|May 12, 2012 News
|F2000 Championship: La Rocca Sweeps Road Atlanta Doubleheader
| Robert La Rocca is a perfect four-for-four to start the 2012 season|
(Photo: F2000 Championship Series - Valet)
Robert La Rocca remained perfect, with four wins in four starts in the 2012 F2000 Championship Series, sweeping the Road Atlanta weekend with a win on Saturday morning (May 12) in the No. 10 HP-Tech Motorsports Van Diemen. La Rocca fought back from a challenge on the start, heading four wide into turn one, and another from Wyatt Gooden on a restart, and before separating himself from the pack twice, setting fastest lap, to win over Kyle Connery and Gooden.
La Rocca started from pole and ran consistent laps during the race, at one point lapping in the 1:24.4 range, consistently and building a lead of some five seconds before the checkered flags fell on Round Four in Georgia. The Venezuelan also adds to what is becoming a considerable points lead.
“I don’t know what to say,” noted La Rocca, racing in his second year of F2000, on his fourth win in less than a month. “All the credit goes to HP-Tech, they have given me such a good car. The restarts were fun this weekend, but I just put my head down and drove.”
Connery, the 2011 rookie of the year, notched his best result of the season with a strong second place run, fighting off Gooden during the race.
“Little by little we are improving,” said the 21 year-old. “I was worried after qualifying just fifth, but we didn’t make any changes to the car and it was great battling with Wyatt and Fabio [Orsolon]. That was some good clean racing here.”
Connery, as has been noted all weekend, campaigned the Van Diemen for both races, switching over from the RFR chassis for CC Autosport and James Lee Racing.
Gooden completed the podium in another Van Diemen for Quantum Racing Services, pulling into victory lane with a considerable amount of dirt on the No. 6, and reported contact with Connery by corner workers around the 2.54-mile track.
“On that restart I learned you can’t go around the outside in turn one,” explained Gooden, who led a bit for the second straight day. “It was a lot of hard work to get back on the podium at the end.”
Gooden was referring to making up ground in the closing stages, having fallen back to fifth while battling with Connery, after challenging La Rocca for the lead, the rookie bounced back for Quantum Racing Services, driving back to third place.
Tim Minor won the Masters Class for the second straight day, finishing fourth for Ski Motorsports in the Citation No. 88.
Niki Coello rounded out the top five in the No. 81 RFR, ahead of Tim Paul, Kevin Kopp, Zach Craigo, Dave Weitzenhof, and Chris Livengood.
Livengood climbed through the field after going off the track in the opening part of the race, which featured one short caution period to retrieve his teammate Charles Finelli, who had stalled on course.
Finishing 11th was Gerald Kraut, earning the CellMark Paper Hard Charger, starting 26th and moving through the field at an impressive clip for JDC MotorSports.
La Rocca’s HP-Tech teammate, Jose Montiel, finished 14th in the team’s No. 9 RFR after battling engine problems on Friday.
John LaRue did not make the start after crashing in Friday’s race. Nathan Morcom also missed the start.
Orsolon’s Radon looked set to challenge for podium honors at Road Atlanta, before being sidelined with rear suspension damage.
The F2000 Championship Series resumes with Rounds Five and Six at Lime Rock Park on May 25-26.
The top-three will be posted following every session on the EFCN Facebook page, and EFCN Twitter page.
F2000 Championship Series
Round 4 - Race Results
May 12, 2012
Road Atlanta - Atlanta, Georgia
|1.||Robert LaRocca||HP-Tech Motorsports||-||1:24.404|
|2.||Kyle Connery||CC Autosport||5.633||1:25.010|
|3.||Wyatt Gooden||Quantum Racing Services||9.079||1:25.056|
|4.||Tim Minor (M)||Ski Motorsports||10.182||1:26.046|
|5.||Niki Coello||Coello Racing||10.359||1:25.737|
|6.||Tim Paul||SMR/GTP Motorsports||12.792||1:26.129|
|7.||Kevin Kopp||WISKO F2000||13.215||1:25.879|
|8.||Zach Craigo||Front Range Motorsports||14.409||1:26.428|
|9.||Dave Weitzenhof (M)||Weitzenhof Racing||14.684||1:26.673|
|10.||Chris Livengood||John Walko Racing||15.246||1:26.701|
|11.||Gerald Kraut (M)||JDC MotorSports||15.752||1:26.601|
|12.||Tom Schwietz (M)||Schwietz Racing||17.987||1:27.080|
|13.||Mark Defer (M)||Polestar Racing Group||18.095||1:27.422|
|14.||Jose Montiel||HP-Tech Motorsports||19.616||1:27.073|
|15.||Bill Jordan (M)||Polestar Racing Group||22.313||1:27.903|
|16.||Peter Gonzalez (M)||GTP Motorsports||24.586||1:27.680|
|17.||John Brumder (M)||Front Range Motorsports||24.914||1:27.970|
|18.||Steve Coates||Coates Racing||33.097||1:27.938|
|19.||Eric Presbrey||Presbrey Racing||33.795||1:28.354|
|20.||Dan Denison (M)||Polestar Racing Group||1:09.757||1:27.243|
|21.||Brendan Puderbach||Fat Boy Racing/John Walko Racing||1 Lap||1:29.479|
|22.||Jose Gerardo (M)||Front Range Motorsports||3 Laps||1:27.574|
|23.||Charles Finelli (M)||Fat Boy Racing/John Walko Racing||9 Laps||1:27.952|
|DNF||Bob Wright (M)||ADSA/Wright Racing||12 Laps||1:30.010|
|DNF||Fabio Orsolon||GTP Motorsports||14 Laps||1:25.570|
|DNF||Brent Gilkes (M)||8000 Inc. Racing||15 Laps||1:27.632|
(M) = Masters class