Pacific F2000: De Silva Claims Victory after Late Race Pass
 July 5, 2016| 
  • Feeder Series
Sonoma, Calif. – Timothy De Silva shook off his retirement on Friday with a daring late race pass for the lead and held on to claim victory in round 10 of the Pacific Formula F2000/F1600 Championship presented by Primus Racing Parts. The race was held at Sonoma Raceway with the San Francisco Region of the SCCA in their SFR Championship Series Double Regional.

Round 10 began on Saturday afternoon with a 4:00pm qualifying session where it took Timothy De Silva (#3 TLP Racing/DRF Van Diemen) just three laps to put up a lap at 1m34.476s to claim his eighth pole position of the season. Starting alongside De Silva on the front row will be Scott Huffaker (#09 Van Diemen RF02). Tom Hope (#10 Primus Racing Parts/Dart/H+M Racing Van Diemen RF03) and Bob Negron (#9 Terri Negron Web Design/Rosy’s at the Beach/Negron Racing Van Diemen RF99) will occupy the second row of the grid, followed by Scott Vreeland (#51 Redhorse Constructors/Porter Racing/BV Training Van Diemen RF01), Paul Rodler (#45 Porter Racing 1991 Swift DB6/Pinto), Peter West (#99, Racing Optics/Kodenko Jeans/Malibu Health/Frank Monise MotorsDFR Van Diemen RF05), Harin de Silva (#96 DFR Van Diemen RF06), Tim Fass (#34 Fass Brothers Racing Van Diemen RF96), Ken Rozeboom (#81 Porter Racing Van Diemen RF02), Geoffrey Fass (#85 Fass Brothers Racing Van Diemen RF96) and William Jordanov (#59, Van Diemen RF99).

In a precautionary move prior to the race, the Dave Freitas Racing crew after detecting some strange sounds from the gearbox in De Silva's Van Diemen while warming up the engine, managed to change first and second gears in just enough time to reach the grid in time for the start of the race.

Huffaker, buoyed by his victory in round nine, used his front row starting position to vault into the lead ahead of pole sitter Tim De Silva as the field rounded Turn One, and headed up the hill into Turn Two the competitors began to settle into a single file, serpentine formation. By the time the first lap was complete it remained Huffaker in the lead closely followed by De Silva, Hope, Negron, Vreeland, West, Rodler, Harin De Silva, Fass, Rozeboom and Jordanov.

Lap three saw Hope fall behind Negron which lasted for two laps before Hope reclaimed his hold on third place as the remainder of the field began to stretch out.

For the first several laps Huffaker managed to have a small gap before T. De Silva began to close in and apply pressure which he was able to maintain throughout the race. Huffaker under intense pressure drove line perfect lap after lap managing to keep De Silva behind.

As the race wore on the pressure continued with De Silva challenging Huffaker at several points around the track until lap 17 entering Turn One De Silva, having the benefit of fresher tires due to his retirement on Friday and only running three laps during qualifying, gained an advantage coming out of Turn 11. De Silva found his way inside Huffaker and as the pair negotiated Turn One Huffaker, after contact, went wide, through the dirt and ceded the position losing several seconds. This pass enabled De Silva to claim the lead which he was to hold to the end. After breaking a track record that had stood for nearly 20 years, De Silva who set a new record on Friday proceeded to set another record on Sunday setting a lap of 1m34.134s.

Huffaker tried to claw back the lost seconds but this was to no avail and he was forced to settle for second place. This finish enabled Huffaker to close in on second place in the standings.

Hope finished in third place for his ninth consecutive podium result.

Negron, who briefly held third after an overnight gear change, was still unable to fend off Hope and finished in fourth while claiming the Master Class win for the second consecutive event.

Vreeland had another steady run to finish in fifth and was followed to the flag by DFR teammatesWest in sixth and Harin De Silva in seventh, Rodler in his lone Swift DB6, Rozeboom and Jordanov.

This season the Pacific Formula F2000 Championship Series is included in the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200k Scholarship Shootout in 2016. The shootout will be expanded to include the champions of junior open-wheel and karting series both nationally and internationally. The winner of the knockout style shootout will be provided with a $200k Scholarship to enter the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2017 – the first rung in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder sanctioned by INDYCAR.

The Mazda Road to Indy is the only driver development program of its type in the world offering a clear, scholarship-funded path to the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500.

The Pacific F2000/F1600 series has a rich history and includes among its alumni drivers J.R. Hildebrand, 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, Dane Cameron, IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Series Prototype and GTD winning driver, and Prototype driver Tristin Nunez along with Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires point leading driver Patricio O’Ward and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda drivers Nikita Lastochkin, Yufeng Luo and Tazio Ottis.

The series now moves to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for the final two rounds on October 29/30.

Qualifying: 1. Timothy de Silva (Van Diemen RF01), 1m34.476s; 2. Scott Huffaker (Van Diemen RF02), 1m35.474s ; 3.Tom Hope (Van Diemen RF03), 1m35.548s; 4. Bob Negron (Van Diemen RF99), 1m36.726s; 5. Scott Vreeland (Van Diemen RF01), 1m37.307; 6. Paul Rodler (Swift DB6/Pinto), 1m38.574s; 7. Peter West, (Van Diemen RF05), 1m38.694s; 8. Harindra De Silva (Van Diemen RF06), 1m38.725s; 9. Tim Fass, (Van Diemen RF96/Pinto), 1m41.328s; 10. Ken Rozeboom, (Van Diemen RF02), 1m41.687s; 11. Geoffrey Fass, (Van Diemen RF96/Pinto), 1m42.429s; 12. William Jordanov, (Van Diemen RF99), 1m43.364s. All cars run on Ford Zetec engines, unless noted and Pirelli Tires.

Round 10 (18 laps): 1. T. De Silva, 2. Huffaker,+4.642s;  3. Hope, +26.875s; 4. Negron, +51.352s; 5. Vreeland, +57.787s; 6. West, +1:26.970s; 7. H. De Silva, +1:33.222; 8. Rodler, +1:35.578; 9. Rozeboom, +1 lap; 10. Jordanov, +1 lap; 11. T. Fass, +17 laps.

Fastest race lap: T. De Silva, 1m34.134s (record).
Master class winner (over 50): Negron.

Points: 1. T. De Silva, 245; 2. Hope, 213; 3. Huffaker, 203; 4. Hakewill, 142; 5. Funk, 119; 6. H. De Silva, 113; 7. West, 107; 8. Armington, 97; 9. Vreeland, 83; 10. Kirby, 82; 11. Fierberg, Kodenko, 54;  13. Negron, 47; 14. Ellsworth, 41; 15. Fabijanic, 30.

The series can be followed at https://www.facebook.com/pacificf2000racing and https://www.twitter.com/PacificF2000.
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