PR1 Motorsports once again saw back-to back victories this past weekend, winning both Corsa Car Care Pacific F2000 Series races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Running in the National Class, Pacific F2000 regulars, including PR1 Motorsports, had to share the track with the USF2000 Championship Series which features significantly faster race cars. Normally running Hankook rubber, unfamiliar Cooper tires were mandatory for this event and competing during the American Le Mans Series presented by Patrón only further compounded the pressure.
Not to be intimidated, PR1 Motorsports set about their work as though it was any other race day, with results that can only be described as thoroughly dominate.
Race weekend time-sheets show that PR1 Motorsports drivers David Cheng, Miles Maroney, and Scott Rarick:
-Led two practice sessions, finishing first and second in both, with Cheng and Rarick swapping the honors.
-Qualified first, second and third for both races.
-Set the Pacific F2000 qualifying lap track record for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
-Set the fastest lap in both races.
-Set a Pacific F2000 race lap track record in Round 5, then beat that time for another race lap track record in Round 6.
-Swept the top-3 podium positions in both races.
-Finished first and third overall in Round 5, beating the more powerful visiting USF2000 Championship Series regulars.
Heading to the green flag for the weekend’s first race, David Cheng, of Sammamish, WA, sat on pole having set a Pacific F2000 qualifying lap track record for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a 1:26.652 laptime. Teammates Scott Rarick, of Santa Monica, CA, and Miles Maroney of Topanga, CA, lined up behind Cheng in second and third respectfully. However, the lineup would change in turn two, the Andretti hairpin, when Cheng, suffering from a poor start, was overtaken by both of his teammates. Rarick would keep the #34 PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen RF06 in the National Class lead for the remainder of the caution plagued race, fending off multiple attacks from Maroney in the #22 Maroney Company/Alpinestars/PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen RF05 Zetec. Rarick would also assume the overall lead when the majority of the Championship Class entries struggled to run a clean race. Heading into the final corner at turn eleven, Maroney made one final attempt to get past Rarick, but would ultimately have to settle for second place in class, third overall. Rarick took the checkered flag, winning both the National class, and the overall victory. Cheng, in the #26 PR1 Motorsports Van Diemen RF05 Zetec captured third place, completing a PR1 Motorsports podium sweep in the day’s first race.
Sitting on pole once again for Round 6, by virtue of setting the fastest race lap and track record from Round 5, Cheng led the field for the first few laps until he made a small mistake in turn six. Following close behind, Maroney saw an opportunity and made the pass for the lead. Teammate Rarick and Bob Negron in the #9 followed Maroney past Cheng, relegating the pole sitting driver to fourth. Once out in front, Miles would eventually build a three second gap before a full course caution bunched the field back up. However, the former karting champion would once again build up an insurmountable lead after the restart, taking his first victory in only his sixth car race of his career. Rarick finished behind him in second with Cheng, having finally gotten past Negron after several daring attempts, once again completed an all PR1 Motorsports podium by finishing third.
Rarick was excited to be back racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and to win overall in Round 5 in such a thrilling race.
“It’s great to be at Laguna Seca again,” Rarick exclaimed. “It’s an incredible race track and it feels amazing to win here. I was holding back a little bit coming to the green, hoping to get a run on David going into the first corner. Once I saw that he had a bad start, I knew that I had the chance to get the lead going into turn two. The pass stuck no problem. I tried to pull away, but all the cautions didn’t help. Miles being so quick didn’t help either though. We had a great race at the end fighting real hard to the line. It was great to win overall and to see my teammates on the podium with me.”
Cheng set the track qualifying lap record and beat his previously set race lap track record from Round 5 in Round 6.
“The team did a great job setting up the car for me,” Cheng said. “In the first race, the last couple of laps were real exciting for us. I went to the outside on the last lap looking to get all three PR1 Motorsports cars in the overall top-three, but we came up a little short. I also made a mistake in the second race, just hung a wheel off in turn six. It was great to set both the qualifying and race lap track records, and to qualify on pole twice. Wish we could have gotten two wins as well, but overall, I’m very proud of what we accomplished today with two podium finishes.”
Maroney had missed the overwhelming majority of the early practice sessions due to mechanical issues, making his second place finish in Round 5, and his victory in Round 6, all the more satisfying.
“I gave it everything I could to get around Scott in the first race today and came up a little short,” stated Maroney. “So in the second race when I saw David have a little trouble, I didn’t hesitate to make the move on him right away. Once I got by him, the rest of the race felt pretty good. No troubles at all. Once I saw the white flag, I told myself not to do anything different, just bring it around one more time. I could still feel myself tensing up a little at first, but when you drive on the edge around a track like Laguna Seca, you need to focus. So that’s what I did. It feels absolutely incredible to get my first win, I’m freezing from my PR1 Motorsports teammates drenching me on the podium, and I look forward to getting back in the car for our next event.”
For PR1 Motorsports Team Principal, Bobby Oergel, the weekend’s accomplishments are testaments to the team’s technical abilities and professionalism.
“This weekend had a lot of atypical scenarios for us,” Oergel explained. “Different tires, different competitors, sharing the paddock with all the big guns from the American Le Mans Series. But all of our drivers and our crew showed that they are true professionals once again. We have so much to be proud of this weekend and we’ll be sure to keep on working just as hard to have several more just like them for the rest of the season.”
© RIF | ALMS