Ever wondered what it would be like if the fastest race cars in the world ran on perhaps the most often digitally recreated race track in the world? Everyone who participated in the Formula Fun series this past week found out as the series visited Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in their Williams-Toyota FW31s.
Week Two of the JWH Formula Fun series saw even more action than Week One. Mark Handley started the online race on pole while John Baker had the outside pole. Week One runner up Ryan Terpstra started the race further back in the field in fourth. The race got under way with minimal chaos in Turn One. Considering the diversity of the field and how tight the Andretti Hairpin is at Laguna Seca that is quite an accomplishment.
Unfortunately the clean driving didn’t last through the end of Lap One. Prash Goricha and Keith Prociuk were both involved in incidents and knocked out of the race, then Terpstra spun in turn 10 and was hit by another car causing both drivers to head to the pits for repairs. By the start of Lap Two half the field was a lap down. Terpstra later reported to inRacingNews that he also received a black flag penalty for speeding on pit exit causing him to drop even further back into the field after a stop and hold penalty of 20 seconds following his pit for repairs.
Up front a battle raged on between Handley and Baker. The two would fight for the lead nearly the entire race until a late mistake by Baker gave Handley a comfortable lead. In the end Handley came home 8.67 seconds ahead of Baker and managed to finish the race with only one incident. The third place finisher, Mark Witz, came home 48.34 seconds behind our winner. Witz also managed a mostly clean race finishing with only one incident, but the “Mr. Clean” award this week goes to fourth place finisher Rodger Lee who finished the entire race without incident only 0.83 seconds behind Witz for third.
While Terpstra ended an adventuresome race in sixth it was enough for him to take the lead in the championship from Handley. Terpstra has a scant 2 point lead over Handley while Week One winner Gabriele Tondi sits in third in the points.
Week Three sends the Formula Fun series back east to the friendly confines of Lime Rock Park. A lap at Lime Rock in the FW31 will shatter your expectations of what a car can do around that 1.5 mile road course. Think in terms of 180+ mph at start/finish and laps in the mid-30s range!
The JWH Racing League Formula Fun race takes the green flag at 3pm Eastern time and, remember if you’re thinking about giving the series a chance, the setups are fixed so everyone is on a level playing field . . . even though Lime Rock does have lots of ups and downs!