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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Formula F Blog - October 2013 Recap

Herta Wins Pacific Formula F Championship
Second-generation racer Colton Herta swept the season finale triple-header race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to claim the Pacific Formula F1600 Championship in his first season of Formula F racing.
Herta, the 13-year-old son of former Honda-powered IndyCar and ALMS driver Bryan Herta followed up a stellar karting career by scoring 10 victories in his Honda-powered PR1 Motorsports Mygale Formula F to claim the title over season-long rival and teammate Joey Bickers.
Bickers won four races in the 15-round championship, and consistent podium finishes kept him in the championship hunt going into the final weekend of the season.  Between them, Herta and Bickers won all but one round in 2013, with only veteran David Cheng’s win at Thunderhill’s round two interrupting their victory march.
At the Las Vegas road course finale, Bickers took the pole for the first race, but fell behind Herta at the start and eventually had to battle the Lynx Racing Spectrum Honda of Alex Keyes to hang on to second at the finish, with Keyes third.  Colton won from the pole in race two, clinching the title when Bickers slid off course on the opening lap.  Bickers eventually recovered to finish third behind Keyes, who scored his best result of the season.
In the third and final race of the weekend, Herta again started from the pole, but faced a strong challenge from Bickers as the pair exchanged the lead until Herta took command mid-race, with Bickers finishing second and Andrew Evans rounding out the podium in his Lynx Racing Spectrum Honda.  More information on the Pacific F1600 Championship series is available at www.pacificF2000.com.
Formula F Webcast Episode 3 Premiers
Produced by Mathisen Media with the support of Honda Performance Development, the latest episode in a series of four webcasts dedicated to Formula F competition has debuted at http://youtu.be/4rj3TstiEVI.
The video series provides Formula F race highlights, coupled with testamonials from Honda-powered IndyCar drivers touting the virtues of Formula F competition and the lessons learned from Formula F racing earlier in their careers.
The first “F1600 In Focus” webcast featured race in-car footage from the F1600 Formula F Championship Series weekends at Mid-Ohio and Summitt Point, including current IndyCar driver Tristan Vautier’s one-off return to Formula F competition at Mid-Ohio.
Honda IndyCar (and former Formula F) drivers making appearances in the video series include Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Charlie Kimball and Josef Newgarden.
Team USA Prepares for Formula F Festivals
A pair of young American Honda-powered Formula F drivers headed to England for the famed season-ending Formula F “Festival” events at Brands Hatch and Silverstone as part of the annual Team USA Scholarship program.
Joey Bickers, a 21-year-old Californian and championship runner-up in the Pacific Formula F1600 Championship; and Jake Eidson, 18, winner of the 2013 eastern US Formula F title, represented the USA and took  
part in both the annual FF Festival at the famed Brands Hatch circuit October 26-27, and the Walter Hayes Trophy race weekend at Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix, November 2-4.
As the newest members of Team USA Scholarship, Bickers and Eidson follow in the footsteps of previous scholarship winners [and eventual Honda-powered IndyCar drivers] Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Buddy Rice, Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand and Josef Newgarden.
The Team USA Scholarship program has been boosting the careers of young (ages 16-22) American racers since 1990.  Honda Performance Development has been a proud sponsor of this effort since the institution of the Honda Racing Line program in 2010.  More information on Team USA can be found at the organization’s website, www.TeamUSAScholarship.org, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
Kautz Defends Formula F Title at SCCA Runoffs
Tim Kautz, the first Honda-powered Formula F National Champion with his victory in the 2012 SCCA Runoffs, successfully defended his title in his Piper Honda last month at Road America, after a race-long battle with the Van Diemen Ford of Reid Hazelton.
Drivers from across North America qualify for the Runoffs with their race finishes in SCCA National competition throughout the season, but the title “national champion” can only be earned by winning the final race of the season, which this year is celebrated its 50th anniversary at the historic Road America circuit in central Wisconsin.
More than 700 SCCA club racers – including a record total of 63 Honda and Acura drivers took part in this year’s runoffs, one of the largest fields on record.  Included in that number were 12 Formula F racers utilizing the Honda L15A7 engine, also a record for Honda participation in the revitalized category and making up exactly half of the 24-driver entry in this popular category.
Kautz and Hazelton traded the lead repeatedly throughout the 13-lap contest, including at four times on the final lap.  In the run to the checkers, Kautz edged to the front, when it counted the most, to claim the title by just a tenth of a second over his rival.  Jeff Bartz made it a 1-3 result for Honda-powered drivers as the manufacturer claimed six of the top-10 finishing positions.
Additional information on the SCCA National Championship Runoffs can be found at www.scca.com. 

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