MidOhio - September 2016 (Finale)

The 2016 US Formula 1000 Championship Fueled by Sunoco held the season finale championship race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this past weekend as part of the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.

The event included four days of qualifying followed by a 23 lap championship race.  Alex Mayer continued his series dominance by taking the provisional pole in the first qualifier with a track record lap of 1:19.983.  Other drivers go close throughout the week but that lap held up through the remaining qualifying sessions.  The next four drivers were all within 1/2 second of each other on the grid with Jeremy Hill joining Mayer on the front row, only .74 seconds behind Mayer. 
JR Osborne returned to the series after taking the year off and was able to qualify third, joined on the second row by his teammate Kevin Roggenbuck.

Grid for the championship finale:

1.  Alex Mayer-1:19.983
2.  Jeremy Hill -1:20.7235
3.  JR Osborne-1:20.855
4.  Kevin Roggenbuck-1:21.064
5.  Nicho Vardis-1:21.067
6.  Glenn Cooper-1:22.220
7.  Joel Haas- 1:22.509
8.  John LaBrie-1:24.549
9.  Pete Frost-1:25.374
10.  Dave O'Leary-1:29.029

At the green flag, Osborne did his best to pick up where he left off in 2015, and made his way wheel to wheel racing to the lead by the second turn. Mayer’s race was cut short soon after, when he dropped two wheels off track, spinning & heavily impacting the tire wall. He was unhurt, but the car sustained severe damage. This promoted Roggenbuck to 2nd, and Vardis to 3rd.  Cooper was now running in 4th after a great start, and Hill had gotten shuffled back to 5th on the opening lap.  While Osborne started to build his lead, Vardis was applying pressure to Roggenbuck for the second spot.  On lap 6, he drafted down the long straight and made his pass under braking into turn 4.  He held the spot only one lap, spinning in the carousel and dropping back to 5th.  Now the fight for 2nd was between Roggenbuck and Cooper, with Hill closing in to make it a three way battle.  On lap 10, Hill used the draft to pass Cooper for 3rd going into turn 4.  Shortly after, Cooper's brakes began fading and he was forced to retire.  The order remained the same for the next several laps with Osborne way out front, Roggenbuck in second, and Hill in third.  On lap 15, Osborne's car started misfiring with an electrical problem that forced him to pit lane, ending his race.  This meant that the duel between Roggenbuck and Hill was now a fight for the top step on the podium.  Behind them, Vardis had recovered and was running in a distant 3rd.

On lap 19, Haas got alongside Frost as they came up the hill in turn 5.  Both cars tried to occupy the same spot and they tangled.  The car of Haas climbed over the wheels of Frost's car, damaging the left side suspension and leaving Frost stranded in a dangerous place on the track.  Haas was able to continue but the full course caution came out immediately.  With only 3 laps to go, the officials decided to end the race early, giving Roggenbuck his first national championship.  Hill was deprived of the chance to challenge for his first championship and settled for second.  Despite spinning, Vardis was able to claw his way back to the 3rd spot.


Final results- 2016 National Championship Runoffs:

Driver               // Chassis manufacturer //  - Fast Lap of Race

1.  Kevin Roggenbuck     // RFR F1000 //                  - 1:21:140
2.  Jeremy Hill                    // Photon VD07 //           - 1:21:015
3. Nicho Vardis                  // JDR //                            - 1:21.685
4.  John LaBrie                   // Phoenix F1k12//           - 1:23.533
5. Joel Haas                         // Piper DF-5 //                - 1:22.781
6. Dave O'Leary                 // Mygale SJ04 //             - 1:26.909
7.  Peter Frost                    // Phoenix F1k12//           - 1:23.485
8.  JR Osborne                   // RFR F1000 //                 - 1.21.237
9. Glenn Cooper               // Stohr //                           - 1:22.214
10.  Alex Mayer              // JDR //                                - 1:59.570


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