Lakeville, CT – After losing valuable points in the Championship earlier in the day with a DNF at Lime Rock, Chris Livengood bounced back, winning for the second time this year. The sophomore F2000 driver did exactly what he needed to take the fight to the final rounds of the season at Watkins Glen – take points away from Remy Audette, who finished second ahead of Tim Paul.
Livengood started on the outside pole and ran second to Audette early before passing the Canadian and stretching the gap for his third F2000 Series win. Local favorite Paul followed; his best career finished to date.
Livengood rebounded from an earlier crash in the first race that cost him valuable points. With just two rounds remaining in the season, a Watkins Glen doubleheader, Livengood is still alive in the title fight but the John Walko Racing/Work Racing driver may need a miracle, some 88 points down on Audette currently. One hundred ten (110) points are available at Watkins Glen.
“We had a clean start, Remy and I kept exchanging fast laps the entire way,” said Livengood. “He got a bit held up with lapped traffic and I was able to get by into turn one.”
Audette, meanwhile, had a successful weekend at Lime Rock with his fifth win of 2011, two poles, and a new qualifying track record. Audette has yet to fail to finish this season.
Said the Canadian: “Chris was pushing us to the limit the entire way, a lapped car messed the race up. The front of the car went away as the race continued, but overall it was a good weekend for Audette Racing.”
Tim Paul was the local story, the Mahopac, New York-native finished third in the SMR/GTP Motorsports No. 06, besting his fourth place effort a few months ago at Watkins Glen.
“I went to the outside on the start and was able to move up to third,” said Paul. “Minor got back by me, but we battled it out until it seemed like his car just go away. I’m happy to break my bad luck streak here after last year’s crash.”
Minor explained after the race that his tires lost grip.
Robert Wright, perhaps in his last race in the Van Diemen before switching to the new Radon chassis, won the Masters Class with a fourth place effort. Peter Gonzalez was fifth ahead of Tim Minor, who ran third early before fading.
Nathan Morcom drove through the field along with Craig Clawson, both starting at the rear of the pack, to finish seventh and eighth. John Walko Racing/Fat Boy Racing teammates Brendan Puderbach and Craig Clawson completed the top ten.
Clawson, meanwhile, had a career day, finishing fourth in the morning race, and taking home CellMark Paper Hard Charger honors in this race, advanced from 23rd to finish 8th, gaining the most positions of any driver.
Angel Benitez, after a third place effort earlier in the day, failed to finish for Alegra Motorsports, going off early.
Blake Teeter ended up 13th in the Radon chassis for GTP Motorsports, following a turn one incident, in the morning race that saw crash damage repaired.
Robert La Rocca did not take part in the race following a penalty for an incident in turn one earlier in the day.
The F2000 Championship Series concludes its 2011 season with rounds 13 and 14, at Watkins Glen, October 14-16.
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