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April 16, 2013 News
Pacific F2000/F1600: Cheng Takes Victory and Negron Completes Weekend Sweep

David Cheng held off his PR1 Motorsports teammate to score his his first Pacific F1600 win at Thunderhill Raceway Park (Photo: Jerry Andersen - jerryandersen-world.com)
David Cheng held off his PR1 Motorsports teammate to score his his first Pacific F1600 win at Thunderhill Raceway Park
(Photo: Jerry Andersen - jerryandersen-world.com)

David Cheng seized victory in the Formula F1600 group, while Bob Negron completed a sweep of the honors on Sunday (April 14) during Round Two of the Pacific F2000/F1600 Championship at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows Calif.

Cheng a former winner in the F2000 ranks was making his first start this weekend in Formula F1600, driving for PR1 Motorsports. The scenic 3.0-mile, 15-turn course was kind to Negron, enabling him to again take maximum points with a pole, victory and fastest race lap.

Sunday morning qualifying had near perfect conditions, clear and sunny with temperatures in high sixties and a slight breeze. The Formula F1600 group was highly competitive with the top four drivers finishing within one second of each other, many having improved their times over Saturday. PR1 Motorsports again prevailed, but this time it was Cheng in the No. 23 PR1 Motorsports/Iskin, Mygale/Honda leading the way with a lap of 1:50.634, having accomplished that time on his final lap. Lynx Racing’s Alex Keyes in No. 32 Lynx Racing/Spectrum/Honda with a time just 0.483s behind Cheng. Third fastest was Saturday’s winner Colton Herta in the No. 98 PR1 Motorsports/BHA Curb-Agajanian entry sponsored by DVSshoeComp/CurbRecords/Mygale North America/OMP/BellHelmets/Penske Shocks/Mygale/Honda, followed by Joey Bickers in the No. 17, Cameron Racing/Piper/Honda, Andrew Evans in the No. 19 Lynx Racing/Spectrum/Honda, Dave Zurlinden in the No. 31 Piper/Honda, and Les Phillips in the No. 89, Swiss Racing/Swiss Implants/Porterfield Brakes/Mygale SJ04/Honda.

The Formula F2000 group was again led by Negron in the No. 9 Negron Racing/Terri Negron Web Design/fengshuimebaby.com/Van Diemen/Zetec, who also improved on his Saturday time with a lap of 1:45.305. Tom Hope in his No. 18 H&M Racing/Dart/Carbir/Zetec improved his qualifying by nearly two second, joining Negron on the front row. This pair was followed by Peter West in the No. 99 Dave Freitas Racing/Frank Monise Motors/Zombo.com/Kodenko Jeans/T.J. Martell Foundation Van Diemen/Zetec, Jim Stewart in the No. 38 True Ventures/Van Diemen/Zetec, and Pierre DeMartines in the No. 62 Dave Freitas Racing/Van Diemen/Zetec.

Cheng took full advantage of his pole position at the green flag and led the formula F1600 group from the start, with Herta filling his mirrors, and Keyes and Bickers in tow, a small gap then to Evans and Phillips. Zurlinden discovered a vibration that turned out to be a loose wheel, retiring after the pace lap. Cheng was unable to pull out any lead, as Herta dogged him lap after lap, as the two circulated mere inches apart. Behind the leading pair, the duel for third place was just as hotly contested, as Bickers closed on Keyes threatening to seize the position and finally succeeding on lap six. The next time by, Keyes had the Spectrum back in front of Bickers’ Piper. These positions switched twice more, before Keyes finally was able to maintain his advantage to the end for third place, while Bickers was fourth, just off the podium, finishing with the fastest race lap.

At the front things were far from comfortable for Cheng, as he still had Herta to contend with as the two Mygales continued in tandem. Herta managed to pass Cheng on lap 10, but Cheng returned the favor on the following lap, and was able to hold off his young teammate to the end to claim his first Formula F1600 victory, never putting a wheel wrong until he ran wide at turn nine on the cool down lap.

"These young kids are fast, it took everything I had to stay ahead," stated Cheng.

Evans came home in fifth place, with Les Phillips in sixth.

Hope got the jump on Negron to take the lead of the Formula F2000 group at the start, and led Negron, West, De Martines, and Stewart at the end of the first lap. Negron was back by Hope the next time around, and the two were set for repeat of their race on Saturday, however it only lasted six laps, as Hope’s Carbir broke a rocker in the rear suspension and was forced to retire. By this time, Negron had built a substantial lead and was able to claim victory virtually uncontested, though he did manage the race’s fastest lap.

Behind the Negron/Hope contest, DeMartines and West were having a struggle of their own, which sadly only lasted three laps, when West’s Van Diemen suffered a broken rear axle and he was forced to retire on lap four, which left DeMartines in a lonely second place as he had worked his way clear of Stewart behind in third.

The next event for the Pacific Formula F2000/F1600 Series will be held on May 18-19, at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California, and it will be a triple race weekend.

Pacific F2000/F1600 Series
Round 2 - Race Results
April 14, 2013
Thunderhill Raceway Park - Willows, California

Pos.DriverTeamDiff.Fast Time
1.Bob NegronNegron Racing-1:46.276
2.Pierre DeMartinesDave Freitas Racing1:22.8701:51.980
3.Jim StewartStewart Racing1:35.4741:52.711
4.Tom HopeH&M Racing8 Laps1:46.498
5.Peter WestDave Freitas Racing11 laps1:51.666

Pos.DriverTeamDiff.Fast Time
1.David ChengPR1 Motorsports-1:51.209
2.Colton HertaPR1 Motorsports4.4951"51.181
3.Alex KeyesLynx Racing10.8441:51.167
4.Joey BickersCameron Racing13.5181:51.101
5.Andrew EvansLynx Racing1 Lap1:53.702
6.Les PhillipsSwiss Racing1 Lap1:54.476
7.Dave ZurlindenZurlinden Racing14 LapsNo-time

Pacific Mountain Central Eastern International

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