car set up needs. The first round of qualifying that will set the grid for race 1 will start at 11:25 local time, with the race starting at 3:55. Updates and audio are available on www.F1600Series.com, in addition to live timing for the first time, available via the Race Monitor smart phone application.

Practice Results
Pos No. Name Best Tm Best Spd In Lap Diff Gap
1 10 Matias Koykka 1:57.200 103.515 10 - -
2 98 Brandon Newey 1:57.261 103.462 9 +0.061 +0.061
3 17 Roberto Lorena 1:58.539 102.346 9 +1.339 +1.278
4 9 Neil Alberico 1:58.978 101.968 10 +1.778 +0.439
5 13 Keenan Harris 1:59.860 101.218 7 +2.660 +0.882
6 23 Sergio Pasian 2:00.234 100.903 11 +3.034 +0.374
7 7 Jim Goughary 2:00.368 100.791 5 +3.168 +0.134
8 72 Steve Oseth 2:00.591 100.605 7 +3.391 +0.223
9 12 Jeremy Grenier 2:00.766 100.459 4 +3.566 +0.175
10 21 Art Foster 2:00.840 100.397 4 +3.640 +0.074
11 5 David Clubine 2:01.110 100.173 7 +3.910 +0.270
12 73 Bob Perona 2:01.854 99.562 6 +4.654 +0.744
13 07 Steve Bamford 2:02.081 99.377 10 +4.881 +0.227
14 97 Adrian Starrantino 2:02.633 98.929 2 +5.433 +0.552
15 15 Jim Oseth 2:05.451 96.707 5 +8.251 +2.818
16 18 Dan Pyanowski 2:06.791 95.685 8 +9.591 +1.340
17 14 Ross Devoe 2:08.214 94.623 7 +11.014 +1.423
18 01 John McCusker 2:11.801 92.048 6 +14.601 +3.587
19 44 Ed Callo -.--- - 0 - -
20 47 Jim MacNicholl -.--- - 0 - -
21 55 Ray Phillips -.--- - 0 - -
22 68 Steve Jenks -.--- - 0 - -