Pacific F2000: Hope Wins at Rainy Auto Club Speedway
 February 1, 2016| 
  • Feeder Series
Fontana, Calif. – The second round of the Pacific Formula F2000/F1600 Championship presented by Primus Racing Parts at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., was held under changing conditions which included heavy and intermittent rain, a drying track and even a brief spot of sunlight. The race was held on the infield 2.88-mile road course, difficult in the dry due to its flat featureless nature becomes treacherous in the wet as large puddles develop and rivers of water drain across the track surface. The event was run with Cal Club as part of the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour.  

The Pacific Formula F2000 Championship Series is included in the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200k Scholarship Shootout in 2016. 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.

Starting positions for Sunday's race were determined by selecting the fastest lap posted in either qualifying or Saturday's race and yielded Tom Hope (#10 Primus Racing Parts/Dart/H+M Racing Van Diemen RF03), who posted a time of 1m39.983s in qualifying to take the pole position. Hope was joined on the front row by Timothy de Silva (#3 DFR Van Diemen RF01) with a time of 1m40.261s to edge Alex Kirby by .001 of a second. The second row was headed by Alex Kirby (#81 LA Prep Inc./Fast Forward Components/Piper Race Cars Piper DL7) and James Hakewill (#88 Van Diemen RF03). The third row was made up of Harin de Silva (#96 DFR Van Diemen RF06) and Scott Huffaker (#09 Van Diemen RF02). In the fourth row were Ira Fierberg (#27 Sparco/Injury Law/LDF Pro Fitness/The Yard/DFR Van Diemen RF05) and Connor Funk (#97 DFR Van Diemen RF03) followed by Peter West (#99 Racing Optics/Kodenko Jeans/Malibu Health/Frank Monise Motors/DFR Van Diemen RF05) with Saturday's race winner Robert Armington choosing to sit out this round and Scott Vreeland unable to start by not having rain tires.

As the cars left the grid under threatening skies, the rain began to fall and by the time the pace lap was complete and the field took the green flag the track was completely drenched. As on Saturday there again was a split start and as the flag fell the field opened up as following drivers sought to find visibility through the spray. It was Tom Hope from his pole position who eased into the lead followed by Tim de Silva, Hakewill, Huffaker and Kirby, Funk, Harin de Silva, Fierberg and West. By the end of the first lap it was Hope with a margin over Huffaker, having moved up several positions, Hakewill, Funk, Kirby, T. de Silva who lost out on his front row position, H. de Silva, Fierberg and West.

On lap two while Hope was streaking away and already encountering slower traffic, Funk surged past Hakewill for third place only to lose it a lap later and Fierberg passed H. De Silva for seventh.

The order remained static for several laps until lap 8 when Kirby found his way around Funk for fourth place and began to challenge Hakewill in front. Hakewill in turn moved in and took second from Huffaker on lap 9.

The next time around Kirby had slipped by both Huffaker and Hakewill to briefly hold second position behind Hope who was well clear in the lead.  Kirby’s hold on second place lasted only one lap as the next time around, lap 13, he was caught out by water streaming across the track before turn 7 and spun into the grass and just touched one of the barriers putting an end to his day as everyone moved up one position.

With laps winding down Tom Hope consolidated his lead over Huffaker and managed to cruise to the checkered flag on a drying track to take his first victory of the season and add 32 points to his tally.

After some disappointment on Saturday, Scott Huffaker finished in a well deserved second place in only his second race in a F2000 car.

James Hakewill finished third and also claimed the race's fastest lap and coupled with his second on Saturday is now tied for the lead in the championship with Tom Hope both with 49 points.

Connor Funk drove to fourth place for his best result considering he had never completed in the rain before while fifth place went to Timothy de Silva, not getting the result he had hoped for having started on the front row.

Peter West pulled himself up to sixth place by the finish having passed first Harin de Silva and Ira Fierberg in the late laps of the race and claimed the Masters Win. West was followed to the finish line by Ira Fierberg and Harin de Silva in seventh and eighth places respectively.

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, and Dane Cameron, IMSA series Prototype and GTD winning driver along with Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires driver Patricio O’Ward and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda drivers Nikita Lastochkin and Yufeng Luo.

The series now moves on to Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond, Calif., for rounds 3 and 4 also to be run with CalClub and the U.S. Majors Tour on February 20-21.

F2000 Qualifying: 1. Tom Hope, (Van Diemen RF03), 1m39.938s; 2. Timothy de Silva (Van Diemen RF01), 1m40.261s; 3. Alex Kirby, (Piper DL7), 1m40.262s; 4. James Hakewill, (Van Diemen RF03), 1m40.310s; 5. Harin de Silva (Van Diemen RF06), 1m40.323s; 6. Scott Huffaker, (Van Diemen RF02), 1m40.958s; 7. Ira Fierberg, (Van Diemen RF05), 1m41.179s; 8. Connor Funk, (Van Diemen RF03), 1m41.496s; 9. Peter West, (Van Diemen RF05), 1m41.641s. All cars run on Ford Zetec engines and Pirelli Tires.

F2000 Round 2 (16 laps): 1. Hope, 2. Huffaker, +11.198s; 3. Hakewill, +12.969s; 4. Funk, +31.771s; 5. T. de Silva, +1 lap; 6. West, +1 lap; 7. Fierberg, +1 lap; 8. H. de Silva, +2 laps; 9. Kirby, +4 laps.

Fastest race lap: Hakewill, 1m53.336s.
Master class winner (over 50): West.

Points: 1. Hakewill, 49; Hope, 49; 3. Huffaker, 40; 4. T. de Silva, 36; 5. Armington, 34; Kirby, 34; 7. Funk, 33; 8. H. de Silva, 26; West, 26; 10. Fierberg, 24; 11. Vreeland, 12.

The series can be followed at and

For more details go to or contact Peter West at 310-363-9444, or by email,
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