F600 CHALLENGE SERIES: USF 2000 MID-OHIO RACE WEEKEND
Friday qualifying: Clint McMahan qualified 14th and Alex Mayer 15th out of 18 cars. We started
on old tires (50+ laps) to run the fuel load down, then switched to new tires. Lap times dropped
to our final qualifying time of 1:22.937 (Clint) and 1:23.356 (Alex). If Clint could have dropped a
second off his current qualifying time it would have put him up to 4th on the grid, this shows how
competitive this series is.
Friday Race 1: Clint and Alex started out strong both gaining several positions. Towards the end
of the race both cars developed a push. Clint hung on for a 13th place finish and Alex finished
15th. Both drivers did a great job in their first ever Cooper Tires USF 2000 race, especially with
the extreme push that developed during the race in such a competitive field.
Saturday Race 2: We started Race 2 back in our qualifying positions from Friday. Clint pitted
with what he thought was low water temperature, but it turned out to be a bad sensor. He was
able to make it back out, but in his out lap a tire went flat as he turned in to Turn #9 and caused
him to put the car into the wall ending the race for Clint. Another solid drive from Alex led him
to a 15th place finish in race 2.
Saturday Race 3: The number 9 crew worked right up until race 3 to get the car ready after the
incident in race 2. Once again the 9 and 10 car started race 3 in their qualifying order from Friday.
Clint drove a very conservative race but was taken out with just a few laps to go by the number 16 car.
Alex drove a great race gaining several positions.
Weekend Summary: This was a very educational experience of how a pro-series runs and operates. The
competition in the series is very strong, made up of drivers from all over the world and well
known professional teams that have been in the series for many years. We learned that the USF
2000 Series is very different from our own F600 Challenge Series in many ways. First, in understanding
how the track condition changes throughout the sessions due to the various tire compounds that
are laid down by the different tire manufacturers in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Pirelli World
Challenge Series, and Mazda Road to Indy Series. Second, the USF2000 cars themselves are very different and
learning the car and various setups are very important in such a competitive series where times are
only separated by a tenth of a second. The drivability, steering and handling of the USF2000 cars
are much different from the F600 car and will take seat time to master. Lastly, the professionalism
of the series itself. We had several mandatory driver meetings throughout the weekend, a crew
chief’s meeting and a driver’s autograph session. It was an overall positive experience and we
feel that we will be coming into next season more competitive and with a better understanding of
how the series runs and operates.
The Formula 600 community should be very proud of the performance of our number 9 driver
Clint McMahan and the crew made up of our very own: Matt Strand, A.J. Snyder, Aaron Ellis,
Dan McMahan, Ryan Barth, Jim Lung and Paul Boring. We would like to thank Ryan Barth,
head of RJB Motorsports, for managing race operations for the weekend. We would also like
to give a special thanks to the number 10 driver Alex Mayer and his crew Nick Mayer and Mike Beauchamp.
We are very thankful for our sponsors who have made the F600 Challenge Series possible:
Metalloid Corporation of Sturgis, Michigan (http://www.metalloidcorp.com
Shrieve Chemical Products of Houston, Texas (http://www.shrieve.com
Hoosier Racing Tire (http://www.hoosiertire.com
Honda Performance Development (http://www.hpd.honda.com/racing-line)
Solo Performance Specialties (SPS) (http://www.soloperformance.com)
Pegasus Auto Racing Supplies (http://www.PegasusAutoRacing.com)
Please visit our website at www.theformula600challenge.com
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