- 05 July 2014
Lexington, OH – Ayla Agren scored a breakthrough inaugural win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, putting her No. 81 Mygale/Honda in the lead early in the race and fending off her teammate in the closing stages of round seven of the F1600 Series season. Agren led a Team Pelfrey sweep of the top four spots, winning by a slim margin over Garth Rickards while Nikita Lastochkin and Augie Lerch earned a hard-fought third and fourth over Jack Mitchell Jr. who followed in fifth.
Agren, from Norway, has been knocking on the door for her first win since Road Atlanta in April, finishing on the podium there and missing out on victory at VIR in June by a car length. The second-year F1600 driver led practice on Friday at Mid-Ohio with the fastest time and started second for Saturday’s race, quickly finding herself in the lead and carefully playing a race craft game with teammate and points leader Rickards.
“It’s really great to get my first win,” said Agren, who slims down Rickards’ Championship lead even more. “I have to thank Pelfrey for the effort this weekend so far. I knew Garth was coming and I just put my head down and kept focusing forward.”
Agren becomes the first female and Norwegian to win a F1600 Championship Series race. Interestingly, she becomes the first full-time aspiring driver to win a race in F1600 in 2014, in what has turned out to be a hotly contested season.
Rickards couldn’t find a way past Agren on the final laps after closing in on her from 1.5 seconds out in the final stages of the all-green-flag race.
“Ayla was fast today and it was great to get the team their first win like this,” said Rickards, who has also been close all year to a first victory.
Nikita Lastochkin and Augie Lerch completed the top four positions in an all Team Pelfry yellow and black car sweep, but those two had a much tougher race, having to deal with a charging Mitchell Jr. in on the last lap.
Mitchell Jr. had worked himself up from 10th early in the race, and as the Spectrum/Honda from Exclusive Autosport came alive, he moved up the order in a hurry, finding himself in a spot for a podium but failing to capitalize fighting against the duo from Pelfry.
Another highlight drive was put in by Evan Mehan, who charged from 13th on the grid to finish sixth in his first ever F1600 race in the No. 29 for Chastain Motorsports.
Jim Goughary won the Masters Class with a seventh place run, but that is not the result the Road Atlanta and Watkins Glen winner wanted to see as he continues to lose Championship ground to Agren and Rickards.
Sam Chastain, Lew Cooper III and Art Foster completed the top ten. Cooper had run as high as second early in the race but said the tires on his Spectrum had faded, leaving him a sitting duck.
VIR winner Steve Bamford was in the lead group early but pulled off halfway through the race. Corner worker radio reports suggested the retirement may have been due to contact with another car.
The weekend concludes on Sunday, July 6, with 8:30am F1600 qualifying followed by a 1:00pm green flag for round eight of the 14-race 2014 F1600 Series season.
|1||81||Ayla Agren||18||1:28.367||Mygale Honda||-|
|2||83||Garth Rickards||18||1:28.048||Mygale Honda||+0.188|
|3||80||NIkita Lastochkin||18||1:28.743||Mygale Sj Honda||+8.580|
|4||82||Augie Lerch||18||1:28.616||Mygale Honda||+8.780|
|5||93||Jack Mitchell, Jr.||18||1:28.313||Spectrum Honda||+9.076|
|6||29||Evan Mehan||18||1:28.222||Mygale Honda||+9.340|
|7||7||James Goughary/M||18||1:28.502||Van Diemen Honda||+10.158|
|8||27||T. Sam Chastain||18||1:28.442||Mygale Sj13 Honda||+13.541|
|9||0||Lewis Cooper III/M||18||1:28.788||Spectrum 14 Honda||+14.619|
|10||21||Arthur Foster/M||18||1:29.010||Spectrum 014 Honda||+18.746|
|11||3||Joe Colasacco/M||18||1:29.287||Van Diemen Honda||+18.810|
|12||46||Douglas Voss/M||18||1:29.008||Spectrum 012B Honda||+22.565|
|13||24||Will Harvey||18||1:29.259||Mygale Sj Honda||+31.030|
|14||31||Scott Rubenzer/M||18||1:29.916||Spectrm Honda||+32.757|
|15||06||Austin McCusker||18||1:30.035||Van Deiman Honda||+33.340|
|16||10||Max Mallinen||18||1:30.480||Spectrum 014 Honda||+44.118|
|17||2||Mike Scanlan/M||18||1:30.548||Spectrum Honda||+44.439|
|18||13||Andrew Hobbs||18||1:29.408||Mygale Sj Honda||+45.802|
|19||66||Bob Melvin/M||17||1:33.857||Van Diemen Ford||1 Lap|
|20||07||Steve Bamford/M||8||1:29.265||Mygale Sj11 Honda||10 Laps|