Pacific F2000: Huffaker Battles Hope to Claim First F2000 Win
 July 2, 2016| 
  • Feeder Series
SONOMA, Calif. – The ninth round of the Pacific Formula F2000/F1600 Championship presented by Primus Racing Parts, held at Sonoma Raceway with the San Francisco Region of the SCCA in their SFR Championship Series Double Regional was won by Scott Huffaker, the 2015 F1600 Champion, after a spirited duel with Tom Hope. This was Huffaker’s first win in the series since moving up to the F2000 class as the youngster from Menlo Park is still adapting the increase in performance these cars provide.

After a morning practice, qualifying was held early Friday afternoon under sunny skies and warm conditions with temperatures reaching into the eighties. Timothy De Silva (#3 TLP Racing/DRF Van Diemen) assumed his now customary position at the head of the pack as he claimed another pole position turning in a lap of 1:34.401 and was the only driver to break the 1:35 barrier. Occupying the front row with De Silva was Tom Hope (#10 Primus Racing Parts/Dart/H+M Racing Van Diemen RF03). The second row of the grid was headed by Scott Huffaker (#09 Van Diemen RF02) lining up next to Bob Negron (#9 Terri Negron Web Design/Rosy’s at the Beach/Negron Racing Van Diemen RF99). Following this pair were Scott Vreeland (#51 Redhorse Constructors/Porter Racing/BV Training Van Diemen RF01), Paul Rodler in his #45 Porter Racing 1991 Swift DB6/Pinto), Peter West (#99, Racing Optics/Kodenko Jeans/Malibu Health/Frank Monise Motors/DFR 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), William Jordanov (#59 Van Diemen RF99) and Geoffrey Fass (#85 Fass Brothers Racing Van Diemen RF96).

The field took the green flag on time for the 5:00 pm start and as they field streamed through Turn One and headed up the hill to Turn Two it was Timothy De Silva with the lead by the end of the first lap it was De Silva followed by Huffaker, Hope, Negron, Vreeland, Rodler, West, Harindra De Silva, Tim Fass, Rozenboom, Jordanov and Geoffrey Fass.

De Silva continued to lead for the next several laps with Huffaker and Hope following in his wheel tracks and they were beginning to pull away from Negron, Vreeland and the rest of the field.

Tim Fass was the first retirement on lap four and was followed by Tim De Silva three laps later when he suffered a punctured radiator and quickly retired the car to prevent further damage.

With the retirement of De Silva, Scott Huffaker assumed his place at the head of the field and became the first driver to lead a lap in the series since round two in Fontana in January.  Not alone at the head of the field, Huffaker was harried and challenged closely for the lead by Hope with the pair often side by side as evidenced by the wheel mark on the left sidepod of Hope’s Van Diemen. This battle continued lap after lap until the checkered flag when it was Scott Huffaker taking the hard fought victory to end De Silva’s winning streak at six.

Hope, the 2015 series champion, had to settle for second place just two and a half seconds behind.

Finishing in third for the final step on the podium was Negron whose Van Diemen did not quite have the pace of the leaders today finishing a further 14 seconds in arrears. Negron’s effort also netted him the Master Class win.

Just off the podium in fourth place came Vreeland for his best finish thus far this season. Vreeland was followed by West who studied Rodler’s line for the first half of the race before finally moving ahead of the lone Swift in the race on lap eight to claim fifth place with Rodler in sixth. They were followed by the elder De Silva, Rozenboom and Jordanov, the last car running at the finish.

The field returns Saturday afternoon for qualifying for the Sunday morning race to be held at 9:45 in the morning.

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 and Dane Cameron, Tudor 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.

Qualifying: 1. Timothy de Silva (Van Diemen RF01), 1m34.401s; 2. Tom Hope (Van Diemen RF03), 1m35.153s; 3. Scott Huffaker (Van Diemen RF02), 1m35.308s; 4. Bob Negron (Van Diemen RF99), 1m35.535s; 5. Scott Vreeland (Van Diemen RF01), 1m37.442; 6. Paul Rodler (Swift DB6/Pinto), 1m38.247s; 7. Peter West (Van Diemen RF05), 1m39.030s; 8. Harindra De Silva (Van Diemen RF06), 1m39.201s; 9. Tim Fass (Van Diemen RF96/Pinto), 1m43.411s; 10. Ken Rozeboom (Van Diemen RF02), 1m43.476s; 11. William Jordanov (Van Diemen RF99), 1m43.741s; 12. Geoffrey Fass (Van Diemen RF96/Pinto), 1m43.989s. All cars run on Ford Zetec engines, unless noted and Pirelli tires.

Round 9  (18 laps): 1. Huffaker, 2. Hope, +2.657s; 3. Negron, +16.857s; 4. Vreeland, +34.720s; 5. West, +58.462s; 6. Rodler, +59.484; 7. H. De Silva, +1m26.84s; 8. Rozeboom, +1 lap; 9. Jordanov, +1 lap; 10. G. Fass, +10 laps; 11. T. De Silva, +11 laps; 12. T. Fass, +14 laps.

Fastest race lap: T. De Silva, 1m34.624s.
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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