WAMPUM, Pa. – Ayla Agren crossed the line in third place but was later awarded the victory in Sunday’s F1600 Formula F Championship Series event at Pittsburgh Int’l Race Complex as series officials handed down penalties.
Evan Mehan and Jack Mitchell Jr., who finished first and second at the checkered flag, were each penalized one lap following the race for ignoring repeated warnings on blocking tactics throughout the 26-lap race.
With the win, the Norwegian racer sweeps the weekend, takes her third win of the 2014 season, and extends what was a slim points lead in her Team Pelfrey No. 83 Mygale/Honda.
“It was tough today and a little rough at the front,” said Agren, before penalties came down. “The Pelfrey guys gave me a good car again, and we have to take it once race at a time with the points.”
While Mitchell led early from pole in his Exclusive Autosport Spectrum/Honda, Mehan found a way past mid-way through the event and led to the checkered flags, but the first trio of cars, including Agren, featured what was a competitive duel for the win.
Both Mitchell and Mehan – a pair of up and coming Americans – were shown the furled black flag multiple times for blocking, and were later penalized per article 18.104.22.168 of the SCCA Pro Racing rulebook as Series officials have repeatedly told drivers throughout the 2014 season that overly-aggressive driving will not be tolerated.
After penalties were assessed, Sam Chastain marked his best finish of the year with a second place run, in the No. 27 Chastain Motorsports entry, while Jim Goughary won the Masters Class with a third place result. Art Foster and Steve Bamford completed the top five.
Andrew Hobbs followed in sixth position while Nikita Lastochkin was in seventh and Will Harvey in eighth. Harvey started third and got to second on the opening lap in the No. 24 WISKO Racing Mygale/Honda, quickly challenging for the lead before falling back.
Augie Lerch finished ninth after a third place run on Sunday, while Mike Scanlan completed the top ten in his No. 2 Spectrum/Honda. With their penalties, Mehan and Mitchell Jr. were scored in 11th and 12th, respectively.
The Championship leader coming into the weekend, Garth Rickards, failed to finish after spinning, and ended an ultra-consistent season of podiums and top fives. While he was leading the points by a few markers over Agren into the event, with her win on Saturday and Rickards’ Sunday retirement, the Pennsylvania native will have ground to make up if he intends to win the 2014 title in the No. 83 Team Pelfrey Mygale/Honda.
Ayla Agren, Sam Chastain, James Goughary, Arthur Foster, Steve Bamford, Andrew Hobbs, Nikita Lastochkin, Will Harvey, Augie Lerch, Mike Scanlan, Mike Scanlan, Jack Mitchell Jr., Mike Scanlan, Austin McCusker.