F600 Challenge: 2020 Finale at Road Atlanta
FORMULA 600 CHALLENGE SERIES: 2020 FINALE AT ROAD ATLANTA
The weather was mild and clear on the Thursday test day but the track “went away” the rest of the weekend and the lap times were slower as a result. This weekend, we welcomed back Edwards Racing who is coming back after running in the F2000 Mazda Ladder to Indy series since 2014. It was great to visit again with Fred and Tom Edwards, Ryan Barth, Jimmy and Steve. They are going to run next year and qualify for the Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tom entered a F600 that had not been touched since 2014 so he knew that this whole event would be a shakedown project and it was. Jay Beckley, from New Jersey, is a newcomer to F600 and he wanted to try out a F600 but it did not quite work out but he stayed and provided valuable help while he was learning (hands-on) about F600’s. Jay will start next season in his F600. Another Jay, this time Jay Spitler from Ohio, came down to pick up a long trailer that Clint had sold to him. While visiting, he also jumped in and provided expert help the whole weekend because he just loves racing; he is building new F600’s plus making copies of the black Scorpion’s CF body for Clint to sell. Jay will be making his announcement about his new cars shortly - anxious to see it. We are grateful for the help by the Jay’s.
Back to racing. Qualifying on Friday saw Clint McMahan in the Black Scorpion get close (1:29.760) to the lap record set by Ryan Mayfield in the same car at last year’s ARRC race (before the smaller restrictor) of 1:29.497. Second was Jeff Delong, 3rd Craig Laprade, 4th George Bugg, 5th Jack Walbran, 6th Carl Maier, 7th Tom Edwards and 8th George Fox. In the first race, Clint mixed it up with the FF’s and won overall while Craig Laprade ran the best he has at this track and would have taken 2nd but was busted for being 8 pounds light; to make matters worse, he also developed a small head gasket water leak which resulted in overheating. Jeff DeLong inherited 2nd, George Fox 3rd, George Bugg 4th (with cooling problems again), Tom Edwards 5th (continuing the debugging of his car), Jack Walbran 6th, and Carl Maier 7th after hitting a Club Ford which spun right in front of him at Turn #3 on the first lap, taking out his car nose and both brake master cylinders. Carl was most fortunate in that both Jay’s (Beckley and Spitler) jumped right in and helped Carl – fiber-glassing the jigsaw puzzle of nose pieces into a pretty good semblance which did fit, replaced the master cylinders and bled them and re-aligned the front end which was off enough to notice. Carl was able to make the next race. While this was going on, George Bugg’s motor had finally expired in this race and his crew, along with help from Clint, replaced the motor.
With Clint helping George Bugg on his motor, Clint was late to the grid for the next race and he had to start from the back of the field. This made for an entertaining hard charge through the field. With Clint, drama is usually nearby. It was about two laps before Clint took the lead for the rest of the race with his fastest lap of 1:29.919. Meanwhile, several others were late as well – George Bugg with his motor, George Fox and Jeff DeLong (changed his gear ratio at the last minute forcing him to start 2 laps down). With mechanical drop-outs during the race, the finishing order was 2nd Jack Walbran (gained more top end by changing the final drive ratio), 3rd George Fox (his best), 4th Jeff DeLong (with his best lap times), 5th Carl Maier (on the 10th lap, he over revved it in a downshift, bending a valve), 6th George Bugg (clutch slipping bad), 7th Tom Edwards (chain came off) and 8th Craig Laprade (who ran fast until all the water was gone). Take-away from Carl’s experience – install a gear selector display at the highest point possible, with old geezers (old memory) this is especially important since there is no rev limiter for downshift over-rev’s and the action on the track is happening way too fast to even try to remember. This inexpensive display can save you money and grief.
The race weekend points are as follows:
- Clint McMahan 24
- Jeff DeLong 22
- George Fox 20
- Jack Walbran 18
- George Bugg 16
- Carl Maier 14
- Tom Edwards 12
- Craig Laprade 11
After the final round, the Series Points are as follows:
- Eric McRee 64
- George Bugg 63
- Calvin Stewart 60
- Jeff DeLong 60
- Clint McMahan 48
- Aaron Ellis 42
- Carl Maier 39
- George Fox 36
- Jason Martin 30
- Craig Laprade 29
- Jack Walbran 28
- Ryan Mayfield 24
- Austin Morvik 20
- Tom Edwards 12
- Cory McLeod 9
Note #1: Calvin and Jeff tied at 60 points – Calvin had the faster laps.
Note #2: It pays to run as many races as possible.
We are very thankful for our valued sponsors who have made this series possible:
Hoosier Racing Tire ( www.hoosiertire.com )
Solo Performance Specialties (SPS) (www.soloperformance.com)
Pegasus Auto Racing Supplies (www.PegasusAutoRacing.com)
Hawk Performance ( www.hawkperformance.com )
Winding Road Racing (www.WindingRoadRacing.com )
MPT Industries ( www.mptindustries.com )
Design Engineering, Inc. (http://www.designengineering.com/)
The Formula 600 Challenge series was developed to help promote an affordable (via cost-controlled elements) open wheel formula car series to showcase talent without large financial race budgets. 100% of the sponsorship money and products go to the drivers. The Formula 600 open wheel cars use a 600cc motorcycle engine and a 6-speed sequential transmission revving up to 15,000 rpm with speeds in excess of 140 mph. The sound of this drive train is likened to a F1 car.
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