Race Recap: UF1 Winter Series 2013 – Race 2 – Korean GP
Post Race Analysis
Round 2 of the 2013 UF1 Winter Series saw an increase of driver attendance. Sure it was only 1 more driver (44 from Round 1’s 43), but that shows that, even though Round 1 was a bit rocky, drivers love the series! And what a great Round 2 it was…
Qualifying was absolutely amazing. It’s only Round 2 and people have already figured out that a 3-minute run with less mistakes can certainly make a difference in qualifying position. Final seeding had the TOP 10 drivers within mere hundreths of a second and looked like real Formula 1 qualifying!
TQ for the day was Kevin Cole, putting in a stellar 5-lap average that beat out current Series leader Dave Berger by .003 of a second! Kevin has been known to throw down some amazingly fast single laps, but has now found the speed to put his Benetton Ford on top with the new format. Even though he finished 9th overall for the day, this guy is only moments away from putting his yellow and green Roche on the podium. Kevin also received the coveted +2 points for his TQ efforts.
Joining Kevin and Berger in the Top 10 would be: Steven Jackson, Patron Honda teammates Ron Shuur and Less Passehl, 3rd place finisher in Round 1 Aaron Lane, Tony Neisinger and Roel Espina. All of these guys put in incredible runs that cemented their place in the A-Group.
The A-Group finals could have been considered a bit rough as these guys were all fighting for maximum points. Traction came up late in the day causing some errors on the driver’s part (as well as some unusual traction rolling). Steven Jackson put in three great runs to tie Tony Neisinger for the top spot with 293 points. These two had a great race in Round 3 as Tony was looking for a way around Steve.
Independent driver Aaron Lane pulled off another 3rd place overall finish for the day. His pit strategy could be considered odd, but the guy sees himself in 3rd overall so far in the series, so he must be doing something right. With Race 1 and Race 2 having different 1st and 2nd place finishers, his consistent 3rd place overall’s might be all it takes to take the Series win. Aaron will also be flying the Team Lotus colors as a stand-in driver in Race 3 to replace the missing Mike Kennedy.
Lee Passehl pulls in a respectable 4th place finish for the day. His 290 points are good enough to keep the Patron Honda driver in 2nd overall, 1 point behind Berger. Look for him to up his game in Race 3 to grab the lead.
Speaking of Berger, the Repsol driver finished 5th place overall for the day. Average performances for the Series leader in Rounds 1 and 3 lost him some points to the field, but I’m sure he’ll get it gathered back up for Race 3. With Passehl 1 point behind and Lane only 7 points behind, he’ll need to be in top form to keep his lead.
Patron Honda teammate Ron Shuur earns a healthy 287 points for the day. His Round 1 win boosted him to take a 6th place overall for the day. For the Series Rocket Ron sits 15th overall, but that doesn’t take into account his Race 1 throwout. Ron is also campaigning a new car (the TOP Rebel F1) and says he loves it so far. He must with the results he’s pulling down…
Horizon Hobby Pres (and obviously awesome driver) Bill Jeric joins us for Race 2 of the Series. Bill joined us for Race 1 (as a spectator) and was immediately hooked. This was his first race on the car and the guy finishes with a 7th place overall for the day with 286 points. Oh, and he did this while running in the B-Group! Although he missed Race 1, he could potentially be a threat to the Top 5 if he makes the rest of the races (using Race 1 as his throwout). He currently sits 37th overall.
Taking the 8th place overall for the day is new Marlboro Mercedes driver Tyree Phillips. His 279 points not only gave him a Top 10 finish for the day, but also puts him 6th overall for the Series. When asked about this pairing with Phillips, teammate Steven Jackson said that he was a natural choice for the part. Even though both drivers are running different chassis (Jackson with a Exotek Tamiya and Phillips with a TRG), the two of them put in great runs and could be a force to make the podium in the Constructor’s Championship.
As mentioned above, Benetton Ford driver Kevin Cole rakes in 273 points for the day. His 271 +2 TQ points sets him 9th for the day and 4th overall for the Series. Kevin is another one of those guys that is just out of the Top 3…only 3 points behind Lane.
Rounding out the Top 10 is independent Tomas Schlick (aka Tom Kahl, aka I’m sure about 4-5 other names). Tom has been lingering in the background for awhile, taking a 13th overall in Race 1. His great Race 2 finish puts him tied for 10th overall for the Series with Jason Huang. I’d expect to see him push a little harder in Race 3 to securely place himself in the Top 10.
Just out of the day’s Top 10 is 2010 UF1 winner Craig Hammon. This guy is always a threat but some chassis troubles lately have put a damper on his efforts. Once he gets things back in order we’ll be seeing his name a lot more often.
Also out of the Top 10 is 2012 Winter Series Champ Mike Kennedy. Mike had a horrible showing in Race 1 with some parts failures and is still figuring out some chassis changes. The Lotus driver will be missing Race 3 in favor of a wedding, but should be back after that. He mentioned that the Winter Series is all about testing…some things go right, some go wrong. His eyes are set on a 2013 Summer Championship win…
Team Repsol continues to lead the Championship with 1099 points, just 15 points ahead of the Patron Honda boys. Passehl and Shuur made up 41 points in Race 2 and look to be coming on strong. The battle for 1st is getting exciting and we are only in Race 2!!!
The Benetton Ford team (with stand in driver Jason Huang) holds 3rd overall, just 22 points out of 2nd. The team has added Bill Martinez as their 2nd full-time driver. Martinez sits 12th overall in the Series; a uncharacteristic Race 2 dropped him quite a bit down the list. This team should be able to get back on track soon too. Will Martinez switch to a Roche car like the one Cole is driving? That could be dangerous…
Team Caterham F1 moves up a spot and sits in a comfortable 4th place. Hammon and Goldwater both had good outtings but will have to pick it up if they want to advance in the standings. They’re currently 61 points behind 3rd place Benetton.
Dropping to 5th overall is the Vodafone-McLaren team of Espina and Simmons. Both drivers finished the day a bit off the pace, hurting their Driver and Constructor Championship points. Now 6 points behind Caterham, they also have to look out for the Lotus boys that are finally getting things on track. Hard position to be in…attack and defend mode.
In 6th overall is Team Lotus. Phalen and Kennedy have been struggling a bit in the 2013 Winter Series doing some testing. Signs are good but some failed parts have really doused any flame under them. Both are hoping the throwouts will work to their advantage for the season finals.
It was great to see that Race 2 had a better turnout and a better result. On-track instances were kept to a minimum and announcer Johnny kept a cool head and things in check. As I mentioned last race, this is supposed to be fun and as long as everyone respects everyone else on the track it will continue to be. Heck, Cole bought Johnny lunch (there might have been a hug in there too, but I missed it)! Now that’s some sportsmanship (and putting water under the bridge). Looking forward to Race 3 and both the amazing qualifying results and finishing order. Keep up the good work guys! See ya at the track!
The Pit Lane can be a do-or-die instance. While we are trying to make the lane easily accessible, easy to see and, with the new V2 timer, easier to know when the lane is open or closed, there still needs to be some constraint when entering and exiting. Keep a mental note in your head when you might want to pit and pay attention to the cars around you. YOU know when you’re going in, but the guy behind you doesn’t. Approach the lane with caution and enter at a slower, controlled pace. You can even verbally announce that you are going into the pit to the driver behind. Don’t banzai in as you might hit the Pit Boss, smack the rail or even get caught up in the carpet. If you mess up your Pit entry (or exit), it’s YOUR fault. The Pit Boss is not obligated to get your car, the marshall is. If the Pit Boss leaves his post to get your car and another car comes in the pit, who’s losing out there? Control, control, control.
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