Rarick Takes Pole and Victory in Round 7
The morning overcast burned off and by the time qualifying for the Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Corsa Car Care got underway the predicted sunny skies and warm temperatures had arrived. Qualifying was reduce by three cars after Friday’s practice day when both Bill Kincaid and Michael Murphy had crashes causing sufficient damage to end the weekend hopes of those driver while the third, Peter Thomas was on his way back to Scotland after the passing of his mother. Bill’s damage was by far the most serious taking three corners off the car and was short of both manpower and spares to repair his car in time and Michael Murphy, one of two Mygale runners was also short of spare parts.
Qualifying itself was black flagged after two laps for a car off course and by the time the green came back out there were few laps remaining to set a good time. Points leader Scott Rarick managed to put in a lap of 1 min. 41.648 sec. to secure the pole from fellow PR1 Motorsports driver Miles Maroney and secure the front row of the grid.
Heading the second row will be the third PR1 Motorsports competitor David Cheng alongside Les Phillips with his best qualifying effort in fourth.
Row three was all Dave Freitas Racing with Peter Hastrup starting fifth ahead of Ira Fierberg carrying the new sponsorship of Pinnacle Performance of Beverly Hills this weekend.
Bob Negron having chased an electrical problem since arriving at track on Friday morning finally traced to a faulty relay only managed one lap and will take the final starting position.
Scott Rarick; #34 PR1 Van Diemen took the lead from the green flag at this challenging and historic track and lead teammates Cheng; #26 PR1 Van Diemen and Maroney; #11 Maroney Company/PR1 Van Diemen who began a race long battle for second place, Les Phillips; #89 Swiss Implant/Mygale who was challenged by Peter Hastrup; #5 Western Building Materials/Nuttal & Coleman/DFR Van Diemen for fourth followed by Bob Negron; #91 Feng Shui Me Baby.com/Negron Racing/ Van Diemen who had gotten by Ira Fierberg; #27 Pinnacle Performance/Sparco/DFR Van Diemen as the field headed off to turn three.
The next time around Rarick extended his lead and not only Hastrup but also Negron had passed Phillips to take up fourth and fifth and Negron was now really harrying Hastrup and was soon past into fourth and began his pursuit of the PR1 trio ahead.
While Rarick held his lead throughout the battle for second continued to rage on with Maroney and Cheng swapping positions and at some times driving two abreast through the corners with neither driver having a clear advantage and the position was not settled until the very end.
Bob Negron continued to reel in the pair ahead and in the process posted the fastest lap of the race. His effort earned him the William Racing Development Hard Charger Award as well as another Master Class Victory and retain second place in the standings.
A late race caution period erased the gap Rarick had built up and closed up the field building the tension for the re-start. When the green came out Rarick again got the jump and managed again to ease away from the battle for second place that picked up right where it was left off before the caution with Negron nipping at their heals.
Rarick held on for the victory taking not only the overall win but also claiming the Expert Class victory and thus extending his lead in the points and continuing his string of podium finishes.
Second place was finally settled in favor of Miles Maroney with another excellent run coming after his victory in the previous round at Mazda Raceway. Miles was trailed home by David Cheng giving PR1 Motorsports another podium sweep.
Peter Hastrup came home in fifth place followed by Ira Fierberg, sixth and Les Phillips, seventh.