Patrick Barrett Has Successful Season Opener in 2007 Pacific F2000 Championship Presented by Hankook Tires
Californian Grabs Victory and Second-Place Finish in Two Opening Rounds at California Speedway in Fontana
WAYNE, NJ (March 15, 2007) - Hankook Tire America Corp., manufacturer of high-performance passenger car, sports car and racing tires, congratulates Patrick Barrett on his successful debut in the opening two rounds of the 2007 Pacific F2000 Championship Series presented by Hankook Tires.
With a field of 24 strong for the season opener at California Speedway in Fontana, March 10-11, the young Californian was able to claim victory in Saturday’s race, crossing the line half a second ahead of Chris Spreitzer. Sunday’s event saw nearly the same performance, but a last lap pass by Spreitzer in Turn Three gave him the lead and the victory over Barrett.
Barrett, the 17-year-old from Los Osos, California qualified fourth, on the second row for Saturday’s race in his #3 Jim Russell Racing Schools-Alpinestrars-GoPro Digital Hero Van Diemen RF05, powered by Ford Zetec. After the drop of the green flag, the teenager aggressively negotiated the first corners of the 2.88-mile, 21-turn, modified oval course, setting his sights on the leader, his PR1 Motorsports teammate Thomas Merrill, who started third. On lap eight, Barrett made the pass for the lead entering Turn three and drove on to hold off Spreitzer for the victory. Nicky Freytag finished third.
“I’m very happy with how today went,” said Barrett. “I ran a smart race and the team gave me a great car that was capable of winning. This gives me and the team great confidence going into Sunday’s event.” High winds dramatically changed the characteristics of the track for Sunday’s events. Barrett managed to post a time good enough for third spot on the grid, while Merrill claimed PR1 Motorsport’s first pole position of the season.
As the field headed into Turn Three, Merrill locked up his rear tires and spun off course, handing the lead to Spreitzer. Barrett took the lead on lap three but was unable to pull a significant gap over second spot. On the 13th and final lap, Spreitzer made his move down the inside entering Turn Three and went on to win race two. Jeff Westphall rounded out the podium, finishing third.
“It was a very close race,” said Barrett after getting out of his car. “I knew he was faster than me, but I had to hold him off for as long as possible. Unfortunately my car wasn’t handling in my favor, so by the end of the race my rear tires were spent.”
The 2007 Pacific F2000 Championship Series presented by Hankook Tires will continue with Rounds Three and Four at Willow Springs Raceway March 31- April 1. For more information, visit www.PacificF2000.com for series information and news.
About Hankook Tire America Corp.
Headquartered in Wayne, N.J., Hankook Tire America Corp. is a technology-focused, Hankook is known and respected around the world for its superior competition tires that outlast the toughest opposition. Hankook remains at the forefront of performance tire development to achieve cutting-edge results. As Hankook expands its motorsports activities, the focus will remain on technology that will keep Hankook-equipped vehicles in the winners circle. Hankook is one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world, manufacturing a wide range of tires for almost any vehicle. For more information please visit Hankook Tires on the web at www.hankooktireusa.com.