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2015 Season Review
The new season brought about some changes, my previous team - SR Racing, had left the racing scene, selling the last of their FST cars and Jim Schings declaring himself ‘retired again’. So I joined forces with Bill and Linda Gray from Nuveau Motorsport who were expanding to a 2 car team for 2015.

Bill had purchased a new Evolution chassis from Campbell Motorsport and had spent the winter building up the car. We had initially planned a pre-season test at Hallet raceway in April, but delays in getting the car ready meant the best we could manage was a seat fitting, and making a long list of everything that was left to be finished on the car. So that left us heading into the first round of the series with zero development time on the car.

Round 1: Gingerman

With no preseason testing we had planned to run the Friday test day at Gingerman to have some track time, but it was not going to be that easy, the car did not exactly roll off the trailer ready to go. Luckily Jim Schings and Larry Campbell had volunteered their services as track support so we immediately began working on the car – to say it was a long a frustrating day was an understatement, but despite how it looked in the morning we did manage to finally get the car running for the last track session of the day.

Race 1:  With the limited running we were still working on the car setup heading into qualifying, but despite those issues we qualified the car 4th, with the sister car driven by Jared Smith on pole.  The race turned out to be tough battle with Doug Sharpe for 4th until he slide of the circuit allowing me to claim the last step on the podium.

Race 2: The car was getting better with each run, but we still were lacking a little power, still we managed a time good enough for the front row outside of Jared.   The race start was a mess, with everyone bunching up going into turn 1. I had to avoid a late braking Sharpe, and took to the inside ripple strip, recovering to be in 5th.  The race then settled into a tough battle between Sharpe, Seim and myself for the minor positions, while Jared skipped clear to take the win.  I was able to bring the car home in 2nd – giving Nuveau Autosport its first 1-2 result.   

Laguna Seca:

While not part of the Hoosier Tires Championship, I ticked another iconic track of my list by competing at a round of the San Francisco SCCA Region series at Laguna Seca – thanks to Scott Meyer at Diamond Formula Cars. I had hoped this would be an opportunity to compete against the other 4 FST cars established on the west coast, including my championship winning car from last season.

In the end only one other FST entered – driven by the very quick Blake Tatum, but it looked like being a close battle as our qualifying time where within 10ths of each other. However we never got the chance to race head to head – Race 1 as we approached the start the gear linkage broke and I had to retire before the race even began.  Race 2 – and I was the lone FST starter as Blake’s engine had expired. So I had to settle for roughing up some club fords in a race long battle.


Overall the experience was a blast, the track was awesome, fast challenging, with the ‘corkscrew’ making every lap a challenge.

National Corvette Museum Track

Straight off the plane from California and we headed south to the new National Corvette Museum track in Bowling Green Kentucky – the track was so new they were still building the pit buildings.


Race 1: Qualifying on pole with a split start I grabbed and early lead and immediately opened a gap on the chasing cars, everything was going smoothly until I caught and attempted to pass a back marker in a F500. Approaching at speed and dove to the Apex of the fastest corner of the track, only to have the F500 turn down on me, the resulting collision damaged the front suspension and ut me out of the race.

Race 2:  With the car repaired we qualified 2nd and grabbed first place at the start, but I couldn’t hold it and a great drafting pass by Phil McSherry put me into 2nd.  Phil was able to open a healthy lead as I struggled with my tires going off. Then oil on the track saw Phil spin off I regained first. But the laps counted down Phil was charging back hard, and it was going to be touch and go – with 3 corners from home I caught a backmarker in a FVee, despite the blue flags being waved he wouldn’t move off the racing line, I knew if I didn’t clear him Phil would catch and pass me by the start finish, so as the Vee ran wide I dived into the Apex, but he just turned in, hitting me in the front and then I highsided over his wheels, getting a good bit of air before crashing down and out of the race.  I was absolutely gutted.

What should have been a championship defining weekend and we came away with 2 DNFs.

Grattan

Race 1: We were keen to put the events at NCM behind us and we certainly started the right way with pole for Race 1: With a couple of Formula Fords in the mix I knew a good start was going to be important.  As we headed towards Turn 1, as expected the extra horsepower of the Formula Fords came into play and they both passed me, but on cold tires they were hesitating into the corner so I was able to grab second back, heading into Turn 3 the lead Ford was slow, so I just fired the car down the inside and drove past.  With the rest of the field bottled up behind the Fords, I attacked the next couple of laps and opened up a 15sec lead on the field, which we held to the line, grabbing fast lap in the process.



Race 2
was not as successful, we qualified 4th due to a broken valve, then developed a miss during the race and eventually retired.    

Mid-Ohio

Mid Ohio was the low point of the season, we were dogged with a miss-firing engine the whole weekend and never turned a competitive lap in either race.



Pittsburg International Race Circuit

The newly extended PIRC was going to make for an exciting weekend racing, we headed to the test day to make sure the miss issues with the engine had been resolved by the team. Initially things seemed positive, but in the second session of the day the miss returned and we spent the following sessions chasing the issue. We no obvious resolution found we ended the testing day very dispirited.

Race 1: With some overnight changes, including fresh fuel, new timing and plug leads we were back in business and qualified the car 2nd on the grid. The race was a four car battle at the front, with plenty of lead changes, but we struggled to maintain the pace of the other 3 – down on power in straight line acceleration, and only held onto the front pack by virtue of their dicing. In the end after Mid-Ohio 4th place felt like a victory.

Race 2: For Race 2 we qualified 4th, but took the start in 3rd following George Podgorski retirement on the pace lap. Doug Seim grabbed the lead early and opened up a gap, while I battled with Phil for several laps.  When he developed an oil leak and slowed,  allowing me into second, I set off in pursuit of Doug.  I was able to gradually close down the gap catching him with a couple of laps to go, but despite several attempts couldn’t find a way past.  On the final lap and heading into the last corner I tried a late late breaking move, held it, and took the lead from Doug, which I held by a nose at the line.  In the process I also set the track record for the new circuit lowering it by over a second from Saturday’s time.   This win and the fast lap put us back in contention for the championship heading into the final round at Gateway.



Gateway Motorsports Park.

Trailing Seim by 4points based on corrected scoring, it was going to be a win or go home effort.

Race 1: We missed out on pole, and had an OK start in the race, until a spin by Seim meant a trip to the grass to avoid contact. Recovering I set out in pursuit of Podgorski, but a mistake saw me take a rough ride over the infield and lose 2nd to a recovering Seim. Two laps later and it was Seim into the wall with a hard hit that brought out the safety car and closed us up with Podgorski. At the restart Podgorski got a good jump, but I was close on his tail when the engine began miss-firing, this lasted for half a lap, and then disappeared, but Podgorski had opened too much of a lead and I couldn’t run him down.  Still 2nd and the DNF for Seim meant we closed the gap to 2points.

Despite working all night Seim’s car was too badly damaged to be repaired, but with the championship on the line George stepped aside letting Seim drive his car.

Race 2:  I was able to claim pole, closing the gap to 1 point. Early in the race Seim passed me and held the lead for several laps, until we were being lapped by a Formula Atlantic, Doug moved to the inside of the corner to let the FA through and I quickly followed it through and grabbed the lead back. The next lap and Doug gradually began dropping back with car issues and we were able to open up half a lap lead.  With 3 laps to go the championship was in sight when our engine blew and we coasted to a stop – the race and the championship done.

 

 




TeamClark Motorsport
competes in Formula FST racing class, in the Hoosier Tires US FST Championship. Teaming up with SR Racing out of Lexington Kentucky, who prepare the car, build our race engines and provided race weekend support we have established a winning combination.





Formula FST
Formula First is a class for single seat racing cars based on 1600cc air colled engines & components. The purpose of the Formula First class is to emphasize drivers ability and to encourage the participation of owner/builders and owner/preparers while using proven components (or exact replicas). 

Formula First Promotional Video



For more info on Formula First check out the website

Formula FST Sponsors

Hoosier Racing Tire
The principal Sponsor of the US FST Series, Hoosier Racing Tire supply tires for a wide range of the major racing classes in the US and around the world

SR Racing
A leading supplier of FST cars, parts and services, SR racing have a full service race car engineering facility located in lexington Kentucky. 



Campbell Motorsport
Designer of the Evolution Formula First chassis used by TeamClark Motorsport Larry Campbell has designed a built many successful formula cars.

FST Race Videos
Some in car race videos from the '13, '14 & '15 Seasons

2015:

Pittsburg Internal Race Circuit



2014:

Grattan: Race 3




Grattan: Race 4




Mid-Ohio: Race 5



2013:
Watkins Glen: Race 2



Mid-Ohio: Race 2


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