27 July 2012
Lexington, OH – Robert La Rocca continues to make it look relatively easy, with the Championship points leader pacing both practice sessions at Mid-Ohio prior to rounds nine and ten of the 2012 F2000 Championship Series season. La Rocca turned his best lap in practice of 1:24.293 in the morning session ahead of Chris Livengood, who has two wins at Mid-Ohio, Niki Coello and rookies Wyatt Gooden and Kevin Kopp.
“We are getting there,” said La Rocca, who has seven wins thus far in just eight races in 2012 in the No. 10 HP-Tech Motorsport Van Diemen. “This track is tough on tires and finding the right balance is the key.”
Livengood called the first practice of the day his best session of the year in his new RFR chassis.
A new mustache-style front wing, popular on the Van Diemen chassis, made from parts the team found in the trash can in New Jersey, did not prove to put the magic combination, leaving him third, eight tenths off La Rocca, in the final session of the day.
“We pulled Coello’s nose out of the trash and spent two weeks working on it,” said Livengood, who also said the John Walko team switched to harder springs on his car between sessions.
Coello was third on the morning time sheets, the second RFR, ahead of Wyatt Gooden, who sits a distant second in points to La Rocca.
Gooden won both F1600 races at Mid-Ohio last year, also driving for the same team – Quantum Racing Services.
Kopp was fifth quick, ahead of Zach Craigo, in another solid performance, Kyle Connery in the No. 91 RFR, Tim Paul, and Series newcomer Cesar LaPoint, in another Van Diemen for HP-Tech. John Brumder rounded out the morning practice session’s top ten list.
In the afternoon, on a much slower track, La Rocca turned in a lap just a few thousandths off his morning time, although on new tires. John LaRue was second quick ahead of Livengood, Coello and Gooden.
Kopp was sixth fastest in the afternoon session with Connery, Tim Minor, and LaPoint and Dan Denison, driving for Polestar Motor Racing, following in positions seven through ten.
Both sessions were run with few issues, although Tim Paul did bend a wishbone after a spin on his outlap in the afternoon session.
Saturday follows with qualifying at 8:40 eastern time and race one of the weekend at 1:15. Sunday concludes the event with 8:40 qualifying and a 12:50 18-lap or 30-minute race. Updates and live audio for qualifying and races will be available on www.F2000Series.comPractice 1 Results
|Pos||No.||Name||Best Tm||Best Spd||In Lap||Diff||Gap|
|31||94||Al Guibord, Sr.||1:34.920||85.638||5||+10.627||+1.797|