2016 Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear Mid-Season Report
Tabak, Carneiro, and Sugianto leading their class championships
June 23, 2016
A large field of Mazda powered racers took to the twisting technical Sonoma Raceway full course this past weekend for Rounds 7 and 8 of the Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear championship. The 2016 season is at the halfway point and entry size is growing, even more drivers are expected to join as the FCC Triple Crown National Championship begins in July.
“We’ve already had 28 drivers entered into the 2016 regional championship, and with the Triple Crown and IndyCar events coming up we are expecting even more talented drivers to jump into the fray,” noted Series Official Ben Hettema. “The races this weekend were so fun to watch. The level of racing has gotten Fantastic!”
Wishes Come True: Jonathan Sugianto won both races in the FormulaSPEED class, and this pushed him ahead of his teammate Carter Williams to lead the championship. Sugianto is a cancer survivor, and a previous Make-A-Wish Foundation wish recipient. His wish as a child was to meet Jeff Gordon his racing hero. Gordon’s home track is Sonoma Raceway, and his number is 24. Sugianto is running the #24 this season, and took home both wins at his first visit to the track. This was a special accomplishment for him and his family. Sugianto shared: “We just swept the weekend! Glad to have this number and glad to have won here. Very honored. Great racing with the top guys. A lot of talent in this field that I truly admire and respect. Looking forward to more. Thanks everyone…dreams do come true.”
Tabak takes over points lead, and Charles secures first podium of the season in FM class: Stew Tabak won on Saturday with his family by his side, he finished in second on Sunday which gave him enough points to steal the championship lead from Bill Weaver. His granddaughter was on hand for the win in custom #28 shoes that matched Stew’s car. Are these lucky shoes? We think so. Austen Charles, who has been running the entire championship took his first podium on Sunday. “It was great to see Austen get on the podium,” noted Series Official Ben Hettema. “He’s been very close multiple times, and we knew it was going to happen soon as he has been getting better and better each weekend.”
New Drivers Challenge Series Regulars: The Pro Mazda class added two drivers to the 2016 championship this weekend. Ian Anderson who is a rookie in the series, and Sean Prewett who is making a return to the series after a two season hiatus. Both drivers put on a great show, and were able to secure podium finishes this weekend. 14 year old karter Sting Ray Robb was a new addition to the series in the FormulaSPEED class, and learned quickly securing two podium finishes in his very first weekend.
ROUND 7 PODIUMS
Pro Formula Mazda
1st Bruno Carneiro, 2nd Sean Prewett, 3rd Jim Mali
1st Jonathan Sugianto, 2nd Sting Ray Robb, 3rd Carter Williams
1st Stew Tabak, 2nd Dutch Shultz, 3rd Bill Weaver
ROUND 8 PODIUMS:
Pro Formula Mazda
1st Bruno Carneiro, 2nd Ian Anderson 3rd Sean Prewett
1st Jonathan Sugianto, 2nd Carter Williams, 3rd Sting Ray Robb
1st Bill Weaver, 2nd Stew Tabak, 3rd Austen Charles
At every Formula Car Challenge event series partners provide additional awards to the competitors. Select drivers were awarded complimentary Goodyear Racing tires. Sugianto, Weaver, Williams and Robb were each presented with The Molecule Pole Award. The Molecule Pole Award is given to the fastest qualifier in each class. The award includes a selection of Molecule suit care products. Dutch Shultz received the Redline Oil Hard Charger Award. Next up on the FCC schedule is a double-header at Portland International Raceway over the July 4th weekend. This marks the beginning of the 2016 FCC Triple Crown National Championship. Winners of the Triple Crown become semi-finalists in Mazda’s MRT24 $100,000 scholarship program.
The Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear is part of the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout, which will see the champions of select junior open-wheel and karting series from around the world converge on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in December to vie for a scholarship to enter the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2017. Formula Car Challenge presented by Goodyear is also an Official Feeder Series of the Mazda Road to Indy.