- 13 September 2018
Salem, NH – The 2018 Formula Race Promotions season started at Road Atlanta in April, and has wound its way to some of the best road courses in North America, with 42 USAC-sanctioned events taking place since April and building to this weekend’s season finale, with Champions poised to be crowned in the F1600 Championship Series, F2000 Championship Series and the Atlantic Championship Series.
While the sun is setting on FRP’s 13th consecutive season, New Jersey Motorsports Park will once again play host to an exciting season closing weekend at its tough and challenging Thunderbolt circuit, which is among the highlights of the season for many competitors, having become a constant fixture on the FRP schedule.
A changing weather forecast has seemingly settled down, with solid, dry conditions expected for Saturday and Sunday for all seven races, with all cars taking to the track on Hoosier Racing slicks.
It was Thunderbolt that was the sight of the closest-ever F1600 finish, with three cars and inches separating the podium finishers just two seasons ago.
Now, anticipation builds as some of the country’s best up-and-coming drivers are locked in a titanic battle for top honors in the F1600 Championship, and the potential to move their career to the next obvious step: FRP’s F2000 Championship in 2019 before tackling the higher-downforce and ultra quick Atlantic Championship Series cars.
K-Hill Motorsports driver Dario Cangialosi is the man to beat in F1600, having controlled the Championship, but a small points lead was cut into at Summit Point in West Virginia in August.
The driver of the No. 22, Cangialosi, only has a 33 point lead over teammate Yuven Sundaramoorthy, with another 15 points back to Tyler O'Connor in third.
With 157 points on hand at New Jersey, a lot could happen in the span of just 21 hours between Saturday and Sunday, the window in which all three races will take place.
While both Cangialosi and O’Connor, a pair of Team USA Scholarship nominees, are visiting New Jersey for the first time in F1600 pro competition, Sundaramoorthy may hold the upper hand. The young American not only raced in all three F1600 races at Thunderbolt last year, but came out on top in race two .
Sundaramoorthy took the win with a daring run to the checkered flag in that race, with a margin of victory of just .014 seconds over second place, while the third-place car was also in the photo, .095 seconds back.
The Masters Class should also prove thrilling with Joel Haas managing a slim points lead over Mike Scanlan. With Haas expected to miss the event due to weather concerns in the mid-Atlantic, Scanlan will need to deliver a strong performance in the No. 2 entry to clinch the Masters Class title.
In the F2000 Championship, Steve Jenks has the title nicely wrapped up for Tumenas Motorsports. He will go head-to-head with season-long title-rival and 2017 Champion Brandon Dixon, while Tim Minor, who swept Summit Point in August, is also expected to race.
Tim Paul meanwhile looks to close out his season with a trip to victory lane for R-Sport; while Simon Sikes and Davis Durrett are aiming to repeat their previous forms that saw them both take wins earlier this year, as is James Roe.
Another New Jersey Motorsports Park winner, Trent Walko, is also on the entry list in a second entry from Arms Up Motorsports alongside teammate Roe.
Atlantic Championship Series racers can look forward to challenging for top honors, with most recent race winner Blake Mount hoping to repeat his feat from Summit Point over Championship leader Baltazar Leguizamon.
The action starts on Friday morning with testing from New Jersey Motorsports Park, with official practice on Friday afternoon. Races follow on Saturday and Sunday.