Home News Elkin wins again at Barber but Wheldon grows USF Juniors lead

Elkin wins again at Barber but Wheldon grows USF Juniors lead

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

International Motorsport’s Ariel Elkin took another lights-to-flag win in USF Juniors race two at Barber Motorsports Park.

His mirrors were filled for most of the race by Velocity Racing Development’s Sebastian Wheldon, who grew his championship lead to seven points by finishing second.

The second-best laptimes from qualifying set the grid, and Elkin earned pole by 0.168 seconds over Exclusive Autosport’s Jack Jeffers. Wheldon qualified third, ahead of title rival Liam McNeilly (Jay Howard Driver Development), Leandro Juncos and Bruno Ribeiro (both DEForce Racing).

A violent crash in the previous race that damaged his car meant Ribeiro was unable to make it to the grid, nor was JHDD’s Ava Dobson or Exclusive’s Anthony Martella.

Elkins repeated his race one trick of mastering the rolling start, as Jeffers came under immediate pressure and was already out of the race following an incident at turn five that also sent McNeilly down the order.

A caution period was required on lap two to recover Jeffers’ car, and Wheldon ran second ahead of Elkin’s team-mate Augusto Soto-Schirripa, Juncos and Exclusive’s Evan Cooley on the lap four restart. Cooley overcooked it at turn five and dropped to seventh behind VRD’s Max Taylor and Zanella Racing’s Leonardo Escorpioni, while Elkin pulled away again.

The pace car was back out the next lap as Escorpioni crashed out at turn five, and his time racing did not resume until lap nine. There was drama at the same corner, with DEForce’s Brady Golan going off after contact and dropping down the order but managing to stay in the race.

Juncos passed Soto-Schirripa for third at turn five on lap 10, then there was a much calmer second half to the race. The gap between the top two sat between 0.35 and 0.44 seconds, with Wheldon never daring to attempt a pass.

Soto-Schirripa got back past Juncos on lap 13 of 20 and held the position, while the battle for fifth fell back. Joao Vergara came to challenge Taylor, and passed him on lap 10. But a lap later Taylor and Cooley demoted Vergara after some frantic side-by-side action.

There was change again on lap 12, as Cooley ran into the back of Taylor and with front wing damage then went off at turn seven and rejoined near the back. Taylor escaped, Vergara reclaimed seventh but then came under pressure from Teddy Musella due to the lapped Golan getting in his way.

Ayden Ingratta and Patricio Gonzalez also managed to demote Rodrigo Gonzalez to 10th after he also found Golan in his way.

Race result (20 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Ariel Elkin International Motorsport 33m50.4847s
2 Sebastian Wheldon VRD +0.5056s
3 Augusto Soto-Schirripa International Motorsport +4.0077s
4 Leandro Juncos DEForce Racing +4.8731s
5 Max Taylor VRD +8.8123s
6 Joao Vergara Exclusive Autosport +14.3530s
7 Teddy Musella Zanella Racing +16.0206s
8 Adyen Ingratta JHDD +16.4580s
9 Patricio Gonzalez DEForce Racing +18.6781s
10 Rodrigo Gonzalez DEForce Racing +18.9129s
11 Christian Cameron VRD +22.3581s
12 Aidan Potter JHDD +28.6847s
13 Jeshua Alianell DEForce Racing +31.6208s
14 Timothy Carel JHDD +32.2288s
15 Michael Suco VRD +34.2079s
16 Hudson Potter JHDD +38.0752s
17 Giovanni Cabrera Exclusive Autosport +53.0444s
18 Diego Guiot Zanella Racing +1 lap
19 Jack Jeffers Exclusive Autosport +1 lap
20 Brady Golan DEForce Racing +1 lap
21 Evan Cooley Exclusive Autosport +1 lap
Ret G3 Argyros JHDD
Ret Leonardo Escorpioni Zanella Racing
Ret Liam McNeilly JHDD
DNS Bruno Ribeiro DEForce Racing
DNS Anthony Martella Exclusive Autosport
DNS Ava Dobson JHDD
Pole: Elkin, 1m25.6189s   Fastest lap: Elkin, 1m26.7026s

Championship standings
Wheldon 130   2 Elkin 123   3 McNeilly 101   4 Taylor 92   5 Soto-Schirripa 78   6 Jeffers 74   7 Juncos 58   8 Ingratta 48   9 Cooley 47   10 Vergara 47