The Waterfall/Area 81 team was back to full strength after individual appearances at Watkins Glen and Roebling Road. Both drivers & crew had to battle the 90+ Degree heat & 10 – F1000 competitors over the three day event. Richard Franklin put his Stohr F1000 Car # 81 on top for Race 1, finishing 4th. Tim Pierce was punted off the track on the first lap, but would recover to finish 6th. In Race 2, both cars had fuel issues, but Tim still managed to put Car # 18 car in 3rd place while Richard finished 5th in the North American F1000 Championship race standings.
Race 1 was a battle of attrition with a very large field. Continuous traffic and a short yellow flag early in the race bunched up the field. Richard put in a gutsy performance and had a great restart, which allowed him to secure 4th position. Tim’s race was much more eventful. At the green, he passed several cars to put him in 3rd. In turn 4, someone hit Tim in the right rear, causing the car to nose in within inches of a tire wall. The corner worker was unable push the car, so he got out to & pushed the car himself. Tim entered pit lane to ensure he was safely buckled in, then re-joined the race. Tim was described as “a man possessed” as he passed twelve cars, including two F1000 competitors to finish 6th.
Race 2 left both Area 81 drivers questioning their fuel calculations. Tim had another great start and was defending 2nd through lap 19. He sensed he was running out of fuel when the engine began to stumble. The consequence was conceding the fight for 2nd and settling for 3rd. Richard was running as high as 3rd place until his Stohr F1000 also began to develop a fuel pick-up problem in right hand turns. Sensing this, he backed off dramatically, determined to see the checkered flag. Car 18 rolled to a stop within sight of the checker flag and Car 81 crossed the line running on fumes.
Tim Pierce, Car 18 – “We are extremely happy to finish the weekend with only minor damage. I knew my race for the podium was over when I got knocked off in Race 1, but I wanted to go the distance and get as many NAF1000 championship points as possible. It was fun going up through the field. Sunday the car was running very well and I got a good jump at the green flag. My father told me I was 2nd, but I saw a F1000 car stalking me in my mirrors. I could keep him at bay until I ran low on fuel. No one expected a full green flag 22 lap race and I only had 21.9 laps of fuel. We’ll correct our fuel calculations and move on.”
Richard Franklin, Car 81 – “Our team enjoys running at New Jersey Motorsports Park and I have fond memories of previous F1000 Series podium finishes. This time it was Tim’s turn to podium in the NAF1000 Series. We both kept digging all weekend and solid performances and finishes were the result. Overall, I’d give the weekend a B+ and I have gained valuable experience with the new American Racer Tire. In the end, our Area 81 Racing Team put on a good show for Waterfall’s customers and I could tell they appreciated the sights-and-sounds that is North American Formula 1000 Series Racing. I cannot wait for our next race, the SCCA Runoffs at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway!”
Special thanks to our Area 81 Racing sponsors Waterfall Security Solutions, The Franklin Insurance Agency, and Briky Coolers. The next race in the NAF1000 Championship is the National Championship SCCA Runoffs at Indianapolis Speedway on September 30th. Stay tuned to www.Area81Racing.com and our FaceBook Page → https://www.facebook.com/Area-81-Racing-Team-173745692673454/ for highlights.