De Silva, Hope Share Honors at Pacific F2000 Finale
 November 4, 2016| 
  • Feeder Series
FONTANA, Calif. – The Pacific Formula F2000 Championship Presented by Primus Racing Parts returned to Auto Club Speedway last weekend, 10 months after the series’ 13th season kicked off at the same 2.88-mile road course inscribed within the two-mile oval. Since then Tim De Silva has taken the series by storm winning races and setting lap records at Willow Springs, Buttonwillow, Mazda Raceway and Sonoma Raceway on his way to clinching the series title in the last round. De Silva, 20, also earned himself an entry into the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout which will take place early next month at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The final race weekend of the season began in the same vein as De Silva claimed pole position, set the fastest race lap and led Saturday’s race from flag to flag for Dave Freitas Racing during the California Sports Car Club-hosted Pacific Coast Road Racing Championship weekend. Sunday’s finale looked set for a repeat until a rare mistake by De Silva opened the door for 2015 champion Tom Hope to score just his second victory of the season for H+M Racing.

A broken clutch prevented Scott Vreeland from taking the start on Saturday, while Hope was left stranded on the grid after his engine refused to fire.

De Silva was chased initially by impressive Canadian debutant Mitch Egner from Kelowna, B.C., who remained in contention for much of the way before eventually taking the checkered flag just over 5.5 seconds in arrears of the champion.

Alex Kirby made a strong return to the series in the Fast Forward Components Piper, finishing third ahead of Hope who was granted a lifeline when the initial attempt at a start was waved off. Hope took full advantage as he caught up to the pack, then charged through the field to finish fourth ahead of series veterans Ira Fierberg, who claimed top Masters honors, and Bob Negron.

Perfect weather conditions on Saturday were replaced by light rain as the cars lined up for the final race of the season on Sunday. Harin De Silva gambled by fitting Pirelli rain tires to his own Dave Freitas Racing Van Diemen, while everyone else, including pole-sitting son Tim, chose to remain on slicks.

That proved to be the correct decision as the precipitation eased, although the tricky conditions caught out the younger De Silva, who spun out of the lead on Lap Four. Hope took over at the front but was unable to shake off Egner, who slipped past on Lap Seven and soon began to edge clear...until, cruelly, being sidelined by a broken throttle cable with just four laps remaining. Egner did gain some consolation by posting the fastest lap of the race at 1:40.026 (103.653 mph).

Hope regained the lead, only to come under pressure again from the recovering Tim De Silva. The pair was separated by just half-a-second at the finish line, although De Silva later received a three-place penalty after inadvertently passing another car under yellow flags.

Negron therefore took a season-high second place ahead of Kirby, who secured a second successive podium finish. The elder De Silva made use of his wet weather tires to finish fourth.

The complete race weekend results are posted here and the final championship positions here.
  • 24-04-10-jhdd3
    • Team News
  • Banner
    • Series News
  • Garcia_Race 1 USF
    • Series News
  • Garcia Banner
    • Series News
  • 24-04-02-evagoras
    • Team News