SUMMIT POINT, W.Va. – The F1600 Formula F Championship Series produced another thrilling, shoot-out of a race at Summit Point with the top four cars trading the lead back and forth throughout the 20-lap event at Summit Point Motorsports Park Saturday.
Finnish driver Matias Koykka came out on top, inheriting the lead and first place in the points standings when the leaders made contact on the last lap in his Spectrum/Honda for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing. Garett Grist came home from the last lap drama in second, with teammate Brandon Newey rounding off the podium.
The race featured the leaders battling very aggressively, similar to a shootout at Mid-Ohio just a few weeks ago, with the cars taking defensive lines down the front straight, touching tires, bump-drafting, and heading three wide into turn one – multiple times – on a very narrow Summit Point circuit.
Following the race, there were allegations of questionable driving among the top finishers, some of who were less than happy with the results.
Koykka played it safe, not participating in most of the action and staying in fourth for the majority of the all-green-flag event – but he was there on the last lap – when Newey and Shae Davies made contact, thus inheriting the lead, more points and his third victory of 2012.
“I was in third and a backmarker came into the mix, and Brandon and Shae touched while fighting it out,” said Koykka. “The race was a huge win for us, the car was really good and the strategy was just to wait it out until a couple laps to go.”
Koykka also notched the fast lap of the race, adding two points, and scoring pole position for Sunday’s race, another three points.
Garett Grist, carrying additional sponsorship from Alpinestars in his No. 97 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb/Agajanian, finished second in the Mygale/Honda. Grist had featured strongly at the start of the race, taking the lead from the green flag and looking like he could win before losing a nose off the Mygale while battling for second.
“That was an absolutely crazy race,” noted Grist, who was recently nominated for the Team Canada Scholarship. “There was much more action than Mid-Ohio. As for the nose on the Mygale, I had pulled out to pass Koykka down the front straight, just as he pulled out on Davies and it caught the front of the car.”
Newey completed the podium a distant third after the last-lap drama. The American, driving for the Herta team, was first entering the last lap, and easily led the most laps of the leaders, being able to drive a defensive line down the front straight.