Megennis Finishes as Highest-Ranked American, Hard Charger and Rookie
 September 12, 2016| 
  • Team News
MONTEREY, Calif. -- After the Soul Red Championship Sunday concluded, 16-year-old Robert Megennis officially became the highest finishing rookie, the season-long Tilton Hard Charger Award winner – given to the driver who completes the most overtakes in a race – and the highest finishing American driver in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Presented by Mazda.
“I’m really proud of the team and how we have fought adversity and kept fighting all season long,” said Megennis. “To be the highest ranked American is an accolade I am most proud of. This is one of the most competitive fields in the series history, so to be representing my country is something that is hard to describe.”
The New York, N.Y., resident was joined by two rookie teammates this weekend, Kaylen Frederick and Phillippe Denes. The young drivers are part of Team Pelfrey’s F1600 Formula Championship Series team. Denes and Frederick are both race winners in the F1600 Championship and were given an opportunity to compete in the final race weekend on the Mazda Road to Indy.
The newcomers picked up on the Van Diemen’s traits, most notably Phillippe Denes, who collected an impressive seventh-place finish in Race One after starting from the 15th position. The youngest competitor this weekend, Frederick, didn’t let his youth or experience define his weekend. The 14-year-old’s natural speed and flair led to a very impressive Mazda Road to Indy debut at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
For Sunday’s second and final USF2000 Championship race of the weekend, Megennis stormed through the field on the first lap, going from 11th to eighth. Denes and Frederick battled back and forth for 14th place. Megennis was glued to the back of competitor Yufeng Luo for most of the race, but held on for eighth place. Denes finished in 11th, with Frederick closely behind in 13th.
The off season officially begins for Megennis, whose focus now switches to testing the new USF-17 Taatus chassis and vying for a final spot on the prestigious Team USA Scholarship program. For Denes and Frederick, the F1600 stars will return to Virginia International Raceway for the season Finale, October 1-2.
Robert Megennis
Race One
: S: 11, F: 8
Race Two: S: 11, F: 8
Kaylen Frederick
Race One
: S: 12, F: 13
Race Two: S: 13, F: 13
Phillippe Denes
Race One
: S: 15, F: 7
Race Two: S: 15, F: 11
Robert Megennis: “This season was such a great experience. You learn a lot about yourself more mentally in this series than I did last year. I don’t want to the season to be over – and I guess it doesn’t feel like it because it isn’t. I go to the Team USA Scholarship shootout next weekend at Palm Beach International Raceway, then train before testing the new Tatuus USF-17 at IMS [Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course]. If I make through at PBIR, then I would leave immediately for England after the weekend testing. I’m pumped not only to keep racing, but also for my partners, Palo Alto Networks and Turo for their continued support all season long!”
Kaylen Frederick: “Stepping up to USF2000 was a lot of fun. This car has a lot more power than the F1600, and having the front and rear wings allows us to really stay on the throttle through the corners. It was challenging, but I feel like I started to really understand the track and the car with every lap this weekend. I’m really looking forward to stepping back into the Pilot One Racing F1600 car at VIR.”
Phillippe Denes: “Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is my home track, so I felt right at home when I got into the new car because I’ve learned the line here and understand how to make up time around here. The new car was awesome, I’m thankful for the experience and it’s a nice change of pace before going to VIR for the season finale in F1600.”
  • Schwartz
    • Team News
  • Banner
    • Team News
  • Sikes
    • Series News
  • Schwartz Banner
    • Series News
  • Papasavvas Banner
    • Series News