Rookie Andrew Waring mixes it up early with veterans Iamundi and Wang
The opening weekend of the 2011 F1200 series saw 17 entries, including 3 rookies and 5 masters drivers. Saturday qualifying saw a very familiar front row from the 2010 season, with Phil Wang (#73) and Michael Iamundi (#35) taking 1st and 2nd starting positions. New to the grid, 17 year old Andrew Waring (#24) started on the inside of the 2nd row with Steve Bamford (#7) alongside and teammate Shane Viccary (#27) directly behind. Right off the start of race 1 saw a three car separation of Iamundi, Wang, and Bamford in line, with Waring closely behind. Just a couple of laps in, Wang pulled off in turn 5 with a mechanical issue. He would return to the race, but laps down. Iamundi and Bamford would swap the lead multiple times through the race, but with Iamundi taking top spot on the final lap. Waring would take a clean third place home. Fourth would go down to the wire with Viccary and Albert Spaden Jr. (#3) battling throughout the race, with Viccary taking the position side by side across the finish line. Spaden Jr. would be the first class winner of the Masters class.
Race two would begin with lots of excitement, having often front runners Viccary, Wang, and Guy Bellingham (#17) all starting from the rear. Lap one would be just that, with lots of passing through the first half of the lap. With the leaders heading into turn 5, Waring and Spadin Jr. would come into contact entering the corner. Bellingham, on his way through the field would come into contact with Spadin Jr., who was stranded on the outside of 5. Spadin Jr. would retire, with Bellingham and Waring continuing. Waring would enter the pits with a flat tire, and continue laps down. On his way back through the pack, Bellingham would get mixed up with Kevin Deevey (#25) and Sam Ashtiani (#26) in turn 2. Deevey and Ashtiani would both spin, with Ashtiani hitting the inside wall, retiring. The front of the pack had a similar look to race 1, with Iamundi and Bamford separating from the rest of the field, finishing in order. Third would see Wang, with Bellingham recovering for fourth, and Viccary fifth, holding off a strong finish by Noel Brigido (#46) and Kevin Kepelke (#4).
Race three saw a three car battle early up front between Iamundi, Bamford, and Wang. Bellingham would be pushing through the field from the back and eventually join the front pack. Also on his way through the field, Waring made his way up to 5th before retiring with a mechanical issue. The top four would swap positions all race, with Wang leading the group across the finish line ahead of Iamundi, Bamford, and Bellingham all within 1.1 seconds of the lead. 5th and 6th would go to Viccary and Kapelke, with David Taylor (#5), Brigido, Spencer Todd (#18), and Deevey all finishing within 1.2 seconds of each other for 7th.
An eventful opening weekend will now change pace to the technical Shannonville Motorsports Park July 16-17. Leading the overall championship after weekend 1 is Iamundi 84 points ahead of Bamford 67 points and Wang 53 points. Leading the new masters class is Deevey 78 points, ahead of Dave Aird (#56) 62 points and Frank O’Hanlon (#87) 34 points. Leading the rookie championship is Todd 28 points, closely followed by Waring and Taylor, both with 23 points.