Road Atlanta-March 2016 (Round 1 & 2)

The 2016 US Formula 1000 Championship Fueled by Sunoco got underway Friday with a practice and qualify sessions.  However, the Thursday test day helped shape the weekend for two contenders.  Shane Prieto’s engine spun a bearing necessitating an engine swap that limited his track time and forced him to miss Q1.  Meanwhile, Glenn Cooper suffered gearbox problems that were more terminal. His weekend ended before it began.

When qualifying got underway Alex Mayer picked up where he left off at last year’s race, taking the pole ahead of Jeremy Hill and Joel Haas.  Prieto got back on track for Q2 and was quick enough to grab the 4th spot on the grid.


Grid for round 1:
1. Alex Mayer-1:20.674
2. Jeremy Hill-1:22.348
3. Joel Haas-1:23.684
4. Shane Prieto-1:23.919
5. Jose Gerardo-1:24.602
6. Pete Frost-1:25.695
7. Glenn Cooper-no time


Round 1 got off the a rough start even before the green flag.  As the field got ready for the start several cars checked up to avoid a stack-up.  Haas narrowly missed running into the back of Hill but Gerardo hit the back of Haas.  Haas’ car was damage but he was able to continue but the damage to Gerardo’s car ended his race before it even started.  The botched start brought out a full course caution but once the race restarted a few laps later it was all Mayer.  He continued to build a gap back to Hill until lap 6 when Hill started leaking fluid and chose to park.  Behind Hill, Haas, Prieto, and Frost were waging an exciting battle, in that order.  Once Hill dropped out, Prieto was able to make a mover on Haas for second while Frost faded in the closing laps. 


Final race results- round 1:
1. Alex Mayer
2. Shane Prieto
3. Joel Haas
4. Pete Frost
5. Jeremy Hill
6. Jose Gerardo
7. Glenn Cooper


Prize payout- round 1
1st Place – Alex Mayer - 4 Hoosier Tires
2nd Place – Shane Prieto- 2 Hoosier Tires
3rd Place – Joel Haas- 1 Hoosier Tire
Sunoco Hard Charger ($200)- Shane Prieto

The grid for round 2 was set by each driver's fastest lap throughout the weekend, including the race.  Both Prieto and Frost improved their lap times in the race, it wasn’t enough to shuffle the grid.


Grid for round 2:

1.  Alex Mayer-1:20.674
2.  Jeremy Hill-1:22.348
3.  Joel Haas-1:23.684
4.  Shane Prieto-1:23.817
5.  Jose Gerardo-1:24.602
6.  Pete Frost-1:25.557
7.  Glenn Cooper-no time


Mayer tried to make round 2 a replay of the day before but Hill made him work for it.  With no traffic to contend with, Hill was able to attack Mayer early in the race while fending off a charge from Prieto.  In the end, Mayer completed his sweep of the weekend, leaving Hill in second and Prieto in third.  This relegated Haas to fourth and Frost to fifth.  Gerardo’s car was repaired in time for the race but he was unable to challenge for position and settled for sixth.


Final race results- round 2:
1. Alex Mayer
2. Jeremy Hill
3. Shane Prieto
4. Joel Haas
5. Pete Frost
6. Jose Gerardo
7. Glenn Cooper (DNS)


Prize payout- round 2
1st Place – Alex Mayer - 4 Hoosier Tires
2nd Place – Jeremy Hill- 2 Hoosier Tires
3rd Place – Shane Prieto- 1 Hoosier Tire
Sunoco Hard Charger ($200)- Shane Prieto


With a sweep of both races, Mayer leaves Road Atlanta with a big lead in the championship, Prieto and Haas are 2nd and 3rd.

1.  Alex Mayer-56
2.  Shane Prieto-41
3.  Joel Haas-35
4.  Pete Frost-33
5.  Jeremy Hill-21
6.  Jose Gerardo-15
7.  Glenn Cooper-0

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