A challenge for Kiwi Motorsport drivers’ Ronan Murphy and Spike Kohlbecker would describe the opening round of the 2020 Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda at Mid-Ohio Sports Course over the weekend.
Two seventh places for Kohlbecker, a 13th and a retirement for Murphy in a weekend of inclement weather which saw the first of two races run under yellow and no points awarded.
The wet weather at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Circuit meant the race was shortened from its original 30-minute to a mere 15-minutes.
Kohlbecker was optimistic after the first qualifying session on Friday commenting, “I thought I had a solid qualifying effort at 1.27.921 but that put us in sixth place – 0.715 seconds off of pole position. Solid effort by the Kiwi Motorsport NZ team to get the car ready – it was the best the car has ever been!
“In the rain we started on the ‘outside’ of the third row in 6th place which put us on the slick side of the track (racing line gets slick when it rains). We had some wheel spin on the standing start and fell back to 10th then moved back up to 7th halfway through the first lap.”
Due to the safety car-affected race, series officials declared that zero championship points would be offered and drivers would start the second race from Friday’s qualifying times.
This made it difficult for Murphy. Having started 26th for race one, he made up 13 spots before the yellow flag and then found he would be starting again from the rear of the grid for the final race.
After three restarts, Jay Howard Driver Development Driver pilot Christian Bogle held onto his pole-position start to claim the Race 2 win. The race ended in yellow after a debris from an off car littered the track forced race competition to a halt. Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport driver Dylan Tavella crossed the line second with Velocity Racing Development rookie Hunter Yeany rounding out the provisional podium.
Teams and drivers will head to Virginia International Raceway on July 17-19 for round 2.