For Immediate Release:
Veteran Drivers lead the way In Round 1 of 2017
From Homestead Miami Speedway.Jan.8th, 2017. A very exciting start to the 2017 season is in the books on Sunday morning at the Homestead Miami Speedway. The scheduled race which was to take place on Saturday was postponed to the first race on Sunday morning due to heavy rain and delays in the schedule. A dramatic weather change since the first day created some challenging conditions . When the cars rolled out Thursday it was 80 degrees and quite hot. When the cars hit the track Sunday morning the temps had dropped in the forties with very high winds reaching 20-30 miles per hour .
The teams started the weekend running the Generation 2 American Racer tires for the first time so it had everyone guessing on what set up to run each day. On Friday Kerry Jacobson was turning very quick times in the low 1.24's and seemed like the Comprent team had a good handle on the new tires. He captured the pole for race 1 with 2016 champ Paul Schneider in 2nd and newcomer to the series Becker Reardon in 3rd. The entire grid was separated by just over a second so we were looking at some very close racing.
When the green flag waved Sunday morning Kerry Jacobson took the lead with Paul Schneider ,Reardon, Mason, McCusker,and Gordon Following close behind. Times were a couple seconds slower then qualifying because of the cold temps and high winds. Everyone was feeling each other out and staying very close together from front to back. Once a couple laps were in the books we had a couple spins by Todd Vanacore Becker Reardon and Ray Mason. The Reardon spin eliminated him from the competition but we were definitely impressed with the speed of the rookie from Indiana. While Jacobson and Schneider were running nose to tail much of the race the battle behind them was really brewing. A great race between Justin Gordon, Austin McCusker and the 2nd Alliance driver in his first race ever in one of the cars Quinten Nelson. His team boss Scott Rettich gave the youngster the Ok to drive the car for the Homestead weekend and he was really impressive in his first event. We hope to see him back in the car next weekend at Sebring.
Many of the drivers were battling winter time gremlins which slowed their performance including Trevor Cooper. They fought one problem after another but still managed a decent qualifying time. Trevor had a great 4th place finish at the final race of 2016 with a very talented group at Road Atlanta. Justin Gordon was also getting up to speed after missing the test day as his team worked day and night finishing his car. They arrived at the track early Friday morning and he jumped in after a quick set up. There is talent from front to back of the field and we should see a few more cars at Sebring next weekend.
On the restart with 2 laps to go it was very intense, Jacobson took the lead and Schneider and Justin Gordon jumped into 3rd past McCusker. Schneider made a pass around Jacobson with one lap to go but Jacobson was able to get back around him before the finish. The real battle was behind them as five people were battling for the 3rd and final podium spot. They came around the banking 3 to 4 wide with Nelson a wheel ahead, Gordon below him and McCusker under and Trevor Cooper right behind. The top 3 ended up Jacobson, Schneider and Nelson. Gordon pulled out a 4th place and Austin McCusker rounding out the top 5.
The 2nd round will take place at 4:30 this afternoon and I expect each team is making all kinds of changes as they learn from each time out on the track. Another great weekend for the series and we are extremely happy with all the new drivers. Flynn Lazier (son of Indy Champ Buddy) will be back in the Primus car at Sebring and we will also see Tom Green and lee Rackley attend that event as well. I am particularly happy about the grid we will have at Road Atlanta in March. Commitments for that event now exceed 20 cars. The GPfour Championship is growing at a rapid pace and we are thrilled with the exposure we gain every day.
results from round 1
1) Kerry Jacobson
2) Paul Schneider
3) Quinton Nelson
4) Justin Gordon
5) Austin McCusker
6) Trevor Cooper
7) Mark Schneider
8) Todd Vanacore
9) Ray Mason
10) Becker Reardon