Lindenhurst, New York (April 18, 2017) – The season opener for the 2017 FIA F4 United States Championship powered by Honda came to a close this past weekend. While the weekend got off to a slow start, Group-A Racing capped it off with a hard charge fight to the front earning a 4th place finish.
The team entered one car for this weekend with Jonathan Scarallo getting behind the wheel despite having not been in a car to race for 5 years. That along with the last minute nature had the team starting off a bit behind, but had constant improvement in the incredibly competitive 33 car field.
Qualifying was interrupted with red flag stoppages only allowing the team to put a time in good enough for 19th, only 1.061 off pole in the very tight field.
“Qualifying certainly did not go to plan” said Jonathan Scarallo. “We made a change to the car which was good but unfortunately never really got to put in a lap with the stoppages and no draft help. I think we can move forward in the race though.”
Scarallo got a good jump from the standing start to move up a few spots before a full course yellow came out only a handful of laps into the race. Restarts proved to be a strength for Jonathan despite not having racing in the past 5 years. He gained 3 more spots on the initial restart before passing New Zealander Brandon Leitich for 11th. Unfortunately yet another full course yellow came out and the race would end under that safety car period.
Race 2 saw Group-A Racing’s Jonathan Scarallo starting 15th and he would yet again get a good jump off the line to gain a few spots before a full course yellow coming out on lap 3 just like in race 1. Jonathan got yet another great restart to jump up to 8th and chasing down the cars in front to then quickly move up to 6th. The next lap he would get caught in a 4 wide scenario, which wisdom prevailed in the long run to back out, but pushed him back to 9th. Unfortunately, the full course yellow came out right after this and the race never got restarted again and had to settle for 9th.
More changes and work were done to the car to improve for the final race which was needed, since Scarallo was starting 18th for the final race of the weekend. As he did in the previous two races, a good jump off the line saw him gain 4 spots on the start and avoiding an opening lap crash allowed the Group-A Racing driver to move up to 10th in the opening two laps before the full course yellow came out. Yet again Scarallo got past a car on the restart, moving him up to 9th and made a 3 wide pass a few laps later to move up to 6th. Scarallo made quick work to catch the top 5 cars but was running out of time. He passed Brandon Leitich for 5th with three laps to go and got around Cape Motorsports Mathias Soler-Obel on the final lap for 4th just coming up short to get Forcier as well for the final spot on the podium.
“All-in-all this weekend has been very good. Naturally the competitor has taken over inside of me and I want better results, but I’m pleased with how everything went this weekend. I was worried that my driving and race craft would be very rusty since I have not raced since 2011, but I got over that very quickly and everybody with the Group-A Racing team did a great job, making the car better for me every single race. Were all going to do our homework and come back stronger for the next one at Indianapolis.”
Group-A Racing will see 2016 F4 U.S Championship runner up Konrad Czaczyk join them for the races at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Mosport) and Circuit of the Americas. Drivers interested in testing and racing with Group-A Racing in the other 2017 F4 events contact them via 631-974-4379 or GroupARacing@aol.com