MidOhio - June 2016 (Round 5 & 6)

The 2016 US Formula 1000 Championship Fueled by Sunoco began the second half of the season with the annual return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this past weekend.  Because Mid-Ohio will be hosting the 2016 National Championship Runoffs in September, the series experienced its largest field of the year, even drawing from as far away as California.  After two sessions of qualifying, Alex Mayer was once again at the front of the grid but was joined on the front row by series newcomer Nicho Vardis.  West coast driver Gary Hickman was able to qualify 3rd in his first visit to the track. 

Grid for round 5:
1.  Alex Mayer-1:23.272
2.  Nicho Vardis-1:23.342
3.  Gary Hickman-1:23.509
4.  Glenn Cooper-1:24.868
5.  Jeremy Hill-1:25.835
6.  Jose Gerardo-1:26.417
7.  Jason Bell-1:27.358
8.  Kevin Roggenbuck-1:28.036
9.  Pete Frost-1:29.328
10.  Doug Hertz 1:31.436
11.  Dave O'Leary-1:34.230
12.  Mike Meyers-no time


Due to severe weather and other races running long, officials decided to shorten the Formula 100 race, which was the last of the day.  The field rolled out in a heavy downpour and circulated for two laps behind the pace car.  The slick track caught out several drivers including Vardis, who spun into the grass.  He rejoined the field and moved back up to his original starting position behind the pace car.  On the 3rd lap, the green flag came out but only briefly when another car spun and got high-sided on a kerb in a precarious position.  This brought out the full course caution and because the event had hit the time limit of 6:00 pm, the officials were forced to end the race on the 4th lap.  At the stripe it was Alex Mayer, Nicho Vardis, Jose Gerardo, and Gary Hickman.  However, because Vardis has passed several cars under yellow to regain his start position, he was penalized two positions, dropping to 4th and moving Hickman on to the podium.


Full results- round 5:
1.  Alex Mayer
2.  Jose Gerardo
3.  Gary Hickman
4.  Nicho Vardis
5.  Glenn Cooper
6.  Pete Frost
7.  Kevin Roggenbuck
8.  Jeremy Hill
9.  Dave O'Leary
DNS-Jason Bell
DNS-Doug Hertz
DNS-Mike Meyers       


Prizes for Round 5
Hoosier Tires
1st- 4 tires -Alex Mayer
2nd-2 tires-Jose Gerardo
3rd-1 tire-Gary Hickman

Taylor Race Engineering
1st-$250 product certificate- Alex Mayer

Hard Charger Award-$200- Jose Gerardo

The grid for round 6 was set by each driver's fastest lap throughout the weekend, including the race.  Because the race was short and soggy, the grid was the same as for round 5. Weather for round 6 was iffy right up until the cars were called to false grid.  It had rained off and on all day but when the F1000 cars rolled out, it was sunny and dry, making for a fast race.

This time, the front row got away cleanly but in just the second turn after the green flag, Hickman was hit by a prototype car and spun, hitting the wall and ending his race on the first lap.  At the front, Mayer led Vardis for the entire race and Vardis was only able to close the gap slightly when the encountered traffic, but never got close enough to challenge for the lead. Behind the, Glenn Cooper took advantage of Hickman's misfortune and grabbed the 3rd spot, well ahead of Jose Gerardo.  The field ran in this order for several laps until lap 7 when Cooper's car suffered a suspension failure, forcing him to park it.  This gave 3rd to Gerardo who was running well back from the lead duo.  Mayer and Vardis were running a blistering pace and began lapping the field, lapping all except Gerardo. 
Behind Gerardo, Kevin Roggenbuck was running in a solid 4th with Pete Frost not too far behind.  Due to cars in other classes between them, Frost was never able to get close enough to fight for 4th.

Dave O'Leary took advantage of the attrition to move up 5 spots and win the Sunoco Hard Charger Award and he was followed by Mike Meyers.


Full results- round 6:
1.  Alex Mayer
2.  Nicho Vardis
3.  Jose Gerardo
4.  Kevin Roggenbuck
5.  Pete Frost
6.  Dave O'Leary
7.  Mike Meyers
DNF-Glenn Cooper
DNF-Gary Hickman
DNS-Jason Bell
DNS-Doug Hertz
DNS-Jeremy Hill


Prizes for Round 6
Hoosier Tires
1st- 4 tires -Alex Mayer
2nd-2 tires-Nicho Vardis
3rd-1 tire-Jose Gerardo

Taylor Race Engineering
1st-$250 product certificate- Alex Mayer

Hard Charger Award-$200- Dave O'Leary


With yet another sweep of both races, Mayer pads his lead in the championship and heads to Watkins Glen with a 53 point lead over Frost.  Gerardo has now moved into 3rd place.


1.  Alex Mayer-157
2.  Pete Frost-104
3.  Jose Gerardo-91
4.  Glenn Cooper-63
5.  Shane Prieto-41
6.  Nicho Vardis-40
7.  Joel Haas-35
8.  Jeremy Hill-34
9.  Kevin Roggenbuck-31
10.  Dave O'Leary-28
11.  Gary Hickman-18
12.  Mike Meyers-14

© Copyright 2016 US Formula 1000 Championship. All Rights Reserved.