|May 25, 2012 News
|F2000 Championship: La Rocca Extends Championship Lead with Lime Rock Pole
| Robert La Rocca continued his run of form in qualifying at Lime Rock Park|
(Photo: F2000 Championship Series - Valet)
Robert La Rocca paced a 25-minute F2000 Championship Series qualifying session for race one of the weekend at the 1.53-mile Lime Rock Park road course on Friday (May 25).
For La Rocca, it was his fourth SOS Children’s Village pole in five attempts in 2012 in the No. 10 HP-Tech Motorsport Van Diemen. Kyle Connery will start second in another Van Diemen, ahead of Wyatt Gooden, Niki Coello, and Chris Livengood.
“The track was a bit green this morning,” said La Rocca, before qualifying. “Everyone is going to get faster, we only missed pole here last year by half a tenth.”
La Rocca adds to his commanding championship lead with three bonus points from pole, on top of four straight wins in four races in 2012.
For Connery, it was his best qualifying effort of the season in the No. 91 CC Autosport Van Diemen.
“We were on old tires this morning and working in new brakes,” said Connery. “There was traffic all session with all the cars on the track.”
Gooden kept his strong qualifying streak going, but couldn’t quite match his pole from Road Atlanta, and will line up third for Quantum Racing Services.
Gooden actually rented a truck and towed his own Van Diemen to Lime Rock from Quantum’s shop in Oklahoma. The aspiring racer carries backing from Perfect Pedal for the doubleheader weekend at Lime Rock.
Alongside Gooden will be Coello’s RFR, in yet another good showing for the No. 81, ahead of Chris Livengood in the John Walko Racing RFR.
“We’re still working on our confidence with the new car,” said Livengood. “I’m still learning what I’m supposed to expect, but, I won here last year, I know my way around.”
Tim Minor’s Citation was sixth quick, and is sporting a slight change at Lime Rock, with an adjustment to the cockpit that lets Minor get to the shifter easily. Minor attributed a lost podium at VIR to a missed shift, due to his hand getting stuck, earlier this year.
Tom Fatur was seventh in his best qualifying effort of 2012, with Jonathan Scarallo eighth in his comeback, 10 months after last being in the car. Charles Finelli and Craig Clawson rounded out the top ten. All four of those drivers are in Van Diemens.
In a morning practice at Lime Rock, which is the northwestern corner of Connecticut, it was La Rocca on top as the temperatures rose over the short road course. The day even featured a brief 20-minute downpour during a break between practice sessions.
A few hours later, for practice two, La Rocca was fast yet again, only turning a handful of laps and coming into the pits for changes on his No. 10 machine continuously.
Hometown hopeful Tim Paul, from Mahopac N.Y., qualified 16th in the SMR/GTP Motorsports Van Diemen after starter motor issues during practice, while teammate Stevan McAleer, from Scotland did not turn laps in the qualifying session and is done for the weekend following a massive crash in practice.
During the first practice of the weekend McAleer’s Radon made contact with the wall in the uphill portion of the racetrack. The Scottish driver finished on the podium at Lime Rock two years ago but won’t repeat that again this year, with the accident attributed to a steering column parts failure.
“We did a few laps, came in for adjustments and went back out,” explained McAleer, who was unhurt. “I turned into the uphill and the car went straight. I got on the brakes but there wasn’t much I could do at that point, it must have been a 100mph hit.”
In the short break between both practice sessions, all Radons entered for the weekend, an additional three chassis, performed welding repairs to their steering columns.
Aaron Pettipas also missed out on track time following an engine failure in the No. 15 John Walko Racing Van Diemen. The team expects to have a fresh Zetec motor in the car for Saturday’s two races, on loan from former competitor Jesse Yorio.
Wisko F2000’s Kevin Kopp didn’t get a single lap around track on Friday as the team battled through all sorts of issues on the No. 66 Van Diemen. Kopp has run strong in all four races this year, and sits fifth in the point standings.
Another victim of an early-day incident was Hilton Tallman, in the Mygale chassis, who went off in practice and will not see more laps during the two day event at Lime Rock, with significant damage to the No. 08.
Qualifying for race two will be based on fast laps in race one.
The weekend continues on Saturday (May 26), with an early-morning warmup followed by F2000 races at 10:10 am and 2:45 pm local time, both 33 laps or 30 minutes. Live audio will be available for both races at http://www.livestream.com/F2000
The top-three will be posted following every session on the EFCN Facebook page, and EFCN Twitter page.
F2000 Championship Series
Round 5 - Qualifying Results
May 25, 2012
Lime Rock Park - Lakeville, Connecticut
|1.||Robert La Rocca||HP-Tech Motorsports||50.089|
|2.||Kyle Connery||CC Autosport||50.254|
|3.||Wyatt Gooden||Quantum Racing Services||50.306|
|4.||Niki Coello||Coello Racing||50.612|
|5.||Chris Livengood||John Walko Racing||50.892|
|6.||Tim Minor (M)||Ski Motorsports||51.312|
|7.||Tom Fatur (M)||GTP Motorsports||51.345|
|8.||Jonathan Scarallo||Group-A Racing||51.591|
|9.||Charles Finelli (M)||Fat Boy Racing/John Walko Racing||51.797|
|10.||Craig Clawson (M)||Clawson Racing||52.025|
|11.||John Brumder (M)||Front Range Motorsports||52.265|
|12.||Bob Wright (M)||ADSA/Wright Racing||52.391|
|13.||Shaun Miller||John Walko Racing||52.441|
|14.||Jeff McCusker (M)||Dotworks Racing||52.584|
|15.||Chris Monteleone||Mountain Lion Motorsports||52.631|
|16.||Tim Paul||SMR/GTP Motorsports||52.648|
|17.||Jose Montiel||HP-Tech Motorsports||52.679|
|18.||Dean Baker (M)||Baker Racing||52.935|
|19.||Doug Rocco||Jaegermeister Racing||53.147|
|20.||Jim Hanrahan (M)||GTP Motorsports||53.490|
|21.||Fred Bross (M)||Bross Racing||53.990|
|22.||Brendan Puderbach||Fat Boy Racing/John Walko Racing||54.102|
|23.||Dennis McCarthy||Jagermeister Racing||54.680|
|24.||Peter Gonzalez (M)||GTP Motorsports||54.754|
|25.||Tom Drake (M)||Alleycat Racing||55.462|