ALTON, Va. – Brandon Newey continued his F1600 Formula F Championship Series comeback with a nail-biting victory at Virginia Int’l Raceway in round five for Chastain Motorsports.
Newey led flag-to-flag, but it was another race coming down to the last lap as he broke away from the field with Ayla Agren of Team Pelfrey glued to his gearbox. Agren waited to the last second, pulling out coming to the checkered flags, only to be denied to her first F1600 victory by .042 second as the two Mygale/Hondas battled to the finish.
“That was a lot of fun,” said Newey. “A big thanks to Chastain for a great car, Ayla was so fast today and I couldn’t break away. I thought she had a run there at the end, it was close.”
Agren, from Norway, marked her best F1600 finish ever, bettering a number of previous third places.
“It’s definitely good to be back on the podium another step up from Road Atlanta,” said Agren. “The goal was to win with that move at the end, but I’ll take second. As the race developed, I wasn’t sure whether I would try a move on the back straight or front stretch. ”
Finishing some seven seconds adrift of the leaders and inheriting the championship lead was Garth Rickards, who survived a huge six-car battle for third spot that had last lap first-turn contact involving a number of other competitors.
“It turned out to be a good results and I wasn’t doing by best driving at the start of the weekend, I am looking forward to tomorrow,” said Rickards, driving for Pelfrey. ”The leaders were quick with the draft and we couldn’t keep up.”
Rickards’ teammate Augie Lerch finished in fourth, while Steve Bamford stayed out of the last lap drama for a top five. Nikita Lastochkin followed in sixth, recovering after being pushed off the track in the early stages of the race.