AN EVENTFUL SUNDAY FOR F4 U.S. CHAMPIONSHIP WRAPS-UP SEASON DEBUT
Timo Reger and Raphael Forcier take home wins
HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA (April 10, 2017) – Raphael Forcier of Montreal claimed the second race of the weekend, while Timo Reger of Houston, Texas, scored his second victory as the season debut of the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda concluded Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Reger, who was announced to the F4 U.S. roster by JDX Racing two weeks ago, had a big day, winning Race 3 after finishing second earlier in the afternoon in Race 2.
“It was amazing to come home with another podium victory. I couldn’t ask for a better start to the season,” said Reger. “Jeremy Dale and the whole JDX Racing crew is a great team. We’ve made a lot of progress with the car. It’s going to be a phenomenal season.”
Reger started on the inside of Row 3 in fifth place for the final showing in Homestead, Florida. Austin Kaszuba of Burleston, Texas, held pole position, while Brendon Leitch from Invercargill, New Zealand, Mathias Soler-Obel of Bogota, Colombia, and Jim Goughary Jr. of Jupiter, Florida, rounded out the top of the lineup.
Position shuffling started right at green. An off-track incident in Turn 8 slowed traffic on the first lap but a yellow would not be thrown until Lap 2 when Jett Noland of Groveland, Florida, and Alan Miller of New Port Beach, California, tangled in the Esses. The accident caused Goughary to lose position as he got caught in slow traffic.
After the green flag reappeared, Reger started making progression forward. On Lap 9 in NASCAR 4, the red and white No. 19 JDX Racing pilot used the draft to slingshot onto the high-bank, passing Soler-Obel for P2. Reger then took the lead on Lap 10 after attempting a divebomb from the outside of Leitch in T1, cleanly overtaking the young Kiwi. Reger would not concede his lead.
A long battle back from forfeiting the pole earned Kaszuba a second-place podium. The visit would be the Texas Pride Trailers No. 27 driver’s podium since the beginning of the inaugural season.
“It feels awesome to be back on the podium,” Kaszuba said. “It’s a great way to kick-off the season. It took a lot to get here, so it makes the finish that much sweeter. Now I’m hungry for a win.”
Forcier fought his way to the front after starting seventh, finalizing the top three for the season-opener finale.
Jordan Sherratt of Durban, South Africa, received the first JRi Shocks Hard Charger Award during Race 3 victory circle ceremonies. The tiffany-blue Crosslink Powder Coating No. 37 car advanced 43 total positions throughout the event.
“I am very happy with the results this weekend,” said Sherratt. “Hopefully we can capitalize on this and shoot for a podium visit in Indy.”
Forcier proved his off-season growth weaving through an incident-filled track to emerge as the Race 2 champion.
“It feels great to receive my first F4 U.S. Championship win,” Forcier said. “We had a rough Saturday and qualifying. My team worked really hard, and it paid off.”
The start for Race 2 was delayed from weather related conditions that caused an unsafe driving environment. The second session resumed with a dry track suitable for Pirelli slicks.
The field would only complete seven green flag laps in Race 2. Several on and off-track incidents occurred, extending the time for the full-track yellow. Ben Waddell of Denver, Colorado, stole the lead from Forcier. The Indy Motorsports Group driver was faster in the straightaways, allowing him to gain speed to pass the rookie and hold the lead.
Starting in 10th place, Reger slowly made his way through the line-up in between yellow flags. Reger used his signature outside move in the turns to overtake JDX teammate Waddell. An on-track collision caused one final full-track yellow during the last minutes of the session. Race 2 would conclude with the safety car leading the F4 U.S. competitor across the finish line, ending Reger’s run.
Retuning inaugural F4 U.S. front-runner Konrad Czaczyk of Jupiter, Florida, withdrew from the final day of racing from a technical issue suffered in qualifying.
“Unfortunately, we’ve been having mechanical problems since yesterday,” Czaczyk said. “The team and I have been working really hard to get the car put together, but the problems aren’t any better. We will be back stronger for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.”
Czaczyk signed a partial season with Group-A Racing days before the first race.
“Racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Trans-Am was a great start to our second season,” SCCA Vice President Steve Oseth said. “The competitors showed real growth in each race and the rookies really pushed the second-year veterans.”
The F4 U.S. Championship takes a small break which allows competitors to concentrate on year-end finals. The series will resume June 10-12 at Indianapolis Motors Speedway with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association.