Connery Conquers Soggy Mid-Ohio
STEAM CORNERS, Ohio — A ultra-slick track produced an unpredictable race at Mid-Ohio that eventually saw Kyle Connery keep it on the pavement to take his second win in a row and third in the 2013 F2000 Championship Series season in the No. 91 Van Diemen.
Connery triumphed over Championship rival Tim Minor, who finished second after a first lap spin, and David Grant, in third.
Connery’s race wasn’t without challenge, as he lost the lead to Santino Ferrucci right before a late-race caution. Coming to the restart, Ferrucci spun, allowing Connery to take the lead for the final two laps of the race, round nine of the 14-race season.
“It was so slick, it didn’t matter how slow you were going, it showed on the restart,” said Connery, in the No. 91 Van Diemen for CC Autosport and James Lee Racing. “I had a great, fantastic fight with Santino with some good clean racing. When I saw the white flag I said ‘no way,’ took it really easy there on the last lap.”
Connery furthermore nailed the two bonus points for the fastest lap of the race, at 2:06.794.
It was looking like a terrific points day for Connery as Minor spun on the opening lap, shuffled down the order to last. But an interesting race unfolded with lots of cars having issues and a late race caution. Minor recovered with an impressive drive to finish second in his No.88 Ski Motorsports Citation.
“Sometimes you have to fight your way forward,” said Minor, who continues to manage his Championship point-lead margin. “I spun, the track was wet and we knew that from this morning. I spun twice actually and I came back and kept pushing forward and didn’t give up and here I am.”
Rounding off the podium, and third in points, Grant went back and forth through the top ten for Polestar Racing Group.
“That race is a blur,” said Grant. “By the third or fourth lap I went straight in turn six. It was a bumpy ride. The track is slick with sealer everywhere and not good in the rain at all.”
The race saw the field spread out almost immediately, with Connery and Ferrucci opening a 25-second gap on the rest of the pack after just five laps in extremely challenging conditions at Mid-Ohio.
Steve Bamford was another driver that recovered, driving his No. 71 Van Diemen from the back to the front after spinning out of second place on the opening lap in the carousel turn.
“I don’t know how that happened on the opening lap, I think I got in there a bit hot trying to keep up with Kyle,” said Bamford.
Ferrucci rounded out the top five for HP-Tech, leading a handful of laps before giving up the lead with a spin on the only restart.
Robert Wright was behind in sixth place, and ran third for most of the race before getting shuffled back on the green-white-checkered.
Patience prevailed as Dean Baker, Jim Libecco, Chris Livengood and Jose Armida – in his first F2000 start, completed the top 10.