May 092013

As the teams and drivers for the Formula 1200 series rolled in for the Friday test day, there was a buzz around the paddock.  There are some notable drivers missing from the field this year, including 2012 runner up Steve Bamford, and multi-race winner Andrew McMurray.  The field was still a very competitive 16 cars strong for the weekend, with 15 drivers chasing 5 time defending champion Michael Iamundi.   Newcomers to the series are rookie and Masters driver Philip Kritzinger, and former Pro Formula Vee driver, also competing in Masters, Dermot Ennis.

Qualifying would see familiar names at the front of the field, with Phil Wang taking the pole by just 0.06 seconds over Kevin Kapelke, and Iamundi just 0.8 seconds back.  Andrew Waring had an engine go in morning practice, so didn’t get a qualifying time and started the first race in last place.

The start of race 1 had a 3 car break away of Wang, Kapelke, and Iamundi right off the start, closely followed by Spencer Todd, Noel Brigido, Matt Garwood, and Bill Michell.  It would take just 4 laps for Waring to work his way through the field and catch the lead group.  The now lead group of 4 cars swapped positions throughout the remainder of the race.  The final lap had significant jockeying of position on the back straight, with Iamundi coming out on top for the win.  Kapelke, Waring, and Wang all followed closely in tow, all within 0.5 seconds of the lead.  Brigido would finish just a few seconds back to finish out the top 5.  Bill Mitchell took the win in Master’s class, with Kritzinger finishing as top rookie.

Race 2 was another close race at the front of the field.  Todd added to the group to make it a 5 car battle for the lead.  Garwood, Brigido, and Mitchell had a spirited battle as the second group, just a few seconds off the lead group.  The lead changed 6 times at the stripe, but would again come down to final lap strategy of Iamundi to take the win.  Waring, Wang, Todd, and Kapelke rounded out the top 5, all within 1.4 seconds of the lead.  Mitchell would again take the Master’s win, with Sid Nye finishing as top rookie.

The lead group in race 3 would grow even stronger again, with Brigido, Garwood, and Mitchell all closely in tow, making the fight for 1st 8 cars strong.  Iamundi led the majority of the race, but with three laps remaining, Brigido made a strong move from 6th to 1st in just a one lap.  He would hold it until the final lap, when it would again come down to the back straight and the final three corners.  Iamundi and Wang took Brigido on the straight to solidify 1st and 2nd.  On a last ditched effort in turn 10, Kapelke went on the inside of Brigido, but couldn’t make it stick, and the cars made contact, sending Brigido spinning to the outside of the track.  Mitchell would also be collected, coming into contact with Brigido.  Waring managed to avoid the accident to take 3rd place, followed by a recovered Kapelke, and Garwood.  Brigido and Mitchell both got going again to finish 6th and 7th respectively.

With the weekend sweep, Iamundi took full points of 300.  Waring is in 2nd with 244, and Wang just in 3rd with 236.  Mitchell swept the Masters class with 300 points over Dave Aird with 234 and Kritzinger with 204 points.  Sid Nye holds the rookie points lead with 124 points, just over Kritzinger with 108 points.