Kyle Kirkwood: A Winning Whirlwind

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I owe a huge debt of thanks to the Cape brothers, Dominic (pictured) and Nicholas.

JUPITER, Fla. – Hello everyone! It has been quite a long time since I’ve updated you all. Maybe you have been following my season on my social media or other media outlets, but I would like to give you an overview from my point of view of the 2018 season. This year has been a whirlwind to say the least…. Between the 32 races, three series, two countries, three teams and 10 states I managed to take home 28 wins and 30 podiums. In that time I have learned so much, met so many amazing people and created relationships that I am sure will last a lifetime.

A winning USF2000 debut at St. Petersburg.

Starting off the year in St. Petersburg, Fla., was probably the most stressful and anxious time of my life. There was so many expectations lingering over my head considering I was running with the “most winning junior team” in the U.S. which had just won the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda with Oliver (Askew) in 2017. The weight on my shoulders was massive, and little did everyone know that the partnership put together with Cape Motorsports and I was completed at the series test in Homestead, Fla., just two weekends before the first event, so there was time for only two days of testing prior to my first street race in a new car! Although, after winning the first race, all that pressure dissipated and I regained focus on what I needed to do.

The race at Lucas Oil Raceway was tense in the extreme.

Two months later it was the month of May in Indianapolis. The championship points were very close between Alex Baron and I, and we were neck-and-neck all weekend long at IMS. The rivalry between us was great and we had much respect for each other on and off the track. Both of us come from similar backgrounds, except from different continents. He went on to win the first race and I won the second race. Then it was time for my first oval. It was a huge learning curve at Lucas Oil Raceway – it’s very strange running so close to walls for such a long period. I gained a lot more respect for oval racers after competing in that event! Physically, yes it’s draining, but mentally I’ve never endured something so tense. To stay at the limit for that long, seeing the same things over and over again is very tough. Fortunately, the Capes and I found a really good setup and we were able to pull away with the win, while stretching our championship lead.

Racing for the win at the iconic Brickyard.

From the second race at IMS we won everything in USF2000. One thing that was kept quiet was that if I had one wreck I wouldn’t have been able to finish the season, another was if I didn’t keep winning I wouldn’t be able to finish the season either. Every prize dollar had to go straight back into the budget, and even that was barely enough. I had to take risks to win 12 of the 14 races, just so I could keep racing. And that was my mindset the entire year. For example, in Toronto I started third and fifth in both of the races and I had to attack right away to get out front because that track is very hard to pass on. It barely worked and almost resulted in a wreck in both races but hey, it worked.

Next up was a triple-header weekend at Mid-Ohio, where I was finally able to clinch the title. It was a long stressful year up until this point and, thankfully, there was so little to do to become champion. It was an easygoing weekend and we were able to once again walk away with a weekend sweep and a 2018 championship trophy. That was probably the most incredible moment in my career. It was amazing to be rewarded so much for our efforts and risks we took all year.

The winning habit went on with Abel Motorsports in F3.

However, as soon as that weekend was over I had a new objective, which was the F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda. Once again the partnership between Abel Motorsports and I came together super-late. Actually, the deal was finalized at Mid-Ohio, and I was in the car the next day in Pittsburgh, Pa., preparing for the race that following weekend.

This time of the year was extremely busy with three weeks non-stop then one week off before the last round of the USF2000 championship. Jumping straight into the F3 Americas car wasn’t an easy task. There was added weight, size, power, downforce and an all-new team I had to get acclimated to. Even though the entries were not large, there still was a very talented group. We made some discoveries early on in the season that gave us a huge edge until the rest of the field figured it out. We were able to sweep two weekends with ease at Pitt Race and Mid-Ohio.

The USF2000 action was wild at Portland!

Next it was back to USF2000 in Portland, Ore. It was not easy transitioning from USF2000 to F3 or vice-versa and it showed from me in the practices at Portland where I was barely in the top 10. Part of that was our tire budget but I know the car differences had a lot to do with it. Even though I had already won the championship everyone thought it would be a good idea to pressure me to no end, asking if I could keep my streak going and if so, I would match JR Hildebrand’s record of 12 wins in a single season. I honestly wasn’t pushing to accomplish that because I knew I had already pushed my luck so far in 2018. I didn’t want to add unnecessary disappointment if I wasn’t able to accomplish that, but opportunities arose during those two races and I was able to sneak away with yet another weekend sweep to cap off the year with 12 out of 14 wins and 11 in a row.

Dakota Dickerson and I spent time with the Honda F1 team at COTA.

The six F3 Americas rounds were a lot more laid back then the USF2000 season. Abel Motorsports and I managed 15 out of 17 race wins. The two losses were caused by a mistake on my part and a failure on the car. The most notable weekend in F3 was the USGP at COTA with F1. This was my second time at an F1 race and the second time I have raced with F1. The atmosphere is unlike anything else. The attendance is huge and the opportunity to showcase yourself is massive. Although, at the same time it’s a little degrading seeing drivers you raced against in karting there driving at the pinnacle of motorsports! Nonetheless, the team and I were able to win both races, and the second race between Benjamin Pedersen and I was incredible. Early on I was able to pull a sizable lead and about five laps into the race I lost a winglet, which took a ton of downforce off the front. It cost me over a second a lap and I had to battle with Ben the entire race, and during the last lap we were side-by-side for eight consecutive corners! It was actually a blessing in disguise, because I proved I could overcome adversity and still take the win!

The season ended with another win in Florida on my sports car debut.

I thought my season was over at that stage, and for about a week after COTA I was winding down and sorting out plans for next year. It was finally time to stop traveling! But then I received a phone call and some messages from Ansa Motorsports co-owner Patrick Madsen, asking if I would like to drive a Ligier JSP3 car for the IMSA Michelin Sebring Encore event, and of course I jumped at that opportunity. Between Ansa Motorsports, Ligier/Onroak and myself, we were able to fill a seat with me alongside Roman De Angelis. Sports Car racing is very uncharted territory for me and I didn’t have much time to get used to it considering I stepped foot into the car for the first time on Friday and raced on Sunday. But I loved it right away and was very quick after just a few laps. We went on to win and it was a battle all the way to the end. I definitely was not prepared enough for that race because about an hour into my stint I was already feeling fatigued. But I managed to keep a consistent pace and get through traffic well, which ultimately allowed us to take the win in my debut sports car race.

It has been an amazing year and I am so thankful for everyone who has made this dream season come true.

So ends my recap from this season, but I’ll be working tirelessly towards plans for 2019 and I’ll do my best to keep you updated when I can!
Kyle

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=4754

Kirkwood, De Angelis Take Michelin Encore Win

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Photo: Michelin

A controlling drive by Kyle Kirkwood has given ANSA Motorsports victory in Sunday’s Michelin IMSA Encore at Sebring International Raceway.

Kirkwood, in his sports car racing debut, took the No. 13 Ligier JS P3 Nissan to a 2.278-second win over Bell’s No. 26 K2R Motorsports Ligier following a late restart.

The 2018 F3 Americas and USF2000 champion held a 12-second lead on Bell prior to a heavy crash by Kenton Koch in the No. 25 P1 Motorsports Ligier, which brought out the fourth and final full-course caution with 39 minutes to go in the four-hour enduro.

Kirkwood pulled away from the British driver on the restart to take the win for he and co-driver Roman De Angelis.

Bell’s co-driver Kay van Berlo stretched out into a commanding lead from pole but it was neutralized at the end of the opening hour due to a yellow for a spin by the No. 4 ANSA Ligier of Dean Baker.

Two drive-through penalties and an incident by third driver Jim McGuire put the car one lap down, although Bell benefited from a wave-by in the third hour and charged through the field.

Katherine Legge held on to finish third in the No. 40 Polestar Motor Racing Ligier, after Nico Rondet spun while battling for the final podium position with 5 minutes to go.

Rondet came home fourth in the No. 11 Simraceway Motorsports Ligier, with the No. 64 K2R Ligier completing the top-five overall and in LMP3.

KohR Mustang Wins GT4; Ruscitti Makes Late Pass for TCR Victory

Roush Performance / KohR Motordports’ Nate Stacy, Kyle Marcelli and Dean Martin picked up GT4 class honors in their No. 60 Ford Mustang GT4.

Marcelli finished 16.255 seconds ahead of the No. 22 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 of late addition Andy Lally, who lost the class lead due to an unexpected stop in the final hour.

A late-race pass by Remo Ruscitti on Stephen Simpson, meanwhile, gave Mark Motors Racing top class honors in TCR.

Ruscitti got around the then class-leading No. 54 JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi TCR with two laps to go, with Simpson pitting his car at the end of the lap with a suspected issue.

Ruscitti shared class honors with Marco Cirone in the team’s TCR debut in IMSA competition.

Original Article Here:
https://sportscar365.com/imsa/kirkwood-de-angelis-takes-michelin-encore-win/

Kyle Kirkwood Continues Winning Streak in Ligier JS P3 at IMSA Sportscar Encore

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Kyle Kirkwood Continues Winning Streak in Ligier JS P3 at IMSA Sportscar Encore

Dakota Dickerson forced to retire mid-race after suffering mechanical issues

F3 Americas champion Kyle Kirkwood’s winning reputation followed him to the sportscar world, adding yet another victory to his bourgeoning collection. In his Ligier JS P3 debut, Kirkwood took the checkered 2.278 seconds ahead of second place during the inaugural four-hour Michelin IMSA Sportscar Encore endurance at Sebring International Raceway on Sunday. The victory marks Kirkwood’s 28th win out of 32 starts in 2018.

“The whole race was just incredible,” Kirkwood said. “It was definitely the most mentally and physically draining race I’ve ever competed in. I am so thankful that ANSA Motorsports, Onroak Automotive and Ligier gave me the opportunity.”

Driving the red, black and white No. 13 ANSA Motorsports prototype, Kirkwood’s team claimed the fastest practice time in the first session and the second-fastest time Practice 2 on Saturday. His partner, 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge Roar before the Rolex 24 winner Roman De Angelis, qualified off-pole in second, and wheeled the Ligier JS P3 into first place before jumping out at the two-hour mark to make the driver change with Kirkwood.  

”Roman did an amazing job to give me a great starting position,” Kirkwood continued. “He qualified us second and maintained position. The team took a gamble with the pit stops and it worked perfectly in our favor to put us in first. All I had to really do was keep my head down and push, which is something I was able to do all year.”

Kirkwood and De Angelis spent the entire race inside the top-five. Kirkwood took the lead for the final time with 45 minutes remaining after Katherine Legg made her last required pit stop. The Florida-native then pulled away from the field again following a restart with less than 30 minutes left on the clock to secure the second win of the year for ANSA Motorsports.

“The restarts were pretty straight forward. I never had second immediately behind me and there’s been so many restarts that I’ve lead this year, that it took the pressure off,” said Kirkwood.

Also debuting in the IMSA LMP3 class, Formula 4 United States Powered by Honda champion Dakota Dickerson of San Diego made up exceptional ground as the second driver of the No. 2 Ligier JS P3 ANSA Motorsports car, clocking similar fast-times to the race leaders. Dickerson broke into the top-10 before mechanical issues at the mid-point of the enduro forced him to retire the race.

“It is unfortunate that engine issues took us out of the race while running the same pace as the leaders, but that’s all part of it,” said Dickerson. “All in all it was a super fun experience getting to drive the ANSA Motorsports’ Ligier JS P3. I’ll definitely be looking for more opportunities to drive a Ligier in LMP3 in 2019.There is so much that goes into endurance racing and I am very thankful to Onroak Automotive for the opportunity.”

Onroak Automotive North America presented the opportunity to compete in a Ligier JS P3 after both Kirkwood and Dickerson clinched their respective F3 Americas and F4 U.S. titles early.

Photo Credit- ANSA Motorsports

Original Article Here:
https://www.f3americas.com/articles/2010711-kyle-kirkwood-continues-winning-streak-in-ligier-js-p3-at-imsa-sportscar-encore

ANSA beats K2R in IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring

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ANSA beats K2R in IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring

David Malsher
By: David Malsher
Nov 11, 2018, 9:54 PM
 

Relentless pace and consistency from sportscar newbie Kyle Kirkwood in the second half of the four-hour IMSA Michelin SportsCar Encore at Sebring proved crucial in ANSA Motorsports’ victory over K2R Motorsports.

A late yellow flag bunched the field, allowing K2R’s Matt Bell to move the polesitting K2R Ligier JSP3 onto the tail of Kirkwood’s similar car, but although he kept up the pressure in the 26min shootout to the checkered flag, Bell didn’t quite have an answer for the reigning USF2000 champion’s pace and race smarts.

Kirkwood, in the car he shared with Roman De Angelis, crossed the finish line 2.3sec ahead of the Bell/Kay van Berlo/Jim McGuire machine.

Almost 20sec back, there was even closer battle for third between Polestar and Simraceway as Katherine Legge and Nicolas Rondet clashed with four minutes to go. Rondet tried a late and optimistic move down the inside of Legge which he realized wasn’t going to work and had to spin to avoid a harder impact with the Polestar machine which Legge shared with David and Keith Grant. Rondet took fourth.

A lap down, Alexandre Barron and Naveen Rao took fifth in the second K2R car, ahead of Guy Cosmo and Pat Byrne in the JDC Motorsports entry.

P1 Motorsports had an unlucky day, with Jonatan Jorge incurring a penalty for an improper wave-around procedure that ultimately dropped the team two laps down. Co-driver Kenton Koch then performed well to keep pace with the Kirkwood vs. Bell battle, but with 40mins to go suffered an accident at Turn 1.

In GT4, Dean Martin, Nate Stacy and Kyle Marcelli drove their Roush Performance/ Kohr Motorsports Ford Mustang to victory ahead of the GMG Racing Audi R8 James Sofronas and Andy Lally. The leader suffered a pitlane miscue that required an extra stop for more fuel, while Lally made a late stop under yellow to try and tackle the Mustang with a fresh set of tires but he came up 16sec short.

In TCR, on the penultimate lap Remo Ruscitti, sharing with Marco Cirone, moved his Mark Motors Racing Audi RS3 past the similar JDC Motorsports Audi of Stephen Simpson and Michael Johnson to clinch victory.

Original Article here:
https://www.motorsport.com/us/imsa/news/imsa-ansa-beats-k2r-in-sportscar-encore-at-sebring/3212391/?nrt=207

Kirkwood Equals USF2000 Win Record with Portland Sweep

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usf-2018-pdx-r2-web

PORTLAND, Ore. – Kyle Kirkwood continued his remarkable Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda win streak under gloriously sunny skies this afternoon at Portland International Raceway.

The recently crowned champion stalked polesitter Rasmus Lindh (Pabst Racing) through the opening stages, then pounced decisively before edging away to another relatively comfortable victory – his 11th in a row and 12th of the 14-race season, which equals the record established by former Verizon IndyCar Series driver J.R. Hildebrand en route to the championship title in 2006.

Lindh, 17, from Gothenburg, Sweden, finished a career-best second – his fifth podium finish of the season – for Pabst Racing, while yet another rookie, South African Julian Van der Watt, also secured his best result, third, for Team Pelfrey.

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Portland Presented by Allied Building Products began with the habitual excitement provided by the Festival Curves chicane which constitute Turns One and Two on the 1.964-mile road course, although for a change, most of the leaders made it through unscathed.

Lindh protected his pole position beautifully, making sure there was no room for anyone else even to think about diving down the inside under braking. He duly held onto the lead from teammate Kaylen Frederick, Kirkwood, Brazilian Lucas Kohl, in another Pabst Racing Tatuus-Mazda USF-17 and Kory Enders, from Sugarland, Texas, who yesterday earned his first podium finish for DEForce Racing.

Japanese-born Brazilian Igor Fraga (Exclusive Autosport) jumped from ninth on the grid to third, profiting from a coming together between Mexican Jose Sierra (DEForce Racing) and impressive debutant Braden Eves (Newman Wachs Racing), from Columbus, Ohio, both of whom were eliminated on the spot.

After three laps behind the Pace Car, there was more action at Turn One when Frederick inadvertently rammed into the back of his teammate, Lindh, under braking for Turn One, which resulted in several cars taking to the escape road. The incident caused extensive damage to Frederick’s front wing (as well as tweaking the rear of Lindh’s car) and resulted in a drive-through penalty for the Maryland youngster.

Lindh nevertheless was able to maintain his lead, albeit now with Kirkwood in hot pursuit. The pair remained in close formation, pulling away from Kohl in third, until Lindh made a slight mistake in Turn One which allowed Kirkwood to sneak past. Kirkwood then turned a sequence of fastest laps before taking the checkered flag just under two seconds clear to claim Cape Motorsports’ 12th PFC Award of the season.

Van der Watt took a few laps to find a way past Fraga, then steadily closed a deficit of almost five seconds to Kohl before making the pass for third with five laps remaining. He become the 14th different podium finisher – representing no fewer than nine teams – this season.

Fraga also squeezed past Kohl on the final lap for fourth, but it wasn’t quite enough to displace his fellow countryman for third in the final points table. Guyanan Calvin Ming (Pabst Racing) claimed his third successive Tilton Hard Charger Award, moving up from sixth after starting 12th.

The combined efforts of Lindh and Kohl proved enough for Pabst Racing to claim its second successive Team Championship by a margin of 15 points over Cape Motorsports, which will be celebrated – along with Kirkwood’s record-breaking season – at the Mazda Road to Indy Championship Celebration in Portland tomorrow evening.

Kyle Kirkwood (#8 Firstex/SAFEisFAST.com/Bell Helmets/Sparco-Cape Motorsports Tatuus-Mazda USF-17): “It was a really good race – maybe not as much action as yesterday, from my point of view, but the action we had was incredible. It was a lot of back and forth early between me, Kaylen and Rasmus, picking our spots.

“I don’t even know how to explain it, to have only two losses this season. I’ve never been in this spot before, with so much success, so I can’t really absorb it. We’ve done so well this year, and it’s cool that we’ve tied J.R. Hildebrand’s record. The car has just been on rails, so I really have to say thanks to everyone on the Cape team – Nicholas and Dominic Cape, my mechanic Alan, Reggie, Don, Scott, Kyle, Will, Jeremy, Larry, Jonatan Jorge and of course, Oliver and Nikita. I can’t wait to start next year.”

Original Article Here:
http://www.capemotorsports.com/index.php/2018/10/26/kirkwood-equals-usf2000-win-record-with-portland-sweep/

Kirkwood wraps F3 Americas season with COTA sweep

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Kyle Kirkwood reminded the world why he is the 2018 F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda regional champion after winning the inaugural season finale at the Circuit of The Americas during the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix weekend. In the closest finish of the season, Kirkwood, who suffered substantial front wing damage at the beginning of the race, took the checkered less than three tenths of a seconds before Benjamin Pedersen. With a win in the opening round on Saturday, Kirkwood swept his fourth F3 Americas weekend of the season, adding 15 total wins to his season record.

While Kirkwood locked up the Driver’s Championship in F3 Americas before the season finale, to go along with his 2017 F4 U.S. Championship and his 2018 USF2000 title, his two F3 Americas wins at COTA gave him an incredible 27 wins in 31 starts across USF2000 and F3 Americas in just one year.

“It’s a surreal feeling being on the top step of the F1 podium,” Kirkwood said, who won the closing race in F4 last season in COTA to claim the 2017 title. “Taking that parade lap with thousands of fans cheering, adds to the experience. Thank you F1 for allowing us to share this awesome experience with you and thank you to Abel Motorsports for giving me such a great car.”

Thousands of fans were on their feet cheering as Pedersen contested pole-sitter Kirkwood for the lead. Lap after lap, wheels nearly touching on several junctures, Pedersen edged his bright orange No. 24 DirtFish Global Racing Group machine closer for the overtake. For 10 laps, Kirkwood defended his race line, only giving Pedersen a wing lead at one point. The battle continued down to the checkered with Kirkwood barely seizing the win over Pedersen.

“The season finale race in front of Formula 1 was the best race of the season for us,” said Pedersen. “We pressured Kyle the whole race and stayed on his gearbox until we started to pull away from the rest of the field. Then on the las lap, we really started to battle and actually went side by side all the way from Turn 19 all the way to Esses. From what the fans have told me, it was some of the best racing they saw all weekend. It’s nice to race against someone I know I can stay clean with so it was an enjoyable battle despite not getting the win at the end. I look forward to more moments and battles like that in the future.”

The cheers and gasps continued as Parker Locke, who chased Jacob Abel for most of the round, made a calculated pass on the inside to claim the last spot on the podium.

“This was a great weekend for me, being my home race, I wanted to put on a good show and get good results,” said Locke, who also placed third on Saturday. “Getting two third place finishes and getting to stand on the Formula 1 podium in front of my home crowd was a dream come true. I will never forget that moment. All of my hard work and dedication to the sport is finally beginning to pay off. I can’t wait to see what the 2019 season has in store for us.”

Abel crossed the finish line in fourth with John Paul Southern rounding out the top five. Southern also earned the Sabelt Hard Charger Award after making the most passes over the weekend.

The 2018 F3 Americas Vice Champion Baltazar Leguizamon missed the checkered after suffering a mechanical failure on the reconnaissance lap. The Global Racing Group driver watched from the pits as his GRG teammates fought for podium.

“Some days you have good race days, other times they are bad, that’s just how racing goes,” said Leguizamon. “I just have to focus on that we had a great year finishing with two poles, two wins, 15 podiums and FIA Super License Points.”

The top eight F3 Americas drivers earn FIA Super License Points to aid in their advancement to Formula 1. F3 Americas is one of the only junior-professional series in the United States to offer its drivers Super License Points.

While the top two spots in the inaugural regional championship were decided before COTA, the final spot wasn’t determined until the checkered dropped on Saturday. Pedersen, who finished on the podium 10 of the 11 races he entered, secured third in the single-chassis, single-engine championship.

The second season of the F3 Americas championship will kick off in the spring of 2019. The full schedule will be released at the PRI show in December. For photos and full COTA results, visit F3Americas.com.

https://racer.com/2018/10/25/kirkwood-wraps-f3-americas-season-with-cota-sweep/

Kirkwood, Dickerson and Rasmussen win support races at United States GP

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Kirkwood, Dickerson and Rasmussen win support races at United States GP

written by Elliot Wood 22 October 2018

Kyle Kirkwood ended the inaugural Formula 3 Americas season with two wins on the undercard of the United States Grand Prix.

The Abel Motorsports driver didn’t have it too easy at the Circuit of the Americas, with Global Racing Group’s Benjamin Pedersen keeping him on his toes in both races.

Pedersen’s team-mate Baltazar Leguizamon initially finished third in race one, but was then penalised for track limits offences and dropped behind Parker Locke and John Paul Southern Jr.

Leguizamon didn’t even make the start of race two, as Pedersen took the challenge to Kirkwood once again. The long back straight at COTA helped Pedersen, and they went wheel-to-wheel on several occasions.

Kirkwood picked up front wing damage during one of their battles, and during the final lap they made contact again. As they reached the chequered flag they were separated by just a quarter of a second. Locke beat Jacob Abel to the final podium place.

Dakota Dickerson and Chrsitian Rasmussen won the two United States Formula 4 races, which were full of drama. Champion Dickerson won race one, just holding off season-long rivals Rasmussen and James Raven.

Race two started with three retirements, and Jack William Miller landing on Chandler Horton’s head. Four laps later Dickerson was also out of the race, and it was left to Rasmussen and Joshua Car to fight for victory. Rasmussen won the battle, with the retirement of Benjamin Pedersen promoting Car to fourth in the standings.

Original Article Here:
http://www.formulascout.com/kirkwood-dickerson-and-rasmussen-win-support-races-at-united-states-gp/45922

2018 F3 Americas Championship

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PosDriverPIT[N 1]MDONJMROANOLCOTAPts
1 United States Kyle Kirkwood 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 4 1 1 1 1 405
2 Argentina Baltazar Leguizamón 2 2 2 3 3 2 2 4 1 2 3 3 1 2 2 5 DNS 276
3 Denmark Benjamin Pedersen       2 2 3       3 2 2 2 3 4 2 2 183
4 United States Jacob Abel             3 3 3 5 4 4 Ret 5 3 6 4 124
5 United States John Paul Southern, Jr. 3 Ret 3 Ret 4 4 4 2 Ret Ret DNS DNS Ret DNS Ret 4 5 106
6 United States Parker Locke                   4 5 Ret 3 4 5 3 3 89
7 United States Peter Portante 4 NC Ret                             12
United States David Glassman                         WD    

Original Article Here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_F3_Americas_Championship

Kirkwood claims 14th F3 Americas win at USGP

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Serving as the support series for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, the  F3 Americas Championship powered by Honda delivered an exciting show for fans who trekked through the less than ideal weather conditions that lingered from Friday.

Results

Through cool temperatures, gray skies and a damp track, Kyle Kirkwood  went lights to flag to claim his 14th win of the season. Although the Floridian clinched the inaugural F3 Americas championship before entering the opening round at Circuit of The Americas Saturday, Kirkwood, didn’t give up his competitive edge, pulling more than a two-second gap over second place.

“Today marks my second win at an F1 event,” said Kirkwood, who was also victorious in last year’s USGP in the F4 U.S. Championship. “This win is probably sweeter than in 2017. There’s so much energy at this track and it’s the race we look forward to every year. My Abel Motorsports team once again did a fantastic job keeping a very quick and reliable car.”

While Kirkwood seized the top step of the same podium that his Formula 1 idols will stand on on Sunday, it wasn’t without pressure from Benjamin Pedersen, who finished second.

Kirkwood continued, “I had a good race with Benjamin early on. With about four laps to go, I was able to stretch a gap which allowed me to take the win.”

Denmark’s Pedersen is the only driver to compete in both F3 Americas and the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda this weekend.

“Today was a very successful day considering we finished P2 fighting for the lead all race,” Pedersen said. “It was amazing to drive in both series in front of F1 at such a prestigious event. All the fans were amazing and I look forward to tomorrow.”

Parker Locke was promoted to third after Baltazar Leguizamon was penalized for exceeding track limits in multiple instances and Jacob Abel received a penalty for a driving infraction. This marks the second podium for the Global Racing Group pilot in just his seventh race with the spec-engine, single-chassis series.

“Today was a great race for me,” said Locke. “After a bad start, I was able to catch up and pass JP Southern for fifth then I began working on closing in for P4. I had the pace to close the gap but couldn’t get a pass before the checkered, but the hard work during the race paid off because we were promoted due to penalties further up the field. We start fourth on Sunday, so we are aiming for another podium finish.”

The F3 Americas drivers fought rain and uneven track conditions throughout their qualifying session on Friday. Both Leguizamon and John Paul Southern Jr. experienced mechanical issues that caused them to retire from the session early and affected their overall fast lap times. Kirkwood turned the quickest lap of the session, adding another pole to his growing tally. With clocking the fastest lap in Race 1 today, Kirkwood has taken pole position 15 out of 17 times.

The inaugural season finale starts Sunday at 9:15 a.m. CT. Different than previous rounds this season, the race will last 25 minutes or 10 laps, whichever one comes first. Fans can follow live updates on Twitter @F3Americas. For photos, full results and schedule, visit F3Americas.com.

Original Article Here:
https://racer.com/2018/10/21/kirkwood-claims-14th-f3-americas-win-at-usgp/

Kyle Kirkwood is U.S. hope for F1, but cost is high

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https://www.statesman.com/storyimage/TX/20181019/SPORTS/181018460/AR/0/AR-181018460.jpg?Q=75&maxW=1920&maxH=1920

Kyle Kirkwood is an American racing champion with a Formula One dream. Meanwhile, the world’s most popular motorsports circuit is desperate to catch America’s attention.

It’s a match made in heaven, right? Not so fast. Kirkwood, a 19-year-old from Jupiter, Fla., is racing this weekend at Circuit of the Americas, but he’s still a long way from achieving his dream.

“We’d love to see more American drivers, especially in Formula One,” said Jeff Barrow of Honda Performance Development, who manages the F3 and F4 Americas series. “We’ve lacked that for quite a long time. We’ve got our own programs here; that’s the problem with being on the big island. We get isolated in what this country wants to do.”

In the U.S., NASCAR and IndyCar dominate the motorsports scene. If a path to F1 exists, it’s expensive and complicated. Just ask Kirkwood, who has wrapped up championships in both series he’s raced in this season and is still trying to figure out his next step.

Kirkwood has dominated the inaugural season of F3 in the U.S., winning 13 of 15 races leading into the U.S. Grand Prix. In the USF2000 series, he won a record-breaking 11 straight races to claim the title. On Friday, he took pole for the first of two races Saturday, with a lap time nearly 2 seconds faster than his closest competitor.

“You’ll be seeing a lot more of Kyle Kirkwood in the future,” said Bill Abel, team principal of Abel Motorsports, Kirkwood’s F3 Americas team.

His conundrum has less to do with skill than funding.

“It’s an expensive sport, no doubt about that,” he said. “But if you do it the right way and you actually work really hard at it, you can get to the top level. It just takes hard work, just like everything else.”

Kirkwood would love to take off for Europe and Japan, test himself against the world’s best young drivers and compete for a spot in F1. But the most logical option is to take the money he’s being offered at home. Mazda has offered a $325,000 scholarship to compete in the Pro Mazda Championship, which accompanies most IndyCar events.

 

Even that won’t cover the full cost of competing. It’s something Max Crawford is well aware of, and one of the reasons he decided to develop the F3 car with Ligier. Crawford estimates the cost of running an F3 car for a season is around $250,000, compared with about $175,000 for F4 and $1.2 million for Indy Lights, the developmental series for IndyCar. Overseas, the cost goes up.

“Somebody needs to pick (Kirkwood) up and help him now,” Crawford said. “He’s shown his talent in both (F4 and F3) series and done well in USF2000.”

The topic of an American F1 driver came up Thursday during the drivers’ press conference, where Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean agreed that the biggest hurdle to the sport catching on in the U.S. is the lack of an American driver. Haas is the circuit’s only U.S.-based team, but its drivers (Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen) are from France and Denmark.

Meanwhile, Kirkwood is already older than the next European driver to get a shot. Lando Norris, an 18-year-old from the United Kingdom, is set to race with McLaren next year.

That doesn’t deter Kirkwood, who hopes to get the funding to test himself on the European F3 series or SuperFormula in Japan. Even if he fails, he knows options will still exist for him back home.

“I’ve watched F1 since I was really little and love all the drivers in it,” Kirkwood said. “I’m going to shoot high, and hopefully I can get my goal. If I fall short, obviously IndyCar is a very good option and sports cars are a very good option.”

Original Article Here:
https://www.statesman.com/sports/20181019/kyle-kirkwood-is-us-hope-for-f1-but-cost-is-high

Global Racing Group sweeps F3 Americas podium at NOLA

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Global Racing Group proved that a race isn’t over until the checkered flag drops, sweeping the podium in the final moments of the first F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda round at NOLA Motorsports Park on Saturday. In what would be a storybook finish for Global Racing Group, the Seattle-based squad is the first team in F3 Americas’ short history to have drivers represented on each podium step in a single race.

In the last laps of the 35-minute session, Baltazar Leguizamon of Buenos Aires, Argentina, ascended into first place to claim his second victory of the season.

“I feel very nice after our second win. It’s another win for me, the team and everyone supporting me back in Argentina,” said Leguizamon. “We’ve been working very hard as a team and everything we’ve been working on came together today.”

Leguizamon started Round 13 in the front row in second. As the lights went out for the F1-style standing start, the young Argentinian experienced tire spin off the line that put him in an immediate disadvantage to eleven-time winner Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida. After failing to complete a perfect start at Road Atlanta, Kirkwood flawlessly shot off the stripe from pole position, instantly building a gap from the rest of the field.

In an attempt to catch Kirkwood, Leguizamon continued to lay down solid fast times, but the reigning F4 United States champion’s metallic red, black and white No. 8 FirsTex machine was too fast and Kirkwood continued to pull away. However, entering the third to last lap, Kirkwood began experiencing mechanical issues that slowed his pace to a near halt, quickly dissolving his multi-second advantage over Leguizamon. Leguizamon zoomed by to take first as Kirkwood’s complication persisted, forcing the Abel Motorsports driver to retire to the pits for the duration of the race.

“It’s disappointing of course to not see Abel Motorsports represented on the podium,” Kirkwood said after missing the podium for the first time this season. “We had a failure in our left rear and if I continued the race, it could have cost us the weekend. The championship is still up for grabs so it was more important to focus on the long-term team goals than the single race.”

Benjamin Pedersen of Copenhagen, Denmark, kept his perfect podium streak alive with a second-place finish. The part-time F3 Global Racing Group driver has earned five second-place and two-third place finishes so far this season. While Pedersen is out of the title chase, he could respectively clinch a top-three championship finish before the finale next week at Circuit of the Americas.

“The Global Racing Group crew continues to give me a great car week after week and they have played a huge role in helping me achieve the successes that I have in F3,” Pedersen said. “We are focused on obtaining not only the team championship but having two GRG drivers represented on the inaugural championship podium.”

In just his fourth race of the season, Parker Locke of San Antonio crossed the stripe in third for his first podium-finish of his open-wheel career.

“I feel awesome after being on the podium for the first time,” Locke said while trying to hold back tears of happiness. “To share my first-open wheel podium with my Global teammates is the best feeling.”

Earlier in the day Locke qualified fourth but a penalty issued for causing a yellow flag, sent the Texas-native back two grid spots to start the race in sixth. Clean off the start, Locke challenged Jacob Abel of Louisville, Kentucky, and John Paul Southern Jr of Westlake, Ohio, for position, until he hit the curbing in Turn 7, sending his newly wrapped GRG signature orange No. 66 Ligier JS F3 car into a 180-degree spin. To recover, Locke was forced to turn around off track, collecting grass clippings in his radiator along the way. Locke was forced to pull into the pits for a quick clean out before continuing the race. The error cost Locke a lap.

“I lost a lot of time so our new goal was to take advantage of the clean air and lay down some solid lap times that would move me up on the starting grid for the next round,” Locke said.

Southern experienced mechanical issues that sent him to the pits for the duration of the race, which bumped Locke into fifth. After spinning off-track with four laps left, Abel’s podium chase ended. In a matter of minutes, Locke moved from sixth to fourth, and subsequently took third.

“I just wanted to finish the race and after the start we had, I never imagined that I would be on the podium,” continued Locke. “It just goes to show that no matter what happens, not to give up or be discouraged about making a mistake because until that checkered flag drops, anything can happen.”

Original Article Here:
https://racer.com/2018/10/14/global-racing-group-sweeps-f3-americas-podium-at-nola/

Kyle Kirkwood takes F3 Americas title in style at NOLA

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Kyle Kirkwood became the inaugural Formula 3 Americas champion at NOLA Motorsports Park, while Baltzar Leguizamon also secured second in the standings.

Abel Motorsports driver Kirkwood took his fourth pole in five attempts in qualifying, but an unscheduled trip into the pits in the first race meant it was Leguizamon who took the first win of the weekend. The Argentinian led a Global Racing Group podium lockout, with Benjamin Pedersen and Parker Locke coming home in second and third.

Locke finished the race a lap down, with Kirkwood two laps further back but still classified for points. Kirkwood was still able to set fastest lap, and he started the second race from the front.

This time round he took victory, heading Leguizamon by 1.401 seconds, and taking the title in the process. Atlantic champion Leguizamon also secured the runner-up spot in the championship as a result. Pedersen completed the podium, ahead of Locke and Jacob Abel.

Having started in a less than ideal way, Kirkwood ended the season in style by taking his 13th victory by over half a minute. Leguizamon once again finished second, with Abel, Pedersen and Locke completing the finishers. John Paul Southern Jr retired from both races one and three, and failed to start the second encounters.

Two races will be held at the United States Grand Prix next week, in which third place in the standings will be up for grabs.

Results
Race 1 (23 laps)
1 Baltazar Leguizamon Global Racing Group 36m28.877s
2 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group +21.332s
3 Parker Locke Global Racing Group +1 lap
4 Kyle Kirkwood Abel Motorsports +3 laps
Ret Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports
Ret John Paul Southern Jr Southern Motorsports
Pole: Kirkwood, 1m33.401s
Fastest lap: Kirkwood, 1m34.268s

Race 2 (23 laps)
1 Kirkwood 36m28.326s
2 Leguizamon +1.401s
3 Pedersen +3.021s
4 Locke +37.290s
5 Abel +1m03.915s
FL: Kirkwood, 1m34.038s

Race 3 (23 laps)
1 Kirkwood 36m34.118s
2 Leguizamon +32.170s
3 Abel +40.264s
4 Pedersen +56.302s
5 Locke +59.706s
Ret Southern
FL: Kirkwood, 1m34.556s

Championship standings
1 Kirkwood 355   2 Leguizamon 266   3 Pedersen 147   4 Abel 104   5 Southern 84   6 Locke 59   7 Peter Portante 12

Original Article Here:
http://www.formulascout.com/kyle-kirkwood-takes-f3-americas-title-in-style-at-nola/45748

F1 Russian GP Post-Race Show

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Listen on iTUNES Hear our F1 Russian Grand Prix post-race show as heard on SiriusXM and Talk 1370 in Austin on Sunday September 30, 2018. Toni Calderon of Speed Group guest hosts with us. And 20yr old American driver Kyle Kirkwood joins us live.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/SpeedCityPodcast/SHOWS/9-30-2018_F1_Russian_Grand_Prix_Recap.mp3

Kirkwood registers third F3 Americas sweep at Road Atlanta

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For the third time in its inaugural season, Kyle Kirkwood swept an F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda event, this time at Road Atlanta during the Atlanta Fall Historics Weekend Sept. 21-23, increasing his victory and pole-start tally to 11. While the Abel Motorsports driver carried his team across the finish line for three more victories, it wasn’t without constant pressure from the Global Racing Group squad.

In just his second event, Benjamin Pedersen remained seamless, claiming his sixth podium of the season, and Baltazar Leguizamon rounded out the podium in third.

“This was absolutely the best round of F3 so far this season,” Kirkwood said. “We’ve been consistently quick, but I don’t know how much quicker I could have gone that race even though we were pushing that entire round. They’re catching up every race, and the results get closer and closer. In this race, the only thing holding them back was aerowash and in places like COTA that won’t be a factor. So the competition is getting tighter between everyone which is good for the series, the sport and me as well. That’s the whole point of a feeder series and it’s awesome to see.”

For the third time in the weekend, Kirkwood sputtered on the start, allowing GRG drivers to challenge him into Turn 1. Pedersen and Leguizamon launched off the stripe, swarming Kirkwood. Pedersen cut to the inside line as Leguizamon flew to the outside, sandwiching Kirkwood in the middle, going three-wide into the first turn. Running out of track, Leguizamon lifted, filing into third, while Kirkwood and Pedersen battled for first.

As the field of Ligier JS F3 machines zoomed down the steep final turn of the technical Road Atlanta circuit, Kirkwood pulled ahead with Pedersen still on his gearbox and Leguizamon close behind. Lap after lap, the metallic red, black and white No. 8 Fastek Abel Motorsports car continued to build a gap as the GRG cars campaigned for the number two spot. Still pressuring his teammate, Leguizamon, who’s mastered the draft in the new F3 chassis, used Pedersen’s slipstream to make a pass midway through the race. Hungry for another win, the young Argentinian set his sights on Kirkwood.

Further down the field, series newcomer Parker Locke’s lap times couldn’t be matched, setting the fastest lap of the race (1m20.040s). As he passed Jacob Abel for fourth, Locke developed enough speed to contest for podium position. As the San Antonio native approached Pedersen for a high-speed overtake, he spun off into the sand trap, causing a yellow flag. The off-course incident ended the GRG rookie’s day, but the incredible run earned Locke the Sabelt Hard Charger Award.

https://racerdigital.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/xlarge2.jpg?w=1000&h=600&crop=1

“I learned a lot in my first weekend in the car,” Locke said. “Our goal was to use this weekend as a in-race test. We left two top-five finishes and set the fastest lap in the last race. Overall it was a good weekend and I’m ready to fight back harder at NOLA in just two weeks.”

Pedersen got the jump on the restart, immediately overtaking Leguizamon for second and nearly taking first from Kirkwood. For the duration of the finale, Kirkwood fended off Pedersen while Pedersen held off his teammate. Kirkwood finished the race first with Pedersen in second and Leguizamon in third. Abel finished the race fourth, keeping Abel Motorsports a top of season-long team championship points.

The F3 Americas Championship travels to the Big Easy for its penultimate event Oct. 12-14 at NOLA Motorsports Park before it wraps up its inaugural season at the United States Grand Prix supporting Formula 1 at Circuit of the Americas the following weekend. For full results and photos of the event, visit F3Americas.com.

Original Article Here:
https://racer.com/2018/09/26/kirkwood-registers-third-f3-americas-sweep-at-road-atlanta/

Kyle Kirkwood gets third F3 Americas hat-trick at Road Atlanta

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Kyle Kirkwood closed in on the inaugural Formula 3 Americas title with three more wins at Road Atlanta.

The Abel Motorsports drivers comtinued his 100% tally of poles in qualifying, beating Global Racing Group pair Benjamin Pedersen and Baltazar Leguizamon by four tenths of a second.

Pedersen briefly challenged Kirkwood at the start of the first race, but Kirkwood had already pulled away when the safety car was called out to recover John Paul Southern Jr’s car, which had been suffering from mechanical problems all weekend, and did not take part in the remaining races.

Leguizamon took second place from his team-mate after the restart, while deteriorating tyres for Kirkwood’s team-mate Jacob Abel meant championship debutant Parker Locke was able to snatch fourth.

In the second race Pedersen hung onto Kirkwood a little longer, but still found himself being distanced and then coming under pressure from Leguizamon and Locke.

Locke went off track and caused a safety car, making Pedersen’s job harder, but he won his squabble with Leguizamon for second and moved into third in the standings.

Pedersen was even stronger in the final race, but once again Kirkwood beat him to victory, with Leguizamon finishing third. The tight fight is now solely between Kirkwood and Leguizamon.

Results
Race 1 (24 laps)
1 Kyle Kirkwood Abel Motorsports 35m54.086s
2 Baltazar Leguizamon Global Racing Group +2.919s
3 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group +7.572s
4 Parker Locke Global Racing Group +12.413s
5 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports +13.191s
Ret John Paul Southern Jr Southern Motorsports
Pole: Kirkwood, 1m18.136s
Fastest lap: Kirkwood, 1m19.568s

Race 2 (27 laps)
1 Kirkwood 35m44.605s
2 Pedersen +12.124s
3 Leguizamon +12.429s
4 Abel +25.553s
5 Locke +1m17.402s
FL: Kirkwood, 1m18.707s

Race 3 (24 laps)
1 Kirkwood 35m52.034s
2 Pedersen +1.840s
3 Leguizamon +2.475s
4 Abel +6.744s
Ret Locke
FL: Locke, 1m20.040s

Championship Standings
1 Kirkwood 293   2 Leguizamon 205   3 Pedersen 102   4 Southern 84   5 Abel 79   6 Locke 22   7 Peter Portante 12

Original Article Here:
http://www.formulascout.com/kyle-kirkwood-gets-third-f3-americas-hat-trick-at-road-atlanta/45265

Kirkwood takes 10th F3 Americas win at Road Atlanta

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Kyle Kirkwood was back to his winning ways in the first two rounds of F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda racing at Road Atlanta Saturday and Sunday, adding two more victories to his already staggering win collection. The two-day checkered conquest marks ten total victories for the reigning F4 U.S. champion.

Global Racing Group pilots Baltazar Leguizamon and Benjamin Pedersen supported Kirkwood on the podium in both rounds. Leguizamon placed second in Round 10 and third in Round 11 with Pedersen taking third on Saturday and second on Sunday morning.

“We were able to pull up an early lead and consolidate it,” said Kirkwood. “Managing the gap allowed us to save tires for the last race.”

In the opening race of the weekend, Kirkwood started on pole with Pedersen positioned on the clean side of the track in second for the F1-style standing start. A sluggish launch off the line from Kirkwood allowed Pedersen to pull ahead of the Abel Motorsports driver. As the two cars entered Turn 1, Pedersen lifted, giving Kirkwood the inch he needed to overtake from the inside exciting the turn. The pair went side-by-side into Turn 3, however, Pedersen’s No. 24 DirtFish Global Racing Group machine went wide, dropping two wheels off-track.

The miscalculation not only knocked Pedersen out of first-place contention, it permitted his GRG teammate to seize second. The top three spots remained the same for the duration of the session.

“We had a really good start, but looking back I should have kept more throttle into the turn and not lifted,” Pedersen explained. “He carried that momentum up the track and I made a mistake in Turn 3 that cost me position. However we were able to set the second-fastest lap time of the session so I can start from P2 in Race 2.”

Series newcomer Parker Locke and Jacob Abel diced for position most of the round. Abel, who just entered the Championship last weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park, began the race in fourth and immediately pulled a gap from fifth-place Locke. However, as Abel’s tires started to fade, Locke’s car picked up speed. The two vied for position, until on the penultimate lap, Locke, drafted to the outside of Abel on the back straight entering Turn 10 for the overtake, placing fourth in his F3 Americas debut.

“The race was a lot of fun,” Locke said. “We are working on getting comfortable with the car to push it to the limits, learning the downforce and getting used to the extra power. But we are extremely excited to come away with at fourth-place finish in my first ever F3 race as our goal this weekend was just to finish.”

A single-vehicle off-track incident in Turn 1, ended John Paul Southern Jr.’s weekend due to damages sustained from contact with the barrier wall. As a precaution, the Ohio native was transported to medical for a check-up, then released. Southern is expected to return for the next scheduled event at NOLA Motorsports Park.

Kirkwood’s start from his 10th consecutive pole-position was better than the day before, however, Pedersen’s jump off the stripe was still superior. Like the round before, the two challenged each other through the first few turns before Kirkwood shook the Global Racing Group driver, building a gap early in the race.

Pedersen pulled away from his GRG teammate, however, lap after lap Leguizamon continued to gain speed until he was turning faster laps than Pedersen. Leguizamon approached the gearbox of Pedersen on the last lap. As the white flag dropped, Leguizamon, the master of drafting, went wide for one last attempt at taking second place. Pedersen defended the race line and Leguizamon settled for third.

“I was trying to push hard on Benjamin to pressure him like I did yesterday. My start wasn’t the best with some wheel spin so I lost some time there, but I think that with my car coming in at the end of the race we set the second-fastest lap time to start P2 for the final round,” Leguizamon said. “The car is getting better and we are getting quicker. I’m in the same position as I was at New Jersey when we won, and I think we can really challenge Kyle for first today.”

The F3 Americas Road Atlanta Sunday finale starts at 3:30 p.m. ET. Fans can follow LIVE T&S on F3Americas.com or by using the Race Monitor app.

Keep up with F3 Americas throughout the weekend at www.F3Americas.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/f3americas and on Twitter at @f3americas.

Original Article Here:
https://racer.com/2018/09/23/kirkwood-takes-10th-f3-americas-win-at-road-atlanta/

Kirkwood’s F3 Americas victory run ends at New Jersey

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Kyle Kirkwood won two out of the three Formula 3 Americas races at New Jersey, but defeat to Baltazar Leguizamon ended a 19 race victory run.

Of the 19, 11 came in his title-winning USF2000 title campaign, with the remainder coming in the first eight races of the inaugural F3 Americas season.

The New Jersey weekend started with a free practice session only contested by Global Racing Group driver Leguizamon, but the extra experience proved to be of little help as he was beaten to pole by Kirkwood by 1.3 seconds. United States Formula 4 regular Jacob Abel qualified third on his debut, joining Kirkwood at Abel Motorsports.

The first race was similar to qualifying, with Kirkwood dominating, Leguizamon finishing second and Abel beating Southern Motorsports’ John Paul Southern Jr to the final podium spot. The result immediately lifted Abel to fifth in the standings. Leguizamon was unable to make it to the podium as he was doubling up in the Atlantic Championship.

Former Atlantic champions include Gilles Villeneuve’s younger brother Jacques, Michael Andretti, Scott Goodyear and Simon Pagenaud. Leguizamon became the latest name on that list with victory in the first race.

Leguizamon went from hero to zero in the second F3 race though, going off at Turn 1 and dropping to the back of the four car grid. He then had a lengthy pitstop, putting the Argentinian a lap down. This left Kirkwood completely unchallenged, with the 19-year-old taking victory number eight by 48.485s over Southern, who took his best result of the season after a close battle with Abel.

A three-place grid penalty for Kirkwood meant he started the final race of the weekend from fourth, with Leguizamon heading Abel on the front row. It didn’t take long for Kirkwood to get to the front, but Leguizamon fought back and took his and GRG’s  first victory by just 0.923s. Abel completed the podium, with Southern failing to finish the race.

Results
Race 1 (28 laps) Race 2 (28 laps) Race 3 (28 laps)
1 Kyle Kirkwood 35m07.181s
2 Baltazar Leguizamon +10.428s
3 Jacob Abel +19.661s
4 John Paul Southern Jr +24.961s
P: Kirkwood, 1m12.869s
FL: Kirkwood, 1m13.786s
1 Kirkwood 35m03.283s
2 Southern +48.485s
3 Abel +49.531s
4 Leguizamon +1 lap
FL: Kirkwood, 1m14.050s
1 Leguizamon 35m22.745s
2 Kirkwood +0.923s
3 Abel +29.718s
Ret Southern
FL: Kirkwood, 1m14.626s
Standings 1 Kirkwood 218   2 Leguizamon 157   3 Southern Jr 84   4 Benjamin Pederson 51   5 Abel 45   6 Peter Portante 12

Original Article Here:
http://www.formulascout.com/kirkwoods-f3-americas-victory-run-ends-at-new-jersey/45095

Kyle Kirkwood Equals USF2000 Win Record with Portland Sweep

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Mazda Road to Indy

Kyle Kirkwood Equals USF2000 Win Record with Portland Sweep

PORTLAND, Ore. – Kyle Kirkwood continued his remarkable Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda win streak under gloriously sunny skies this afternoon at Portland International Raceway. The recently crowned champion stalked polesitter Rasmus Lindh (Pabst Racing) through the opening stages, then pounced decisively before edging away to another relatively comfortable victory – his 10th in a row and 12th of the 14-race season, which equals the record established by former Verizon IndyCar Series driver J.R. Hildebrand en route to the championship title in 2006.

Lindh, 17, from Gothenburg, Sweden, finished a career-best second – his fifth podium finish of the season – for Pabst Racing, while yet another rookie, South African Julian Van der Watt, also secured his best result, third, for Team Pelfrey.

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Portland Presented by Allied Building Products began with the habitual excitement provided by the Festival Curves chicane which constitute Turns One and Two on the 1.964-mile road course, although for a change, most of the leaders made it through unscathed.

Lindh protected his pole position beautifully, making sure there was no room for anyone else even to think about diving down the inside under braking. He duly held onto the lead from teammate Kaylen Frederick, Kirkwood, Brazilian Lucas Kohl, in another Pabst Racing Tatuus-Mazda USF-17 and Kory Enders, from Sugarland, Texas, who yesterday earned his first podium finish for DEForce Racing.

Japanese-born Brazilian Igor Fraga (Exclusive Autosport) jumped from ninth on the grid to third, profiting from a coming together between Mexican Jose Sierra (DEForce Racing) and impressive debutant Braden Eves (Newman Wachs Racing), from Columbus, Ohio, both of whom were eliminated on the spot.

After three laps behind the Pace Car, there was more action at Turn One when Frederick inadvertently rammed into the back of his teammate, Lindh, under braking for Turn One, which resulted in several cars taking to the escape road. The incident caused extensive damage to Frederick’s front wing (as well as tweaking the rear of Lindh’s car) and resulted in a drive-through penalty for the Maryland youngster.

Lindh nevertheless was able to maintain his lead, albeit now with Kirkwood in hot pursuit. The pair remained in close formation, pulling away from Kohl in third, until Lindh made a slight mistake in Turn One which allowed Kirkwood to sneak past. Kirkwood then turned a sequence of fastest laps before taking the checkered flag just under two seconds clear to claim Cape Motorsports’ 12th PFC Award of the season.

Van der Watt took a few laps to find a way past Fraga, then steadily closed a deficit of almost five seconds to Kohl before making the pass for third with five laps remaining. He become the 14th different podium finisher – representing no fewer than nine teams – this season.

Fraga also squeezed past Kohl on the final lap for fourth, but it wasn’t quite enough to displace his fellow countryman for third in the final points table. Guyanan Calvin Ming (Pabst Racing) claimed his third successive Tilton Hard Charger Award, moving up from sixth after starting 12th.

The combined efforts of Lindh and Kohl proved enough for Pabst Racing to claim its second successive Team Championship by a margin of 15 points over Cape Motorsports, which will be celebrated – along with Kirkwood’s record-breaking season – at the Mazda Road to Indy Championship Celebration in Portland tomorrow evening.

Kyle Kirkwood (#8 Firstex/SAFEisFAST.com/Bell Helmets/Sparco-Cape Motorsports Tatuus-Mazda USF-17): “It was a really good race – maybe not as much action as yesterday, from my point of view, but the action we had was incredible. It was a lot of back and forth early between me, Kaylen and Rasmus, picking our spots.

“I don’t even know how to explain it, to have only two losses this season. I’ve never been in this spot before, with so much success, so I can’t really absorb it. We’ve done so well this year, and it’s cool that we’ve tied J.R. Hildebrand’s record. The car has just been on rails, so I really have to say thanks to everyone on the Cape team – Nicholas and Dominic Cape, my mechanic Alan, Reggie, Don, Scott, Kyle, Will, Jeremy, Larry, Jonatan Jorge and of course, Oliver and Nikita. I can’t wait to start next year.”

Rasmus Lindh (#23 Chicago Pneumatic-Pabst Racing Tatuus-Mazda USF-17): “Someone hit me in the gearbox in the first corner, and it bent a piece in the rear of the car, and I had to drive with the car feeling unstable for the rest of the race. I thought we could win it coming in, but as fast as Kyle has been all year and with the damage, we just couldn’t stay with him. But this is my first year in the open-wheel car, so I am very happy with the result, and with second place in the championship. I’m very happy for this and looking forward to 2019.”

Julian Van der Watt (#80 Race Driver SA/Crossley & Webb-Team Pelfrey Tatuus-Mazda USF-17): “We’ve put in so much work this year and we’ve come close a couple of times, but things have happened and it hasn’t worked out. So, to finish off like this, I just can’t explain the feeling right now, it’s just amazing. It’s really gratifying how we finished the season. I knew going through Turn One that the wreckage would fly to the inside, so I stayed to the outside, cutting across the track. We studied the Race One footage and thought that would be the best way to come out clean. The car was awesome, the Pelfrey team did a great job.”

###

About USF2000: The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda debuted in 2010 and is a continuation of the highly-regarded USF2000 series which ran from 1990 through 2006, launching the careers of many of today’s top drivers. Sanctioned by INDYCAR and managed by Andersen Promotions, the series is the first official step on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires ladder system. The top driver in the Championship class will earn a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires the following year. Additional information can be found at www.usf2000.com and at RoadToIndy.Info.

About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports: Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.

About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company: Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is the parent company of a global family of companies that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of innovative, great-performing tires that you can count on to last for thousands of miles, getting you where you need to go, and back again. Cooper is proud to be the spec tire for all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, a development program within the Verizon IndyCar Series. Cooper tires can also be seen on the track as a sponsor of the Americas Rallycross and short course off-road racing. Headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, Cooper, with its subsidiaries, has manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design operations in more than one dozen countries around the world. To connect with Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/teamcoopertire.

Original Article Here:
http://popularopenwheel.com/kyle-kirkwood-equals-usf2000-win-record-with-portland-sweep/

USF2000: Kirkwood Extends Win Streak to 10 in a Row

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Kyle Kirkwood took his 11th win of 2018, and 10th in a row, during USF2000 Race 1. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Kyle Kirkwood continued his domination of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda by winning Race 1 at Portland on Saturday.

Kirkwood, who started on the pole, rocketed away into the lead and went unchallenged most of the way. He needed to survive a restart with four laps remaining –  both Kaylen Frederick and Rasmus Lindh tried to get around him but overshot the Festival Curves in the process – but he held everyone at bay to take the his 11th win of the season and 10th in a row.

Igor Fraga and Calvin Ming finished second and third, with Kory Enders finishing fourth and Lindh rebounding to finish fifth. Frederick ended up finishing eighth.

Results are below. Race 2 rolls off at 6:20 p.m. ET (3:20 p.m. local time).

Original Article Here:
https://motorsports.nbcsports.com/2018/09/01/mrti-veekay-clinches-pro-mazda-title-as-askew-wins-race-1/

Kirkwood completes second F3 Americas weekend sweep

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Kyle Kirkwood was unbeatable during the second Amethyst Beverage F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda weekend, sweeping victories in all three races held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, Friday and Saturday. The Abel Motorsports driver remains undefeated in the newest FIA regional single-seater, single-chassis championship.

Kirkwood seized fast-lap times in both practices, qualifying and all three races, claiming pole position for each of the rounds. The Sunday morning victory marked the sixth consecutive win for the reigning F4 U.S. champion in F3, adding to a combined 15 win and six weekend sweep streak between F3 Americas and USF2000, where Kirkwood claimed the championship prior to the season culmination. The success at Mid-Ohio bumped Kirkwood ahead in standings by 48 points over Baltazar Leguizamon of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“I don’t think we could have had a better weekend,” said Kirkwood, who aspires to be the first driver to win the F4 U.S., USF2000 and F3 Americas championships in one year’s time. “The Abel Motorsports crew put together a very well-balanced car and it showed every time on track.

“Between my two seasons with USA’s most winningest junior motorsport team Cape Motorsports, it would put pressure on any team I would join. I think Abel embraced that with much confidence and produced right away. The team is so focused, and I believe we can sweep the weekend again at New Jersey.”

While, Abel Motorsports and Kirkwood dominate the standings in wins, Global Racing Group maintains the lead in podium visits. GRG is the only multi-car team in the F3 paddock, fielding drivers Leguizamon and Benjamin Pedersen of Copenhagen, Denmark, who was added to the team’s lineup this weekend.

Both GRG pilots represented the Seattle-based team on the podium in each Mid-Ohio round, adding an extra six podium visits to the three Leguizamon earned at Pittsburgh International Race Complex last weekend. Today, Leguizamon claimed second and Pedersen took third.

“It’s a huge benefit having Balta as a teammate,” Pedersen said. “We are able to overlay data and help each other. We try to use the information the best we can to improve each other during our debriefs.”

Pedersen’s No. 24 DirtFish car and Leguizamon’s No. 9 Motorola car laid down nearly identical lap times in the final two rounds of the weekend.

Ohio native John Paul Southern Jr.’s second F3 Americas event was full of nail-biting moments which created an exciting couple of days for race fans without the fruitful outcome he had at PITT. After a hard-fought battle with Leguizamon for third yesterday that ended in a rain-soaked track with the young pilot high center off course on the final lap, Southern sustained a hand injury that affected his Round 6 race today. Starting off pole, Southern launched off the line, but quickly lost momentum with each turn due to a heavy steering issue which was difficult to control with the prior hand injury.

“When I hit the tire wall yesterday in the rain, my hand swelled and turned blue with a possible sprain,” explained Southern. “It was a race-time decision on whether I was going to participate in the final round today. We wrapped my hand, and I decided to race. It wasn’t an issue right away. We got a great start but the mechanical issue kicked in which was hard to handle with the sprained hand. Throughout the race my hand got more painful, but I stayed out and got the points for the team. We will be back and healed for New Jersey.”

The Amethyst Beverage F3 Americas Championship travels to New Jersey Motorsports Park for its next event, supporting the F4 U.S. Championship presented by Amethyst Beverage and Formula Race Promotions.

Original Article Here:
https://racer.com/2018/08/11/kirkwood-completes-second-f3-americas-weekend-sweep/

Kyle Kirkwood on IndyCar fast track after USF2000 championship

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Kyle Kirkwood on IndyCar fast track after USF2000 title

Kyle Kirkwood ran his winning streak to nine in the USF2000 series.

Kyle Kirkwood on IndyCar fast track after USF2000 championship

19-year-old clinches crown, runs winning streak to nine

July 30, 2018

Kyle Kirkwood certainly knows how to climb a ladder. The 19-year-old from Jupiter, Florida wrapped up the 2018 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda with a win on July 27 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Kirkwood then tripled his weekend fun with wins Saturday and Sunday at Mid-Ohio to sweep the tripleheader and run his USF2000 winning streak to nine. The championship is worth a $390,000 scholarship from Mazda to be used toward a ride next year in the next rung of Mazda Road to Indy ladder, the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tire.

“(Winning the 2018 championship) is completely unexpected,” Kirkwood said. "When I came into the championship this year, I had no expectations and wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I only did one test weekend going into the year, so right now this means to me what the team can do and what I can do as a driver… I’m still trying to absorb all of it really.”

With over $2 million dollars in Mazda driver development scholarships, the program allows the championship-winning drivers from all three rungs on the Mazda Road to Indy to climb to the next step on IndyCar's official ladder system. For most drivers, the scholarship plays a pivotal role in the future of their racing career.

Michael Andretti issues hard deadline for F1 champ Fernando Alonso McLarens Zak Brown IndyCar effort

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Michael Andretti issues deadline for F1 champ Fernando Alonso, McLaren's Zak Brown on 2019 IndyCar effort

Andretti Autosport IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti told Autoweek if two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso comes to IndyCar in 2019 it will be for the “full season, or not at ...

“When Kyle came to the USF2000 Shootout a couple of years ago, he narrowly lost to Oliver Askew,” said Kyle Kimball, Mazda Motorsports operations manager. “We knew at that point in time that Kyle Kirkwood is going to be a star and he was going to shine on the Mazda Road to Indy.”

The driver of the No. 8 Cape Motorsports Mazda USF-17 joins fellow Cape Motorsports championship-winning alumni Bryan Sellers, Bobby Wilson, JR Hildebrand, Petri Suvanto, Matthew Brabham, Florian Lattore, Nico Jamin, Anthony Martin and Oliver Askew. 

“The Mazda Road to Indy is not only about training inside the car, but also outside the car,” said Kimball. “We tell the young men and women that their behavior and attitude and the way they conduct themselves outside of the car is more important than what they do inside the car and on the track.

“We saw his shining personality in 2016 (at the shootout) and to look forward to 2019 and know that Kyle Kirkwood will be representing the Mazda brand puts us very much at ease.”

Kirkwood has been a model of consistency this season. In the two races he didn't win, he finished fifth and second. His average start of 2.2 and his average finish is 1.4. 

Kirkwood Clinches Championship With Clinical Consistency at Mid-Ohio

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Race 1 USF 2018 MO Web

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Kyle Kirkwood needed only a modest few results from this weekend’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda triple-header at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to put the championship crown beyond the reach of his rivals. The 19-year-old from Jupiter, Fla., did rather better than that.

Kirkwood qualified comfortably on pole position – for the fourth time this season – and was never remotely under threat as he cruised to a dominant seventh consecutive victory for Cape Motorsports to lock up the $325,000 Mazda Scholarship which will allow him to graduate onto the next level of the Mazda Road to Indy open-wheel development ladder, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, in 2019.

Teammates Lucas Kohl, from Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil, and Calvin Ming, from Georgetown, Guyana, locked out the podium for Pabst Racing to move the Wisconsin-based team ahead of Cape Motorsports in the battle for the coveted Team Championship with four races remaining – including one apiece on Saturday and Sunday.

Behind, there was all sorts of mayhem as a variety of incidents led to much of the 20-lap race being run under full-course caution. The drama started on the opening lap when the two other Pabst Racing entries, driven by Kaylen Frederick, from Potomac, Md., and Rasmus Lindh, from Gothenburg, Sweden, who had qualified second and third fastest, collided at Turn Four. Frederick’s hopes of scoring an elusive maiden victory were ended as he lost a lap before rejoining, while Lindh, who continued in second place, was obliged to serve a drive-through penalty for “avoidable contact” immediately after the restart, which dropped him to the back of the field.

Kohl took advantage of the fracas to slip into second place ahead of Ming, while a bold move by Irishman Keith Donegan (BN Racing) catapulted him from seventh on the grid to fourth at the end of the first lap ahead of Englishman James Raven, making an impressive debut for DEForce Racing, and Mexican teammate Jose Sierra.

A series of additional full-course cautions for a variety of incidents failed to trouble Kirkwood, who on each occasion was able to jump clear of his rivals at the restarts. He took the checkered flag a comfortable 1.8275 seconds clear of Kohl to clinch the eighth PFC Award of the season for brothers Dominic and Nicholas Cape. Kirkwood’s performance also ensured a record-extending eighth straight USF2000 title – and remarkable 12th since 2000 – for Cape Motorsports.

Raven looked set for fourth until being adjudged to have jumped one of the mid-race restarts. The requirement of a drive-through penalty relegated him to an unrepresentative 18th at the finish. Donegan, who was struggling with a mis-handling car, salvaged fifth after a masterful display of defensive driving, while 2017 South African F1600 champion Julian Van der Watt claimed another fifth-place finish for Team Pelfrey.

Dakota Dickerson, from San Diego, secured the Tilton Hard Charger Award for ArmsUp Motorsports by leaping from 24th and last on the grid (due to a non-functioning transponder in qualifying) to sixth ahead of Singapore’s Danial Frost (Exclusive Autosport), and 17-year-old Michael d’Orlando (Team BENIK), from Hartsdale, N.Y., who qualified a strong fifth but fell far down the order due to a mistake on the opening lap. Kory Enders (DEForce Racing), from Sugarland, Texas, and a recovering Lindh completed the top 10.

Qualifying for tomorrow’s 11th round of the 14-race season will be held at 8:45 a.m. EDT, with the race due to start at 12:35 p.m. The fastest laps from tomorrow’s race will determine the starting order for the third of this weekend’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Powered by Mazda which will start at 12:10 p.m. on Sunday.

Kyle Kirkwood (#8 Firstex/SAFEisFAST.com/Bell Helmets/Sparco-Cape Motorsports Tatuus-Mazda USF-17): “The championship hasn’t begun to sink in, I don’t even know what to think. It’s very unexpected to get it this early – I’d hoped to clinch it here but I didn’t think it would be in the first race. Oliver (Askew)’s goal was to win it here last year and couldn’t, so now I’ve been able to do it! We’ve known each other for so long, so to follow up his championship last year with the eighth in a row for the Capes is a great feeling. I’m so excited to think that I’ll be carrying the Soul Red colors for Mazda next year.”

Original Article Here:
https://www.usf2000.com/news/kirkwood-clinches-championship-with-clinical-consistency-at-mid-ohio

Kyle Kirkwood Wins Fourth Straight In USF2000

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Kirkwood

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Kyle Kirkwood led only one lap during Sunday’s incident-filled Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America powered by Mazda, but it was the only lap that mattered.

Kirkwood overtook Pabst Racing’s Lucas Kohl on the final restart to secure his fifth USF2000 win of the season and fourth in succession.

 

Potomac, Md., youngster Kaylen Frederick also found a way past Kohl on the final lap to ensure two-three finish for the Oconomowoc, Wis.-based Pabst team, after Kohl had run up front for 11 of the 12 laps.

The action began almost immediately after the start, when two cars tangled in turn one and then two more were eliminated in an incident before the braking area for turn five. That led to the first of three full-course cautions, but not before Kohl had jumped from third on the grid to the lead ahead of Pabst teammates Rasmus Lindh and Frederick.

A restart with three laps in the books was relatively clean, despite some intense wheel-to-wheel action in turn one. Kohl managed to cling onto his advantage over Lindh and Frederick, with Kirkwood lurking menacingly in fourth.

On lap five, Kirkwood moved up one position when he passed Frederick cleanly under braking for turn five. Soon afterward, the caution flags were waving again after another incident – this time in turn 12 – which required removal of the stricken cars of Darren Keane and Kyle Dupell.

The green flags flew again after a couple of laps behind the Mazda pace car, and once again the action at the front was intense. Kohl successfully fended off his pursuers to maintain the lead, while in his wake Frederick took full advantage of the draft to vault briefly from fourth to second.

It didn’t last for long, however, as minor contact between himself, Lindh and Kirkwood at turn three resulted in Kirkwood moving back to second, whereas Lindh found himself on the outside line at turn five and with nowhere to go but the escape road.

A major stack-up and some opportunist maneuvers saw yet another Pabst car – Calvin Ming, who had started a lowly 15th after problems in qualifying – suddenly emerge in fifth, only to be unfortunately harpooned in turn six by Kory Enders.

The latest carnage ensured yet another full-course caution, which left time for only a one-lap dash to the checkers. This time Kirkwood timed his restart to perfection, drafting past Kohl cleanly before turn one to assume the lead for the first time. He duly sped away to claim yet another race win after that.

Frederick also managed to find a way past the unfortunate Kohl, who had to be content with third. The pair of podium finishes provided some consolation for Augie Pabst, as his locally-based organization is now tied on points for the lead of the team championship.

Colin Kaminsky, from Homer Glen, Ill., secured his best-ever result by finishing a strong fourth for DEForce Racing, just ahead of Japanese-born Brazilian Igor Fraga.

England’s Oscar DeLuzuriaga claimed his career-best finish of 12th for Newman Wachs Racing, also earning the Tilton Hard Charger Award after starting a distant 26th.

Kirkwood’s win extends his championship lead to a commanding 94 points over Alex Baron.

Original Article Here:
https://speedsport.com/indy/road-to-indy/kyle-kirkwood-keeps-rolling-usf2000/

Kirkwood dominates oval debut for USF2000 Freedom 75 win

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Up until recently, Kyle Kirkwood claimed to be not much of a fan of oval racing. His tune changed somewhat following his first left-turn-only test at Memphis Motorsports Park last week, and the 18-year-old took full advantage of that positive experience this evening at Lucas Oil Raceway as he sped to a dominant victory for Cape Motorsports in the Cooper Tires Freedom 75, round seven of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Kaylen Frederick finished second in a race that was cut from 75 to 58 laps due to time constraints following a couple of lengthy full-course cautions. Pabst Racing rookie teammate Rasmus Lindh rounded out the podium in third.

Results

Kirkwood took full advantage of the fact his team had tested its Tatuus-Mazda USF-17 on the challenging 0.686-mile oval last year in the hands of close friend and 2017 series champion Oliver Askew. The points leader with two wins already under his belt this season, Kirkwood qualified on the pole with a two-lap average of 98.505mph.

Kirkwood took off confidently in the lead and soon began to stretch away from Lindh, who also impressed on his oval track debut by qualifying alongside on the front row of the grid.

Results

Kirkwood’s primary championship rival, Alex Baron, made up ground quickly after a mistake in qualifying left his locally based Swan-RJB Motorsports car eighth on the grid. Baron drove around the outside of several cars in Turns 3 and 4 to vault up to third on the opening lap, although he was unable to make much of an impression on the two cars in front of him.

By Lap 25, Kirkwood held a comfortable advantage of around 3.5 seconds over Lindh, with Baron another 1.6 seconds behind in third, struggling to hold off the attentions of Pabst teammates Lucas Kohl and Frederick. Next up in sixth was Keith Donegan (ArmsUp Motorsports), enjoying by far his best run of the season thus far after winning the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200k Scholarship Shootout last fall.

Four laps later, the caution flags waved for the first time when Baron, still in third place, tangled with the lapped car of Russell McDonough (BN Racing) in Turn 3. Baron’s car ended up parked heavily against the wall. Neither driver was injured. Moments earlier, Frederick had completed a timely pass on Kohl for what now became third place.

The green flags waved again with 40 laps in the books, but only briefly before Julian Van der Watt (Team Pelfrey) and Greenfield, Indiana, native Zach Holden (Newman Wachs Racing) tangled between Turns 1 and 2. Cue another round of waved yellow flags.

The final restart came at the beginning of Lap 50, but once again Kirkwood had no difficulty in keeping the rest at bay. In his wake, an aggressive restart by Frederick saw him sweep past Lindh into second place in Turns 1 and 2. The Swede tried his best to redress the balance in the closing stages, but it was to no avail as Kirkwood took the win by 1.2695 seconds, and Frederick held Lindh at bay for third.

“This is amazing – it’s a great feeling,” Kirkwood said. “To win here in Indianapolis, on this day, I really couldn’t have dreamed of it. Because I have a karting background and have never driven an oval in my life, I was never really a fan of oval racing. In my mind, it was all just turning left. But my perspective on it has totally changed after this weekend, after I learned how much strategy was involved and how technically it actually was.

“Getting the car setup right is huge. I love it now – that was the most fun I’ve had with all the passing, both in practice and in the race. We had a good setup for traffic, which meant we could run the high line and the low line. I was very confident in the car, in being able to get by guys quickly.”

Kohl finished just off the podium in fourth, and was chased across the line by Jose Sierra (DEForce Racing), Donegan and Igor Fraga (Exclusive Autosport) after a protracted battle for position.

Darren Keane finished eighth for Newman Wachs Racing, followed by Guyanan Calvin Ming (Pabst Racing) and Manuel Cabrera, who rose from 15th on the grid to 10th to secure his third successive Tilton Hard Charger Award.

Kirkwood’s third win of the season brought yet another PFC Award for the winning car owners, Dominic and Nicholas Cape, and enabled him to extend his championship lead to a whopping 45 points, 139-94, as the series heads next to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., for the next two races on June 23-24.

Original Article Here:
https://racer.com/2018/05/25/kirkwood-dominates-oval-debut-for-usf2000-freedom-75-win/

Parker Thompson and Kyle Kirkwood led the Pro Mazda and USF2000 races from pole position to checkered flag.

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Thompson, Kirkwood take dominant MRTI wins at Lucas Oil Raceway

USF2000

Polesitter Kyle Kirkwood of Cape Motorsports survived two restarts to win the USF2000 race at Lucas Oil Raceway, which was shortened after lengthy cautions.

From pole, Kirkwood immediately pulled away from Rasmus Lindh’s Pabst Racing machine, but all eyes were on Alex Baron who only qualified eighth but drove his Swan-RJB car around five cars in Turns 3 and 4 to move into third, although that would be as far as he got. On Lap 29, while trailing second-placed Lindh by 1.5sec, Baron collided with a backmarker in Turn 3 and struck the wall.

Out came the caution flags, and by now Kaylen Frederick had gotten around one of his Pabst teammates, Lucas Kohl, for fourth and now had a clear shot at Lindh for the Lap 40 restart. Frederick’s attempts to pass the Swedish rookie were put on hold by another yellow just a lap later as 

Julian Van der Watt of Team Pelfrey collided with Zach Holden’s Newman Wachs Racing machine. 

And while the Lap 50 restart saw leader Kirkwood again able to ease away Frederick got around Lindh through Turns 1 and 2 and seal runner-up spot. restart by Frederick saw him sweep past Lindh into second place in Turns 1 and 2. They would pass the checkered flag 0.7sec apart, and 1.3sec behind Kirkwood.

Kohl retained fourth ahead of Jose Sierra (DEForce Racing), Keith Donegan (ArmsUp Motorsports) and Igor Fraga (Exclusive Autosport).

Original Article Here:
https://www.motorsport.com/us/pro-mazda/news/thompson-kirkwood-take-dominant-mrti-wins-at-lucas-oil-raceway-1042019/3103270/?nrt=170

Kirkwood already making name for himself in USF2000

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Kyle Kirkwood

Kyle Kirkwood is that other Mazda Road to Indy driver from Jupiter, Florida.

For many, it’s easy to compare the 19-year-old to his friend and fellow Jupiter resident, Oliver Askew.

After all, both hail from the same town and both were 2016 Team USA Scholarship winners. Both have grown up competing at Palm Beach International Raceway. They even drive for the same team: Cape Motorsports.

Even team co-owner Nicholas Cape labeled them “two peas in a pod.”

In 2017, Askew captured the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda – the first rung of the three-tiered Mazda Road to Indy development ladder. Meanwhile, Kirkwood was busy claiming nine wins, 15 podiums and six poles en route to the F4 United States Championship powered by Honda.

Now, Kirkwood has moved into the seat formerly filled by Askew, who, with the Mazda scholarship earned by winning the USF2000 title, has progressed up to fight in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires this season.

Kyle KirkwoodKirkwood won his USF2000 debut last month on the streets of St. Petersburg and left the doubleheader race weekend as the championship leader by seven points over DEForce Racing rookie Jose Sierra.

It goes to show the poise of Kirkwood, who admitted before the season started that he isn’t feeling the pressure of keeping Cape Motorsports’ streak of seven consecutive USF2000 titles alive.

“Honestly, if anything, it gives me more confidence because I know I’m with a team that has a proven track record and they can go out there and win races,” said Kirkwood, driver of the No. 8 Mazda/Tatuus USF-17.

“They already have the setups for the car. They have everything, where it’s just all I have to do is go out there and drive, so it’s really good. I don't have anything on my back wondering if the car is going to be bad because I know it’s going to be the best car out there every single session.

“So for me, it honestly just gives me more confidence – especially since we’re only a one-car team. (Pabst Racing) is a four-car team, they obviously have a lot more data to compare off of from a lot more drivers, but I’m excited for the year.

“I think it’s going to be really good, especially with last year. Oliver obviously won the championship and we’ve talked about it. We’re very comparable drivers so I think I can go out there and do the same thing.”

Although Kirkwood is flying solo in USF2000, he still has the benefit of leaning on Askew whenever needed and has notes from last year’s championship campaign.

“We’re kind of on our two separate programs, but if I ever have any questions, if I’m struggling anywhere, I can always go to him (and) he’ll have the answer for me,” said Kirkwood, the 2016 national champion in the Florida Winter Tour Rotax Senior Max and RokCup USA Senior karting divisions.

“It’s great having him as a teammate. We’ve been teammates since we were really young. I think this is the seventh year that we’ve been teammates on a proper team, but there’s other times when we were 5 or 6 years old where we were running together in Comer 80 (karts) back in the early or mid-2000s.

“So it’s really cool being back together with him in the same program, same series (MRTI), same team. It’s pretty cool.”

Kirkwood did admit that his driving style varies some from that of Askew.

“If I had to guess, Oliver would be a bit more meticulous and I’m a little bit more aggressive, you could say, with my driving style,” said Kirkwood. “He’s very precise, always hits his marks, and I’m more always just digging. Not throwing it around, but I’m always digging at the car trying to get that extra little bit.”

Askew agreed with that assessment – mostly.

“Depends on the day,” said Askew, driver of the No. 3 Soul Red Mazda/Tatuus PM-18 in Pro Mazda. “If I need to turn it up, I can turn it up, but I think that’s fair to say that I’m kind of a perfectionist. Even off the track, too. I try not to make any mistakes. I think he’s that way, too.”

Kirkwood won’t race again until USF2000 contests Rounds 3 and 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course during the INDYCAR Grand Prix on May 10-12. Askew and Pro Mazda return to action April 20-22 for a doubleheader weekend at Barber Motorsports Park as part of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

Original Article Here:
https://www.indycar.com/News/2018/04/04-03-MRTI-Kyle-Kirkwood-USF2000

US F4 champion Kyle Kirkwood dominates USF2000 race one in St. Petersburg

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Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Reigning United States Formula 4 champion Kyle Kirkwood took the honours in the season-opening USF2000 race at St. Petersburg with a dominant display.

Kirkwood, who started second alongside pole-sitter Jose Sierra on the front row of the grid, made what was the decisive move at the first corner on the opening lap, passing Sierra before a yellow flag was brought out due to an incident involving Manuel Cabrera, Igor Fraga, Oscar DeLuzuriaga and Zach Holden.

Cape Motorsports driver Kirkwood aced the restart and went on to build a gap over Sierra, pulling out a margin to win the 20-lap race by 5.4945 seconds.

Sierra was troubled for second in the race by US debutant and British F4 champion Jamie Caroline.

Caroline made his way past for second on lap eight of 20, before retiring from the race with a broken suspension following suspected contact at turn 10. His BN Racing team-mate Russell McDonough also retired from the race with the same issue.

Darren Keane rounded out the podium, despite starting in eighth, as drivers in front of him hit trouble. He finished ahead of Calvin Ming but was 10 seconds behind the race winner.

Alex Baron, Lucas Kohl and Kory Enders all served drive-through penalties due to jumping the sole restart. Baron, the race two pole-sitter, worked his way from the back to the top 10 before retiring from the race himself. He did, however, set fastest lap.

Julian van der Watt completed the top five, after starting from outside of the top 10, beating Colin Kaminsky and Bruna Tomaselli, who won the National Class at this event last year.

Kaylen Frederick, one of the title favourites and third fastest in qualifying, was in the pits by the third lap following contact, but worked his way up to 11th at the finish.

Potential rival Igor Fraga recovered to a strong eighth-place finish after his first lap incident, passing cars on almost every lap.

Race results (20 laps)
1 Kyle Kirkwood Cape Motorsports 26m11.741s
2 Jose Sierra DEForce Racing +5.4945s
3 Darren Keane Newman Wachs Racing +12.2561s
4 Calvin Ming Pabst Racing Services +15.2582s
5 Julian van der Watt Team Pelfrey +15.5706s
6 Colin Kaminsky DEForce Racing +20.8132s
7 Bruna Tomaselli Team Pelfrey +23.1378s
8 Igor Fraga Exclusive Autosport +24.4335s
9 Kyle Dupell Team Pelfrey +26.6204s
10 Rasmus Lindh Pabst Racing Services +30.9835s
11 Kaylen Frederick Pabst Racing Services +35.5110s
12 Mathias Soler-Obel Sol.O Racing +36.2571s
13 Lucas Kohl Pabst Racing Services +36.7320s
14 Keith Donegan ArmsUp Motorsports +38.0968s
15 Sabre Cook Team Benik +44.6499s
16 Michael d’Orlando Team Benik +49.4592s
17 Jayson Clunie Exclusive Autosport +1m00.4669s
18 David Osborne Newman Wachs Racing +1m00.7602s
19 Kory Enders DEForce Racing +1 lap
20 Oscar DeLuzuriaga Newman Wachs Racing +2 laps
21 Zach Holden DEForce Racing +2 laps
Ret Alex Baron Swan-RJB Motorsports
Ret Russell McDonough BN Racing
Ret Jamie Caroline BN Racing
Ret Manuel Cabrera Exclusive Autosport
Fastest Lap: Baron, 1m12.266s

Championship Standings
1 Kirkwood 31   2 Sierra 26   3 Keane 22   4 Ming 19   5 van der Watt 17   6 Kaminsky 15   7 Tomaselli 14   8 Fraga 13   9 Dupell 12   10 Lindh 11

Original Story Here:
http://www.formulascout.com/us-f4-champion-kyle-kirkwood-dominates-usf2000-opener-at-st-petersburg/41320

Kyle Kirkwood: On the right track

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Reigning F4 United States powered by Honda champion and Team USA Scholarship driver Kyle Kirkwood faced some periods of uncertainty over the winter months but has bounced back to secure his favored option for 2018 – an opportunity to remain with Cape Motorsports and step onto the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy by contesting the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Hello everyone, I'm back after a long but extremely busy offseason. Last time I wrote to all of you was just after my trip to Paris for the 2017 FIA Prize Giving Ceremony, which was one of the most incredible experiences in my life thus far. Since then it's been very tough and sometimes confusing planning out what I was going to run this season. The Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires was at the top of my list for options and I put all my efforts into making sure I was in the program somehow.

This was always the goal, but circumstances throughout the winter almost made it impossible; that's really where the confusion came from. Fortunately, the stars aligned and I have been able to confirm my plans for the season to remain with Cape Motorsports and move into the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

The past four months have really flown by. I have spent every weekend, minus maybe three, at a racetrack, mostly at the karting circuits. I tend to spend my "free weekends" throughout the year coaching a handful of up-and-coming stars in karting with Speed Concepts Racing run by Mike Speed (father of Scott Speed). My drivers range from 10 to 13 years old and they never fail to put a smile on my face. I always like giving back the same way many have to me in the past. There is no way to explain how great it is to know you have so much to do with a young driver's progression. One of my younger ones that I have helped since he started is now contending for wins against some of the best karting drivers around the world in his category. Next to me winning, watching these youngsters win comes in a close second!

blog1 fishing2Happily, there has been some time where I can relax with family and friends. I spend as much time as I can free-diving and surfing, most of the time with Oliver Askew and Logan Sargeant. It's a couple things we've done since before we even started racing. Even before I could walk, my parents would take me out fishing and strap me into a child car seat! So, obviously, a part of me will always love being on the water.

Getting back to what is happening currently, we recently ran our first test as a team at Homestead-Miami in Florida for the Mazda Road to Indy "Spring Training" official test. Even though everything was very last-minute and it was only our first test, I still had confidence we would turn some heads. I believe we did just that throughout the weekend with multiple fast laps while also being quickest overall both days! All in all, it was a stellar weekend and it was honestly the most perfect debut Cape and I could ask for.

blog1 Homestead test1 640x427It's pretty amazing, actually. Even though everything is absolutely different outside the team compared to last year, everything still feels the same due to the relationship I have built with the team from winning the F4 U.S. Championship powered by Honda. Coming into the weekend it felt as if we started exactly where we left off October of last year...on a big high note from our race win and championship victory at COTA during the USGP Formula 1 event.

The start of the weekend was pretty funny to say the least. We snatched some Cooper tires at the track from another team, not knowing how old or how many laps they had on them... All we knew was that there was just a big "X" across the tops of the rubber, which typically means "these are finished." Actually, we just needed something the run on for the first of three sessions since our plan was to run our daily two-set allowance in the final two sessions. The first session was only to make sure everything ran properly and there weren't any prevalent issues.

Sessions two and three went as planned. The team did a fabulous job and the car was really dialed in and we were quickest by 1.3504 seconds in session two and 0.2203s in session three! I couldn't be happier with those results. We proved what we needed to and there wasn't anything noticeable on the car that needed to be assessed for sessions four, five and six.

Day two was solely to improve our own knowledge of how the car reacted in qualifying/race distance stints, with some minor fine-tuning here and there. All went according to plan again. We ran some fast laps and concentrated on overall consistency with used tires, so we learned exactly what we needed to and I couldn't have hoped for anything more from the car.

Now preparations start for St. Petersburg on March 9-11, our first official race and one of two street races we will compete on this year. This will be my first time racing a temporary track in cars, so learning quick will be crucial.

Thanks for reading,

Kyle Kirkwood

Original Story Here:
http://www.racer.com/indycar/road-to-indy/usf2000/item/147745-kyle-kirkwood-on-the-right-track

Kirkwood signs with Cape for USF2000 debut season

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Reigning F4 US champion Kyle Kirkwood will join the Mazda Road to Indy with multi-time and reigning USF2000 champions Cape Motorsports.

In 2017, Cape Motorsports ran 19-year-old Kirkwood to the US F4 title and has now brought him over to the MRTI to try and extend the team’s run of USF2000 titles to eight.

“We started this journey with Kyle over a year ago, with the objective to win the F4 Championship in 2017 – job cracked,” said Nicholas Cape. “Then, the plan going forward was to move Kyle into USF2000 for 2018 and challenge for the championship.

“A lot of things happened over the winter and we weren't 100 percent sure, as a group, that was going to happen. A big thank you to the people who have helped see this come to fruition, because without their support, I'm not sure it would have.”

Kirkwood, a two-time Team USA qualifier for the Rotax Grand Finals in karting, has also been a winner at the prestigious Superkarts! USA SuperNationals in Las Vegas. In 2016, he and Oliver Askew – Cape’s latest USF2000 champion – were the Team USA Scholarship winners.

Last year, Kirkwood dominated the F4 US Championship, winning nine of the 20 races with Cape Motorsports and more than doubling the point total of the series runner-up.

He said: “It’s truly an honor to join with Cape Motorsports for the second year around. We had such a great 2017 season and to be able to keep that momentum rolling is awesome.

“It’s always tough learning a new car and a new series, but being with a team that I am very comfortable with and know so well will make the transition very easy.”

Original Story Here:
https://www.motorsport.com/usf2000/news/kirkwood-signs-with-cape-for-usf2000-debut-season-1007459/?v=2&s=1&q=kyle+kirkwood

Kirkwood Honored at FIA Prize Giving Ceremony Alongside F1 Stars

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Kirkwood Spends Night with the Stars

The 2017 season culminated for Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda champion Kyle Kirkwood on Friday evening as the up-and-coming star was honored on the same stage as Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton during the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony at the historic Palace of Versailles in France.

The year-end event celebrates the achievements of the FIA championship-winning drivers and teams from around the world.

Highlights of Kirkwood’s evening were walking the red-carpet through the golden palace gates, meeting his racing heroes, receiving a private tour of the Palace and being seated next to the other F4 champion’s from around the world during dinner.

“The whole night was surreal,” Kirkwood said. “I felt a part of the international racing community especially when I talked to Lewis Hamilton about the F4 and F1 race at COTA.”

Additional honorees were, F1 World Championship competitors Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas, five-time FIA World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier, FIA World Endurance Championship winners Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley, as well as the last WTCC champion ever Thed Björk, along with other FIA champions around the world.

Full event photos can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/fia-official/

Photo provided by FIA 

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2008762-kirkwood-spends-night-with-the-stars

Kyle Kirkwood: To F1 with F4!

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JUPITER, Fla. – Hey everyone, what a year it has been. This has been by far the most successful and enjoyable season of my career so far. We started off with 40 positions of penalties — what a disappointing situation, but the setback only ignited a fire in me. Cape Motorsports and I gave it our all to get back on top, and we did just that. We came back to sweep two consecutive weekends, take nine wins, 15 podiums and nine poles throughout the season! I really couldn’t have asked for more.

The F4 U.S. Championship powered by Honda drivers have been so fortunate to run in support of amazing series, including IMSA, NASCAR, Trans-Am, World Endurance Championship and even Formula 1! It has been incredible to say the least. My favorite race weekend was this past one at the Circuit of The Americas Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. It was actually my first time at an F1 event and it really blew me away! There were so many amazing opportunities and I stayed very busy the entire weekend.

As soon as I arrived at the track Thursday, I could feel the magnitude of the event from the thousands of fans and hospitalities scattered throughout the giant CoTA facility. I instantly made my way to the F1 paddock to view the cars – seeing them on TV doesn’t do them ANY justice. I then had the opportunity to be amongst the representatives during the launch of 2018 F3 Americas, speaking in front of many FIA members including Charlie Whiting! I typically don’t get nervous anymore but for THAT I definitely was.

That night I was invited to the annual “Buxton Bash” hosted by NBCSN’s Will Buxton along with Speed City Broadcasting. This event was at a quaint open-roof club in downtown Austin. When I arrived there, the line stretched across two city blocks and around a corner. Fortunately, I was dragged in through the fans by Speed City’s own Jonathan Green. I was only expecting to socialize with the fans and the other F4 drivers who arrived, but about 30 minutes later I found myself on stage with Will Buxton addressing the crowd immediately after Santino Ferrucci, Lance Stroll and Romain Grosjean! My excitement was through the roof and, honestly, I could hardly sleep that night.

Friday was our first day on track and it was time to get serious. The previous event at CoTA with WEC was a bit of a struggle and we fought to hang on to top-three finishes. Cape Motorsports and I had a whole month to analyze what we lacked and I was extremely confident with the car going into the first practice. The conditions in practice were very strange. It was wet early on and the curbs were freshly painted. We ended up just outside the top 10 but we made changes while the track was at its peak, so I was still positive we had everything right. In Qualifying our pace showed quickly when we jumped up to the top around Lap 5 and stayed there until the checkered flag came out.

Starting on the pole for Race One, I could feel the energy from all the fans on the grid. I looked left to see Charlie Whiting, Zak Brown and Michael Andretti standing trackside with myself on the massive TV screens all around the track. This was an extremely nerve-racking moment, but as soon as the lights came on I was back in the zone. I got the jump and held the lead for over half the race. I fought off Benjamin Pedersen, who nearly swept the last event at WEC, for many laps but he snuck around the outside of me on the back straight with about five laps to go. I finished the race in P2. Luckily for us, a huge cold front came through bringing rain to create uneven track conditions for Race Two. By the time of the race, it was intermediate conditions and all the drivers were forced to run rain tires. Our setup was absolutely perfect for the conditions and I was able to get the jump from our off-pole starting spot and consistently pulled a larger gap every lap till the end. We stretched an over 10-second lead by the checkered flag! It felt amazing to take the win in front all of the F1 teams and fans just hours before the USGP.

The F4 races may have been done but it was time to watch my first ever Formula 1 race. I stood in Turn Five for the start and the noise coming from the crowds in Turn One and across the track were louder than the actual cars! To add to my incredible weekend, about halfway through the race I walked down to the paddock to meet with the Speed City crew and they gave me the chance to announce the last few laps over the track audio! So, about 200,000 people were hearing my input on the track and strategies from a driver’s perspective. I actually announced Max Verstappen’s last-lap pass on Kimi Raikkonen for third!

What a weekend to cap off the year. Huge thank-you Cape Motorsports, Firstex, Bell Helmets, Team USA Scholarship, SAFE is FAST, and my family because none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for ALL of them.

Thanks for reading — I’ll keep you updated on what’s next!
Kyle

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=4232

U.S. F4 champ Kirkwood’s awesome Austin F1/F4 experience

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kyle kirkwood wins F4 2017

Kyle Kirkwood captured this year’s F4 U.S. Championship Powered by Honda for Cape Motorsports, the series of which concluded at Circuit of The Americas last month in Austin.

Kirkwood, the 2016 Team USA Scholarship recipient, recaps that weekend for F4 racing on the F1 weekend, below in his latest Team USA Scholarship blog.

Original Article Here:
http://motorsports.nbcsports.com/2017/11/01/u-s-f4-champ-kirkwoods-awesome-austin-f1f4-experience/
https://sports.yahoo.com/u-f4-champ-kirkwood-awesome-215801857.html

Kirkwood Caps Off Season Finale with Ninth Season Win at Circuit of the Americas USGP

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Kirkwood Caps Off Season Finale with Ninth Season Win at Circuit of the Americas USGP

Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, reminded the world why he is the  2017 Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda national champion after winning his ninth race of the season practically uncontested in the second half of the F4 U.S. season finale race at the Circuit of the Americas United States Grand Prix Sunday. The win tied the series record held by inaugural champion Cameron Das of Baltimore.

“It’s a surreal feeling being on the top step of the F1 podium,” Kirkwood said. “Taking that parade lap with thousands of fans cheering, confirms even more, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Thank you F1 for allowing us to share this awesome experience with you.”

Dakota Dickerson of San Diego captured his second podium of the weekend, which gave him just enough points to claim third place in the national points championship, and Braden Eves of Gahanna, Ohio, was awarded third place after Skylar Robinson of Augusta, Georgia, received a 20-second penalty for exceeding track during the session.

“It’s disappointing to have such a great race and have the podium ripped away from me,” Robinson said. “I went around a lapped car, which didn’t give me an advantage in the race. The other situation, the car was slower than me but he was leading me at the time, and I shouldn’t have passed the way I did. It was a hard lesson to learn. My Momentum Motorsports team worked really hard this weekend to give me a fast car and I really wish that I could have brought this home for them.”

Early morning weather created uneven track conditions for the finale, causing the series officials to declare a wet race. All teams were required to use Pirelli P’Zero wet tires, however, some teams gambled by starting from the pits to switch to slicks. While the cars with slicks were faster, the shortened race time and lack of yellows made it nearly impossible for those cars to catch the front of the field. Austin Kaszuba of Burleson, Texas, who gave up a 10th-place grid position to switch tires in pit lane at the start, clocked the fastest-lap of the race at 2:19.158.

Benjamin Pedersen of Copenhagen, Denmark, started on pole with Kirkwood’s freshly wrapped Bell Helmet black 8-ball car starting beside him. As the lights turned green, Pedersen experienced tire spin from the amount of water that collected on his side of the track which allowed Kirkwood to get a great jump on the start and second-row starters Dickerson and Eves to challenge the Global Racing Group pilot into Turn 1. Pedersen lost the battle to Dickerson in Lap 1 but was able to hold Eves until lapped traffic in the tight COTA turns compromised Pedersen’s strategy later in the race, allowing Eves to pass. Pedersen gained some of his momentum back, but the drying track paired with wet tires did not permit the speed he had seen the rest of the weekend. Pedersen finished the race 10th.

Dickerson challenged Kirkwood for the first half of the race but poor tire management caused him to lose momentum. The Kiwi Motorsport driver switched strategies from attack mode into survival mode to hold off Eves, Pedersen and Robinson. Robinson, who excels in wet conditions, started the race 15th and started picking off competitors one by one until he was at the front of the field. A beautiful pass in the Esses on Eves for third left fans cheering and even competing teams clapping on his success. Unfortunately, celebrations ended after the issued penalty knocked Robinson to eighth place in final results. JDX Racing pilot Ben Waddell of Denver also experienced a great weekend of racing which resulted in the JRi Hard Charger Award after making 21 progressive position changes in two races.

While Kirkwood clinched the national championship before the weekend finale, second and third place were not decided until the checkered flag dropped in the final round on Sunday. Raphael Forcier of Montreal won the F4 U.S. Championship runner-up title and Dickerson, in just 11 rounds of racing, swooped in to claim third in the national points championship. The top-seven drivers (Kirkwood, Forcier, Dickerson, Pedersen, Jordan Sherratt of Durban, South, Africa, Eves and Timo Reger of Houston) are presented with FIA Super License points to aid in their racing career advancement to Formula 1. F4 U.S. Championship is the only junior racing series, as of 2017, in the United States to offer its competitors Super License points.

The F4 U.S. Championship 2018 season kicks off the last weekend in April with Pirelli World Challenge and the new F3 Americas at Virginia International Raceway. Fans can view full results from the weekend at F4USChampionship.com.

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2008420-kirkwood-caps-off-season-finale-with-ninth-season-win-at-circuit-of-the-americas-usgp

Pedersen Celebrates Third COTA Win at United States Grand Prix Debut

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Pedersen Celebrates Third COTA Win at United States Grand Prix Debut

The Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda drivers showed Austin, Texas, and the rest of the world how exciting junior-open wheel racing can be with an action-packed race from start to finish. Thousands of fans were on their feet cheering as Benjamin Pedersen of Copenhagen, Denmark, passed pole-sitter and F4 U.S. National Champion Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, for the lead in the final moments of the race. The cheers and gasps continued as Dakota Dickerson, who had chased Braden Eves of Gahanna, Ohio, for most of the round, made a calculated sling-shot pass on the inside to claim the last spot on the podium.

“The fan support here at COTA has been amazing. I could hear the fans cheering through my helmet over my Honda engine,” said Pederson, who has won three of the last four races at COTA. “To hear the Danish national anthem play after my win was amazing and to be on the top spot of the F1 podium was even better.”

Pedersen shared the front row with Kirkwood. Kirkwood’s car launched from the F1-style standing start like a rocket ship, leaving Pedersen to play catch up. The pair zoomed around the red, white and blue COTA corners, creating more than a second gap between Eves, Brendon Leitch of Invercargill, New Zealand, and Dickerson. Finally, the Global Racing Group driver wore down Kirkwood and made a pass on the outside of Turn 5. Pedersen held off advances from Kirkwood until he took the checkered.

“Pedersen raced me clean the entire race,” said Kirkwood. “He’s extremely calm and has been the best driver to race against in the championship.”

Dickerson, who started P5, was patient most of the race, waiting for Eves to wear the rubber off his Pirelli PZero tires. After passing his Kiwi Motorsport teammate Leitch, Eves was next on Dickerson’s hitlist. Eves defended his racing line as Dickerson tried multiple overtakes, but one wide turn in T20 from the Jay Howard Motorsports Driver Development driver left just enough room for Dickerson to whip inside on the penultimate lap.

“I am so thankful for the opportunity that SCCA Pro Racing and F4 U.S. has given us,” Dickerson said. “Being on the F1 podium was unexpected and was a dream of mine my entire life. I will remember this moment forever and hopefully tomorrow the U.S. national anthem will be played as I collect my first win of the season."

The win from Pedersen jolted him from fifth place in the national championship to third, respectively. Unofficially, Forcier still holds second with Dickerson in fourth. Jordan Sherratt of Durban, South Africa, dropped to fifth in standings but only trails Pedersen by 12 points and Dickerson by two.

The F4 U.S. field returns to COTA tomorrow at 11:20 a.m. CT for the season finale. Full results can be viewed on F4USChampionship.com.

Provisional Results

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2008394-pedersen-celebrates-third-cota-win-at-united-states-grand-prix-debut

Cape Motorsports Locks Team and Driver Championships Before Last Event

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Cape Motorsports Locks Team and Driver Championships Before Last Event

Cape Motorsports added to its impressive resume this year, winning both the Team and Driver titles in their first season of Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda competition.  Cape Motorsports’ driver Kyle Kirkwood scored seven poles, eight wins and 13 podiums enroute to clinching the championship one event early, securing the crown with a second-place finish in the first race of the tripleheader Circuit of the Americas September 14-16. Series rookie Mathias Soler-Obel added points to the Team Championship effort, posting a total of 14 top-10 finishes as the crew heads into the final stop on the 2017 schedule at the Circuit of the Americas on the October 20-22 weekend.

"The first COTA weekend was all about securing the Driver’s Championship for Kyle, and the Team Championship for our guys, and we managed to accomplish our goals,” Dominic Cape enthused, speaking on behalf of his brother Nicholas and the entire Cape Motorsports staff.  “We are ecstatic to win the F4 Championship in our first go-round. There was some great racing in Texas with Kyle securing three podiums and Mathias having his best weekend so far this year. Steve (Bamford) had some great battles and did a solid job after missing the practice day due to business commitments. It was a fantastic weekend, and we’d both like to thank every member of our team for a brilliant season. It was a huge effort by everyone involved, truly awesome to be a part of."

It was truly a remarkable debut in F4 U.S. for the Cape Motorsports team and with new events in Austin scheduled to cap the year, they went into the penultimate event focused on capturing the two prestigious championship titles.  Kirkwood qualified third to begin the September COTA event, while Soler-Obel was a strong sixth, his best performance of the year. Canadian Steve Bamford’s need to miss the practice day put him behind the eight ball, and he qualified 31st to begin the weekend.

Kirkwood turned in a pair of tremendous performances in Friday’s pair of races, opening the tripleheader weekend with two podium finishes to clinch the championship over his nearest competitor. He ran a smart error-free race to second in the opening event, clinching the title in the process, and backed it up with a third in Race #2. Soler ran a strong sixth in the opening race, continuing his impressive development, turning the third fastest lap to move to the inside of Row 2 for Race #2.  Bamford advanced to 25th as he continued to get up to speed on the long 17-corner COTA layout, improving his time to start 25th in Race #2.  After starting third, Soler-Obel scored his second top-10 of the weekend on Friday afternoon, finishing seventh. Bamford was again on the move, taking another 25th place finish while dropping a full second off his fastest lap times to move to the 11th row for the start of the third and final race of the weekend on Saturday.

In Race 3, Kirkwood capped the weekend with another second-place finish, which coupled with Soler-Obel's sixth place result gave Cape Motorsports the overall 2017 Team Championship.  Soler finished in the top-10 in six of the last seven races and will look to finish the season strongly at the finale later this month.  Bamford ended his weekend with a 24th place finish. 

The final stop on the F4 U.S. Championship schedule will take the team back to the Circuit of the Americas on the October 20-22 weekend, where they will run in support of the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix.

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2008314-cape-motorsports-locks-driver-and-team-championships-in-f4

Kirkwood Clinches Season Championship Before F4 U.S. Finale

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Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, dominated his sophomore season of the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda, clinching the season championship before the final event at Circuit of the Americas.

The Cape Motorsports pilot earned two Cameron Das Fast Qualifier Awards presented by Pro-Sim, eight victories, 11 fast-lap times, 13 podiums, seized seven pole-positions and lead 157 laps, so far this season, and with two races remaining, Kirkwood still has the chance to add to his accomplishments.

"It's an amazing feeling to take the championship before the last event,” Kirkwood said. “Cape Motorsports and I set that as or goal and we achieved just that.”

Kirkwood’s season didn’t start out as successful as its ending. After serving a 10-grid spot penalty in Rounds 1-3 for violating the pre-season testing rule, Kirkwood did not finish the season opener at Homestead Miami Speedway and barely completed the second two rounds in point position. However, driving the white No. 8 Cape Motorsports machine, Kirkwood rallied at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Canadian Tire Motorsport park, consecutively sweeping the two events. His success carried through to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Virginia International Raceway with two wins, two podiums and two top-10 finishes. During the penultimate event, Kirkwood took the podium three times and clinched the championship after the first round.

“Considering the start of the year, we had no clue it would end this way. Everything really did play in our favor” Kirkwood said. “Our consistency from weekend to weekend boosted us to from a 63-point deficit to a 142-point lead. Now we can relax for the last two rounds, take in the Formula 1 atmosphere and focus on the 2018 season.”

The successful season crescendo landed Kirkwood with a nomination for the Team USA Scholarship, more than $40,000 in cash winnings, 12 FIA Super License points to aid in his racing career advancement to F1 and an invitation to the F1 Prize Giving Ceremony in Europe.

Kirkwood and the other F4 U.S. competitors return to COTA Oct. 20-22 as the support series for the United States Grand Prix with F1. For a full list of standings and results, visit F4USChampionship.com.

Original Article Here:
https://f4uschampionship.com/articles/2008244-kirkwood-clinches-season-championship-before-f4-u-s-finale

Benjamin Pedersen Dominates F4 U.S. COTA Event

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Benjamin Pedersen Dominates F4 U.S. COTA Event

Global Racing Group pilot Benjamin Pedersen of Copenhagen, Denmark, dominated Circuit of the Americas Friday, winning both races and capturing pole position in qualifying and in Round 16. This was the highest finish for Pedersen in his two years of competing in the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda. 

Braden Eves of Gahanna, Ohio, and Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, flip-flopped finishes in the first two rounds. Eves took third in Race 1 and second in Race 2. While Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, claimed second in Race 1 and third in Race 2, which was just enough to clinch the season championship.

 “I wasn’t expecting this going into the weekend,” said Pederson. “The set-up of my DirtFish F4 car really transferred over nicely from Virginia International Raceway, so when we got here we were already on a high level of being competitive. I practiced for hours on the simulator, increased my training, adjusted my driving style and studied the track with my two driver coaches to prepare for the race weekend. It would really be nice to get the third win tomorrow.”

Pederson only lost the lead once in two races, falling second to Dakota Dickerson of San Diego in the first lap of Race 1. Pederson recovered to regain the lead after contesting Dickerson on the restart.

In just his second F4 U.S. event of the season, Eves, captured two podium finishes. Eves has not competed in F4 U.S. since Event 2 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he also claimed two podium spots and a top-five finish.

“It feels great to be back in the F4 U.S. car,” Eves said. “Jay Howard’s Motorsport Driver Development has the car working really well. I’ve been karting with the MDD team to keep fresh, but to prepare for this race I’ve increased my training in the gym and practiced on the simulator.”

With three races left in the season, Kirkwood clinched the season after Raphael Forcier of Montreal, who was challenging Kirkwood for the championship in second-place, finished just outside of point-position in both races. Kirkwood scored a pair of podium finishes which allowed the Cape Motorsport driver to comfortably secure his season.

“It is a relief to have won the championship with so many races still left in the season,” Kirkwood said. “We can relax a little bit and have some fun with different car set-ups. My goal now is to help my teammates get on the podium.”

Ben Waddell of Denver ended his five-race slump, collecting points in both rounds with a top-10 finish in Race 1 and a top-five finish in Race 2. Kory Enders of Warwick, New York, also had a break-out weekend. The DeForce Racing pilot claimed the second fastest lap in Race 1 which allowed him to start Race 2 on the front row beside Pedersen. Enders dropped back in the field, but finished just outside the podium less than half a second behind Kirkwood.

In an unexpected event, a school bus interrupted the second F4 U.S. COTA round, driving onto the track in the middle of the race. No one was injured and SCCA officials quickly issued a red flag, signaling drivers to pull into the pits until the track was deemed safe for return. It is still unclear how or why the bus was on the track, however, school buses are used at COTA to collect marshals at the end of the day.

The F4 U.S. drivers return to close-out the Lone Star Le Mans weekend on Saturday. Fans can view full results at F4USChampionship.com.

Race 1 Full Results

Race 2 Provisional Results

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2008004-benjamin-pedersen-dominates-f4-u-s-cota-event

Kyle Kirkwood clinches F4 US Championship title at Austin

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kirkwood

Kyle Kirkwood clinched the Formula 4 United States Championship title when the series supported the World Endurance Championship and World Series Formula V8 3.5 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

Third in the inaugural season won by Cameron Das, Kirkwood teamed up with successful Road to Indy outfit Cape Motorsports for 2017 and moved ahead in the title race with hat-tricks at Indianapolis in June and Mosport in July.

After further wins at both Mid-Ohio and Virginia, a second place in the first of the three races at Austin was enough for 18-year-old Kirkwood to clinch the crown before the series supports Formula 1 at the same venue next month.

His success comes after fellow Cape driver Oliver Askew won this year’s USF2000 title. Both hail from Jupiter, Florida, and were chosen as the winners of the long-running Team USA Scholarship scheme last year.

Seattle-based Dane Benjamin Pedersen was the star of the round, claiming his first two victories in the opening two races after pipping Dakota Dickerson to top qualifying by 0.022 seconds.

Dickerson got ahead on the first lap of the opening race, but Pedersen got back past before the end, and Kirkwood and Braden Eves also moved ahead of Dickerson to complete the podium.

Eves won a battle with Kirkwood for second place in race two, which Pederson led either side of a red flag after a bizarre incident in which a school bus entered the circuit during the race.

In his second outing with Indy 500 driver Jay Howard’s development squad after two podiums at Indianapolis on his debut, Eves then overhauled the champion to win the finale. Pederson beat pole-sitter Dickerson to third.

Kory Enders, who contested this year’s Toyota Racing Series, finished fourth in race two after starting on the front row in his second outing with the De Force Racing squad he has raced for in USF2000 this year.

Regular TRS frontrunner Brendon Leitch has contesting his first campaign outside of New Zealand in the series this year and achieved a win, a second and third place at Mid-Ohio, though had to settle for a best of ninth at Austin.

Canadian Raphael Forcier was Kirkwood’s closest points rival coming into the weekend having enjoyed a consistent campaign since taking a win on the opening weekend at Homestead, but he failed to score at all at Austin where a 32-car grid contested the races.

Championship organisers have revealed plans to add a Formula 3 Americas series with a similar combination of an Onroak-built Ligier Crawford chassis and engines from Honda Performance Development.

More details of the series, which appears to fall in line with the FIA’s concept for Regional F3 series that would fit between F4 and International F3, will be revealed over the United States Grand Prix weekend.

Original Article Here:
http://www.formulascout.com/kyle-kirkwood-clinches-f4-us-championship-title-at-austin/38193

Sherratt Charges to the Top of Standings after VIR; Kirkwood Extends Championship Lead

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Sherratt Charges to the Top of Standings after VIR; Kirkwood Extends Championship Lead

Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, continued to pull away in the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda standings after finalizing the Virginia International Raceway weekend with a win and two top-10 finishes. Kirkwood now leads second-place contender Raphael Forcier of Montreal by 91 points heading into the penultimate event at Circuit of the Americas where the Cape Motorsports driver can clinch the championship, respectively.

While Kirkwood has nearly secured his championship lead, second and third place are still in limbo. Jordan Sherratt of Durban, South Africa, stormed his way into the top-five after winning his first F4 U.S. Championship race at VIR, adding pressure to third-place Timo Reger of Houston. Sherratt, who is fourth in standings, trails Reger by just two points. The Crosslink Racing pilot’s run for the top began at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after he charged his way from 15th to eighth place in standings, and his momentum continued at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with his first podium finish. Sherratt then captured his first win at VIR.

 A tie for fifth between Jacob Loomis of Corinth, Texas, and Brendon Leitch of Invercargill, New Zealand, round out the top-five.

“The second half of the season has been very successful for my team, Crosslink Racing,” Sherratt said. “The whole year has been a total new learning experience for us. This is my first year competing in a car, so the more seat time I get, the more I learn and the better I get. After adding Danny Hunter to the Team at Event 3 in Canada, everything has just been falling into place perfectly. My goal for the rest of the season is to maximize my points in each race to make it into the top-three.”

Dakota Dickerson of San Diego added valuable points in his second F4 U.S. appearance. After two top-10 finishes at VIR, Dickerson sits just outside the top-five. Skylar Robinson of Augusta, Georgia, maintained his second-half of the season success with a podium and two top-10 finishes. The Momentum Motorsports driver remained eighth in points. Baltazar Leguizamon of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who lingered just outside the top-10 since mid-season, advanced to ninth place after scoring his first F4 U.S. win of his career.

John Paul Southern Jr. of Westlake, Ohio, and Benjamin Pedersen of Copenhagen, Denmark, experienced their best overall weekend of the season. The pair both finished in the top-10 in each of the three rounds. Series newcomer Tyler O’Conner of New Hartford, Connecticut, Austin Kaszuba of Burleson, Texas, and Mathis Soler-Obel of Bogota, Colombia, also earned points at VIR.

F4 U.S. points are calculated based on FIA rules and regulations. The top-10 drivers in each race are awarded points as follows:

Place

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Points

25

18

15

12

10

8

6

4

2

1

At the end of the season, the top-seven drivers are presented FIA Super License points to aid in their racing career advancement to Formula 1. The F4 U.S. Championship is the only junior racing series in the United States to offer its competitors Super License points.

The F4 U.S. Championship drivers are back in action for Rounds 16-18 at COTA Sept. 14-16. Fans can view full standings at by clicking here.

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2007872-sherratt-charges-to-the-top-of-standings-after-vir-kirkwood-extends-championship-lead

Kirkwood Snags Eighth Win at VIR

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Kirkwood Snags Eighth Win at VIR

Thirty-two Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda cars staggered across the front straight of Virginia International Raceway Sunday, awaiting the F1-style standing start for the weekend finale. The length of two football fields separated pole-sitter Tyler O’Connor of New Hartford, Connecticut, from the last grid spot.

Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, seized his eighth victory of the season after making a calculated pass early on the first lap to claim the lead. Skylar Robinson of Augusta, Georgia, finished second and Jordan Sherratt of Durban, South Africa, closed out Event 5 with his third podium of the weekend.

“It was definitely a relief to get back on that top step after a pretty disappointing start to the weekend,” said Kirkwood, who lost first place positions in Race 1 and in Race 2 from faulting on turns. “Cape Motorsports and I took that negative energy from the first race day and turned it into motivation to push for the third race. It paid off.”

In the final round, wheel-spin from O’Connor on the standing start, allowed front-row starter Robinson to go nose-to-nose with the series newcomer into Turn 1. Starting in P4, Kirkwood, got an excellent jump on the start over Sherratt to slide in behind Robinson and O’Connor. As O’Connor and Robinson rounded Turn 1 still battling for position, Kirkwood ducked to the inside with Sherratt on his gearbox. The pair worked their way past O’Connor and Robison by Turn 3, and by Turn 4, Sherrat, Robinson and O’Connor followed Kirkwood in single-file through the Left Hook.

The momentum from the top-five stalled after incidental contact between Austin Kaszuba of Burleson, Texas, and Moises de la Vara of Guadalajara caused an early full-course yellow.

On the restart, Sherratt put two wheels off into the dirt in Turn 3. Robinson capitalized on the error and quickly took second. Further down the field, Raphael Forcier of Montreal got the jump on O’Connor to take P5. Another full-course yellow emerged after Kent Vaccaro of Plattsburgh, New York, experienced mechanical failure in Turn 1, shunting him head-on into the tire wall. Driver and car extraction, debris clean-up and wall rebuild ran out the clock. The VIR finale ended anticlimactically under yellow.

Steve Bamford of Toronto earned the JRi Shocks Hard Charger Award after making 37 position changes throughout the three-round weekend. Bamford started last in each round at VIR due to penalties suffered from a race-weekend engine change. He turned his misfortune into a $500 payday.

The next stop for the F4 U.S. Championship is with the FIA World Endurance Championship at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, September 14-16 for the Lone Star le Mans. Fans can view full results at F4USChampionship.com.  

Official Race 3 Results

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2007708-kirkwood-snags-eighth-win-at-vir

Cape Motorsports' Kirkwood Wins at Mid-Ohio to Stretch Lead

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Cape Motorsports' Kirkwood Wins at Mid-Ohio to Stretch Lead

Cape Motorsports extended its point lead in the F4 US Championship Powered by Honda this past weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, when American Kyle Kirkwood won his seventh race of the season.  Kirkwood finished all three races of the tripleheader in the top-seven, and two of them on the podium during a weekend that saw a mixture of rain and sun. Rapidly drying track conditions in the opening round played a role in Kirkwood’s seventh-place finish, but the emerging star stormed back to a runner-up result in the full-wet Race 2 ahead of a dominant win in the dry final event. These consistent finishes pushed the 18-year-old out to a 75-point lead in the championship heading to the next event at Virginia International Raceway at the end of the month. Kirkwood’s teammate Mathias Soler-Obel fell victim to the tough conditions in Race 1 as well, and then focused on a putting in a quick lap in Race 2 to ensure a solid starting position for the finale. Starting eighth in Race 3, the 15-year-old Columbian advanced to sixth in the final results to gain his ninth top-10 of the season.

Kirkwood was quick out of the gate at Mid-Ohio, topping the official practice on Thursday with a lap of 1:25.997, which was almost a half-second clear of the competition.  The Jupiter, Florida resident piloted his Cape Motorsports #8 Crawford-Honda to the pole in Friday morning qualifying, rolling out a 1:26.018 in much cooler conditions, locking in the inside of the front row for the first of three 30-minute races.  Soler was 22nd in the first on-track session with a 1:27.825, and he would improve greatly in qualifying by shaving over a tenth off his practice time as others slowed down to sit 16th on the qualifying chart.

The first race of the weekend on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn natural terrain road course began in wet conditions, but the rain had stopped and the track began drying quickly.  Kirkwood was prepared to bolt away on the wet weather Pirelli rain tires, but spins by fellow competitors starting on slicks put off the actual start, which played to their advantage. The racing surface continued to dry as the race waited to go green, and Kirkwood knew he was at a distinct disadvantage. Despite pulling away early, he was eventually reeled in by others as the track went to full dry with just a couple laps remaining.  Kirkwood soldiered on and finished eighth in the final tally, although the damage was also done in his lap times, as the grid for the second race is set by the fastest laps of Race 1. Drivers on slicks were able to lay down quick times, and Kirkwood found himself with only the eighth fastest lap of the race. The Cape team didn’t get off to the best start to the weekend, as Soler got caught up in an opening lap shunt, ending his race early.

The second race of the weekend was also run in the wet, and Kirkwood handled the opening lap well, starting from eighth.  He navigated his way through spinning competitors to lead the opening lap and held the position through entire race until the final lap, when a small error dropped him to second right before a full course yellow froze the field and ended the race. After his Race 1 DNF, Soler started at the tail of the field and was focused on posting a fast lap to advance up the grid for Race 3.  He accomplished this, setting the eighth quickest lap of the race, securing the outside of Row 4 for the final race.

In the weekend’s finale, Kirkwood was back on form and dominated from green to checker to score his seventh win of the year.  Soler had a strong outing as well, notching a good start to maintain his position in the top-10, coming home with an impressive sixth in the final tally.

The next stop on the F4 U.S. Championship schedule will take Cape Motorsports and its drivers to Virginia International Raceway on August 25-27, where they will join the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2007612-cape-motorsports-kirkwood-wins-at-mid-ohio-to-stretch-lead

Kyle Kirkwood: Stretching the Lead

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JUPITER, Fla. — You really never know what you are going to get when you go to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This year the weather was the strangest I have ever seen at a raceway. The practice day (Friday) was dry the entire time and quite hot and humid. The first race day (Saturday) was dry and overcast in the morning, with rain in late morning, then it switched to sunny, then back to raining, and to end the day off it was cold and windy. This made for a very strange and stress-filled day for myself and the Cape Motorsports crew. To add on top of the flurry, Sunday’s weather was absolutely perfect.

Mid-Ohio is the track that I have the most experience at out of the list of venues on this year’s F4 U.S. Championship powered by Honda, so we had a good feeling we would be fast right out of the gate. Sure enough, we started the weekend strong. We were quickest on the test day by multiple tenths, and in the official practice we were almost a half-second clear of the field. Then we expected the rest of the competition to close the gap throughout the practices. Gratefully, we were able to maintain our gap, or grow it throughout the sessions!

In qualifying, we set off to be the first group on track. With that being said, the track was very dirty and lap times were getting faster and faster as the session went on. It was truly a struggle trying to set myself up for a clear gap for the last two laps, because I knew that was the only time frame everyone would have to go quickest. Fortunately, I got the gap I needed and pulled off a stellar lap 0.639 ahead of second place.

Race One was eventful, to say the least! The track surface was absolutely soaked prior to the race. But then the sun came out with a vengeance just as the grid closed and no changes were allowed to the cars. The track was drying fast but it remained seemingly much too wet for dry tires. Seven out of 31 drivers opted for slick tires, and three of those seven spun on the pace lap! Our start time was delayed to recover the spun cars and the advantage was now in the hands of everyone on slicks. In the beginning, the rain tires were still quicker, but that faded quickly around halfway, and towards the end of the race we were close to five seconds off the pace and our much too hot and worn rain tires were almost remolding into slicks. So, yes, everyone who was on slicks, or changed during the cautions, ended up passing us at the end of the race. I was a little fortunate to finish eighth.

Race Two was very different, and actually too wet to dry up since it was later in the day, cold and very overcast. We started 10th – with the grid set by lap times from the opening race – but by the middle of the back straight on the opening lap I was already in the lead! I believe six cars spun in front of me and with the rest of the drivers I passed, I had picked a line with more grip due to the experience I had from last year in the wet. Because of the multiple cautions, the field only ran two full green flag laps, and on the last lap under green I made a minor error out of Turn One and ended up getting passed into Turn Two. This was very unfortunate since the yellows came out again just as I was attempting to re-pass on the back straight. So we ended with a stout second-place finish. Considering we had started 10th, that wasn’t too bad.

Race Three was by far the most straight-forward of the weekend. The weather was perfect and, considering our pace in the practices and qualifying, we knew we would be fast once again in the dry. The only point I had to defend was into Turn Two on the opening lap. I was then able to consistently stretch our lead by about three tenths every lap. Even though there were a couple cautions, I was able to take advantage of my Cape Motorsports car’s pace in Turn One and maintain a comfortable gap at restarts to win the final race of the event with a new lap record.

Although we had a few unfortunate encounters, we still had an amazing weekend, stretching our points lead from 31 points to 75. Now I have had a couple days to relax before preparing for our next event at Virginia International Raceway. I’ll be sure to keep you ALL posted on anything and everything interesting!

Thank you,
Kyle

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3986

Big Changes in F4 U.S. Championship Standings After Mid-Ohio

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Big Changes in F4 U.S. Championship Standings After Mid-Ohio

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course set the stage for true Cinderella stories for the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda mid-season event. While Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, pulled away in the point championship, leading 75 points over new second-place holder Raphael Forcier of Montreal, competitors from the bottom of the standings rose to the top-10.

Skylar Robinson of Augusta, Georgia, ascended from nearly last place in standings to ninth place with his first win of the season, a top-five and a top-ten finish. Brendon Leitch of Invercargill, New Zealand, also had his best showing of the season at Mid-Ohio with three podium finishes, the most of any competitor of the weekend. Capturing a first, second and third place, shot the Kiwi Motorsport driver from 17th in standings to fifth.

“Winning in the wet at Mid-Ohio felt fantastic,” Leitch said. “I’m running down a dream here in the United States. The team is doing really well together. All of us are getting comfortable with the car and it's starting to show. Now on to VIR.”

After being closed-out in the final two rounds at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Forcier made a strong comeback in the mid-season event with a podium and two top-five finishes. The performance was good enough to take second place from Timo Reger of Houston.

“It’s really awesome to see our hard work pay off,” said Forcier. “We’re going to keep chasing first and with half the season to go, anything could happen.”

Jordan Sherratt of Durban, South Africa, who shot from 15th to eighth in standings after Rounds 7-9, continued to make gains at Mid-Ohio, sliding into sixth.

Justin Sirgany of Kingston, Jamaica, scored much-needed points with his first podium and highest top-ten finish of his F4 U.S campaign. The extra point-boost landed the Global Racing Group rookie just outside the top-ten in standings.

Primus Racing Team pilot Jim Goughary Jr. of Jupiter, Florida, ended his cold streak in Mid-Ohio earning a total of 14 points from his two top-10 finishes. After scoring points in 18 consecutive F4 U.S. rounds, Goughary hasn’t placed in the top-10 in standings since the 2017 season-opening event.

Davis Durrett of Carmel, Indiana, and Colin Mullan of Danville, California, put their first points of the season on the board. Jacob Loomis of Corinth, Texas, Mathias Soler-Obel of Bogota, Colombia, Benjamin Pedersen of Copenhagen, Denmark, Jonathan Scarallo of Smithtown, New York, Austin McCusker of Glen Head, New York, Jacob Abel of Louisville, Kentucky, and Ben Waddell of Denver all scored points at Mid-Ohio.

F4 U.S. points are calculated based on FIA rules and regulations. The top-10 drivers in each race are awarded points as follows:

Place

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Points

25

18

15

12

10

8

6

4

2

1

At the end of the season, the top-seven drivers will be presented FIA Super License points to aid in their racing career advancement to Formula 1. The F4 U.S. Championship is the only junior racing series in the United States to offer its competitors Super License points.

The F4 U.S. Championship teams are back in action for Rounds 13-15 at Virginia International Raceway August 25-27. Fans can view full standings at F4USChampionship.com.

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2007558-big-changes-in-f4-u-s-championship-standings-after-mid-ohio

Kirkwood Returns to Winning Ways in Mid-Ohio Challenge Closeout

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Kirkwood Returns to Winning Ways in Mid-Ohio Challenge Closeout

Fierce, close racing has become a hallmark of the 2017 Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda, and the final mid-season round at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, lived up to expectation. In a tight battle with Brendon Leitch of Invercargill, New Zealand, Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, pulled away on the final lap to go flag-to-flag in first place. The win marked the seventh victory for Kirkwood this season.

Leitch visited the podium for the third time this weekend, placing second in Race 3, and Justin Sirgany of Kingston, Jamaica, captured his first podium to complete the top-three.

“It was great to finish the weekend with a win,” said Kirkwood, who placed second and seventh during Rounds 9-10 on Friday. “I had a lot of fun racing against Brendon. He didn’t make it easy for me though, and kept me on my toes most of the race. I enjoy that type of competition. It makes me a better driver.”

Kirkwood started on pole next to Skylar Robinson of Augusta, Texas. Leitch, who was third on the grid, was quick on the start to challenge Robinson on the inside of Turn 1. The Kiwi Motorsport pilot successfully cleared the No. 2 Momentum Motorsports car of Robinson to take P2. Robinson held off third-row starters Raphael Foricer of Montreal and Justin Sirgany of Kingston, Jamaica, until a full-course yellow on Lap 3 closed the gap. John Paul Southern Jr. of Westlake, Ohio brought out the yellow after going sideways to avoid a spinning Steve Bamford of Toronto. Bamford continued the race, and Southern’s race-day ended.

Kirkwood got a good jump on Leitch on the restart, but Leitch charged hard, catching Kirkwood in the braking zones. Drafting off Kirkwood, Leitch went wide to pass, but Kirkwood’s No. 8 Cape Motorsports car carried more speed in the turns, allowing Kirkwood to pull away. In the last lap of Race 3, Kirkwood broke the Mid-Ohio F4 U.S. track record held by Konrad Czaczyk of Jupiter, Florida, laying down a 1:25.737.

Behind Kirkwood and Leitch, Robinson and Sirgany had their own battle brewing. Off the restart, Robinson defended his  racing line heading into the Keyhole. Sirgany caught the Momentum Motorsports driver on the outside of Turn 4. Robinson squeezed Sirgany to the edge of the track, but the Global Racing Group rookie edged Robinson out to take over the final podium position.

“I am really excited to get my first podium finish. I want to carry the momentum from today to the next rounds,” Sirgany said. “From Homestead to now, I’ve gotten more mature as a driver. My judgement and decision making has also improved. I would like to thank my parents, GRG and my sponsors, the Bob Marley Foundation, for always supporting me.”

Series newcomer Colin Mullan of Danville, California, earned the JRi Shocks Hard Charger Award for making 33 forward position changes throughout the weekend.

The F4 U.S. drivers return to action in two weeks at Virginia International Raceway Aug. 25-27 with the largest expected field of the season.

Full Results 

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2007532-kirkwood-returns-to-winning-ways-in-mid-ohio-challenge-closeout

Kyle Kirkwood: Second Time Around

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This year’s group of candidates, along with the RRDC’s John Fergus (left) and Team USA Scholarship founder Jeremy Shaw (second from right).

JUPITER, Fla. – Hello everyone. I really can’t believe it’s already been a year since my racing took a huge turn in the best possible way when I was first nominated for the Team USA Scholarship. So many amazing things have happened. I have met so many wonderful and knowledgeable people and I have had the best-of-fun along the way. I guess I can honestly say “time flies when you’re having fun!”

From the time I was only 4 years old I was absolutely sure this is what I wanted to be when I was older. Of course, at that point, I had no idea where exactly it would take me but now looking back 14 years later I would not change a single thing. Year to year, my progress has exceeded even my own expectations and I couldn’t be happier with the position I am in currently. This past year has most definitely been the greatest of them all. It has been the toughest 12 months but no doubt the most rewarding!

Thank you to everyone at Ed Carpenter Racing for the insight

Through this past year I have met and became close with some of the greatest names in the sport. It has been truly inspiring, and ALL the credit has to go to the Team USA Scholarship. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of knowledge I have gained from everyone involved. It is truly remarkable.

One year ago, I was first nominated for the Team USA Scholarship and attended the interview portion against some of the top up-and-coming talents in the USA of 2016. At that time I really didn’t know how to handle it. There were so many of the top names in motorsports analyzing me in every way; I was honestly star-struck! Fortunately, everyone admired me enough to put me through to the final six.

Becoming an IndyCar driver is my goal.

Now, I have been nominated for the Team USA Scholarship for a second time. I was informed of this just after the great weekend Cape Motorsports and I had at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, where we swept the weekend with three wins in the F4 US Championship Powered by Honda. It is very humbling to have an opportunity to represent the red, white and blue not only one time but possibly two times in a row.

Last weekend, myself and the other nine contestants traveled to the renowned Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Honda Indy 200, where the interview process took place once again. It never ceases to amaze me how many doors Jeremy Shaw can open for us. He scheduled us with exclusive tours of a couple of Pirelli World Challenge teams – K-Pax/Flying Lizard with Bryan Sellers and Wright Motorsports with factory Porsche driver Patrick Long – plus IndyCar Race Control and Chevrolet’s development and data stations. In addition, we were able to sit-in with a few Verizon IndyCar Series teams during practice, such as Dale Coyne Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing. This made for a very full day. I’m always stunned with how high-tech the IndyCar teams are — almost every piece of the car is being analyzed live by someone in the pit-box.

Thanks to INDYCAR Race Director Brian Barnhart, we have a much better understanding of how the races are run!

This year, for me, the interview process was quite different – mainly because last year I knew almost nobody and now, with the networking I have had in the past year, I knew all of the judges and had actually developed a close relationship with a few of them. I would have to say this year wasn’t as nerve racking, despite the fact I had more weight on my shoulders considering I am a second-year contestant.

Overall, I really could not ask for a better weekend than that. It’s always great having the opportunity to be at a race track, even if I’m not racing. Soaking up the atmosphere and seeing how close and team–oriented motorsports is, motivates me like nothing else. Now, for me, I have one week to prepare for my next F4 US Championship event, coincidentally at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

I will keep you guys posted!
Kyle

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3963

Czaczyk, Kirkwood and Loomis Identified as 2017 Team USA Scholarship Candidates

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Czaczyk, Kirkwood and Loomis Identified as 2017 Team USA Scholarship Candidates

Three Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda drivers have been selected as candidates for the 2017 Team USA Scholarship. In the first stage of the selection process, Konrad Czaczyk of Jupiter, Florida, Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, and Jacob Loomis of Corinth, Texas, along with seven additional candidates, will undergo a series of interviews conducted before a panel of judges this weekend during the Honda Indy 200 Verizon IndyCar Series event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

Ultimately, two winners will follow in the footsteps of a long line of accomplished professional drivers – headed by Jimmy Vasser and Bryan Herta who claimed the first two scholarships in 1990 and 1991, respectively – by gaining an opportunity to take part in some international auto racing events later this year.

The 2017 nomination will give Czaczyk and Kirkwood a second chance at the prestigious award. Czaczyk, who was nominated for the Team USA Scholarship in 2016, progressed through to the final round of candidates, but was edged-out by fellow F4 U.S. competitor Kirkwood. Kirkwood received one of two Team USA Scholarships, granting him entry into his first international race at the Formula Ford Festival in Brands Hatch, England, and the opportunity to compete for the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone. The F4 U.S. points leader finished in the top-10 in both events.


The first-round selection panel will include Pigot, Miller and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race winner (and 2014 Team USA alum) Aaron Telitz; Indy Lights team owner Brian Belardi; factory Porsche driver and current Pirelli World Challenge series leader Patrick Long; Cooper Tires Technical Consultant and five-time Indy 500 starter Johnny Unser; Chip Ganassi Racing Managing Director Mike Hull; Mazda Motorsports’ Operations Manager Kyle Kimball; Mazda Road to Indy promoter Dan Andersen; American Honda Motorsports Manager T.E. McHale; Assistant Manager, Marketing, Honda Performance Development George Harmon; PitFit Training president Jim Leo; Bell Racing USA Director of Motorsports Chris Wheeler; and Juncos Racing Indy Lights Race Engineer Peter Dempsey.

The Team USA Scholarship is one of the most successful and longest established driver development programs in the world. Nearly a quarter of the drivers in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series (five out of 21 full-season campaigners: Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand, Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly and Spencer Pigot), plus IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship stand-outs Dane Cameron, Joel Miller, Joey Hand, Andy Lally and Bryan Sellers, along with IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Championship leader Trent Hindman, are all Team USA alumni.

Round-two finalists will be announced later this season.

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2007294-czaczyk-kirkwood-and-loomis-identified-as-2017-team-usa-scholarship-candidates

Kyle Kirkwood Captures F4 U.S. Points Lead after CTMP

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Kyle Kirkwood Captures F4 U.S. Points Lead after CTMP

New competitors have emerged in the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda top-10 standings. After six consecutive wins, Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, slipped into first place, stealing the spot from Timo Reger of Houston. Thirty-one points now separate the sophomore Cape Motorsports pilot from the second-place JDX Racing rookie.

“It feels amazing to be first in points after struggling the first event in Homestead,” Kirkwood said. “Cape Motorsports has given me a fast car, and we will continue to push the rest of the season.”

Raphael Forcier of Montreal sits in third but not without pressure from rookie Jacob Loomis of Corinth, Texas. Only three points separate the pair.  Mathias Soler-Obel of Bogota, Colombia, secured the last spot in the top-five, moving from ninth to fifth place after having his best race weekend since the first season event at Homestead-Miami Speedway. At 15-years-old, Soler-Obel is the youngest competitor in F4 U.S. history to be top-five in championship points.

"I feel proud to be the youngest driver in the top-5 in the F4 U.S. Championship Powered by Honda," said Soler-Obel. "That inspires me to do better in my next race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course."

With two second-place podiums and a top-10 finish in his F4 U.S. debut, Dakota Dickerson of San Diego scored enough points at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to position himself into sixth place. Jordan Sherratt of Durban, South Africa, who won the JRi Shocks Hard Charger Award in the series opener after making 47 position changes, saw the biggest jump in standings after CTMP. The Crosslink Motorsports driver shot from 15th to eighth in points. Baltazar Leguizamon of Buenos Aires, Argentina, rounds out the top-10, tying for ninth with rookie Ben Waddell of Denver. 

Brendon Leitch from Intercargill, New Zealand, John Paul Southern Jr. from Westlake, Ohio, and

Austin McCusker of Glen Head, New York, scored their first points of the season at CTMP.  After three events, 24 of the 37 drivers entered in the 2017 F4 U.S. Championship season have put points on the board.

F4 U.S. points are calculated based on FIA rules and regulations. The top-10 drivers in each race are awarded points as follows:

Place

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Points

25

18

15

12

10

8

6

4

2

1

At the end of the season, the top-seven drivers will be presented FIA Super License points to aid in their racing career advancement to Formula 1. The F4 U.S. Championship is the only junior racing series in the United States to offer its competitors Super License points.

The F4 U.S. Championship teams are back in action for Rounds 10-12 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course August 10-12. Fans can view full point standings here.

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2007224-kyle-kirkwood-captures-f4-u-s-points-lead-after-ctmp

Kirkwood Dominates Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Wins All Three Races

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Kirkwood Dominates Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Wins All Three Races

Sun nor rain could keep Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, from dominating the entire Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix, Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda weekend, sweeping victories in all three races held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Saturday and Sunday.

Kirkwood seized fast-lap times in both practices and all three races, claiming pole position for each of the rounds held on Sunday. The international final victory marked the sixth consecutive race Kirkwood has found the top of the podium. The success at CTMP also bumped the Cape Motorsport driver to first-place in standings, passing Timo Reger of San Antonio, by 31 points.

“Even under wet-track conditions, we were running just a half second slower than my fastest lap time of the weekend,” Kirkwood said. “I have full trust in my team, Cape Motorsports, and my strategy has just been keep my car on the track. It feels amazing to come away with another weekend sweep.”

Prior to the start of Round 9, rain created wet track conditions. The rain ceased before the start of the race, but was forecasted to resume minutes into the final race. Teams were given the option to choose to equip their cars with Pirelli PZero slicks or wets. Denver natives Blake Mount and Ben Waddell, and Lawson Nigel of Fort Worth, Texas, exchanged their slicks for wets.  

Due to the rain, the F4 U.S. drivers participated in their first rolling start of the season. An F1-style standing start is the traditional start for the series unless weather or other on-track circumstances prohibits the drivers from doing so.

Kirkwood, driving the white No. 8 F4 U.S. car, got the jump on front-row contender Dakota Dickerson of San Diego, and never conceded his first-place position. Starting fourth and fifth, Baltazar Leguizamon of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Jordan Sherratt of Durban, South Africa, also had a fantastic start off the green. Sandwiching themselves around third-place starter Reger, the pair overtook the JDX Racing pilot before the first turn and held him off for the duration of the race.

Heavy rain moved in half-way through the final round, causing limited visibility and water collection in turns. An unfortunate shut by Vaccaro going into Turn 3, brought a full-course yellow. The safety car emerged onto the track to pace the F4 U.S. cars and would stay out for the interval of the race, finishing the final round of the weekend under a yellow.

Kiwi Motorsport pilot Dickerson claimed second.

“I had a lot of fun in the F4 U.S. car,” series-newcomer Dickerson said.

“There were so many learning opportunities with the standing starts and the number of cars on the field. This last race we went out on slicks with a higher downforce setting to help with the wet conditions. Even though the track was dry most of the race, we were still on pace and were ready for the downpour at the end. I’ll be back for the next race and hopefully give Kiwi Motorsport a P1 finish.”

MVL Motorsports pilot Leguizamon scored his first podium of the season with a third-place finish. Jonathan Scarallo of Smithtown, New York, had a solid race weekend, claiming the JRi Shocks Hard Charger Award with 18 forward progression changes for the event.

The second race of the weekend was riddled with cautions, providing only six green-flag racing laps. The top-6 positions didn’t see much movement, and Kirkwood, Dickerson and Jacob Loomis of Corinth, Texas, would start and finish in their starting positions under a yellow flag.  

The F4 U.S. Championship will meet next at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, Aug. 11-12 for the Mid-Ohio 200, running alongside Trans Am and NASCAR Xfinity as the secondary series.

Fans can view full weekend race results and event photos on F4USChampionship.com.

Results from Round 8

Results from Round 9

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2007136-kirkwood-dominates-canadian-tire-motorsport-park-wins-all-three-races

Kyle Kirkwood: On a Streak

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JUPITER, Fla. – Hello everyone, it’s been a couple months since my last blog, and from then until now A LOT has changed. In April, after the opening rounds of the F4 United States Championship Powered by Honda at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it almost seemed like my bad luck would never run out. However, Cape Motorsports and I took that bad luck and turned it around into extreme motivation. Our goal was to not let our 63-point deficit get us down but instead actually take it as a learning curve. We knew we would have to fight back 10 times harder in the next three races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Leading the way in Indianapolis

Prior to the Indy event I spent countless hours in a simulator and analyzing any piece of data I could get my hands on. Oliver Askew and I would actually do qualifying stints for hours beating each other’s times over and over again. There was absolutely NO lack of preparation going into IMS. Fortunately for me, the Cape team had raced there just two weeks beforehand with Oliver in the USF2000 series, so their memory was very fresh for IMS and I knew we would have a big head start setup-wise.

In Victory Lane at Indianapolis. Very cool!

When the race weekend began I was consistently fastest throughout the official practices and then grabbed the pole in qualifying. It was definitely a relief knowing all the hard work had paid off and we could once again be back up front after the 40 positions of penalties in Homestead. From then on it was real smooth sailing. I led every lap of all three races with quick time in two of those three. In the points, we went from 63 down to a deficit of only 14, and all the way from 14th in the championship to second, knocking on the door of the championship leader! That weekend was a huge confidence boost for myself and the Cape Motorsports team.

The next event was this past weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, where we ran in conjunction with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. It was a great event and we kept the motivation going. Once again, I was as prepared as I could possibly be, although it turned out to be as much a guessing game as much as anything else because there was different rubber laid down every session and the weather was always changing. We were very quick in practice but we missed the setup just a little in qualifying.

No one else in sight at the finish line at CTMP.

We lost around a half-second of time somewhere, which left me very confused and a little worried, even though we qualified third. In the first race, I found that the track conditions had changed a lot, and the line also was a little different due to the high horsepower IMSA DPi and GT cars having been out on the circuit immediately before us. Everyone had to adapt fast and I believe I adapted a lap earlier than everyone, which enabled me to jump from third to first on the opening lap. Unfortunately, we only were able to race four green flag laps due to various incidents and ended the race with a not very exciting green-white-checkered. Nevertheless, that race win put us into the lead of the championship by one point!

My nerves from the somewhat poor qualifying were gone and my confidence was back. I started Race Two on the pole, got a great jump and never looked back. There were a couple times early in the race when Dakota Dickerson – another former Team USA Scholarship winner – was almost close enough to make a move due to draft but our car worked far better on the longer runs and we stretched a gap towards the middle of the race. With around five minutes to go a caution came out and that’s how we finished.

Six race wins in a row!

The third race was very nerve-wracking because we went out right after the three-hour IMSA race had finished amid a heavy rain shower, and from the looks of it, the track was VERY wet. Still, all of the F4 cars were fitted with slick tires. The last thing I wanted to do was end our winning streak by going off by myself! I don’t know how or why but even though the pit lane was really wet when we left the collecting area, the track surface was almost dry by the time we got going. On the start I went into Turns One and Two with a “well, here we go” mentality because they are flat-out corners when the tires are warm and the track is dry. This time it was neither but I needed to build a gap before the back straight where I would be most vulnerable. Fortunately, the car had grip and the plan worked perfectly and I stretched a large gap before it started to rain again and we ended, once again, under caution.

So, two weekend sweeps in a row, six wins, many fast times, and 150 points. We now have a handy 31-point lead in the championship. You really can’t ask for much better for that! Even though we’re comfortable where we are, there will not be any slacking and we’re going to keep the ball rolling for Mid-Ohio. I have plenty of track time from F1600 two years ago and F4 US last year, so nothing will be left on the table from start to finish of that event!

Thanks for reading!

Kyle

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3904

Kirkwood Scores First International Win at Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix

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Kirkwood Scores First International Win at Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix

The first lap of the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda international debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, created lifetime fans for the series after Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, went four-wide on the Andretti Straightaway with pole-sitter Dakota Dickerson of San Diego, Austin McCusker of Glen Head, New York, and Raphael Forcier of Montreal, to seize his fourth consecutive win. The win bumped Kirkwood to first place in championship standings, leading Timo Reger of San Antonio, by one point.

Forcier and Jacob Loomis of Fort Worth, Texas, joined Kirkwood on the podium.

"Our momentum carried over from Indy,” Kirkwood said. “CTMP is an extremely fast and technical track. It really tested my skills. I am ecstatic about being first in the championship. I didn’t expect it to happen so early in the season.”

Starting on the inside of Row 2, Kirkwood was aggressive right as the green flag dropped. Kirkwood positioned himself on the inside of front row-starter McCusker in Turn 1, going nose-to-nose into Turn 2. The Cape Motorsports pilot gained more speed exiting the turn which allowed him to overtake McCusker. Dickerson defended his P1 position from Kirkwood, but Kirkwood would capitalize on a tight inside pass in Turn 5b to take a minor lead.

The trio battled for position throughout the next few turns, creating a monster draft for the No. 62 Indy Motorsport Group car of Forcier to catch them on the straight. Kirkwood swung wide to the outside of Dickerson, leaving room for McCusker to position himself on the inside of the series newcomer. Forcier edged his way into the mix on the outside of Kirkwood, creating a four-wide battle for first. Dickerson would brake going into Turn 8, allowing Kirkwood to pull away for the lead. Forcier seized the opportunity and dipped down to the inside to take P2. Dickerson dropped to third with McCusker in fourth. 

The front-field battle was interrupted by a yellow flag caused by an uncontested incident that left Vincent Khristov of Delray Beach, Florida, in the wall. On the restart, Kirkwood started to pull away.

Another full-course yellow appeared that abbreviated the session after Kent Vaccaro of Plattsburgh, New York, collided with the tire wall swerving to avoid contact with Toronto native Steve Bamford who spun in Turn 1. The extended clean-up left two minutes on the race clock.

On the last lap, McCusker would oversteer his black No. 5 Primus Racing machine, causing him to go off track. Global Racing Group driver Loomis stole the last podium spot from Dickerson after the Kiwi Motorsport pilot bobbled on the final turn.

Kirkwood will start on pole for Race 2 with Dickerson completing the front row.

The F4 U.S. cars take the track again on Sunday for the final two rounds of its international debut at CTMP. Fans can watch live timing and scoring for the event at F4USChampionship.com.

Results

Photos

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2007078-kirkwood-scores-first-international-win-at-mobil-1-sportscar-grand-prix

F4 U.S. Celebrates One Year Anniversary

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F4 U.S. Celebrates One Year Anniversary

From doubling its grid size to announcing its first appearance alongside Formula 1 at the United States Grand Prix, the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda has experienced quite a year since its global racing inauguration one year ago at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

 “The cost-effective program that F4 U.S. represents is continuing to attract new customers to our Championship with sales that continue to be very strong,” said SCCA Pro Racing Vice President Steve Oseth. “The addition of F4 U.S. as a support race for Formula 1 at the Circuit of the Americas in October presents a huge bonus to those participating in our series.” 

During its first year, F4 U.S. grew from 14 competitors to entering a total of 19

different drivers over the course of the season. Cameron Das of Baltimore was crowned the first F4 U.S. season champion with Konrad Czaczyk and Kyle Kirkwood, both of Jupiter, Florida, also earning spots on the championship podium. The trio would combine for 28 podium visits, 18 fast times and 14 of the 15 pole position starts. JDX Racing claimed the first F4 U.S. team championship.

In 2016, Czaczyk and Kirkwood were finalists for the Team USA Scholarship. Kirkwood received the prestigious award and represented the United States in the Formula Ford Festival in Brands Hatch, England, with the opportunity to race for the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone.

Inaugural F4 U.S. champion Das was honored on the same stage as Formula 1 World Championship champion Nico Rosberg during the FIA Prize Giving Ceremony at the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna, Austria. Das took his $25,000 F4 U.S. grand-prize winnings to England and signed with with BRDC British F3 team Carlin for 2017. He currently ranks second in the BRDC British F3 standings after four events.

“The competition here is really competitive,” Das said. “It’s been an easy transition for me from F4 to F3 with some minor challenges. F4 U.S. helped me improve my race craft and bridged the gap from karts to the higher downforce of the F3 cars. This series also uses Pirelli Tires which has made the learning curve a bit easier.”

 Fast forwarding to 2017, the F4 U.S. announced an expanded seven-event, powerhouse schedule which included visiting some of the most prestigious open-wheel tracks in North America and joining legendary series like F1, IMSA, NASCAR, FIA WEC, TransAm and SVRA.

During its second season debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway, F4 U.S. fielded 33 cars, more than double its inaugural debut, and 32 cars, just one short of the Indianapolis 500 grid, participated at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in June. The series will make a trip across the border this week for its first international race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park with a strong grid size of more than 30 cars. The final half of the season will see F4 U.S traveling to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Virginia International Raceway and back-to-back visits to Circuit of the Americas.

Moving forward, SCCA Pro anticipates an even larger grid as the 50th Crawford F4-16 chassis order was just placed with Onroak Automotive.

“The future is quite exciting for F4 U.S.,” Oseth said. “A cost-effective series that enables drivers to accumulate FIA Super license points and huge, very competitive fields with strong series partners presents a very bright future for our championship.”

At the end of each season, the top seven eligible drivers are awarded FIA Super License Points to aid in their racing career advancement to Formula 1. The F4 U.S. Championship is the only professional, junior racing series in the United States to offer its competitors Super License Points.

The selected F4 U.S. powerplant is based on the engine currently used in the Civic® Type R®, detuned to meet FIA-mandated output of approximately 160 Hp. The engine and the ECU are sealed to help with parity and compliance.

The Crawford F4-16 chassis produced by Onroak Automotive’s North American manufacturing facility in Denver, North Carolina, is a modern, robust and highly capable chassis that is conducive to exceptional performance at various engine power levels. All chassis are equipped with JRi Shocks. Both the engine and chassis meet FIA homologation requirements.

New Formula 4 tires were developed specifically for junior single-seater racing by Pirelli engineers in Milan and incorporate learning from Pirelli’s participation in Formula One and feeder categories GP3 and GP2. Teams are allotted eight Pirelli PZero tires for each three-race weekend.

Inaugural Race Photos

Video Summary of the Inaugural Race 

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2006980-f4-u-s-celebrates-one-year-anniversary

Kyle Kirkwood Claws His Way to Second in Championship Standings

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Kyle Kirkwood Claws His Way to Second in Championship Standings

Timo Reger and Raphael Forcier finalize Top-3 after second event

After the second Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda event of the season, new names start to emerge in the Top-5 Championship standings.  With a string of three consecutive wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, jolted from 14th to second in F4 U.S. Championship points, separating the Cape Motorsports driver from first-place Timo Reger of Houston, by just 14 points.

Raphael Forcier of Montreal, Jacob Loomis of Corinth, Texas, and series-newcomer Braden Eves of Gahanna, Ohio, round out the Top-5.

“Winning three races in Indianapolis was very unexpected,” said Kirkwood. “The team did an outstanding job on the set-up to give me a fast car. I was really fortunate to have moved up from 14th to second in points in just one weekend and want to carry this momentum into Canadian Tire Motorsports Park with the hopes of capturing first in points.” 

Reger, who had great success in the season-opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway with two wins and a second-place finish, experienced a humbling weekend at Indianapolis. The JDX Racing rookie missed the podium in Round 4 after a last-lap shunt caused him to spin, resulting in a P23 finish. He did, however, set fast-lap allowing him to start pole position in the subsequent race. Reger wrapped-up his second F4 U.S. weekend with a second-place podium and a Top-10 finish.

“All weekend, we constantly worked on the car to make it better, but Kyle had the car to beat. He definitely had a great car all weekend,” Reger said. “Overall, IMS was slightly frustrating but I came home with another podium finish, 18 points and still hold the lead in the championship. My JDX team is going to push hard for Canada and I know we'll have a great car for the race."

F4 U.S. sophomore driver Forcier completed his event weekend with a triple-round of Top-5 finishes, earning 32 points. Forcier trails Kirkwood in third-place by just six points.

Eves, who filled an empty seat for Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driver Development at IMS, wedged-out his spot in the F4 U.S. Championship standings after a successful weekend in his open-wheel debut. After securing two podiums and a fourth-place finish, the No. 41 pilot leads Ben Waddell of Denver by 11 points in fifth place heading into Event 3.

After two events, 20 of the 36 F4 U.S. Championship drivers have captured championship points. The Top-10 includes one tie for eighth place between Austin Kaszuba of Burleson, Texas, and Mathias Soler-Obel of Bogota, Colombia. Jim Goughary Jr. of Jupiter, Florida, caps-off 10th by a slim margin as a three-way tie for 11th between Baltazar Leguizamon of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Jack William Miller of Westfield, Indiana, and series-newcomer Flinn Lazier of Vail, Colorado, encroach on the veteran driver’s Top-10 standing.

F4 U.S. points are calculated based on FIA rules and regulations. The top 10 drivers in each race are awarded points as follows:

Place

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Points

25

18

15

12

10

8

6

4

2

1

At the end of the season, the top seven eligible drivers will be awarded FIA Super License Points to aid in their racing career advancement to Formula 1. The F4 U.S. Championship is the only junior racing series in the United States to offer its competitors Super License Points.

The F4 U.S. Championship teams are back in action for Rounds 7-9 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park July 8-9. To view full standings, click here. 

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2006866-kyle-kirkwood-claws-his-way-to-second-in-championship-standings

Get Out the Brooms, Kyle Kirkwood Makes Clean Sweep in Indy

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Get Out the Brooms, Kyle Kirkwood Makes Clean Sweep in Indy

Kirkwood beats-out 31 other F4 U.S. cars in three races for his most successful F4 U.S. weekend to date

Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, was unbeatable during the second Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda event, sweeping victories in all three races held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday and Sunday.

Kirkwood, who joins ranks with Konrad Czaczyk and Cameron Das as the third F4 U.S. driver to ever win three races in one weekend, seized fast-lap times in one practice, qualifying and two of the three races, claiming pole position for two of the three rounds.

“It is an amazing feeling to win at Indianapolis. Some people wait their whole lives to win once here, and I feel so fortunate to have won three,” said Kirkwood. “After leaving Homestead, we lost a lot of points. Gaining 75 points here cuts our deficit in half and we didn’t think we would be able to see that type of movement until midyear. Cape Motorsports was amazing this weekend with my car setup, we were fast right out the gate. I am just so happy right now.”

Driving the white No. 8 Cape Motorsports car, Kirkwood lost radio communication with his team almost as soon as Race 3 went green. That didn’t stop the 18-year-old from taking charge on the track. As Kirkwood gained momentum, breaking his best lap time each time he crossed the yard of bricks, the F4 U.S. sophomore set his fastest time on the final lap to cement his name in F4 U.S history with the largest margin of victory in a single race. Kirkwood crossed the finish line an impressive 13.787 seconds ahead of second-place Jacob Loomis of Corinth, Texas. Loomis’ Global Racing Group teammate Ben Pedersen of Copenhagen, Denmark, claimed the last spot on the podium. 

“Crossing the finish line at Indianapolis is like no other feeling I’ve ever had,” said Pedersen. “Since it’s not painted and made of bricks, I actually felt my car crossover. It gave me goosebumps.”

Braden Eves of Gahanna, Ohio, and Raphael Forcier of Montreal rounded out the Top 5 for the final race in Indianapolis.

In the second race of the weekend, Kirkwood would start on the front row beside pole sitter Timo Reger of Houston. The pair battled for position in the first lap. Kirkwood won the fight and never conceded his first-place spot. Points-leader Reger lost sight of Kirkwood as he held off multiple competitors trying to steal that second-place podium position. The JDX Racing pilot was successful and Eves would join Kirkwood and Reger on the podium in third.

“I had a disappointing finish to Race 1,” Reger said. “This second-place finish helps in points and I’m happy to come away with a podium in Indianapolis.”

Fans can view full results and photos from the weekend at F4USChampionship.com

The F4 U.S. Championship will make its first international debut at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, July 8-12.

View Results

View Photos

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2006734-get-out-the-brooms-kyle-kirkwood-makes-clean-sweep-in-indy

Kirkwood 'Turns It Around' in Indy

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Kirkwood 'Turns It Around' in Indy

The last moments of Round 4 of the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway grew more intense by each closing lap. With several position changes in the last moments, spectators watched closely to see which F4 U.S. drivers would cross the yard of bricks in the top-three.

Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, dominated Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday. Kirkwood started on the pole after stealing fast-time on the closing lap from Braden Eves of Gahanna, Ohio, in qualifying. The Cape Motorsports driver never conceded his first-place position, leading to his first victory since the inaugural season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Series newcomer Eves and Ben Waddell of Denver rounded out the top-three.

“Taking home a win at one of the most historic venues in motorsports is a dream come true,” Kirkwood said. “We really turned it around after our struggles from penalties at Homestead. My team, Cape Motorsports, couldn’t have given me a better car. We hope to leave Indy with a clean sweep.”

During Lap 2, Steve Bamford of Toronto, spun in Turn 8. Cars directly behind him avoided contact, however, John Andrew Entwistle of Katonah, New York, tangled with Bamford, taking Blake Mount of Denver with him in collateral damage. A full-course yellow would remain out until just under six minutes remained in the 30-minute session.

Kirkwood got the jump on off the restart on Timo Reger of San Antonio, Texas. Going into Turn 1, Reger would try to draft off Kirkwood but Kirkwood  defended the inside line, forcing Reger to the outside. The pair went into the turn side-by-side with the No. 8 car winning the battle. Reger would spend the remaining laps trying to catch Kirkwood, but an unfortunate last lap shunt in Turn 12 caused Reger to spin, resulting in a P23 finish for the JDX Racing driver.

Eves, who never competed in a car until Indy, looked like a seasoned-professional, picking off competitors one-by-one in the final laps. The No. 41 Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driver Development pilot capitalized on Reger’s error, capturing second.

“It feels great to see success so early on in my first ever car race,” Eves said. “We will be pushing for the win Sunday. Thank you to my team and to my sponsor Addison Holdings, LLC who worked so hard getting me here.”

Jonathan Scarallo of Smithtown, New York, made a daring move on the penultimate lap, going three-wide on the outside of Turn 1. Scarallo’s overtake was successful which resulted in a P3 finish. However, the Group-A Racing car was disqualified after failing to pass post-race tech. Waddell was then presented with the third-place finish.

“Of course, this is not the way I want to get a podium,” said the JDX Racing competitor. “We are starting P7 for Race 2 on Sunday. I’m confident that fans will see me on the podium again this weekend.”

A field of 30 F4 U.S. cars will take the track again on Sunday for the final two rounds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fans can watch live timing and scoring for the event on F4USChampionship.com.

Results

Photos

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2006720-kirkwood-turns-it-around-in-indy

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Trackside Report Day 1

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Indianapolis Motor Speedway Trackside Report Day 1

Schedule of Today’s Events (All Times Local)

Friday, June 9, 2016

7:00 a.m.   Registration Opens

7:00 a.m.   F4 Tech & Scales Open

7:45 a.m.   Drivers’ Meeting Starts

8:45 a.m.   Drivers’ Meeting End

9:05 a.m.   F4 Practice 1 Starts

9:25 a.m.   F4 Practice 1 Ends

12:35 p.m. Lunch Starts

1:35 p.m.   Lunch Ends

2:45 p.m.   F4 Practice 2 Starts

3:00 p.m    F4 Registration Closes

3:10 p.m.   F4 Practice 2 Ends

4:00 p.m.   Tech Closes

Entry List

Car #:

Driver:

Hometown:

Team:

Engine:

Sponsors:

 

2

 

Skylar Robinson

 

Augusta, Ga

 

Momentum Motorsports

 

Honda

 

Momentum Motorsports

 

3

 

Vincent Khristov

 

Delray Beach, FL

 

Indy Motorsports Group

 

Honda

 

CPC Inc

 

4

 

Jim Goughary Jr

 

Jupiter, FL

 

Primus Racing Team

 

Honda

 

Primus Race Parts

 

5

 

Austin McCusker

 

Glen Head, NY

 

Primus Racing Team

 

Honda

 

Dot Works / Primus Racing

 

6

 

Parker Locke

 

San Antonio, TX

Jay Howard’s Motorsports

Driver Development

 

Honda

 

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driver Development

 

7

 

Blake Mount

 

Denver, CO

 

JDX Racing

 

Honda

 

Expedia / HD Supply / Sobel Westex

 

8

 

Kyle Kirkwood

 

Jupiter, FL

 

Cape Motorsports

 

Honda

 

 

9

 

Mathias Soler-Obel

 

Bogota, Colombia

 

Cape Motorsports

 

Honda

 

 

10

 

Davis Durrett

 

Carmel, IN

 

Indy Motorsports Group

 

Honda

 

 

14

 

Max Peichel

 

Edina, MN

Jay Howard’s Motorsports

Driver Development

 

Honda

 

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driver Development

 

16

 

Kent Vaccaro

 

Plattsburgh, NY

 

Momentum Motorsports

 

Honda

 

Momentum Motorsports

 

19

 

Timo Reger

 

Houston, TX

 

JDX Racing

 

Honda

 

JDX Racing

 

21

John Andrew Entwistle

 

Katonah, NY

 

HellHound Motorsports

 

Honda

 

HellHound Motorsports / Division Furtive

 

22

 

Jacob Abel

 

Louisville, KY

 

Abel Motorsports

 

Honda

 

Abel Construction / Advance Inc

 

24

 

Benjamin Pedersen

 

Copenhagen, Denmark

 

Global Racing Group

 

Honda

DirtFish / Alfa Romeo of Seattle / Egrari Non- Invasive Center

 

27

 

Austin Kaszuba

 

Burleson, TX

 

Austin Kaszuba Racing

 

Honda

 

Texas Pride Trailers

 

28

 

Ben Waddell

 

Denver, CO

 

JDX Racing

 

Honda

 

Stoner Car Care / Invisible Glass / USWAG

 

29

 

Jonathan Scarallo

 

Smithtown, NY

 

Group A Racing

 

Honda

 

 

30

 

Flinn Lazier

 

Vail, CO

 

Group A Racing

 

Honda

 

Keystone / Scalkit / Tivoli Lodge

 

35

 

Chris Archinaco

 

Pittsburgh, PA

 

Indy Motorsports Group

 

Honda

 

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

 

37

 

Jordan Sherratt

 

Durban, South Africa

 

Crosslink Racing

 

Honda

 

Crosslink Powder Coating

 

39

 

Justin Sirgany

 

Kingston, Jamaica

 

Global Racing Group

 

Honda

JFP / Your Complete Décor Solution / Bob Marley Foundation

 

41

 

Braden Eves

 

Gahanna, OH

Jay Howard’s Motorsports

Driver Development

 

Honda

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driver Development

/ Lucas Oil / Green 1 / Team One Cure

 

45

 

Baltazar Leguizamon

 

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon Motorsports

 

Honda

 

Motorola

 

61

 

John Paul Southern Jr

 

Westlake, OH

Jay Howard’s Motorsports

Driver Development

 

Honda

 

Pittsburgh International Race Complex

 

62

 

Raphael Forcier

 

Montreal, Quebec

 

Indy Motorsports Group

 

Honda

 

 

65

 

Alan Miller

 

New Port Beach, CA

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon Motorsports LLC

 

Honda

 

Blue Marble Premium Cocktails / AMD Lasers

 

68

 

Jacob Loomis

 

Corinth, TX

 

Global Racing Group

 

Honda

 

Optima Anesthesia / Epic Electric

 

86

 

Brendon Leitch

Invercargill, New Zealand

 

Kiwi Motorsport LTD

 

Honda

 

 

96

 

Lawson Nagel

 

Fort Worth, TX

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon Motorsports

 

Honda

 

 

97

Christopher Gumprecht

 

Stanfordville, NY

 

C.G. Racing

 

Honda

 

 

07

 

Steve Bamford

 

Toronto, Ontario

 

Cape Motorsports

 

Honda

 

Rice Race Prep

 

***

Teams started arriving at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana around 6:30 a.m. The temperature was 84 degrees with 29 percent humidity.

***

7:45 a.m. Drivers attended a meeting reviewing race one material, on-track procedures, a schedule of events and a lighting demonstration.

***

The first morning test session began at 9:05 a.m and lasted 24 minutes. Thirty-one of the 32 F4 U.S. competitors tested. Lap times were not recorded for Max Peichel of Edina, Minnesota or for Lawson Nagel of Fort Worth, Texas due to faulty transponders. Parker Locke of San Antonio, Texas, experienced mechanical issued before finishing his first lap, resulting in no recorded lap time. Chris Gumprecht of Stanfordville, New York, did not participate in the first test. All drivers were required to practice one standing start before the conclusion of Session 1. Series newcomers Braden Eves of Gahanna, Ohio, and Flinn Lazier of Vail, Colorado, were required to complete two standing starts. John Andrew Entwistle of Katonah, New York, was also required to practice two starts after stalling in Homestead. No accidents needing yellow or red flags were involved during the test, however, Mathias Soler-Obel of Bogota, Colombia, retired to the pits after just two laps due to mechanical issues. Veteran F4 U.S. driver Baltazar Leguizamon of Buenos Aires, Argentina, finished the session with the best lap (1:31.220) with Eves finishing just eight thousandths of a second behind.  

Pos

No.

Name

Best Tm

Diff

In Lap

Hometown

Team

Sponsor

1

45

Baltazar Leguizamon

1:31.220

 

7

Buenos Aires ARG

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon M

Motorola

2

41

Braden Eves

1:31.304

0.084

10

Gahanna Ohio

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Dri

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driver Developm

3

8

Kyle Kirkwood

1:31.379

0.159

13

Jupiter Fla.

Cape Motorsports

Cape Motorsports

4

86

Brendon Leitch

1:31.653

0.433

9

Invercargill NZL

Kiwi Motorsports

ITM

5

28

Ben Waddell

1:31.670

0.450

11

Denver Colo.

JDX Racing

Stoner Car Care / USWAG

6

37

Jordan Sherratt

1:32.130

0.910

7

Durban ZAF

Crosslink Racing

Crosslink Powder Coating

7

1

Flinn Lazier

1:32.154

0.934

13

Vail Colo.

Group A Racing

Keystone/Scalkit/Tivoli  Lodge

8

27

Austin Kaszuba

1:32.172

0.952

11

Burleson Texas

Austin Kaszuba Racing

Texas Pride Trailers

9

2

Skylar Robinson

1:32.176

0.956

9

Augusta Ga.

Momentum Motorsports

Momentum Motorsports

10

62

Raphael Forcier

1:32.208

0.988

11

Montreal Qué. Can.

Indy Motorsports Group

Indy Motorsports Group

11

19

Timo Reger

1:32.451

1.231

8

Houston Texas

JDX Racing

JDX Racing

12

61

John Paul Southern Jr

1:32.513

1.293

11

Westlake Ohio

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Dri

Pittsburgh International Race Complex/ Jay

13

4

Jim Goughary Jr

1:32.518

1.298

11

Jupiter Fla.

Primus Racing Team

Primus Race Parts

14

5

Austin McCusker

1:32.530

1.310

8

Glen Head N.Y.

Primus Racing Team

Dot Works / Primus Racing

15

68

Jacob Loomis

1:32.535

1.315

12

Corinth Texas

Global Racing Group

Optima Anesthesia / Epic Electric

16

3

Vincent Khristov

1:32.959

1.739

12

Delray Beach Fla.

Indy Motorsports Group

CPC Inc

17

10

Davis Durrett

1:32.977

1.757

13

Carmel Ind.

Indy Motorsports Group

Indy Motorsports Group

18

22

Jacob Abel

1:33.040

1.820

13

Louisville Ky.

Abel Motorsports

Abel Construction / Advance Inc

19

07

Steve Bamford

1:33.105

1.885

11

Toronto Ont. Can.

Cape Motorsports

Rice Race Prep

20

29

Jonathan Scarallo

1:33.205

1.985

9

Smithtown N.Y.

Group A Racing

Group A Racing

21

39

Justin Sirgany

1:33.572

2.352

5

Kingston JAM

Global Racing Group

JFP / Your Complete Décor Solution / Bob M

22

21

John Andrew Entwistle

1:33.633

2.413

8

Katonah N.Y.

HellHound Motorsports

HellHound  Motorsports/Division Furtive

23

35

Chris Archinaco

1:33.828

2.608

14

Pittsburgh Pa.

Indy Motorsports Group

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

24

24

Benjamin Pedersen

1:34.676

3.456

11

Copenhagen DNK

Global Racing Group

Dirtfish/Alfa Romeo of Seattle/Egrari Non-In

25

7

Blake Mount

1:34.976

3.756

11

Denver Colo.

JDX Racing

Expedia / HD Supply / Sobel Westex

26

65

Alan Miller

1:34.986

3.766

10

New Port Beach Calif.

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon M

Blue Marble Premium Cocktails / AMD Lase

27

16

Kent Vaccaro

1:35.824

4.604

8

Plattsburgh N.Y.

Momentum Motorsports

Momentum Motorsports

28

9

Mathias Soler-Obel

1:54.897

23.677

2

Bogota COL

Cape Motorsports

Cape Motorsports

29

14

Max Peichel

   

0

Edina Minn.

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Dri

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driver Developm

30

96

Lawson Nagel

   

0

Fort Worth Texas

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon M

 

***

12:35 p.m. competitors and staff broke for lunch

***

The second F4 U.S. testing session started after lunch at 2:46 p.m. Skylar Robinson of Augusta, Georgia, lost control of his No. 2 car going into Turn 3. In an unrelated incident in the same turn, Peichel also experienced an off-track excursion. A red flag was thrown and the session ended early as the two cars were assisted off the track. Peichel laid down the most laps (10) in Session 2 before ending his day. With a new pair of left-side tires, Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, found himself at the top of the time sheet with a fast time of 1:31.539. Once again, Eves finished in P2. Thirty of the 32 cars participated. Blake Mount of Denver suffered mechanical issues in the pits prior to the track going hot, resulting in no time recorded. Locke did not return to Session 2 due to previous issues from Session 1. Gumprecht did not participate.

Pos

No.

Name

Best Tm

Diff

In Lap

Hometown

Team

Sponsor

1

8

Kyle Kirkwood

1:31.539

 

7

Jupiter Fla.

Cape Motorsports

Cape Motorsports

2

41

Braden Eves

1:31.750

0.211

5

Gahanna Ohio

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driv

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driver Developm

3

22

Jacob Abel

1:31.926

0.387

7

Louisville Ky.

Abel Motorsports

Abel Construction / Advance Inc

4

45

Baltazar Leguizamon

1:31.927

0.388

6

Buenos Aires ARG

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon M

Motorola

5

19

Timo Reger

1:32.077

0.538

5

Houston Texas

JDX Racing

JDX Racing

6

9

Mathias Soler-Obel

1:32.301

0.762

8

Bogota COL

Cape Motorsports

Cape Motorsports

7

86

Brendon Leitch

1:32.403

0.864

9

Invercargill NZL

Kiwi Motorsports

ITM

8

28

Ben Waddell

1:32.408

0.869

4

Denver Colo.

JDX Racing

Stoner Car Care / USWAG

9

3

Vincent Khristov

1:32.427

0.888

8

Delray Beach Fla.

Indy Motorsports Group

CPC Inc

10

2

Skylar Robinson

1:32.489

0.950

3

Augusta Ga.

Momentum Motorsports

Momentum Motorsports

11

39

Justin Sirgany

1:32.494

0.955

5

Kingston JAM

Global Racing Group

JFP / Your Complete Décor Solution / Bob M

12

14

Max Peichel

1:32.498

0.959

10

Edina Minn.

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driv

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driver Developm

13

62

Raphael Forcier

1:32.586

1.047

8

Montreal Qué. Can.

Indy Motorsports Group

Indy Motorsports Group

14

1

Flinn Lazier

1:32.638

1.099

4

Vail Colo.

Group A Racing

Keystone/Scalkit/Tivoli Lodge

15

37

Jordan Sherratt

1:32.772

1.233

6

Durban ZAF

Crosslink Racing

Crosslink  Powder Coating

16

68

Jacob Loomis

1:32.965

1.426

5

Corinth Texas

Global Racing Group

Optima Anesthesia / Epic Electric

17

10

Davis Durrett

1:33.156

1.617

3

Carmel Ind.

Indy Motorsports Group

Indy Motorsports Group

18

21

John Andrew Entwistle

1:33.337

1.798

9

Katonah N.Y.

HellHound Motorsports

HellHound  Motorsports/Division Furtive

19

4

Jim Goughary Jr

1:33.349

1.810

8

Jupiter Fla.

Primus Racing Team

Primus Race Parts

20

5

Austin McCusker

1:33.349

1.810

7

Glen Head N.Y.

Primus Racing Team

Dot Works / Primus Racing

21

61

John Paul Southern Jr

1:33.355

1.816

3

Westlake Ohio

Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driv

Pittsburgh International Race Complex/ Jay

22

96

Lawson Nagel

1:33.403

1.864

9

Fort Worth Texas

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon M

 

23

29

Jonathan Scarallo

1:33.427

1.888

5

Smithtown N.Y.

Group A Racing

Group A Racing

24

27

Austin Kaszuba

1:33.587

2.048

3

Burleson Texas

Austin Kaszuba Racing

Texas Pride Trailers

25

35

Chris Archinaco

1:33.696

2.157

7

Pittsburgh Pa.

Indy Motorsports Group

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

26

65

Alan Miller

1:33.837

2.298

7

New Port Beach Calif.

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon M

Blue Marble Premium Cocktails / AMD  Lase

27

24

Benjamin Pedersen

1:34.138

2.599

6

Copenhagen DNK

Global Racing Group

Dirtfish/Alfa Romeo of Seattle/Egrari Non-In

28

07

Steve Bamford

1:34.486

2.947

6

Toronto Ont. Can.

Cape Motorsports

Rice Race Prep

29

16

Kent Vaccaro

1:35.427

3.888

6

Plattsburgh N.Y.

Momentum Motorsports

Momentum Motorsports

30

7

Blake Mount

   

0

Denver Colo.

JDX Racing

Expedia / HD Supply / Sobel Westex

***

4:00 p.m. Tech inspections end. Minor infractions were noted but no team received penalties or reprimands.

 ***

Quotes from Practice Results

Braden Eves, Jay Howard’s Motorsport Driver Development- The first session went well. I pitted and then went back out, changed a few things with my driving and gained some time. In our final practice, our pace was very good again. The car felt very good all day and I think we should have the pace for a win tomorrow.

Baltazar Leguizamon, Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon Motorsports- I had the fastest time during the first session. It is my first time running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The car continued to gain momentum throughout the day and I expect to have that same speed tomorrow during qualifying.

Kyle Kirkwood, Cape Motorsports- I put Homestead behind me, and I am ready take a win here in Indy tomorrow. My team has put together a fast car and I’m confident we can accomplish that.

Photos

Results

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2006710-indianapolis-motor-speedway-trackside-report-day-1

Kyle Kirkwood: A Topsy-Turvy Weekend

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JUPITER, Fla. — Hey everyone, it’s been quite a while since I wrote my last blog. Thankfully, I have been beyond busy with racing and I’ve now found a few moments to catch up!

Testing the USF2000 car with Benik

After arriving back to the States from England I had gotten a lot of word that “NOW comes the hard part,” and everyone was right. There were a few options that I had for the 2017 season and the two that were the obvious stand-outs were the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. If I had won the Mazda Road To Indy USF2000 200k Scholarship Shootout last fall it would have been a very easy decision, but since I didn’t it was very tough picking one… I did two tests in both cars; in F4 I ran both tests with Cape Motorsports at Nola Motorsports Park, just outside of New Orleans, and at Atlanta Motorsports Park, near Dawsonville, Ga. Then in USF2000 I tested once with the Capes at Barber Motorsports Park and once with Benik at Homestead-Miami. After those tests, I leaned toward F4 knowing it would be my second year with more experience than most of the other drivers in the series. This decision was very tough and took me until the very last minute to make up my mind.

My Cape Motorsports F4 “office”

Unfortunately, I unknowingly broke an F4 rule by testing the USF2000 car at Homestead, which brought me 10-place grid spot penalties for each of the first three races in F4. At the time, I had no idea and the rule wasn’t very clear, but it’s racing and sometimes you just have to bite the bullet.

Coming into the first round this past weekend, the best we could start for any of the races would be 11th. We were very fast – every practice session we were in the top five without a draft, which was worth as much as a second per lap — and I managed to qualify second, within a tenth of the pole, which should have placed me 12th for the first race. However, 30 minutes prior to the race I received another 10-place penalty for contact with a new driver who was on cold tires in qualifying. This meant before even the first race I already had a total of 40 positions of penalties!

Moving up through the field at Homestead-Miami

After starting in 22nd for Race One, we made up a handful of positions on the first lap, only to find that our engine had some kind of mechanical problem and overheated much higher than a safe level. We were forced to retire early. The mechanical issue is still unknown and Honda has taken the engine to investigate the issue.

That day wasn’t the best to say the least… Because of the issue, we were unable to run a decent lap so that meant we would start from all the way in the back for Race Two on Sunday. It made me a little nervous knowing we had a brand new engine; it was really a guessing game and we were unsure if the engine would be any good, or if the engine would run at all.

We started 33rd for Race Two, and by lap three I was already in 14th! We were on a roll. Unfortunately, there were many cautions and the field only ran eight green-flag laps. Across the line we finished eighth with the fastest lap by over a half-second. Immediately, I had tons of confidence in the car, engine and the team.

Race Three wasn’t exactly straightforward….

Race Three came around and our 10th-place starting position (due to yet another penalty, of course!) would put us in a good spot to be capable of winning the race. I was already up to eighth by Turn Six on the first lap. Unfortunately, my streak was dampened by another competitor overshooting Turn Eight and clipping my rear left tire just enough to spin me in front of the whole field. It is all kind of a blur to me but someone did run over my nose/wing and we had to make a pit stop to change it under caution, so once again we were at the back of the line! From 23rd, I managed to fight all the way back to sixth, only to have the same thing happen again in Turn Two on the last lap. I fell back to 12th and finally came across the line to finish 10th. Although the results weren’t the best, we definitely showed great speed…and everyone noticed.

Now that we’ve gotten through the mess with the penalties, I know Indianapolis in June will be a very different story. I’m excited!

Thank you all for reading and I will keep you informed!
Kyle

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3842

F4 U.S. Debuts 33 Car Grid for Season Opener

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F4 U.S. Debuts 33 Car Grid for Season Opener

With only two days before its season debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the entry list for the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda continues to gain new competitors. Jett Noland of Groveland, Florida, is the latest karts-to-cars entry to join the F4 U.S. field.

The professional driver development series returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway April 8-9 with more than double its grid size from its inaugural season finale at the legendary Roval last October. The field is anticipated to swell from 16 entries to 33 competitors representing 11 states, eight countries on five continents.

 “We are extremely pleased to be returning to Homestead-Miami Speedway to kick-off our 2017 season,” said SCCA Pro Racing Vice President, Steve Oseth. “The high-banked turns at Homestead provide a unique opportunity for our drivers to develop drafting skills that will be important for them as they progress through the sport. Doubling our grid size is a statement to the cost-efficiency of our championship. Campaigning in an American-made Crawford F4-16 chassis, powered by a Honda Civic Type-R engine manufactured in Ohio and running on long lasting Pirelli tires, F4 U.S. is the most economical series in the United States for drivers to progress from karts to cars. “

Noland connected with Cape Motorsports after a capturing three karting titles and finishing third in the Skip Barber Karts to Cars Shootout. He finalized the grid for the winningest team in American junior open-wheel racing which includes returning competitors Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, and Steve Bamford of Toronto, Canada. Series newcomer Mathias Soler-Obel of Bogota, Colombia, was also added to the Cape roster in the offseason.

“I would really like to thank Cape Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to join the team,” said Noland. “I believe that if I work hard under the guidance of IndyCar Rookie of the Year and Rolex 24 Daytona winner Rafa Matos, I can live up to their expectations.”

Last year, Cameron Das of Brooklandville, Maryland, ran away with the Homestead-Miami rounds. Das finished first with more than a nine second lead in each of the three Homestead races. The F4 U.S. Championship served as a gateway from karts to Formula 3 for the inaugural season champion. Das will compete this season in the BRDC British Formula 3 for team Carlin, opening the field for new or former competitors to capture the top podium spots

Second-year F4 U.S. driver Kirkwood is looking to takeover Das’ reign. Kirkwood earned third in the overall inaugural championship, capturing six second place podium finishes, two third place finishes and one victory. The young Floridian won the prestigious Team USA Scholarship in 2016 which allowed him to compete abroad at the Formula Ford Festival in Brands Hatch, England, and the opportunity to race for the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone in the off-season. Kirkwood finished in the top 10 at Brands Hatch and fourth in Silverstone. 

“Immediately after the F4 season I found myself in England racing for the Team USA Scholarship, which I owe F4 U.S. a lot of credit for,” said Kirkwood. “That was unlike any experience I’ve had and was the best preparation I could ask for going into the 2017 season.I'm very focused on the top podium spot. Cape Motorsports and I have had a couple very productive tests and I couldn't be happier with the team and the car for the beginning of the season.”

Inaugural F4 U.S. Championship runner-up Czaczyk will put some additional pressure on Kirkwood. Czaczyk, who entered the series debut event earlier this week, captured two second place finishes during the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season.


“I am thankful for Group-A Racing for allowing me to compete for half the season,” Czaczyk said. “The field is going to be very competitive and a lot tighter than last season. I am confident in my team. I hope to return the favor with a win this weekend at Homestead.”

Due to a previous commitment, Czaczyk will compete in only three of the six F4 U.S. events for Group-A Racing.

Baltazar Leguizamòn of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is also a returning force hungry for a win. Leguizamòn experienced his best battles last season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, advancing from 13th to sixth place in championship points during the final event. The unprecedented performance earned Leguizamòn the Catherine Crawford Most Improved Driver Award at the end of the season.

“I want to improve on the results I finished the season with last year,” Leguizamòn said. “We have been testing and conditioning all offseason to make that happen.”

Leguizamòn will represent Miller Vinatieri Leguizamòn Motorsports in the Motorola No. 45. red, white and blue Crawford F4-16.

“Only one third of the Homestead entries are returning inaugural season competitors, the rest are rookies,” said Oseth. “With a field this large and fresh, it’s definitely going to be an exciting weekend of racing.”

The F4 U.S. Championship joins the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli for a high-energy SCCA Pro road racing weekend. General admission tickets are available for purchase in advance of the event atHomesteadMiamiSpeedway.comfor $10 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday. Two-day passes can also be purchased online for $20.

General admission tickets will be available at the gate on the day of the event. Infield tickets are $15 on Saturday and $20 on Sunday. Two-day passes purchased at the gate are $25. Children 12 years and younger are admitted for free on both days. Parking is free all weekend and will be located in the infield on Main Street and Road Course South (east portion). 

Click for an event schedule and entry list.

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2005816-f4-u-s-debuts-33-car-grid-for-season-opener

Advanced Tickets Available for F4 U.S. Championship Trans Am Series Debut

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Advanced Tickets Available for F4 U.S. Championship Trans Am Series Debut

Homestead-Miami Speedway will play host to the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda on April 8-9 in a joint event with the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli. The pair will bring high-energy SCCA Pro road racing to South Florida in one weekend.

The event will include a field of 30 or more open-wheel cars from F4 U.S. Championship in its season debut and Trans Am will feature competition in each of the TA, TA2, TA3 and TA4 classes with more than 60 cars participating. 

The F4 U.S. series will have two rookie participants who hail from South Florida in the event. Jamaican driver Justin Sirgany, who resides in Miami, will be competing for Global Racing Group, while Vincent Khristov of Delray Beach will be racing for Indy Motorsport Group. Jupiter residents and returning F4 U.S. competitors, Jim Goughary Jr. from Primus Racing and Kyle Kirkwood from Cape Motorsports, are also slated to compete.

The weekend will commence on Saturday, April 8, with gates opening at 8:00 a.m. Practice sessions will run from 8:00 – 11:40 a.m. in both series. Qualifying will follow the practice session with F4 U.S. starting at 11:50 a.m. and Trans Am beginning at 1:30 p.m. The green flag in Race 1 of the F4 U.S. series will be waved at 3:30 p.m. 

On Sunday, April 9, gates will open at 9:00 a.m. with Race 2 of the F4 U.S. series commencing at 10:15 a.m. The TA2 race will follow at 11:00 a.m., while the TA/TA3/TA4 race will start at 1:15 p.m. Race 3 of the F4 U.S. series will begin at 3:30 p.m., offering fans nearly four hours of racing throughout the day. 

General admission tickets are available for purchase in advance of the event at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com for $10 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday. Two-day passes can also be purchased online for $20.

General admission tickets will be available at the gate on the day of the event. Infield tickets are $15 on Saturday and $20 on Sunday. Two-day passes purchased at the gate are $25. Children 12 years and younger are admitted for free on both days. Parking is free all weekend and will be located in the infield on Main Street and Road Course South (east portion). 

http://www.f4uschampionship.com/events/1986086-homestead-miami-speedway

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2005548-advanced-tickets-available-for-f4-u-s-championship-trans-am-series-debut

F4 U.S. Championship First Test Brings New Drivers to the Line-Up

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F4 U.S. Championship First Test Brings New Drivers to the Line-Up

The second season of the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda kicked-off in The Big Easy during Mardi Gras weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana, Feb. 25-26 for the first of two official series tests. Eighteen drivers on six teams, eleven of whom were series rookies, participated in the SCCA Pro Racing sanctioned event.

“It was really encouraging to see the turn-out for the NOLA test,” said SCCA Pro Racing Vice President Steve Oseth. “There were a lot of new drivers who got valuable seat-time before the season starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway April 8-9. With returning veterans and talented rookies, this season will be extremely competitive.”

Mathias Soler-Obel of Bogota, Colombia, was the newest rookie to join the F4 U.S. Championship grid running under Cape Motorsports. Soler-Obel joins the squad for the 2017 campaign, coming off a strong season that saw him win the Lucas Oil School of Racing Formula Race Series championship in its inaugural season. 

“As a team, we are really excited to have Mathias onboard for the season,” said Dominic Cape, co-owner of Cape Motorsports. “The two-day test we just completed went really well and we're all looking forward to see him in action.” 

The Colombian native who now resides in Atlanta, Georgia, spent his development years winning karting championships throughout the world.

“I’m really happy to start working with Cape Motorsports in the F4 U.S. Championship,” Soler-Obel said ahead of continued testing with the team. “I’m looking forward to great results with the team!”

The Cape Motorsports’ test grid also included F4 U.S. Championship veteran Steve Bamford of Toronto, who signed with the team in January. Series veteran Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, tested with the team in NOLA, but his seat for the season has not been confirmed.

Contending F4 U.S. championship team JDX Racing did not attend the test. The team spent the time finalizing its 2017 F4 U.S. line-up. Inaugural F4 U.S. teams Primus Racing, Global Racing Group and Group-A Racing were also not able to attend due to scheduling conflicts. However, the three teams will participate in the 2017 F4 U.S. season with multiple entries.

Fans can visit F4USChampionship.com for a full trackside report and weekend entry list for the NOLA Motorsports Park test weekend.    

NOLA Motorsports Park Entry List for Feb. 25-26

Car

Driver

Hometown

Team

Engine

2

Skylar Robinson

Augusta, GA

Momentum Motorsports

HONDA

3

Vincent Khristov

Delray Beach, FL

Indy Motorsport Group

HONDA

6

Max Peichel

Edina, MN

Jay Howard MDD

HONDA

7

Steve Bamford

Toronto, Ontario

Cape Motorsports

HONDA

8

Kyle Kirkwood

Jupiter, FL

Cape Motorsports

HONDA

9

Mathias Soler-Obel

Bogota, Colombia

Cape Motorsports

HONDA

10

Davis Durrett

Carmel, IN

Indy Motorsport Group

HONDA

16

Kent Vaccaro

Plattsburgh, NY

Momentum Motorsports

HONDA

21

John Andrew Entwistte

Katonah, NY

Hell Hound Motorsports

HONDA

22

Jacob Abel

Louisville, KY

Jay Howard MDD/Abel Motorsports

HONDA

26

Sam Paley

Cincinnati, OH

Jay Howard MDD

HONDA

34

Austin Kaszuba

Burleson, TX

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon Motorsports

HONDA

35

Chis Archinaco

Pittsburgh, PA

Indy Motorsport Group

HONDA

40

Jack William Miller

Westfield, IN

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon Motorsports

HONDA

45

Baltazar Leguizamon

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon Motorsports

HONDA

65

Alan Miller

Indianapolis, IN

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon Motorsports

HONDA

77

Parker Locke

San Antonio, TX

Jay Howard MDD

HONDA

96

Lawson Nagel

Fort Worth, TX

Miller Vinatieri Leguizamon Motorsports

HONDA

NOLA Motorsports Park Track Report

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2005464-f4-u-s-championship-first-test-brings-new-drivers-to-the-line-up

Kyle Kirkwood: A Different Level

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One of our tours was to McLaren GT.

JUPITER, Fla. – Although it’s disappointing to have left England, it’s always nice to have the comfort and tranquility of being home. I’ve met so many wonderful and knowledgeable people along the way that I will not soon forget. From the world-class racing with over 100 very talented drivers, to our many facility visits, such as the immaculate McLaren Technology Center and many more is why it was so enjoyable. Another one of the major reasons why it meant so much to me was the immense amount of serious fun everyone would have at each event. I know I will always remember that month of my life, and hopefully soon enough I will be back over there to race again in my future.

Andrew Jones looked after my car.

Starting off with Cliff Dempsey Racing; they were one of the most professional teams I have been with in my career. We didn’t make any adjustments to the cars unless it was just a comfort issue for myself, and most of the time we would just end up going back to our “stock” setup. Also, after the first day of meeting the Dempseys, it felt like we had known them for months and by the end of our trip they felt like family. One of the best aspects with the team was that each mechanic actually owned each car they worked on, so I knew they wanted the car to be perfect, as did I. Adding to the greatness of the team was Michelle Dempsey’s incredible cooking. Everyone told me before I left to the U.K. that all the meals aren’t as good as the U.S. but her cooking definitely proved everyone wrong! I really can’t thank the Dempseys enough for everything they did during our month over there.

The entire CDR team was exceptional.

Overall, the experience being a part of the Team USA Scholarship was absolutely perfect. I know I came home a better driver and with a whole lot more knowledge of motorsports. If only more drivers could get this opportunity, or focus more on Formula Ford. Honestly, I’ve always been a little skeptical about FF racing from my experience in the U.S. running F1600, but FF in England is on a different level and I really wish more young drivers would include that into their development. The amount I learned over there in the month is the same amount I would learn in a year or more, which is why I feel so fortunate to be a part of the Team USA Scholarship program.

Now that we are home, it’s time for the hard work to open doors for next year. The first course of action is to prepare for the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 Scholarship Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where Oliver and I are eligible to win $200,000 towards next year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Thank-you for following our adventure, have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and I will keep you all updated,
Kyle

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3779

Kyle Kirkwood: Up, Down, Up!

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LONDON, England — The Walter Hayes Trophy is over. Actually, I’m sad to know this is our last race here in the U.K…at least for now. My weekend was absolutely filled with big ups and downs. Fortunately for me, the event ended on a major high note.

Oliver and I were quick straight away in testing, and by the end of the first day we were running within three-tenths of the track record – without new tires or a draft, which is worth over a half-second most of the time. Our practice days continued to go well. We were fighting for the best time in every session and really never changed much on the cars, which goes to show how well Cliff Dempsey Racing has its program together. The first practice day was by far the best because from Wednesday morning until the heat race there was a driver who was dumping oil constantly on track. Saying that, I’m actually very fortunate to have had that practice, because the same driver was in my qualifying heat also…and the practice on how to drive in that condition was a key factor in the qualifying for my Heat race.

Leading the Heat race on Saturday (JeffBloxham.com)

After setting the third fastest time in qualifying, I jumped to the lead into the first corner and held it for a couple laps. I think my excitement got the best of me when I knew I had a great shot at winning. Ben Norton made a stellar pass on myself and Jordan Dempsey by splitting us going down into Brooklands. The very next lap I attempted to draft by him going into Brooklands and he was obviously watching his mirrors like a hawk. I tried to trick him to go wide to open a door on the inside and when I went for the inside pass he knew exactly what I was trying and caught me off guard when he shut the door. When I fell back behind him I was nearly touching his gearbox with my nose, and while I was still attempting to fall in behind I found myself in the braking zone with a very unsettled car. I locked up my right-front tire and clipped his right-rear tire just hard enough to turn his car around under braking. When he spun my left-front tire tore off his exhaust muffler, which slashed my tire and became stuck under my car. I felt really bad for Ben. Honestly, I should have just waited, but hindsight is 20-20. I limped home a distant 16th. I was really heart-broken and lost a bit of confidence when I realized the difficulty of the task that lay ahead of me if I was to make the Grand Final.

On the podium with Stephen Daly (left) and Scott Andrews (Jack Mitchell/JAM Motorsport Photography)

First up on Sunday was the “Progression Race” and all I had to do was finish a few spots ahead of where I started in ninth place. I jumped to fourth before the first corner, then took the lead before the first lap was over and went on to score my first win. That was a big boost to my confidence!

The Last Chance Race was next, just over an hour later, and this time I had to start 31st out of 36. I don’t know how I made it to third so quick, but I did. Actually I could have won that race but I wasn’t going to risk a crash knowing I was already in a transfer spot, so I settled for third behind Scott Andrews and Stephen Daly.

(Jack Mitchell/JAM Motorsport Photography).

I started 29th in the Semi-Final but didn’t get the best start because a driver spun out in front of me in Copse, which caused me to go way wide and killed my run towards Maggotts and Becketts. I then picked as many drivers off as possible and found myself in 12th before the 12-lap race was over, which was enough to qualify me for the Grand Final. So at least I had achieved my primary goal.

In the Final I got exactly what I was hoping for… rain! I knew wet conditions would help a lot for passing, considering I was starting 23rd. My start was absolutely the best I’ve ever had, and by the end of the first lap I was already in 11th! I then took positions slowly but consistently until the end of the race, despite only being able to see my braking reference and one rain light in front because of how much spray the Formula Ford cars were throwing up. Unknowingly, I ended up in the third position on the last lap of the race…but I couldn’t see my pit board because of the all the water! And on the last lap going into Brooklands I left the door wide open for Josh Fisher to pass. I realized he was a bit faster than me so figured I would follow his line and find out exactly why he was faster to make it easier to catch whomever was in front of us, and when I did that I then saw the checkered flag waving and realized the race was over.

Fighting through the field in the Final
(Jack Mitchell/JAM Motorsport Photography).

I came back to the pits expecting to have finished just inside the top 10, so I was very disappointed to find out as soon as I got out of the car that I had given up a podium spot without a fight. But honestly I was just happy to make the final and everyone was ecstatic with my drive, so I cheered up real quick! Everyone was saying “Kyle had the ‘drive of the race.’”

So I’m happy to say the weekend ended on a high note and now we’re back in London preparing to head back to reality!

Thank you, everyone, so much!

Kyle Kirkwood

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3738

Kirkwood to Compete for Walter Hayes Trophy in Final Team USA Scholarship Event

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Kirkwood to Compete for Walter Hayes Trophy in Final Team USA Scholarship Event

Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda driver Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, will join more than 120 drivers competing for the 16th edition of the Walter Hayes Trophy at the Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, United Kingdom, Nov. 5-6.

The event will mark Kirkwood’s final Team USA Scholarship challenge. Kirkwood also competed in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in October as part of his Team USA Scholarship package. Kirkwood finished the race seventh.

The young Floridian experienced wet and dry conditions during his three days of preparation for the event. 

“The past few days have been great,” said Kirkwood. “The track is amazing to drive on and I can’t wait to start racing on it tomorrow! Day one of practice we completed well over 120 laps with only 17 cars on track with us, which was a nice change from all the traffic in Brands Hatch. Yesterday (day two) was good and today was exactly what we wanted. We knew we had everything right for the dry but had no idea with wet conditions. Luckily, the track was wet for both of my sessions, so now we’re sure we have both wet and dry conditions down well.”

Team USA recipient and Verizon IndyCar Series Honda driver Conor Daly won the Walter Hayes Trophy in 2008. Fellow Team USA Scholarship winners Connor De Phillippi and Tristan Nunez added their names to the victory roster in 2009 and 2012, respectively, while Michai Stephens claimed a third-place finish in 2014.

The weekend will begin with qualifying and no fewer than six Heat races on Saturday, with the Grand Final set for 3:00 p.m. local time on Sunday. Fans can follow Kirkwood’s live timing and scoring at Livetiming.raceresults.nu/mst or follow his event blog at TeamUSAScholarship.org. 

***Photo Credit- Jack Mitchell/JAM Motorsport Photography

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2004466-kirkwood-to-compete-for-walter-hayes-trophy-in-final-team-usa-scholarship-event

Kyle Kirkwood: Ready as can be

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NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, England — We arrived at Silverstone on Wednesday morning. I always get a good feeling when entering through the gates of a race track…and especially this one. Knowing we’re on the same track that F1 races on, which is every open-wheel driver’s ultimate goal and dream, is amazing. The week has gone smoothly so far. All of Cliff Dempsey Racing’s cars are quick and I think tomorrow we will all be towards the top of the charts. We have had a good mix of wet and dry weather so I don’t think we could be more prepared for the weekend.

Wednesday was the best test day we had by far. Conditions couldn’t have been better with clear skies, great air and track temperatures in the prime for our cars. There were two three-hour sessions which Cliff split up into 20 minutes on track, followed by 20 minutes going over data and deciding what change we would try next. Both Oliver and I were within three tenths of the track record, despite not using new tires or having a draft I may add. I ended up with well over 100 laps on Wednesday without traffic, which is why I believe it was the best test day we had.

Thursday would have been just as good if it wasn’t for a driver in my group dumping oil all over the track each time during our three 25-minute test sessions. But I look at it as a learning curve, because there is always a high chance that the same thing will happen in one of my races or even qualifying first thing tomorrow morning. Knock-on-wood that doesn’t happen but now I have plenty of experience if it does happen… Because of the oil, it caused me to push the car and the tires’ limit right out of the pits in order to post a fast time. Although it was frustrating that the conditions made me slower than the other groups, in reality it wasn’t possible to compare each of the four groups because of the variances in the conditions. So overall I was pleased with the day and I believe it is always good to have a ‘curve ball’ thrown at you during practice.

Today, which was our last test day, ended up being quite short. There was only two 25-minute sessions and in the first session the same person from yesterday ended up laying down a solid line of oil in throughout the last sector of the track. This time the officials threw the red flag, so we only completed two full laps. With both sessions being wet, I had my fingers crossed that my final session would be clean. Fortunately, it was and we learned plenty in the wet around Silverstone. We can now keep that in our arsenal if some rain arrives during the weekend.

I now have my eyes set on the weekend and I am determined to take the top spot. We have put tons of effort in and have proven our dedication to make sure everything is as perfect as can be. I know this weekend won’t be easy and will most likely we even more tough than the Formula Ford Festival but I know we are ready for it. Everyone at Cliff Dempsey Racing has put an immense amount of work into this week and I have never felt more prepared in my whole career.

Hopefully we can do you all back home in the U.S.A proud!

Thanks,
Kyle Kirkwood

ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3701

Kyle Kirkwood: Dream Time

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LONDON, England – Hey guys, last time I wrote a blog was just after the Formula Ford Festival, and we’re now finished with our “off week” and preparing to set off to Silverstone for our last weekend here in the U.K. at the Walter Hayes Trophy. The past week has been very eventful. Fortunately, everyone has been saying we brought the “Florida weather” here to England. I don’t think it has rained since the Thursday before the FF Festival; it’s been clear blue skies at around 14 degrees Celsius for the majority of the time. So, you could say we have had a great week to relax prior to the upcoming event at the WHT.

The wall of fame at WSR.

The Monday after the FF Festival was really just a day to recover and catch up with some laundry. Tuesday we set off to Wirth Research and Wednesday we had a visit at West Surrey Racing, which was covered in Oliver’s latest blog. Thursday was another off day and we spent it touring some new parts of London, which included us visiting a few family-owned corner markets that we don’t get the luxury of having in the States. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, Oliver and a couple family friends of his were plotting a surprise to take me to a concert as a birthday present. Honestly, I’d never been to a concert before so I was a bit hesitant, but I’d have to say it ended up quite enjoyable.

Skipping a day, we found ourselves in Snetterton for the BRDC F3 Autumn Trophy, where we caught up with the Cliff Dempsey Racing with Hillspeed team and watched some good close racing out of the stout BRDC F3 field of drivers. I was also able to catch up with a good friend of mine, Cameron Das, who I raced against in the F4 U.S. championship earlier this year. It’s always good to see a fellow American showing off the red, white and blue while being on this side of the “Pond”. After the races it was back to London to start preparations for this coming week.

Visiting the McLaren Technology Centre. Amazing!

Today (Monday) has probably been the most incredible day of our off week. We had the honor to tour the immaculate McLaren Technology Centre where they have the F1 factory and the production line for the McLaren road cars. Neil Trundle was our tour guide for the day. If you look up Neil’s history in motor racing, he is an absolute legend. There was so much going on there that it was hard to keep track of it all. In one room there were tons of people hand-making parts for next year’s F1 car, then another room was crammed full with high-tech machines running non-stop creating mass quantities of parts. The place was amazing. But what I found most interesting were the designated area where they strength-tested every part that goes on the car and seeing how they are able to monitor each fiber of carbon that is laid all over the McLaren MP4-31 Formula One car.

Overall, our week has been a dream and I know we’ve experienced things that almost no other young drivers are able to do. Oliver and I are now preparing to head off to Silverstone for the Walter Hayes Trophy where I know we’ll have just as much or more pace than we had in Brands Hatch. We both have had a day of testing at Silverstone, in both wet and dry conditions, so confidence will be high right off the bat.

Thanks for reading,
Kyle

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3672

Kyle Kirkwood: Crazy Fun

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LONDON, England – Unfortunately, the Formula Ford Festival is officially over… This past weekend was one of the most enjoyable and exciting I have ever spent at a race track. The world-class track, extremely tough racing and the overall atmosphere in the paddock is what made the event so much fun. Although I didn’t finish where I would have wanted, I can guarantee that I learned so much more by racing in the middle of the pack – where I had to out-think the other very talented drivers – than if I had been running out front. We will now take everything I’ve learned from this past weekend and throw it all into the mix at the Walter Hayes Trophy, which is less than two weeks from now!

From Wednesday to Friday practice, our pace was very strong. We then shot everything we had at qualifying. I had a car good enough for the pole but a couple of my quickest laps were destroyed by slower traffic, so I ended up fifth in my group. In the heat race I had a pretty awful start and lost a few positions, but fortunately I regained a couple back before the checkered flag.

On the first lap I watched a driver put his car almost all four tires fully in the grass to get around another competitor heading into Druid’s (corner #2) and thought to myself “these drivers are 100 percent going to crash!” But the one on the inside somehow launched his car over the curb and proceeded to complete the pass. That move was kind of a slap in my face, reminding me just how aggressive I needed to be to run up front.

I started ninth for the Semi Final and knew I had to finish much better to get a good starting position for the 20-lap Final. My start was good and I neither gained nor lost positions, but mid-way through the race I found myself in eighth and in contention with a long train of cars dicing for third when I strained something in my shoulder, which made me almost incapable of shifting from second to third gear. This issue cost me a couple of tenths per lap, and even though I was able to catch the group on the last lap, I was unable to make a move.

My eighth-place finish in the Semi set me 16th on the grid for the Final. I knew there was a lot for me to gain, so I threw everything on the line. I had another good start off the line but lost one position on the first lap due to a moment of confusion when a corner marshall put a Safety Car board out, only to see a green flag in the next corner. The first few laps were crazy. There was one point where two cars spun out mid-straight right in front of me. I had to smash the brakes and almost hit the inside wall avoiding them, but I came out with a few less spots to gain on the leader. From there I picked drivers off as quickly as possible and not all of them were easy. A handful of them proved that they knew how to defend and that cost me more time to the leaders. It was as if I had to make them comfortable with me in their mirrors, then attack when they left a door open. After a few tough battles I found myself in clean air, quite a long way behind the next car, so I finished the race in seventh, which I was very happy with considering my starting spot.

I’m back “home” now in London after an exciting weekend that I will never forget. A huge thank-you goes out to Jeremy Shaw and the Team USA Scholarship, everyone at Cliff Dempsey Racing, my mechanic Andrew Jones and all the supporters who have allowed us to experience this. Oliver and I will be doing some touring around some race teams this week so we’ll keep you updated!

Thanks for reading,
Kyle Kirkwood

Original Article:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3647

Kirkwood Finishes in Top 10 During Team USA Scholarship Debut at Brands Hatch

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Kirkwood Finishes in Top 10 During Team USA Scholarship Debut at Brands Hatch

Formula 4 United States Powered by Honda and Team USA Scholarship pilot Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, continued to impress during his thrilling debut in the 20 lap Formula Ford Festival feature race at Brands Hatch on Sunday.

The distinctive red-white-and-blue rays of Kirkwood's No. 22 car lined-up on the grid in 16th position after finishing eighth in the Semi Final race earlier that afternoon.

Kirkwood embroiled himself in a fraught battle in the midst of the 30-car field. He lost a place in the early stages before finding his feet and making a series of strong passes, especially under braking for Clearways, before finally crossing the finish line in seventh.

“Overall the race was good,” said Kirkwood. “I just had to pick people off left and right. After a couple of laps it almost seemed like you had to get the car in front of you comfortable with you in their mirrors and then make a move on them when they left the door open.”

On Saturday, Kirkwood competed in qualifying and a heat race.

The 66-car field was divided into three heat races with Kirkwood, who qualified fifth for the heat earlier in the afternoon, competing in Heat Three. 

The start ofthe heatwas troublesome for Kirkwood as he fell from fifth to eighth on the opening lap, but as he gained experience behind the wheel, he started to push harder and soon began to look for a way to make some passes.

Overtaking was not easy on the tortuous Brands Hatch Indy circuit, but Kirkwood neatly outbraked Portugal’s Pedro Matos for seventh place at Clearways, then repeated the maneuver on Tom McArthur on Lap 10 to ensure a sixth-place finish which would qualify him to run in the Semi Final race Sunday.

“The racing’s nothing like anything else I’ve done before, I have to say, and throughout that race everyone was a bit erratic,” related Kirkwood. “The thing is, they’re erratic but they’re under control, so you kind of have to be erratic also, which is not something I’m used to, so after about five or six laps I got the hang of it and started driving a little bit more crazy, you could say, and came away with a good finish.”

Kirkwood will return to action for the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone on November 5-6.

Complete scoring, photos, videos and personal blogs from Kirkwood can be found at TeamUSAScholarship.org

Orginal Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2003286-kirkwood-finishes-in-top-10-during-team-usa-scholarship-debut-in-brands-hatch

Kyle Kirkwood: Ready to go

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BRANDS HATCH, England – It’s been just over a week now since we first arrived in London and I think we are finally getting the hang of it. The hardest part about this trip so far has been the traveling, which we now realize is the easiest part! Day two we set off from London to Cliff Dempsey Racing in Corby, not knowing anything about the “Tube” (the London Undergound) or any trains for that matter; we were very confused and stressed at some points. An 09:24 departure time is what my ticket said to go from Vauxhall station to Kings Cross station on the Tube, then an 11:00 departure time for the “regular” train from St. Pancras to Corby. Not knowing that our tickets were valid for almost anytime that day, we sprinted just over a half-mile to the Tube and barely made our 09:24 departure time! As of now we have traveled almost the whole city and realize how easy it actually is.

Prepping the cars at Cliff Dempsey’s shop.

Arriving in Corby, Oliver and I were extremely happy to get our first train voyage over with. We were kindly met by Michelle Dempsey, who then chauffeured us the short distance to Cliff Dempsey Racing. From the dated pictures and trophies on the walls to an old FF car Cliff ran when he raced, you can sense the knowledge and passion the Dempsey family has for the sport with everything that they do. After a quick and easy seat fitting with some Team USA Scholarship sponsor stickers added to the cars, we were ready to travel to Silverstone.

Our first test day consisted of four 40-minute sessions. One was fully wet, one was mostly wet, and two of them were dry. My first impression of the FF car was “wow, this is unlike anything I have ever driven.” The feeling is hard to explain, but I do know the car is very unforgiving and seems to magnify ANY little mistake you make. Fortunately, it quickly became clear that Cliff has the setup for the cars down to a science. Before we would even go on track he would know exactly what we would say about the balance of the car! We ended the day on a good note with both Oliver and I within a tenth of each other, and then we set off back to Corby to test the next day at Rockingham.

Day two of testing was a private test on probably the most technical track I’ve been on. The inner portion of Rockingham has lots of high speed, fourth-gear, nearly flat-out corners, which you need lots of confidence to be able to drive. Although it was a great day with plenty of laps, the technicality of the track did catch up to me at one point when I had a hiccup which sent me into the gravel trap in last corner named “Tarzan.” Luckily, it was no big deal, and once again we learned a lot during the day.

We then headed back to London on the train – this time with no trouble at all! Sunday and Monday we spent most of our time touring London and doing some sightseeing, with some laundry mixed in of course. Although it rains on and off constantly, I would have to say this is probably my favorite city I’ve been to. I typically despise being in large cities, but this one has a different atmosphere to it. All the old English architecture is immaculate and jaw-dropping and I think that’s what makes me so fond of it.

During our track walk today at Brands Hatch with Team Canada’s Parker Thompson.

Today we made the trip to Brands Hatch, which isn’t far from London, and we have just completed a tour of the facility and a track walk. I would have to say that all the pictures and videos you will see do the track NO justice. It’s absolutely stunning. The amount of elevation in Turn One (Paddock Hill Bend) is HUGE and almost scary when you walk down it for the first time! Now we’re finishing up preparation of the cars and tent, and are ready to get a good night’s rest before our first session early in the morning. I cannot wait to get back in the car and I will keep you all updated on what happens through the weekend at the Formula Ford Festival!

Thanks,
Kyle Kirkwood

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3599

$40,000 in Cash Prizes Awarded to F4 U.S. Championship Podium

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$40,000 in Cash Prizes Awarded to F4 U.S. Championship Podium

A total of $40,000 was presented to the season point champions of the inaugural Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda during the season-end banquet at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Cameron Das of Brooklandville, Maryland, Konrad Czaczyk of Loxahatchee, Florida, and Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, finished the season highest on the points list.

Das, 16, finished the opening season first in points, receiving the $25,000 grand prize. In addition to the cash prize and trophy, Das received an invitation to the FIA Prize-Giving Ceremony held in Vienna, Austria, in December. The FIA’s annual prize gala invites champions from every major branch of international motorsport to gather together to receive their official FIA awards. Das will be recognized alongside Formula One World Championship titleholders Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel along with additional F1 Championship contenders like Nico Rosberg.

“Being named a champion is unbelievable. It hasn’t set in yet,” Das said after the F4 U.S. banquet. “F4 U.S. leveled all of my driving skills and assisted with my media perspective. It made me a well-rounded athlete.”

Das ended the 15-race season with nine wins, 14 fast lap times and 11 poles, the most of any F4 U.S. competitor.

Czaczyk, 19, placed second in the F4 U.S. points’ race. Czaczyk finished on the podium 10 times during the season, more than any other F4 U.S. competitor. 

“Being on the inaugural F4 US Championship podium is a dream come true,” said Czaczyk. “I have learned more in F4 U.S. about racing than I have in my entire career. Second place is the culmination of hard work, determination and passion that not only I as a driver feel I possess, but that I've had the privilege to witness all season long working with all the talented people at Global Racing Group.”

Czaczyk was the first F4 U.S. driver to ever sweep an entire race weekend. During the F4 U.S. debut weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, Czaczyk dominated the series event and won all three races.

Kirkwood, 17, rounded out the championship podium in third. Kirkwood was the first F4 U.S. competitor to start pole position and the only driver to have ever won an F4 U.S. round in the rain.

Kirkwood was congratulated at the year-end banquet as the most recent recipient of the Team USA Scholarship. Kirkwood will represent Team USA in the Formula Ford Festival in Brands Hatch, England, Oct. 21-23 and will also have the opportunity to race for the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone, Nov. 4-6.

“The series has been amazing. The whole year has been amazing,” said Kirkwood. “This is the first time I’ve really driven a car with downforce, proper tires, a proper chassis and a proper engine. I can’t say enough good things about it. I am very proud to finish third. If it wasn’t for this series, I wouldn’t have received the Team U.S.A. Scholarship. I have to give a lot of the portion of me receiving this award to the F4 U.S. Championship." 

The Colorado based race team JDX Racing was awarded the first F4 U.S. team championship. The team composed of drivers Das, Darren Keane of Boca Raton, Florida, and Blake Mount of Littleton, Colorado, and owned by former professional driver and television color commentatorJeremy Dale visited the podium 10 out of the 15 rounds.

The F4 U.S. Championship team title was determined by the team that scored the highest number of points during the season. These points were assigned based on the results from the top two highest placing cars for each team at each event.

Crawford Composites’ Catherine Crawford presented Baltazar Leguizamon of Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the Catherine Crawford Most Improved Driver Award for his perseverance throughout the season. Leguizamon started the final weekend 13th in the points’ list and finished sixth after capturing his first two podium finishes at Homestead-Miami Speedway earlier that day.

“I was surprised when she called my name,” Leguizamon said. “We started the season a bit rough but made some changes. Then the results started to come.”

FIA Super License points were awarded to Das, Czaczyk, Kirkwood, Jim Goughary Jr. of Jupiter, Florida, Skylar Robinson of Augusta, Georgia and Leguizamon.

TheFIASuper Licenseis a qualification allowing thelicense-holder to compete in theFormula One World Championship. The license is issued to drivers who have met the FIA criteria of success in the junior motorsport categories. A competitor must obtain 40 points within a three-year period to apply for a Super License. Das, the points’ champion, received 12 Super License points. Subsequent positions earned between 10 and one point depending on their final placement.

The evening concluded with SCCA Pro Racing Vice President Steve Oseth announcing that the finalized 2017 F4 U.S. Championship season schedule will be announced at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis, in December.

Fans can view photos from the inaugural F4 U.S. Championship banquet on here.

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2003208-40-000-in-cash-prizes-awarded-to-f4-u-s-championship-podium

Kyle Kirkwood: An Amazing Journey

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SILVERSTONE, U.K. – My racing career started when I was nearly 5 years old. Honestly, it doesn’t seem like that long ago! My father, who had no knowledge of motorsports, decided to have a family outing at a local track west of where we lived in Florida. Moroso Motorsports Park, a multi-use facility with a drag strip, a road course and a kart track, was where my first taste of racing took place. Our adventure of watching the drag races quickly turned into us racing each other in rental karts. Fortunately for me, my dad had a very close friend by the name of Court Vernon. Court invited me and my two older brothers out to watch his son race. Shortly after, for Christmas, my father bought a kart for my brothers and me. It was a Fittipaldi chassis with an 80cc Comer engine.

With fellow Scholarship winner A.J. Allmendinger.

I experienced lots of ups and downs as I moved through the ranks of karting. The first memorable highlight was winning the Walldinger Racing/Shell Pennzoil Scholarship. I owe a lot to A.J. Allmendinger – who, coincidentally, also is a Team USA Scholarship winner – because although the scholarship was short-lived it opened many doors. The 2013 season proved to be the light switch in my racing career. I started off the year fully sponsored and well equipped to win races and championships with the Ocala Gran Prix team. Almost four years later, with many national and international championships under our belts, it was time for me to move towards my ultimate goal in cars. I will remain forever grateful for my time with OGP and still race on a high level in karting with Birel-ART, where we are in contention to win the SKUSA Pro Tour, but now my focus has switched.

U.S. F4 at Mid-Ohio (photo: Dan R. Boyd)

Also in 2013 I competed in my first car race with Skip Barber in their Mazda MX-5 school car. I raced a total of three weekends, and every race but one I finished on the podium. I continued to focus on my karting in 2014, then the following year began to get more serious about open-wheel racing. I began the season in the F1600 Championship Series, and actually won my first-ever race at Road Atlanta, but funds were short so I competed only occasionally. Even so, F1600 provided an essential knowledge of race cars and opened a few doors for me. Consequently, this year has been by far the best. Coming off two championship wins at the Florida Winter Tour in karting, I jumped into the inaugural F4 United States Championship Powered by Honda with Primus Racing and came away with a win and eight more podium finishes. A couple more potential wins, and possibly the championship, slipped away through a few mechanical failures, but it was still a great year. Apart from anything else, it opened the door for me to be invited to compete for one of this year’s Team USA Scholarships.

After an eventful 12 years, I’m currently in the U.K. at Silverstone, one of the most iconic race tracks in the world, preparing to take part in my first test for Cliff Dempsey Racing and Team USA. It’s been an amazing journey. I tend to think my parents were crazy for putting me in a kart at the age of 5, but my gratitude goes to them and everyone else who has believed in me and helped me to make it this far. I know this next month won’t be easy but I’m more motivated and determined than I have ever been. My heartfelt thanks go out to Jeremy Shaw, all the judges who voted me through, and everyone who has followed and helped me along my career path.

I will keep you all updated on results, plus anything else I think will entertain you during my stay in England!

Thanks for reading!
Kyle Kirkwood

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3568

2016 Scholarship Winner TeamUSAScholarship.org – Kyle Kirkwood

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Aged 17 (born October 19, 1998), from Jupiter, Fla. Began racing at the age of 5. By 13 he had become a fully sponsored kart racer with Walldinger Racing/Shell Pennzoil (formed by 2001 Team USA Scholarship winner and current NASCAR Sprint Car Series contender A.J. Allmendinger) and Ocala Grand Prix. Has earned multiple race wins and championships, including Rotax MAX titles and a SKUSA SuperNats crown. Has won races in Skip Barber and the 2015 F1600 series. Currently third in the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda.

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3517

F4 US Championship Wraps Up At Homestead-Miami with $25K Grand Prize

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F4 US Championship Wraps Up At Homestead-Miami with $25K Grand Prize

The Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda competitors will race for more than bragging rights during the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway October 8-9.

The inaugural season points’ champion will walk away with a grand prize of $25,000. First runner-up will be awarded $10,000 and third place will receive $5,000.

Five F4 U.S. competitors are mathematically eligible for the championship podium heading into the final event at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Cameron Das of Brooklandville, Maryland, Konrad Czaczyk of Loxahatchee, Florida, Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, Jim Goughary Jr. of Jupiter, Florida, and Skylar Robinson of Augusta, Georgia, are all in contention to finish in the top three.

After sweeping the penultimate race at Road Atlanta in late September, Das leads the points race with 209 points. Though Das is the winningest driver in the F4 U.S. lineup, the first part of his season was filled with highs and lows.

After several near-miss podium finishes early in the season, Das worked with his JDX Racing team and driving coach, former IndyCar driver Raphael Matos, to improve his craft and lay the foundation work for the latter part of season.

“The team knew we should have been quicker the first race weekend of the season,” said Das, the pilot of the blue and white No. 28 ZeroChroma F4 car. “We knew what we needed most was a bit more seat time and experimentation with setup. Sure enough, we were on pole for the race one and three race at the second event and we’ve continued to have better results. Perseverance and patience is the name of the game and it has certainly paid off for us so far.”

Das has taken the checkered flag six times during the second half of the season, with the last five being consecutive podium wins. He’s also started on the pole eight times and set 10 fast lap times, the most of any F4 U.S. competitor so far this year. The solid second half run to the season makes him the only driver guaranteed a top-three finish to the inaugural season.

Among the other F4 U.S. competitors in the chase for a top-three finish to the season, Czaczyk won all three races in the first event of the season, while Kirkwood leads the series with nine podium finishes. Goughary is the only F4 U.S. driver to have scored championship points during each round of racing and Robinson has four podium finishes this season.

FIA Super License points will also be awarded to the top seven F4 U.S. competitors of the season. TheFIASuper Licenseis a qualification allowing thelicense-holder to compete in theFormula One World Championship. The license is issued to drivers who have met the FIA criteria of success in the junior motorsport categories. A competitor must obtain 40 points within a three-year period to apply for a Super License. The F4 U.S. champion will be awarded 12 points to go toward the license. Subsequent positions will earn between 10 and one point depending on their final placement.

The F4 U.S. competitors meet again Saturday for practice, qualifying and Race 1 of the weekend. Sunday will be Race 2 and the grand finale to the championship. The inaugural F4 U.S. champion will be announced later Sunday evening. Fans can watch timing and scoring live on Race Monitor or follow updates on F4USChampionship.com.

2016 Driver Championship Point Standings

2016 Team Championship Standings

Original Article Here:
https://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2003084-f4-us-championship-wraps-up-at-homestead-miami-with-25k-grand-prize

Kirkwood Named as Team USA Scholarship Winner

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Kirkwood Named as Team USA Scholarship Winner

Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda competitor Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, was confirmed today as the most recent winner of the prestigious Team USA Scholarship.

Oliver Askew, also of Jupiter, Florida, was awarded as the second recipient of the scholarship during a press conference held at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia on Friday.

The long-time friends and karting rivals will travel to England to represent the United States in the Formula Ford Festival in Brands Hatch, England, October 21-23 and the opportunity to race for the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone, November 4-6.

“I am ecstatic and greatly honored,” said Kirkwood, a front-runner in the inaugural F4 U.S. Championship  with Primus Racing. “To be able to represent the USA is a feeling no words can describe. I will work vigorously to prove that Jeremy Shaw and the Team USA Scholarship judges have chosen the right person for the job. I am extremely excited for this opportunity and for the memories to come!”

This year’s selection process began with a group of 11 candidates being interviewed by an illustrious panel of auto racing professionals, including American Honda Manager of Motorsports Communications T.E. McHale, Mike Hull, managing director of Chip Ganassi Racing, factory Porsche driver Patrick Long and former scholarship winners Charlie Kimball, Joel Miller, Josef Newgarden and Spencer Pigot, during the Verizon IndyCar Series weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

F4 U.S. competitor Konrad Czaczyk of Loxahatchee, Florida, was included in the first round of candidate interviews.

Kirkwood and Czaczyk, along with Askew and three additional finalists progressed to a one-day shootout last week at an oppressively hot Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida hosted by Cooper Tire and the Lucas Oil School of Racing.

Askew and Kirkwood ultimately were chosen as the winners by a committee which included 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, four-time Pirelli World Challenge champion Lawson Aschenbach, factory Mazda driver Nunez, Starworks Motorsport team principal Peter Baron and multi-time junior formula championship winning team co-owner Nicholas Cape.

“The standard was extremely high and we were faced with some difficult decisions,” said Team USA Scholarship founder and auto racing writer and broadcaster Jeremy Shaw. “After much deliberation we chose Oliver and Kyle, but all of the youngsters performed well and would have been worthy recipients.”

The Team USA program was inaugurated in 1990 as a means of assisting talented young American drivers at an early stage in their careers. A young Jimmy Vasser was the first scholarship winner, followed by Bryan Herta in 1991. Subsequent winners include 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, Kimball, Newgarden, Pigot and Conor Daly, and accomplished sports car stars Andy Lally, Joey Hand, Bryan Sellers, Dane Cameron, Tristan Nunez and Miller all of whom will be competing in this weekend’s 19th annual Petit Le Mans IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race.

Kirkwood will finish the F4 U.S. Championship season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida October 6-9 before traveling to England the week after. Kirkwood currently holds down third place in championship points with an opportunity to advance.

Original Article here:
http://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2003014-kirkwood-named-as-team-usa-scholarship-winner

Askew, Kirkwood Named as Newest Team USA Scholarship Winners

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BRASELTON, Ga. – Oliver Askew (left), 19, and Kyle Kirkwood, 17, who, coincidentally, both hail from Jupiter, Fla., were confirmed today as the most recent winners of prestigious Team USA Scholarships. The long-time friends and karting rivals will travel to England next month to contest both the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone.

The Team USA program was inaugurated in 1990 as a means of assisting talented young American drivers at an early stage in their careers. A young Jimmy Vasser was the first scholarship winner, followed by Bryan Herta in 1991. Subsequent winners include 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, current Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly and Spencer Pigot, and accomplished sports car stars Andy Lally, Joey Hand, Bryan Sellers, Dane Cameron, Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez, all of whom will be competing in this weekend’s 19th annual Petit Le Mans IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race.

This year’s selection process began with a group of 11 candidates being interviewed by an illustrious panel of auto racing professionals, including Mike Hull, managing director of Chip Ganassi Racing, factory Porsche driver Patrick Long and former scholarship winners Kimball, Miller, Newgarden and Pigot, during the Verizon IndyCar Series weekend at Mid-Ohio. Six finalists progressed to a one-day shootout last week at an oppressively hot Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida hosted by Cooper Tire and the Lucas Oil School of Racing. Askew and Kirkwood ultimately were chosen as the winners by a committee which included 2003 Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran, four-time Pirelli World Challenge champion Lawson Aschenbach, factory Mazda driver Nunez, Starworks Motorsport team principal Peter Baron and multi-time junior formula championship winning team co-owner Nicholas Cape.

“The standard was extremely high and we were faced with some difficult decisions,” said Team USA Scholarship founder and auto racing writer/broadcaster Jeremy Shaw. “After much deliberation we chose Oliver and Kyle, but all of the youngsters performed well and would have been worthy recipients.”

Askew and Kirkwood will drive a pair of identical Ray GR15 Formula Ford 1600 cars in the UK prepared by Cliff Dempsey Racing, which previously has guided Newgarden to victory in the 2008 Formula Ford Festival (the first American winner of an event which dates back to 1972) and earned top Walter Hayes Trophy spoils for Team USA with Daly (2008), Connor De Phillippi (2009), who currently leads the ADAC Masters GT series in Europe, and Nunez (2012).

“I am ecstatic and greatly honored,” said Kirkwood, a front-runner in the inaugural F4 U.S. Championship powered by Honda with Primus Racing. “To be able to represent the USA is a feeling no words can describe. I will work vigorously to prove that Jeremy and the Team USA Scholarship judges have chosen the right person for the job. I am extremely excited for this opportunity and for the memories to come!”

“I cannot express how excited I am to represent the prestigious Team USA Scholarship,” added karting star Askew, who has shone in Formula Masters China and Skip Barber events. “Kyle and I have been very close friends for over 10 years. We have been teammates in the karting ranks for many of those years, so we will keep working together to bring home great results. I’d like to send out a special thanks to those who support the Team USA Scholarship, especially Jeremy Shaw for putting in countless hours to help young talent fight for their dreams.”

About Team USA Scholarship:
The program has been providing opportunities for talented American race car drivers at an early stage in their careers since 1990. Supporters include Doug Mockett & Company, the Road Racing Drivers Club and SAFEisFAST.com, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Team Penske, Blackdog Speed Shop, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda Performance Development, Robertson Racing, CXC Simulations, Lucas Oil School of Racing, PitFit Training, RaceCraft1, Sparco USA, RACER Magazine, Speedstar Management, Styled Aesthetic and Manifest Group. For more information, please visit www.TeamUSAScholarship.org or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Original Article here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3492

Kirkwood, Robinson Take Home Victories Friday at Mid-Ohio

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kyle-kirkwood-takes-home-victory-16-08-13Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, claimed the first race of the weekend, while Skylar Robinson of Augusta, Georgia, won Race 2 as the second event of the Formula 4 United States Championship powered by Honda kicked off Friday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

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Kirkwood proved himself a victor during tough racing conditions, emerging as the winner of the first race of the day for the F4 U.S. Championship.

“The track conditions were really scary at times,” said Kirkwood. “This was my first time competing in the rain in a full sized car. I really had to keep focused too because Skylar and I were neck-to-neck at times. He made a mistake late in the race that allowed me to pull away and cross the finish line uncontested.”

Rainfall early in the race caused the first wet race in F4 U.S. history to be called. Competitors were radioed to the pits to switch to Pirelli rain tires after the formation lap.

Due to the wet conditions, F4 U.S. drivers completed their first rolling start of the season. A standing start is the traditional start for the series unless weather or other on-track circumstances prohibits the drivers from doing so.

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Robinson and Ding joined Kirkwood on the podium. Robinson took home an impressive second-place finish even after making a 360-degree turn on the track late in the race. Robinson was able to recover without losing position. Ding would cross the finish line third but would finish the race fourth after a penalty was issued for passing James Goughary Jr. of Jupiter, Florida, on a yellow.

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F4 U.S. and FIA rules do not allow motor changes during race weekend if the damage was caused by the competitor. If teams do change the motor, the competitors are issued to start 10 grid spaces back from their qualifying grid position for three consecutive races. Moises de la Vara from Guadalajara, Mexico, was promoted to second and Michael Goodyear of Carmel, Indiana, third. Kirkwood and Ding round out the top five.

Team USA Scholarship Candidates Set for Interview Process at Mid-Ohio

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LEXINGTON, Ohio  – The selection process for this year’s Team USA Scholarship is under way. A total of 11 candidates, representing a variety of junior racing categories, has been identified and invited to attend this week’s Honda Indy 200 Verizon IndyCar Series/Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires /Pirelli World Challenge road racing extravaganza at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

The initial challenge for this year’s candidates will comprise interviews to be conducted during the weekend in front of a panel of judges who will include current IndyCar team co-owners Jimmy Vasser and Bryan Herta, winners of the first two Team USA Scholarships in 1991 and 1992, respectively. More recent scholarship winners Joel Miller (2007), now a factory driver for Mazda in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Spencer Pigot (2010/2011), who will be competing in this weekend’s feature event alongside 2008 alum Josef Newgarden for Ed Carpenter Racing, will join several other luminaries from the world of racing on the panel, including factory Porsche driver Patrick Long, Chip Ganassi Racing Managing Director Mike Hull, Mazda Motorsports’ Kyle Kimball, Mazda Road to Indy promoter Dan Andersen, Pirelli World Challenge President and CEO Greg Gill and Carlin Indy Lights race engineer Geoff Fickling.

The following drivers will be making the trip to Mid-Ohio:
• Oliver Askew, 19, Jupiter, Fla., Skip Barber Racing Series
• Andre Castro, 17, New York, N.Y., Skip Barber Racing Series
• Konrad Czaczyk, 19, Jupiter, Fla., F4 U.S. Championship powered by Honda
• Tim de Silva, 20, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Pacific F2000
• Phillippe Denes, 17, Carmel, Calif., F1600 Championship Series
• Kyle Kirkwood, 17, Jupiter, Fla., F4 U.S. Championship powered by Honda
• Kyle Masson, 18, Windermere, Fla., IMSA Mazda Prototype Lites presented by Cooper Tires/Skip Barber
• Robert Megennis, 16, New York, N.Y., Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda
• Peter Portante, 20, Plainville, Conn., F1600 Championship Series
• Timo Reger, 19, Houston, Texas, Skip Barber Racing Series
• Neil Verhagen, 15, Mooresville, N.C., F1600 Championship Series

Two winners ultimately will be chosen to represent their country at the prestigious Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch on October 21-23 and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone on November 4-6. As has become the norm, they will drive Ray Formula Ford cars prepared by Cliff Dempsey Racing. Team USA Scholarship drivers have enjoyed success at both events in the past, with Newgarden becoming the only American driver to win the Festival in 2008 and fellow IndyCar rising star Conor Daly (also in 2008), Connor De Phillippi (2009), who currently races for Audi in European sports car competition, and factory Mazda Prototype driver Tristan Nunez (2012) claiming victory at the Walter Hayes Trophy.

“I am truly excited about the quality of this year’s candidates,” says Team USA Scholarship founder and longtime motorsports writer/broadcaster Jeremy Shaw. “All of them are proven winners. Some difficult decisions lie ahead.”

About Team USA Scholarship:
The program has been providing opportunities for talented American race car drivers at an early stage in their careers since 1990. Supporters include Doug Mockett & Company, the Road Racing Drivers Club and SAFEisFAST.com, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Team Penske, Blackdog Speed Shop, Mazda, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda Performance Development, Robertson Racing, Afterburner Autosport, Allen Berg Racing Schools, CXC Simulations, Auto Club Speedway, PitFit Training, RaceCraft1, Sparco USA, RACER Magazine, Speedstar Management, Styled Aesthetic and Manifest Group.

Original Article Here:
http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=3406

6 Podiums at Summer Nationals; Nepveu & Kirkwood impress all

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SKUSA Summer Nationals proved to be another big event in New Castle as the Red Army battled rainstorms and intense humidity.

Micro Swift stand out, Alex Powell fought against America’s best Micro Iame pilots securing P3 in qualifying and backing it up with a P3 on the podium for Saturday & Sunday's main event. Thomas Nepveu, competing in Mini-Swift aboard the C-28 Cadet, adapted to the sticky tire and slower engine compared to his Rotax Mini Max, and qualified P3 in his first ever Iame 60cc event. An accident in the heats would force Thomas to start Saturday from dead last, however he fought his way to P8 in the final. In Sunday’s main event, Nepveu would pass an astonishing 32 karts to finish P2 after starting 34th. A truly impressed run for the young Nepveu as he proves his adaptability in his 2016 season. Terklecki would finish P5 and Montoya P8.

Michael Patrizi, Birel ART / Ricciardo kart importer for Australia, would participate in the Masters S4 Shifter category, coming in strong after a good season of preparation for the event. Patrizi would qualify P3, but have a wheel stud snap in the main event in an absolutely stacked field again America’s best aboard his DR-01-KZ, available for purchase from Phil Giebler Racing (West Coast and PSL Karting.

Kyle Kirkwood has fully submerged himself into the RY-30-S8, putting on two impressive qualifying runs with a P1 Saturday and Sunday. In Sunday’s final Kyle lead every single lap from start to finish, but a very poor call for ‘blocking’ would put Kirkwood back to P3, however Kyle was able to back that up with a fast lap and a heat win earlier in the day.

Oliver Askew, who has had a nearly perfect 2016 season, would find himself qualifying P3 on the high speed circuit of New Castle, setting quick times in all sessions. After some intense heat racing, Askew would cross P3 after attacking and pushing for the 20 lap final. Oliver would back that up on Sunday by qualifying P3, but unfortunately some on track incidents would put him outside the top 5 Sunday.

Dominic Labrecque, PSL Karting President

“We’re just working hard, and focusing on what we know best. Birel ART is manufacturing the best product on the market, and the consistency is showing. Ricciardo, Birel ART and even COMP Kart, are all proving to be front runners in every class, on every tire and every engine package.”

Coy Arbor, Team Manager, PSL Karting

“I can’t say enough about this team. Our mechanics and drivers are working in complete harmony. But it’s all coming down to good preparation and good training by our drivers. They are working harder than ever to stay focused and they are earning their results. Of course, all of this is possible with the support of our partners and families who are these races day in and day out.”

Original Article Here:
http://kart360.com/press/6-podiums-at-summer-nationals-nepveu-kirkwood-impress-all

Konrad Czaczyk Claims Inaugural F4 U.S. Championship Race

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Konrad Czaczyk Claims Inaugural F4 U.S. Championship Race

Konrad Czaczyk of Loxahatchee, Florida, made history Saturday as he emerged as the winner of the inaugural race of the Formula 4 United States Championship powered by Honda at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

Czaczyk, piloting the 47 Leading Edge Grand Prix car, started fifth on the grid and drove his way to the victory in a dramatic move with two laps left in the race. Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, lost momentum going through the keyhole, allowing Czaczyk to move into the lead.

“Coming out of turn one I felt Kyle’s mirrors, and I think that put him under a little bit of pressure,” Czaczyk said. “I noticed he took a strange line out of the keyhole. I told myself that this was my moment, and I needed to capitalize on it.”

Czaczyk had a perfect exit out of the keyhole and stayed behind Kirkwood’s draft until turn seven. Kirkwood came to the inside of Czaczyk to defend his position, but there was only a gap for one car. Czaczyk took the lead, and Kirkwood took second on the podium.

Cameron Das of Brooklandville, Maryland, came in third finishing three thousandths of a second slower than Kirkwood. Das was later issued a penalty after he was contested by Michael Goodyear of Carmel, Indiana.

SCCA Pro Racing officials concluded after reviewing on-board footage from all fielded cars that Das had forced Goodyear off the track. Goodyear finished fifth, and Das was able to keep his podium position but lost six championship points.

During qualifying earlier Saturday, Czaczyk came into the pits early during qualifications after taking fast lap midway through the 30-minute session. However, Kirkwood, Darren Keane, Das and Goodyear quickly moved ahead with better lap times.

“What may have looked like a mistake during qualification really worked out to my advantage,” Czaczyk said. “I was on pole when the red flag came out, and I thought I had a big enough gap to stay pitted when the green flag went out again. I think that made the difference for the race. I had fresher tires.”

During a three-day event weekend, teams are only issued eight Pirelli tires total to last the entire race weekend. Capping the tire count was designed to help keep costs low. When event weekends are shortened to two days, teams will receive six tires.

Kirkwood also had an impressive day. He took the pole after running a 1:27.169 fast lap. Just over a tenth of a second separated him from front row mate Keane. Keane was the fastest car out of practice Friday, but after a spin-out on the second lap that put him in last position to finish the first race 10th.

The F4 U.S. Championship inaugural race weekend will continue Sunday with two additional races. Keane will sit on the pole for the second race, while grid position for race two is determined by the best lap time finished during race one. Kirkwood will join him in the first row.

Fans can follow live timing and scoring on the Race Monitor app that can be downloaded for free in Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Pictures,qualification times and final results

Final results

Position

Driver Name

Number

Hometown

Team

1

Konrad Czaczyk

47

Loxahatchee, FL

Leading Edge Grand Prix

2

Kyle Kirkwood

5

Jupiter, FL

Primus Racing

3

Cameron Das

28

Brooklandville, MD

JDX

4

Benjamin Pedersen

24

Copenhagen, Denmark

Leading Edge Grand Prix

5

Michael Goodyear

10

Carmel, IN

GMV Motorsports

6

Raphael Forcier

62

Montreal, Quebec, CAN

Group-A Racing

7

James Goughary Jr

11

Jupiter, FL

Primus Racing

8

Baltazar Lequizamon

1

Bueno Aries, Argentina

Momentum Motorsports

9

Austin Kaszuba

34

Burleson, TX

GMV Motorsports

10

Darren Keane

25

Boca Raton, FL

JDX

11

Steve Bamford

77

Bangor, ME

Bamford Racing

12

Blake Mount

7

Littleton, CO

JDX

13

Moises de la Vara

12

San Antonio, TX

Leading Edge Grand Prix

14

Davis Durrett

10

Indianapolis, IN

Primus Racing

Original Article here:
http://www.f4uschampionship.com/articles/2001574-konrad-czaczyk-claims-inaugural-f4-u-s-championship-race

Askew, Kirkwood, Kingsley dominate US Open of Utah

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Along with surprise winners in Round 2 of the Sofina Foods US Open Karting Championship at Utah Motorsports Campus, Oliver Askew, Kyle Kirkwood and Jeff Kingsley proved their class. Cody Schindel reports.

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Kirkwood drives away with Shifter Senior win

It wasn’t an ideal start for the two drivers lining up on the front row for the Shifter Senior Final, but polesitter Kyle Kirkwood managed to arrive at the first corner still in the lead. Nick Neri however, fell back to fourth. While Kirkwood pulled away from Tyler Bennett, Sabre Cook and Neri, this trio squabbled over second. It took a while, but Cook finally made a move stick against Bennett, earning her the second step on the podium with Neri also taking advantage of a fading Bennett to finish third....

Original Article here:
http://www.motorsport.com/kart/news/askew-kirkwood-kingsley-dominate-us-open-of-utah-792092/

eKartingNews.com Driver of the Month – March 2016 – Kyle Kirkwood

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Ocala Gran Prix talent doubles up in championships at Florida Winter Tour

Kirkwood-DOM-Motorsport

In a continued effort to highlight the many outstanding performances by drivers around the country, eKartingNews.com is proud to introduce the ‘Driver of the Month’ program. Each month, the staff at EKN will determine the one driver who stood out above the rest and give the viewers a chance to know exactly what they accomplished and who they are.

The Ocala Gran Prix operation has continued to produce some of the top drivers here in the United States. First it was Nick Neri, next came Oliver Askew, and now the reigns belong to Kyle Kirkwood. The Florida pilot won the 2015 US Rotax Grand Nationals in Kershaw, South Carolina. Last year began with a double championship at the Florida Winter Tour in the Rok Senior and Rotax Senior divisions. The three-time Team USA member began this season in the same fashion, repeating as champion in both categories once again.

The Florida Winter Tour Rok Cup USA weekend took place at the Palm Beach Karting Center in Jupiter, Florida. Kirkwood entered sitting second in the title chase behind former teammate Ryan Norberg. He began the event earning the fast time in qualifying before going on to win all three heat races. The 15-lap Prefinal was a battle with Alain Sisdeli, with Kirkwood pulling out the win on the final lap. The fight in the main event was three drivers with Norberg joining the fray. Sisdeli retired early, leaving the top two championship contenders to fend for the victory. Norberg emerged as the leader and was able to pull off the win over Kirkwood. Thanks to his full effort on the weekend, Kyle secured the championship by 23 points over Norberg.

The following weekend was all Kirkwood for the Rotax Max Challenge portion of the double-weekend in Palm Beach. The OGP / Tony Kart driver swept the weekend for his second time in the three event program. It was capped off with a battle against Senior rookie David Malukas, with Kirkwood coming out the victor by 1.541 seconds to make it a 418-point advantage in the new progressive point structure for the Florida Winter Tour.

Each of the championships come with trips to Italy. The Rok title gives him a ticket to compete in the Rok Cup International Final 2016 at the South Garda Karting circuit in Lonato, Italy on October 19-22. The Rotax championship adds another invite to be part of Team USA for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals at the Circuito Internazionale Napoli in Sarno, Italy on October 15-22. With the events scheduled for the same weekend, Kirkwood will travel to Italy for the Rok event in Lonato, missing out on the Rotax world championships. Car racing plans are also in the works for this season, after Kyle showed very well in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series last year.

March 2016 EKN Driver of the Month – Kyle Kirkwood

Kyle Kirkwood (Photo: CKN)

Kyle Kirkwood (Photo: CKN)

Bio

Age: October 19, 1998
Hometown:
Jupiter, Florida
Parents:
Cam Kirkwood/ Peggy Kirkwood
Siblings:
Cameron Kirkwood/ Robert Kirkwood
Height/Weight:
5’9/ 135lbs
Education:
11th grade, Homeschooling
Job:
Professional racing-kart driver

Racing Resume

Chassis: Tony Kart
Engine/Engine Builder:
Ocala Gran Prix
Sponsors:
Ocala Gran Prix
Series You Compete In:
Florida Winter Tour, US Open, Rok Cup USA, North Florida Rotax Max Challenge
Years Karting:
12 Years
How did you get started in karting?
Through a friend of my Fathers when I was at the tender age of four.
What has been the high point in your racing career?
Most likely this year after defending both FWT championships.
What are your goals in racing?
To make a career in either IMSA Prototypes and/or WEC.
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style?
Adaptable and aggressive when needed.
Funniest moment at the race track?
There’s really too many to pick out the funniest, but however the most memorable one would have to be when I by accidentally made Mike Speed go through the barriers on a practice day at OGP. The story is much too long to write.

Likes

Favorite Track: NOLA Motorsports Park – New Orleans, Louisiana
Favorite form of professional motorsports:
Formula 1
Favorite karting driver:
Nathan James Grindell
Favorite professional driver:
Scott Speed
Favorite website:
eKartingNews.com
Favorite movie:
Step Brothers
Favorite actor/actress:
Will Ferrell
Favorite music/group:
Bob Marley
Favorite vacation/activity spot:
Spanish Cay, Bahamaas
Favorite food:
Sushi

The Real Deal

What do you do when not at the track? Surf, Spearfishing, Hunting, and Fishing
What are your goals outside of karting?
Succeed in my academics, and everything i do
What type of street car do you drive?
Subaru Wrx
What type of street car would you like to drive?
Pagani
What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you?
Sound of shaving ice, and when people chew with their mouths open
What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting?
Less bumping and hitting in racing situations
What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting?
How team oriented the sport is and if you can’t work as a team you wont be successful

Original Posting here:
http://ekartingnews.com/2016/04/05/ekartingnews-com-driver-of-the-month-march-2016-kyle-kirkwood/

Four Winners of the 2015 Mazda Road to Indy and MAXSpeed Group Driver Advancement Program Announced

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Mazda Road to Indy and MAXSpeed Group are pleased to announce the winners of the Driver Advancement Program for 2015. Now in its second year, the program aims to promote a true ladder system from the grassroots of karting to the upper echelon of motorsports in North America. The four drivers will be given the opportunity to complete a Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda one-day test during off-season series testing.

The winners are:

  • Trenton Estep, 15 of San Antonio, Texas
  • Kyle Kirkwood, 16, of Jupiter, Florida
  • Luke Shanahan, 17, of Dallas, Texas
  • Rinus Van Kalmthout, 15, of Hoofddorp, Netherlands

All have participated in MAXSpeed Entertainment promoted events in 2015.

Through a selection process that narrowed applicants down to 12 finalists, the candidates then participated in in-depth videoconference interviews with a four-judge panel including Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud, Andersen Promotions COO Michelle Kish and MAXSpeed Group President Richard Boisclair.

“First of all, I want to thank Josef and Simon for their time in the selection process,” said Kish. “Their input was invaluable in what is always a tough decision. We are excited to give Trenton, Kyle, Luke and Rinus the opportunity to meet our teams and participate in our test next month at a fantastic circuit.”

The drivers will turn their first USF2000 laps at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, during the Chris Griffis Memorial Test on November 21/22 with the support of both Mazda Road to Indy and MAXSpeed Group personnel.

“I have to say I am so incredibly proud of the program we have put together with Andersen Promotions and the Mazda Road to Indy,” said Boisclair. “To give MAXSpeed Entertainment drivers the opportunity to pursue their dreams is very rewarding. We had a talented pool of drivers submit applications and move on as the 12 finalists, which made for a difficult decision in choosing the four winners. Thank you to everyone who submitted an application for the 2015 program, and congratulations to Trenton, Kyle, Luke and Rinus.”

Sting Ray Robb, 14, of Payette, Idaho, was selected as first alternate should any scheduling conflicts arise with the winners.

Today’s announcement comes as MAXSpeed Entertainment’s inaugural season of the US Open series came to a close in Las Vegas, Nevada where Estep claimed the Rotax Junior championship title and Shanahan earned the Shifter Senior championship title. Van Kalmthout was honored as Rotax Senior Vice-Champion while Kirkwood earned the Florida Winter Tour and United States Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Nationals Rotax Senior MAX Championship titles earlier in 2015.

The partnership between the Mazda Road to Indy and MAXSpeed Group was announced in June 2014 to foster the next wave of up-and-coming drivers. Rotax is the largest racing series in the world in any form of motorsports with over 15,000 drivers competing each year.

Original Article here:
http://gorotax.com/four-winners-of-the-2015-mazda-road-to-indy-and-maxspeed-group-driver-advancement-program-announced/

From karts to cars, Kyle Kirkwood is making a fast start to 2015

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It is barely May, but Kyle Kirkwood has already marked his name as one to watch in 2015, having already opened the year with some big accomplishments in both karts and racecars.

Kirkwood has a busy 2015 racing schedule that will see him continue to compete in the karting ranks for Ocala Gran Prix, as well as making a rookie campaign in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series. The 16-year-old high school sophomore closed out the winter season of karting with two big titles for his OGP squad. Kirkwood punched his ticket to Rok International Final in Italy in October by winning Florida Winter Tour Rok Championship.

He will be a frequent flier, as he followed that championship with another as Kirkwood then emerged from a fraught championship points battle to earn the Florida Winter Tour Rotax Championship. That title earned him an entry in the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals at the International Karting Circuit of Portimao in Algarve, Portugal this November. It also earned him Karter of the Month honors from eKartingnews.com.

Karting is a very important part of Kirkwood's racing endeavor, but he also has his eyes on moving up the racing ladder and building a career in the sport. He got his first taste of competition in the F1600 ranks in a non-points event in February, and put those lessons learned to excellent use in his debut run at Road Atlanta this April (pictured).

In his first points-paying race in the Formula 1600 ranks, Kirkwood scored a dramatic final-lap race victory in his Chastain Motorsports-prepared Mygale-Honda in his first visit to the fabled circuit.

kylekirkpodium"This is all new to me after some karting but overall it's an awesome feeling," said Kirkwood of the win. "With the white flag out, I was probably 20 car lengths behind the leader and I thought I was too far back but I was able to catch him (Steve Bamford) and pull off the pass, putting me in first position through the Patron tunnel and crossing the checkered flag. Chastain Motorsports did a great job all weekend and I want to thank all my 2015 sponsors,Sothebys, Rochester Gauges, Ocala Grand Prix, and Spanish Court Hotels."

The next race saw Kirkwood come home in eighth for Chastain Motorsports, and he backed that effort up with yet another big result in the third race of the weekend as he came home second, just 0.139 seconds shy of a second win of the weekend.

"The racing was pretty tough, and some guys were hitting each other and going through the grass so it was kind of crazy out there," said Kirkwood of the tight F1600 action. "I was just trying to not crash and keep the car clean. A lot of the guys have two or three years' experience with this car, so I was just trying to learn as quickly as I could.

"It's hard with the draft – there is little chance of pulling away from anyone, we are all nose to tail! Compared to karting, it's a whole different world with the draft. I'm really looking forward to Watkins Glen, I think that will be another fun track to learn."

Next up for Kyle, besides his normal routine as a high schooler, will be a return to F1600 action for Chastain Motorsports at Watkins Glen May 15-17.

Original Article Here:
http://www.racer.com/north-american-racing/item/116383-from-karts-to-cars-kyle-kirkwood-is-making-a-fast-start-to-2015

Chastain Motorsports: Win in Opening Weekend, Strong F2000 Effort

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Noblesville, IN – It was an action packed weekend with five races across two Championships, and a total of five cars entered for Chastain Motorsports at Road Atlanta. It was Kyle Kirkwood, Parker Chase, Andrew Lewis and Will Harvey competing in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series triple-race weekend format, while Sam Chastain ran a pair of F2000 Championship Series races.

Kirkwood made his mark in his first points-paying start, storming to the lead from a second back on the last lap of race one on Saturday afternoon Road Atlanta to take the win in his Mygale/Honda.

“This is all new to me after some karting but overall it’s an awesome feeling,” said Kirkwood. “With the white flag out I thought I was too far back but I was able to catch (Steve Bamford) and pull off the pass.”

Lewis and Chase finished in 10th and 11th in that race, while Harvey led laps but finished 17th after a last-lap incident.

A day later, all four drivers would have their work cut out for them and the expanded Chastain Motorsports team kept busy with two races hours apart. Harvey rebounded to score his first F1600 podium with a third place run, while Kirkwood finished eighth with Chase in 11th and Lewis in 17th.

For race three, Kirkwood would miss out on victory after being a race-long threat for first place hardware, with the No. 29 entry settling for a second place effort by .139 seconds at the checkered flags. Chase and Lewis ran in tandem to the finish line, finishing 8th and 9th, while Harvey looked set for another podium finish before a late-race crash ended his day.

All drivers ran under the eyes of team driver coach and engineer Jay Howard and his driver development program.

It was a chaotic weekend at Road Atlanta with F1600 races seeing a train of eight to 10 cars at the front engulfed in a draft battle going down to the wire with three-wide racing down the back stretch the norm.

In the F2000 Championship Series, Sam Chastain adapted to his new ride with wings, moving up from the F1600 category he has raced in the last two seasons. Chastain took his No. 30 Van Diemen to a solid sixth place finish on Saturday.

Sunday was a different story for the young driver, however, as he tracked down the McCusker brothers in the closing stages of the race and passed both of them to finish fourth, taking two tenths off his fastest lap from Saturday’s race and underlining a weekend showing solid improvement in the F2000 category.

Kyle Kirkwood Named "Driver of the Month" March 2015

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The month of March was a busy one, with the Winter programs completing their championship chases. A number of drivers stood out the past three months, especially ending the short stretch on a strong note, earning victories and championships to set up for a well-built summer run, or secure their position at one of the world championships later in 2015. Among them is second-year Senior driver Kyle Kirkwood, as the 16-year-old doubled up in Florida Winter Tour championships. The Ocala Gran Prix / Tony Kart driver swept the Rok Cup USA series main events over the past three months, and secured the Rotax Max Challenge championship the following weekend at the OGP facility in Ocala, Florida.

The only blemishes on his record in the Rok Cup USA portion of the FWT was in qualifying and one Prefinal. Kirkwood was among the quick drivers in qualifying, but only recorded one pole position in the five rounds, that coming in Round Four. The only Prefinal not with Kirkwood taking the checkered flag first was in opening race, placing third to Brazilian Andre Nicastro and Christian Munoz. The championship event a few weeks ago began with OGP drivers going 1-2, as Kirkwood was second to Morgan Healey by 24 thousandths of a second. Kyle went on to win all three heat races to secure the pole position for the Prefinal Sunday morning. Kirkwood and Healey went 1-2 in the 18-lap race, securing the front row for the main event. Kyle led all 24 laps of the Final to go five for five in the Rok Cup program, earning the championship and securing a ticket to the Rok Cup International Final.

The following weekend switched gears to the Rotax Max Challenge program, where Kirkwood was in a heated title chase with former OGP teammate Oliver Askew. Both Kirkwood and Askew were among those earning a spot in the Super Pole session after qualifying in the top-six. They would end the green-white-checkered session 1-2, with Kirkwood posting a lap two tenths quicker. After two wins in the opening heat races, the third went backwards, as he fell to tenth in the order due to a carburetor issue. Despite the struggles, Kirkwood gained enough points to remain on the pole position for the main event. That led to a wire-to-wire win in the 20-lap Prefinal with Askew on his bumper at the checkered flag. The Final was a heavyweight match, thanks to the dueling between Askew and Kirkwood for every position possible, and a lead pack looking to claim victory at the championship event. Kirkwood remained glued to the bumper of Askew, knowing one spot was not enough for his former teammate to steal the championship away. Canadian Steven Szigeti escaped with the victory, with Askew second and Kyle third. That finish, combined with one win and two runner-up results in Homestead and Orlando gave Kirkwood the championship by 29 points. It is the second time for Kirkwood to earn a spot on Team USA to compete at the Rotax Grand Finals, this being the first as a Senior Max driver.

The Jupiter, Florida driver is preparing for a transition to formula cars, having already one race under his belt at the Formula F1600 Formula F Championship Winter Exhibition in February at his home track of Palm Beach International Raceway. Kirkwood is now focused on the 2015 championship season, which begins April 10-12 at the famed Road Atlanta facility in Georgia. Kirkwood will continue to keep to his karting roots, preparing for the United States Rotax Grand Nationals in August for a chance to earn his first national championship, and represent the USA at the two world championships.

March 2015 EKN Driver of the Month – Kyle Kirkwood

2015 FWT Rok Cup USA champion - Kyle Kirkwood (Photo: Florida Karting Photos)

2015 FWT Rok Cup USA champion – Kyle Kirkwood (Photo: Florida Karting Photos)

Bio

Born: Jupiter, Florida (16 years old)
Hometown: Jupiter, Florida
Parents: Cam Kirkwood/Peggy Kirkwood
Siblings:
Cameron Kirkwood(18), Robert Kirkwood(23)
Height/Weight: 5’9” / 130lbs
Education: Homeschooled, 10th grade
Job: Ocala Gran Prix driver

Racing Resume

Chassis: Tony Kart
Engine/Engine Builder: Roatx, Rok, Honda all by Ocala Gran Prix
Sponsors:
Ocala Gran Prix
Series You Compete In:
Florida Winter Tour, Rok Cup USA, OGP Club Races
Years Karting:
11
How did you get started in karting?
Through my father’s friend Court Vernon when I was 4 with my 2 brothers. I was the only one that continued on racing between the three of us.
What has been the high point in your racing career?
So far this year with my first Rotax FWT championship
What are your goals in racing?
To make a career out of it, and to keep progressing with my driving.
In a few words, how would you describe your driving style?
Smooth, Consistent, and aggressive when needed.
Funniest moment at the race track?
Every day when Nate Grindell.

Likes

Favorite Track: NOLA Motorsports Park
Favorite form of professional motorsports:
Formula 1
Favorite karting driver:
Alex Speed
Favorite professional driver:
Rubens Barrichello
Favorite website:
Google
Favorite movie:
Step brothers
Favorite actor/actress:
Will Ferrell
Favorite music/group:
Edm/kaskade
Favorite vacation/activity spot:
West end, Bahamas
Favorite food:
Sushi

The Real Deal

What do you do when not at the track?
Surf, and Freedive

What are your goals outside of karting?
To go to college and obtain a business and marketing degree.

What type of street car do you drive?
Subaru

What type of street car would you like to drive?
Pagani

What are your pet peeves or things that irritate you?
When people are going 10 mph in the left/hov lane

What do you think could be done to improve the sport of karting?
To me I think there are way too many series in the US currently and I believe if that can be fixed and series come together we’ll see bigger numbers of drivers and more competition at those series and with that the industry should be able to grow.

What are your favorite aspects about the sport of karting?
The amount of competitiveness and respect from all the drivers

Original Article Here:
http://ekartingnews.com/2015/04/06/ekartingnews-com-driver-of-the-month-march-2015-kyle-kirkwood/

Kirkwood Fastest in F1600 Debut

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Palm Beach, Fla. (16 February 2015) 16-year old Palm Beach, Florida, native Kyle Kirkwood made a big impression in his first-ever F1600 Formula F Championship outing this weekend as he showed speed and race craft in the two-day season-opening race meeting. Despite learning a new track, a new car, and racing with the team for the first time, Kirkwood showed well as he qualified on the front row, led the race early and set the fastest lap of the race. 
 
The event, staged at Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR), marked a weekend that included several firsts for Kirkwood, starting with the track. 
 
Even though Kirkwood’s history stretches back to when he first visited PBIR as a five-year old and went on to earn scores of trophies on the karting track at the facility, the foray on to the car racing circuit was his first. It also marked his first outing for Indianapolis-based Chastain Motorsports as well as his first time competing in the F1600 category, an established step in the racing ladder.
 
But despite all the new learning curves Kirkwood had ahead of him, the timing sheets showed that the young racer was a quick study. Kirkwood and his Chastain Motorsports Mygale machine were on the sharp end of the competitive field through the opening five practice sessions ahead of qualifying. 
 
With the pressure on, Kirkwood was again quick in qualifying, coming up a mere 0.027-seconds shy of winning the pole. But the effort still earned him a front row position to start alongside a racer who has extensive experience including having raced in IndyCar.
 
The race provided more of the same, as Kirkwood was once again not only quick, but also resilient. After leading the opening segment of the race, Kirkwood lost out during a duel for the lead.
 
“We both went in to the corner really deep and I was on the inside and there wasn’t as much grip there, so I locked my rear tire and ended up spinning around,” said Kirkwood. “But that’s racing. This was not a championship-points weekend so I was really focused more on learning as much as I could than just getting the result. It would have been great to win but at least we were quick and I think we will be even stronger in Atlanta (next race weekend).”
 
Kirkwood was able to not only charge back to a fifth-place finish, but he also took a lot more than just a solid result out of his first exposure to running in the open-wheel ranks as he transitions from kart racing to car racing. 
 
“It was definitely harder than karting because the racing is so close and the draft had such a big impact on your times,” said Kirkwood. “The car will take some time to get used to, but I knew there would be a little bit of a learning curve.  I had about 20 friends and family there so that was a little bit of pressure, but it was fun. The car is also fun to drive, and the Chastain Motorsports guys did a really good job.  I’m already looking forward to getting the chance to drive this car again when we go testing!”
 
F1600 will stage the opening points-paying event of the year on April 10-12 at Road Atlanta. In the meantime, Kirkwood will return to karting action with OGP as the Florida Winter Tour heads to Orlando for the penultimate weekend of the 2015 championship. Kirkwood races for Ocala Grand Prix and will look to add to his productive winter of racing with a big weekend in Orlando.
 
Additional information about Kyle Kirkwood:
 

Kyle Kirkwood is transitioning from Karts to Cars in F1600 Formula F Championship

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Racing at home as he makes the next step in his racing career

Palm Beach, Fla. (11 February 2015) –Karting standout Kyle Kirkwood has regularly stepped up and performed in some of the world’s most competitive races. This weekend will be an entirely new challenge as the native Floridian makes his car racing debut at Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR).

Kirkwood, who got his first ever taste of speed in a visit to PBIR (then known as Moroso) when he was all of five years old, will return to the site of his first exposure to the sport as he is set to make his debut in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series this weekend.

The F1600 Series is sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing and is modeled after the legendary Formula Ford Series. It serves as a launching pad into the top-level of motorsports and features a 21-race season that visits some of the all-time great American tracks, including historic Watkins Glen International, Road Atlanta and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Not only does this weekend mark a coming home for Kirkwood as he returns to the 2.034-mile, 11-turn road course at PBIR, but it is also close to home as the young phenom lives just down the road in Jupiter.

“I’m very excited about the weekend and it is very convenient for it to be so close to home!” said Kirkwood, who is hoping to make a big impression as he and his family are working to develop the budget needed to run the full season. “I want to learn as much as I can about these F1600 cars and make a good start to the season. I have raced on the kart track here hundreds of times, but this will be my first time driving the car track so I’m excited to finally get to race on it! This is a big weekend for me and having friends and family here at the race will hopefully help me have a really good event.”

While the budget might not yet be in place, the talent and background certainly is.

Kirkwood began racing karts at just five years old—shortly after that first visit to PBIR— and has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments in the karting ranks. The move to car racing is a natural progression for Kirkwood, who looks to work his way up the racing ladder.

Kirkwood has already made a name for himself in the karting world having been recognized for his talent behind the wheel when he was 13 years old by NASCAR’s AJ Allmendinger and received the prestigious Walldinger Racing/ Shell-Pennzoil Karting Scholarship. He has won several Florida Winter Tour championships and became a member of Team USA in 2013. That year, he became the first American to qualify on the pole and start a pre-final event from the pole in the Rotax Grand Finals held in New Orleans. He also closed out the year by winning the SKUSA Super Nationals in Las Vegas as a rookie S5 driver and was then named to the MAXSpeed Group Driver Advancement Program.

Kirkwood will take his first laps in the Chastain Motorsports Mygale/Honda machine at his home track of Palm Beach International Raceway as the F1600 Formula F Championship kicks off with the Winter Exhibition (non points) event this weekend.

“I'm extremely honored and excited to have the opportunity to race in F1600 with Chastain Motorsports this year,” said Kirkwood. “Everyone on the team is very professional and I look forward to a competitive and successful 2015 season.”

Kirkwood will look to get acclimated to the new machinery through 10 rounds of practice on Thursday and Friday. Qualifying will take place Saturday morning ahead of a 30-minute feature race which is set to go green at 12:45 PM ET.

In addition to his F1600 schedule, Kirkwood will remain busy as he also continues in karting as a sponsored driver with Ocala Gran Prix.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Thursday, February 12

  • 8:00 AM Practice
  • 9:35 AM Practice
  • 11:15 AM Practice
  • 1:55 PM Practice
  • 4:00 PM Practice

Friday, February 13

  • 8:00 AM Practice
  • 9:35 AM Practice
  • 11:15 AM Practice
  • 1:55 PM Practice
  • 3:35 PM Practice

Saturday, February 14

  • 8:20 AM Qualifying
  • 12:45 PM Race

2015 F1600 Race Calendar:

April 10 - 12 Road Atlanta

  • Rounds 1, 2, 3

May 15 - 17 Watkins Glen International

  • Rounds 4, 5, 6

June 5 - 7 VIRginia International Raceway

  • Rounds 7, 8, 9

July 3 - 5 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

  • Rounds 10, 11, 12

July 31– August 2 Pittsburgh International Race Complex

  • Rounds 13, 14, 15

August 28 – 30 New Jersey Motorsports Park – Thunderbolt

  • Rounds 16, 17, 18

October 16 – 18 Pittsburgh International Race Complex

  • Rounds 19, 20, 21

Kirkwood Completes Chastain F1600 Line Up

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kirkwood 1

Noblesville, IN – Chastain Motorsports will complete its four car assault on the F1600 Formula F Championship Series with Kyle Kirkwood, who is making the transition from karts to cars and will drive a Mygale/Honda for the 21-race season.

The Palm Beach, Florida native will make his debut in the winter exhibition event for the F1600 Series, taking place at Palm Beach International Raceway, his home circuit, February 12-14, ahead of the season opener at Road Atlanta in April.

"I'm extremely honored and excited to have the opportunity to race with Chastain Motorsports this year. Everyone on the team seems to be highly professional. I look forward to a competitive and successful 2015 season,” said the 16-year-old.

Kirkwood will join his three teammates, Will Harvey, Parker Chase and Andy Lewis under the guidance of IndyCar driver and professional coach Jay Howard and Howard’s Motorsports Driver Development program.

Harvey competed in the Series in 2014, while Lewis ran one event. Both Chase and Kirkwood will be true rookies in Chastain’s all-American driving lineup. All four drivers will run similar blue Mygale/Hondas.

Howard previously coached Kirkwood, back at the young age of 10, and Howard’s father, Paul Howard, has built many of Kirkwood’s karting engines. Paul Howard’s engines powered Kirkwood to set a record by winning every single race of the Florida Winter Tour in his debut season in the Junior TaG category, going on to dominate the Rotax Junior category for a long time.

"Kyle is a very talented young man, I have watched him grow over the years, I am very optimistic for him this year,” added Jay Howard.

Kirkwood has been racing since the age of five and in 2015 and was hand selected by NASCAR’s A.J. Allmendinger as the recipient of the prestigious Walldinger Racing/ Shell-Pennzoil Karting Scholarship at age 13.

He was the first American to qualify on the pole position and the first American to start a Pre-Final on the Pole at the Rotax Grand Finals in New Orleans 2013. In addition, in 2013, Kyle won the SKUSA Super Nationals in Las Vegas as a rookie S5 driver.

Kirkwood swept the ROK Cup USA in Ocala (Fla.) as a rookie “Senior” as well as winning the SKUSA Dallas Spring Nationals as a rookie S2 driver. He closed out 2014 as a finalist for the MAXSpeed Group Driver Advancement Program.

Original Article Here:
http://www.f1600series.com/news/982-kirkwood-completes-chastain-f1600-line-up.html

Jupiter teen revs up his thrills in karting

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Kyle Kirkwood was recently awarded a scholarship from NASCAR driver A.J. Allmendinger to assist him in pursuing a motorsports career.

The Jupiter teen is proving that Allmendinger's decision was a good one.

Kirkwood, 13, who is home-schooled, found himself on the winners' podium again after crossing the finish line first in the Komet Jr. Heavy Division of the Motorama Kart Parts World Karting Association Nationals in Indiana earlier this month.

"The feeling of winning a race is always amazing not only to me, but also to everyone involved to achieve the win," said Kirkwood, who was competing in the shadows of the University of Notre Dame campus at the Michiana Raceway Park track in South Bend. "This means the world to me, and I hope that someday I will be able to take it into cars or, preferably, NASCAR."

Allmendinger, who drives for Penske Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, created the scholarship to help propel young racers into a motorsports career.

As the recipient of numerous scholarships that helped propel his career, Allmendinger was looking to give back.

Kirkwood has experienced great success as he has claimed several victories and championships throughout Florida and around the country.

This year marks the debut of junior-level karting competition, and Kirkwood currently competes in the Florida Winter Tour.

Kirkwood races in four classes: Yamaha Jr. Lite, Yamaha Jr. Heavy, Komet (KPV) Jr. Lite, and Komet Jr. Heavy.

"Ever since I first drove my first kart, it has been my dream to be surrounded by top drivers and sponsors, so this is a dream come true," Kirkwood said.

Original Article Here:
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-07-22/news/fl-cnsp-digestpb-0722-20120722_1_allmendinger-free-tennis-west-boca

MAXSPEED ENTERTAINMENT OPENS COLD STONE FLORIDA WINTER TOUR IN A POSITIVE MANNER

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January 29, 2015 – With MAXSpeed Entertainment taking over the reigns of the Florida Winter Tour in July of 2014, the experienced staff would immediately spring into action to ensure success at their first set of events only five short months on the horizon. Fast-forward to today, the first two rounds of both the ROK Cup USA presented by MG Tires and Rotax MAX Challenge presented by Chase Racing & Brash Racing programs are now complete, with positive vibes for the series leaving the Homestead Karting facility.
 
“It was a great way to kick off the series,” explained MAXSpeed Entertainment’s Garett Potter. “We polled several of the industry members and teams that competed in the series in the past and listened to their positives and negatives of previous editions of the tour. Looking to turn those negatives into positives and create a healthy and competitive atmosphere for all, I feel we did just that and everyone at MAXSpeed is looking forward to the rest of the campaign.”

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MAXSpeed Entertainment would like to congratulate Cold Stone Florida Winter Tour ROK Cup USA winners Nicholas d’Orlando, Jonny Edgar, Mathias Ramirez (2), Fernando Barrichello (2), Richard Heistand (2), Eduardo Dieter (2), Kyle Kirkwood (2) and Patrik Hajek as well as the Cold Stone Florida Winter Tour Rotax MAX Challenge winners Jak Crawford, Cody Krucker, Leonardo Nienkotter (2), Sebastian Alvarez (2), Jordon Lennox (2), Christophe Adams (2), Sting Ray Robb, Anthony Gangi Jr., Kyle Kirkwood and Austin Garrison.

Original article here:
http://www.gorotax.com/news/197-maxspeed-entertainment-opens-cold-stone-florida-winter-tour-in-a-positive-manner.html

EKN Trackside: SKUSA SuperNationals XVII – Sunday Report

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S5 Junior Stock Moto – presented by Mothers Polish
When you do something for the first time, you realize that things may not always turn out as you want. Then again, there is always an exception to the rule. This year that exceptions name, was Kyle Kirkwood (Tony Kart). The Ocala Gran Prix racer made huge noise in his S5 Junior debut as he scored a perfect sweep on the weekend. Kirkwood was riding a massive high after his week in New Orleans at the Rotax Grand Finals where he sat on the pole position in Junior Max. Kirkwood was perfect through qualifying and all three heats in Las Vegas as he headed for the main event on SuperSunday. Kirkwood stayed perfect, and killed the competition on Sunday with consistency as he laid down fast lap after fast lap, checking out on the field.

Original article here:
http://www.superkartsusa.com/national/skusa-supernationals/2105-ekn-trackside-skusa-supernationals-xvii-sunday-report.html

EKN Trackside: 2013 Rotax Grand Final – Team USA Profile – Junior Max

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This year’s Junior Max roster for Team USA is possible the oldest group put together for the Rotax Grand Finals. Only one driver is younger than 15, and all have well over three years of karting experience. The group is very familiar with one another, having raced head-to-head over  the past few seasons, and a few teammates from the Rolison Performance Group and Ocala Grand Prix represent their strong race teams. The Energy chassis is making its Rotax Grand Finals debut, utilized in the Junior Max division, and a few drivers already have sampled the chassis in the last few weeks leading up to next week.

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Kyle Kirkwood
Age: 15
Hometown: Jupiter, Florida
United States Rotax Max Challenge: North Florida Rotax Max Challenge
Rotax Service Center: Ocala Gran Prix
Sponsors: Ocala Gran Prix
Rotax Grand Finals Appearances: One

The last driver to join the Team USA Junior Max roster is Kyle Kirkwood. One ticket was up for grabs at the Rotax Pan-American Challenge, and Kirkwood went to NOLA hungry. After getting shuffled out of the top-five in the prefinal and finishing 17th, he stormed through the field to sit fourth with the final laps closing. Last lap contact and post-race activity elevated Kirkwood’s finishing position to second, awarding him the final Rotax Grand Finals ticket. A contender at the Florida Winter Tour and the US Rotax Grand Nationals, there is no doubt the Ocala Gran Prix driver has the speed to compete in NOLA.

Original article here:
http://ekartingnews.com/2013/11/05/ekn-trackside-2013-rotax-grand-final-team-usa-profile-junior-max/

KartSport & Kirkwood Shine in FWT Opener

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KartSport Team Arrow Racing recently attended the first round of the 2012 Florida Winter Tour at Palm Beach International Raceway. The track's long straightaway made it hard for leaders to break away, but it kept the races action packed as many drivers were in the hunt to win. Arrow would go on to capture two wins during the event.

Kyle Kirkwood made his first TAG Junior start on the national level at the 2012 Florida Winter Tour. After crashing out in the first turn of Saturday's prefinal, it left the Floridian starting at the back of the main. However, Kirkwood piloted his way to a victory from the tail end of the field in his Kartsport prepared Arrow X1-E chassis. Sunday would be no different as he once again crossed the stripe in first after a last turn pass on his competitor.

The momentum from Kirkwood's two wins would carry over to the next weekend for the ultra competitive Rotax Jr. class. On Saturday, Kirkwood proved to be the man to beat after taking the pole position but was later disqaulified for not having an o-ring under his Rotax carburetor cap. Starting dead last in the LCQ, Kirkwood once again drove his Arrow X1-E from the tail end to finish the LCQ in sixth, and transferred into the main. Kirkwood shocked everybody with his race-craft, and once again drove to sixth on the tail end of the lead pack in the prefinal. The final saw Kirkwood and and two of his competitors break away from the field, and Kirkwood was unable to advance his position on the final lap bringing home a podium finish. In Sunday's final, Kirkwood would find himself in a different position. He led most of the race up until the final lap, but was overtaken at the end of the long straight away. Kirkwood looked for a hole on the last few turns but was unable to sneak by, and came across the stripe in second.

Original article here:
http://www.kartsportna.com/news/index.cfm?cid=51832

TWELVE WINS AND SEVENTEEN PODIUMS FOR OCALA GRAN PRIX IN FKCS OPENER

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Continuing their assault on the 2013 season, Florida karting powerhouse Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) would take on the season opener of the Florida Karting Championship Series (FKCS) this past weekend in Orlando, Florida. Heading to the Orlando Karting Center with a host of team drivers, OGP would claim twelve wins and seventeen podiums to start off their regional racing action. With the addition of the shifter kart classes, a campaign championed by OGP, the paddock was abuzz with gearbox racing and OGP drivers were able to dominate the new addition to the FKCS program.

"I am really excited about the entire shifter kart program," expressed OGP President Jorge Arellano. "The participation levels were high and the racing was good. I am looking forward to help growing these divisions as we move throughout the season."

Three Ocala Gran Prix drivers managed to pick up at least two victories over the weekend with Kyle Kirkwood leading the way with three. Taking top honors in Saturday's Rok Junior division, Kirkwood went on to claim a thrilling victory in Rotax Junior with a last lap pass as well as dominate the new Junior Shifter class offered by FKCS.

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With a pair of wins in non-gearbox classes, Kirkwood would show his prowess in the shifter ranks as well sweeping the action in the Junior Shifter class.

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With no time off, the Ocala Gran Prix race team will be back on track this weekend for the opening round of the North Florida Rotax Max Challenge. As a qualifying series for the United States Rotax Grand Nationals and the weekend before the prestigious Florida Winter Tour, track officials are expecting a large turnout for some exciting wheel-to-wheel competition.

Original article is here:
http://www.racetechdevelopment.com/press.php?article=twelve-wins-and-seventeen-podiums-for-ocala-gran-prix-in-fkcs-opener

FWT Formula Kart Racing Homestead Sunday Review

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Sunday morning dawned with a crisp coolness in Homestead, Florida as the drivers in Formula Kart Production's Florida Winter Tour presented by SPORTALITY prepared themselves for the fourth round of races in the 2012 Formula Kart Racing program.

Sunday's schedule called for a short morning warm up, followed by qualifying for all classes. After qualifying the Pre-Finals were run followed by an hour-long lunch break before the Finals and podium celebrations.

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Another driver making his mark this year in the Florida Winter Tour is 13-year-old Kyle Kirkwood from Jupiter, Florida. Kyle is in his first year of Junior competition and competes in TaG Junior during the Formula Kart weekends and Junior MAX in the MAX Challenge weekends. Kyle got started driving karts at the age of five when his father bought him a Comer 80 kart for Christmas and he hasn't looked back.

When asked what he likes about the FWT he said, "I like the strong competition and The Florida Winter Tour is the only place you can find this type of competition." With that being the case then Kyle is certainly at the top of his game. He is currently undefeated in Finals in the Formula Kart championship for 2012 and has been on the podium in both MAX challenge races.

Kyle says he'd like to race cars someday but for now just wants to win kart races. In fact, he's been advised by Indy Car driver Jay Howard not to think about jumping to cars too soon and just concentrate on karting. Away from the race track Kyle likes to go hunting and fishing with his two brothers and close friends.

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In the TaG Junior final, Ashley grabbed the initial lead but Zachary took it off her on lap two. The two then spent the next third of the race locked in a battle for the lead while Kyle Kirkwood stalked the two from third place. Around halfway Kirkwood decided it was time to make his move. He first slipped past Ashley and set his sights on Zachary. For a handful of laps Kyle ran right on Claman DeMelos bumper looking for a way past.

After a few laps of this Zach appeared to slow down. Whether it was a problem with his kart or just braking early to throw off Kirkwood's timing is unclear. However, what it did was bring Ashley right onto Kyle's bumper further increasing Kyle's motivation to get by. Using the time-honored communication technique of "bumper code", Kyle started signaling to Zach with light taps that he wanted to get by. Eventually Kirkwood was able to get a run on Zach into the middle hairpin, turn five. One swift move down the inside was all Kyle needed to take the lead for good. While Zach was taking the high line Ashley took advantage and slipped into second. The three ran out in this order to the finish for a thrilling end to a hard fought race. This was Kyle Kirkwood's fourth win out of the four TaG Junior Finals run so far in the 2012 Florida Winter Tour season.

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If you can't make it in person, log onto www.FloridaWinterTour.com to watch the race on FWT LIVE!, the industry's leading live video, live timing and audience interactive broadcast. The 2012 Florida Winter Tour really is "THE Winter Place To Be".

Original article is here:
https://www.floridawintertour.com/2012-news-archives/319-fwt-formula-kart-racing-homestead-sunday-review.html

Multiple Podiums For Kyle Kirkwood in Pittsburgh

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Wampum, PA (7 May 2012) – Walldinger Racing karter Kyle Kirkwood has three more trophies to add to his collection following another successful outing in Round 3 of the WKA Manufacturers Cup Series at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. The Shell-sponsored racer netted three podium finishes as he competed in multiple classes through the intense two-day race weekend.

It was a busy weekend for the Florida youngster. On Saturday, Kirkwood contested the Komet Junior Heavy and Yamaha Junior. Lite divisions before moving to race in the Komet Junior Lite and Yamaha Junior Heavy classes on Sunday.

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Original article is here:
http://sundaygroupblog.com/2012/05/07/multiple-podiums-for-kyle-kirkwood-in-pittsburgh/

FWT: Kyle Kirkwood in control in Rotax Junior Saturday Final

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Race day has finally come in Ocala, Florida as the 2013 Florida Winter Tour inches closer to completion. Saturday was round number five of the six race championship, and although the weather was in question all day long, the skies never opened up and every race was completed under dry conditions. The action was intense through every category as drivers looked to lock up or advance forward in their championship chases.

Kyle Kirkwood (TonyKart) took command early in the Rotax Junior Pre Final and he was followed closely by Austin Garrison (TonyKart). Championship leader Thomas Issa (Kosmic) was in the third position ahead of Trenton Estep (TonyKart). The battle for fifth was close as five drivers were making moves in every corner until Juan Manuel Correa (TonyKart) would eventually take the position, then look to catch up to Estep in front. With four laps to go Correa took the forth position away from Estep, but up front Kirkwood drove away with it with Garrison in tow.

Kirkwood and Issa both had a good start in the Final to hold the first two position. Plenty of action behind quickly allowed the two to pull away, while all the excitement happened for third. By the halfway distance in the race the leaders had a seven second gap... [from...] the third position.

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Up in the lead of the race Kirkwood would go unchallenged by Issa as he pulled to a two second victory.

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Original article is here:
http://canadiankartingnews.com/fwt-kyle-kirkwood-in-control-in-rotax-junior-saturday-final/

FWT: Kyle Kirkwood in control in Rotax Junior Qualifying

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The final rounds of the 2013 Florida Winter Tour are underway at the Ocala Gran Prix facility in the northern portion of the sunny state. This weekend seven Rotax Max class champions will be crowned, with many Rotax Grand Finals tickets also up for grabs. The short and flowing OGP track provides plenty of great racing, and with most championships wide-open it will surely be one to watch. Friday saw official qualifying for both Saturday and Sunday, setting the grids for the all important Pre Finals and Last Chance races.

In Rotax Junior, Kyle Kirkwood (TonyKart) put forth a great effort in the morning qualifying session to top the charts, leading the pack of 37 with a time of 37.891 seconds.

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In the afternoon session, Kirkwood again found himself on top of the list this time bettering his speed in posting a 37.664 second lap.

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Original article is here:
http://canadiankartingnews.com/fwt-kyle-kirkwood-in-control-in-rotax-junior-qualifying/

EIGHT PODIUMS AND ONE VICTORY FOR OCALA GRAN PRIX AT SKUSA SPRING NATIONALS

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EIGHT PODIUMS AND ONE VICTORY FOR OCALA GRAN PRIX AT SKUSA SPRING NATIONALS
“Powerhouse team travels to Dallas Karting Center for opening round of Pro Tour”

Ocala, Florida – Leaving the state of Florida only a few times a season, Ocala Gran Prix (OGP) began a new task, the Superkarts! USA (SKUSA) Pro Tour. Traveling to the Dallas Karting Center (DKC) last weekend for the opening round of the program, team drivers would make a stellar debut in the series taking home eight podium results, one main event victory and lots of respect from the gearbox karting community.

“I am very happy with the progress that our shifter kart program has made since starting only a year ago,” explained Jorge Arellano, Owner of Ocala Gran Prix. “We are looking forward to continuing to grow this area of the market in Florida as well as compete in shifter kart racing on the national scene.”

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Five Ocala Gran Prix supported drivers would enter the S2 ranks with four podium events coming from these competitors over the weekend. Kyle Kirkwood would rebound from a 17th place result on Saturday to steal the show on Sunday and take the victory in his first career S2 event. Kirkwood will look to carry the momentum into the Summer Nationals in Modesto, California in August.

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Arellano continued, “I would like to thank the whole Ocala Gran Prix team and staff for another great event. Their determination to succeed and tireless work effort is a true testament to our on track results.”

See original article here:
http://ocalagranprix.com/2014/05/eight-podiums-and-one-victory-for-ocala-gran-prix-at-skusa-spring-nationals/

Shell-Pennzoil Karter Kyle Kirkwood Makes Junior Max Grand National Debut

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South Bend, Ind. – Walldinger Racing karter Kyle Kirkwood completed a busy week of racing as he and the Tim Pappas-led KartSport team took part in the prestigious 12th Annual United States Rotax Max Challenge Grand Nationals at Michiana Raceway Park in South Bend, Indiana. Having entered the event in the Mini-Max category in previous years, the 2012 event marked Kirkwood’s debut in the ultra-competitive Junior Max division.

The week-long event  featured the top kart racers from across the country and featured an intense schedule: Unofficial practice on Monday & Tuesday, Official practice on Wednesday, Qualifying & Heat 1 on Thursday, Heats 2 &3 on Friday and the Pre-Final and Final events on Saturday. The Junior Max class was divided into four groups based on qualifying times and those four groups raced against each other in three heat races. The combined points awarded to each racer in the heats determined the starting positions for Saturday’s Pre-Final, with the Pre-Final results setting the grid for the Final.

Driving the No. 22 Arrow, Kirkwood’s week was highlighted by a dominating Heat 3 win...

Having qualified third among the very talented field of Junior karters, Kirkwood lined up second on the grid for Heats 1 & 2...

Looking for redemption in Heat 3, Kirkwood started from the pole and never looked back. By the third lap, Kirkwood had already developed a 2.237-second gap over the rest of the field and he extended that lead each time by – ultimately taking the checkered flag with a 4.304-second advantage over second place.

The win solidly locked Kirkwood into the Pre-Final while several of his competitors were forced to run the Last Chance Qualifier race for a final shot at starting the Pre-Final event.

Though no rain was forecasted for Saturday’s events, the rain came down the hardest it had throughout the whole week on Saturday morning which made for very challenging conditions in the 20-lap Pre-Final event. Kirkwood’s combined points from the heat races had him starting 25th in the Pre-Final but he wasted no time in maneuvering through the field in the slippery track conditions to run as high as fourth...

The 13-year-old racer would have his work cut out for him in the Final as he started from the 10th row, but with the rain finally moving out of the area, Kirkwood was set to move to the front with the Final held under sunny skies and dry track conditions.

The No. 22 Arrow was pushed wide on the start with Kirkwood falling back to 24th, but the resilient racer remained determined to move forward and began a charge through the field. He cracked the top-20 to run 19th by the fourth lap and seamlessly picked up positions each time by and was back up to 14th with 10 laps remaining in the race. He would work his way into the 12th position where he would take the checkered flag after 26 laps of hard running.

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Next up for Kirkwood is the final round of WKA Manufacturers Cup competition at New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle, Indiana September 14-16.

See original article here:
http://kart360.com/press/shell-pennzoil-karter-kyle-kirkwood-makes-junior-max-grand-national-debut

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