Friday, November 2, 2012
The tight battle for the F1600 Formula F Championship Series came down to the final race of the season, as Matias Koykka edged Brandon Newey for the title by a scant seven points after the pair traded wins at Watkins Glen to wrap up the 12-race championship fight.
One week earlier, Connor Ford concluded his dominating run to the Corsa Car Care Pacific Formula F Super Series by sweeping the doubleheader series finale weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The victories gave Ford nine wins out of 12 races in his PR1 Motorsports Mygale Honda.
At the October 19-21 Watkins Glen weekend, Koykka brought a 15-point lead into the finale and helped his cause by winning Saturday’s race in his Cape Motorsports Spectrum Honda after a race-long battle with Newey’s Bryan Herta Autosport Mygale Honda.
On Sunday, Newey had to win to maintain his championship hopes and did so, scoring his fourth victory of the year over Adrian Starrantino, making a strong series debut, and veteran open-wheel racer Neil Alberico. But Koykka came home fourth, and that was enough for the 19-year-old Finn to score his first North American racing title.
Koykka also posted four race wins, but a trio of second-place finishes – against just two for Newey – made the difference in the final points total.
“It was a team effort all the way,” Koykka said. “It was an eventful season, full of ups and downs, but the team made a fantastic job to make us fast all season long. I hope to get to more of what I enjoy [racing] next season. But for now, we’ll take a moment to enjoy, then head straight to next year’s preparations.”
In Las Vegas, Ford came to the final race weekend of 2012 having already clinched his second professional racing title, adding the Formula F crown to the Formula F2000 championship he won in 2011.
Making his Formula F racing debut, 16-year-old Cooper Tire Prototype Lights Champion and Team USA scholarship winner Tristan Nunez qualified second in Saturday’s opening race and battled with Ford throughout the 16-lap contest. After trading the lead with Nunez in the early laps, Ford edged out to a 2.5-second margin he held to the finish.
On Sunday, it was a repeat performance as once again, the duo traded the lead in the early laps before Ford once more edged away to a narrow victory.
Both Ford and Koykka plan to move up racing’s ladder in 2013, as do their rivals, Newey and Nunez. All four are drivers to watch in the future.