|July 01, 2012 News
|F2000 Championship: La Rocca Completes New Jersey Sweep
| Robert La Rocca has won an impressive seven of eight races in his HP-Tech Motorsports entry in 2012|
(Photo: F2000 Championship Series - Valet)
Robert La Rocca completed his third race weekend sweep of the F2000 Championship Series on Sunday (July 1), leading from pole in Round Eight at New Jersey Motorsports Park to take his seventh victory of the year in just eight races.
La Rocca was briefly challenged on both the start and a restart, but aggressively defended his lead by taking an inside line into turn one. Wyatt Gooden and Niki Coello completed the podium.
“The HP-Tech team gave me a great car again,” said La Rocca, who extended his championship lead even more with two poles and two fast laps driving the No. 10 HP-Tech Van Diemen for the Ft. Lauderdale-based team. “There are three weekends left so I’m not really thinking about the Championship yet.”
With a runaway points lead, and his closest rivals failing to win races and battling through DNFs, La Rocca has turned the 2012 F2000 Championship Series into his to lose at this point with six races to go. Remaining events are Mid-Ohio, Summit Point, and Watkins Glen.
Gooden was second in another podium run for Quantum Racing Services in the No. 6 Van Diemen.
“It’s a good way to end the weekend,” commented Gooden, who raced at NJMP in the VW TDI Cup a few years ago, and added that he hugged his TDI Cup car upon arriving to the track as the facility uses the fleet of VWs for various schools. “I’m still chasing setup in these cars, learning how to drive them.”
Completing the podium was Coello in the No. 81 RFR, who briefly looked to take the lead on the start of the race and was less than happy with La Rocca’s driving tactics.
“The car was a mess after yesterday,” noted Coello, who ripped off a front wing on Saturday. “I need to thank my crew for putting the car back together in the heat. On the start, I could have taken out the entire field. Robert blocked me all the way to the pit wall and I had to get out of it, and that let Wyatt past.”
That of course, started with Coello inheriting third place on the start, as Tim Minor went off the track on one of the two pace laps while scrubbing in new rear tires.
Coello noted on the podium that with the early race time, he was taking his family to Hershey Park.
Minor recovered, to win the Masters Class with an eighth place finish for Ski Motorsports in the No. 88 Citation chassis.
With another good run on Sunday, rookie Kevin Kopp, who finished third for the WISKO squad on Saturday, was fourth at the stripe. Zach Craigo completed the top-five, after a career best fourth place run on Saturday for Front Range Motorsports.
Tim Paul followed in sixth place, with F2000 new comer Paul Aslpach seventh for WISKO. Minor was eighth, Chris Livengood ninth in the RFR chassis for John Walko Racing, and Jamaica’s Collin Daley completed the top-10 in his series event debut with Group A Racing.
An opening lap incident produced a lengthy caution period and sidelined a number of cars.
The F2000 Championship Series continues at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with Rounds Nine and Ten on July 28-29.
The top-three will be posted following every session on the EFCN Facebook page, and EFCN Twitter page.
F2000 Championship Series
Round 8 - Race Results
July 1, 2012
New Jersey Motorsports Park - Millville, New Jersey
|1.||Robert La Rocca||HP-Tech Motorsports||-||1:19.203|
|2.||Wyatt Gooden||Quantum Mechanics Racing Services||1.604||1:20.309|
|3.||Niki Coello||Coello Racing||4.414||1:20.501|
|4.||Kevin Kopp||WISKO F2000||4.494||1:20.302|
|5.||Zach Craigo||Front Range Motorsports||8.829||1:21.197|
|6.||Tim Paul||SMR/GTP Motorsports||9.501||1:21.709|
|7.||Paul Alspach||WISKO F2000||11.321||1:21.482|
|8.||Tim Minor (M)||Ski Motorsports||12.225||1:20.986|
|9.||Chris Livengood||John Walko Racing||14.632||1:21.263|
|10.||Collin Daley||Group A Racing||15.659||1:22.087|
|11.||Nick Palacio||Primus Racing||15.689||1:22.390|
|12.||Bob Wright (M)||ADSA/Wright Racing||29.990||1:24.280|
|13.||John Brumder (M)||Front Range Motorsports||30.498||1:23.998|
|14.||Chris Monteleone||Mountain Lion Racing||33.658||1:24.522|
|15.||Doug Rocco||Jaegermeister Racing||1:04.356||1:25.087|
|16.||Jason Rabe||WISKO F2000||3 Laps||1:23.590|
|DNF||Tom Drake (M)||Alleycat Racing||11 Laps||1:33.568|
|DNF||Dennis McCarthy||Jaegermeister Racing||11 Laps||1:34.715|
|DNF||Jose Montiel||HP-Tech Motorsports||12 Laps||1:59.047|
|DNF||Dave Weitzenhof (M)||Weitzenhof Racing||12 Laps||1:58.697|
|DNF||Jeff McCusker (M)||Company Motorsports||12 Laps||1:58.502|
(M) = Masters class