O’Ward Sweeps Weekend, Bickers Takes Fourth Win at Buttonwillow
Buttonwillow, Calif. – Round Twelve of the Pacific Formula F1600/F2000 Championship Series held in conjunction with the Vintage Auto Racing Association during their Oktoberfest event saw newcomer Patricio O’Ward take pole position, fastest lap and victory for the second time in two days and sweep the top honors in the F2000 group while Joey Bickers fought off Colton Herta to take victory and stay in the hunt for the F1600 series title at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on Sunday in Buttonwillow, California.
|On Sunday Bickers turned the table on Herta|
Grid positions were established by the finishing order of Saturday’s round 11 which left PR1 Motorsports team mates, Colton Herta in the #98, PR1 Motorsports w/BHA Curb-Agajanian entry sponsored by DVS shoe Company, Curb Records, Mygale N. America, OMP, Bell Helmets, Penske Shocks, Mygale/Honda and Joey Bickers #34, PR1 Motorsports Mygale/Honda again heading the F1600 group. This pair was followed by the Lynx Racing duo of Alex Keyes #32, Spectrum/Honda and Andrew Evans, #19 Spectrum/Honda, Sage Marie, #93, Honda Racing,HPD, Piper/Honda, returning to the series and newcomer Mike McCarthy #89, Bertram Ink, H & M Motorsports, Mygale/Honda.
The F2000 group was led by Patricio O’Ward, after a fine victory on Saturday in the #6 POW Motorsports, Pequeneces, DFR Van Diemen and Bob Negron in the #9,Terri Negron Web Design, fengshuimebaby.com, Van Diemen followed by Ira Fierberg in his #27, Pinnacle Performance, Sparco USA, DFR, Van Diemen, Jim Stewart, #38, True Ventures, Van Diemen, Peter West, #99, Frank Monise Motors, Zombo.com, Kodenko Jeans, T.J. Martell Foundation, DFR Van Diemen, Peter Hastrup, #62, Western Building Materials, DFR Van Diemen and Tom Hope, #18, H&M Racing, Dart, Carbir and Les Phillips, #2, Swiss Implants, Porterfield Racing Brakes, Van Diemen.
The 9:15am race was flagged off on schedule and as on Saturday it was newcomer O’Ward who seized the lead from Negron, Fierberg, West, Phillips, Stewart, Hastrup and Hope who managed an overenight engine change.
Before the first lap had been completed, West got two wheels off at Cotton Corners and spun in front of Phillips who had no place to go and collected the West’s Van Diemen retiring both cars on the spot which brought out a full course caution while the cars were towed to safety.
After four laps behind the pace car the green flag came out and the race resumed and once again it was O’Ward taking the lead from Negron, Fierberg, Stewart, Hope and Hastrup.
|O'Ward swept the weekend|
Lap 5 saw Fierberg pass Negron for second place, a position he would hold to the end despite the best efforts of Negron. The two race clean and close in an intense battle that lasted to the checkered flag with Negron falling just inches short. Fierberg claimed the Master Class victory.
O’Ward led comfortably, was never threatened and took the checkered flag 13 seconds ahead of the Fierberg/Negron battle, one again claiming the races fastest lap.
Stewart had another trouble free run to fourth place and was followed by Hastrup in fifth.
Hope continued despite electrical problems to finish sixth and claim the Expert Class win.
As the Formula F1600 group took the green flag it was Herta who claimed the lead followed by Keyes, Bickers, Evans, Marie, and McCarthy.
Bickers passed Keyes on lap five and Herta on lap six to take the lead as he attempted to try to pull away from Herta but quickly realized that was not going to work and that is was going to be down to the last lap yet again. The lead changed hands several more times as the laps wound down and it was Bickers who prevailed at the finish. Bickers also earned the fastest race lap. With each claiming the same number of points for the weekend, the gap remains the same and with three races left, the battle for the championship is going to go to the last lap of the last race of the season.
Behind the Bickers/Herta battle it was Lynx Racing’s Alex Keyes with another strong run to third place.
Andrew Evans held fourth place until a pit stop to have his radiators cleared dropped him to last place. Evans managed to recover and move up to fifth place by the finish.
Sage Marie finished fourth in his Piper earning the Expert Class win.
Mike McCarthy finished in sixth in the Mygale.
The series now moves to Las Vegas for rounds 13, 14 and 15 on October 4, 5 & 6 and will again be run with VARA’s Silver State Classic.
The single-seat, open-wheel F2000 cars are powered by 2-liter Ford Zetec engines and run on Hankook tires supplied by Sierra Tire. The F1600 cars will be powered by either the 1500cc Honda Fit engine or the 1600cc Ford ‘Kent’ engine and will run on Toyo tires.
F1600 Qualifying (round 12): 1. Colton Herta (Mygale/Honda); 2. Joey Bickers (Mygale/Honda); 3. Alex Keyes, (Spectrum/Honda); 4. Andrew Evans (Spectrum/Honda); 5. Sage Marie (Piper/Honda); 6. Mike McCarthy (Mygale SJ04/Honda).
F1600 Round 12 (13 laps): 1. Bickers; 2. Herta; 3. Keyes; 4. Marie; 5. Evans; 6. McCarthy.
F2000 Qualifying (round 12): 1. Patricio O’Ward (Van Diemen; 2. Bob Negron (Van Diemen); 3. Ira Fierberg (Van Diemen); 4. Jim Stewart (Van Diemen); 5. Peter West (Van Diemen); 6. Peter Hastrup (Van Diemen); 7. Tom Hope (Carbir); 8 Les Phillips (Van Diemen).
F2000 Round 12 (13 laps): 1. O’Ward; 2. Fierberg, +13.154s; 3. Negron, +13.216s; 4. Stewart, +29.788s; 5. Hastrup, +38.299s; 6. Hope, +4 laps; 7. West, +13 laps; 8. Phillips, +13 laps.
Fastest race lap: F1600 Bickers, 1m54.827s. F2000 O’Ward, 1m44.404s.
Expert class winner (over 35): F1600 Marie, F2000 Hope.
Master class winner (over 50): F2000 Fierberg