A Successful F4 U.S. Championship Testing Day for Group-A Racing

image1The air was crisp and the pavement dry. The only noise heard for miles, the roar of a Honda motor from a new SCCA Pro Racing Formula 4 United States Championship car piloted by first-year Canadian driver Raphael Forcier racing around Roebling Road Raceway just outside of Bloomingdale, Georgia.

“The car was easy to drive. So smooth,” Forcier said with a smile and eagerness in his voice, “The handling was great. This is going to be a lot of fun.”

Forcier, 16, grew up in Montreal where he got his start in motorsports by racing dirt bikes. He then transitioned into karts, competing in the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship earning top five championship results in points.

He graduated this past winter to the Skip Barber Winter 2015-16 Series. There, in his rookie season, he obtained one feature win at Homestead-Miami Speedway and six podium finishes; landing him fourth in the points standings for the season.

Group-A Racing, a New York-based racing team that owns cars from karting to the F2000 series and also competed on the 2011 season reality show Circuit Battles, drafted Forcier as its driver in April to compete in the #62 Parizeau Pawulski Architects car for the inaugural F4 U.S. Championship season.

“The car has been perfect right out of the Crawford [Composites] factory,” team manager Johnathan Scarallo boasted. “It ran perfectly. We did nothing to it other than change some initial set-ups to learn nuances of the car. Raphael is also doing a fantastic job behind the wheel.”

Today was the first time Group-A Racing has had the opportunity to test the car with a fullimage2 team. They have two additional days left of testing before the first open practice prior to the season opener in June.

All F4 U.S. Championship cars are manufactured in North America, adding to the affordability of the sport. The F4 U.S. Championship was created by Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing because both parties saw the need for a ladder series where young drivers could transition from karting to Formula 3.

The F4 series was created in 2014 and has flourished since with 12 FIA-approved series around the world. The F4 U.S. Championship is unique because all the competitors’ start with the same Honda motor, Pirelli tires and Crawford Composites chassis, making it truly focused on driver development and competitiveness.

“The series has a lot of good drivers,” Forcier commented. “The racing is going to be exciting!”

The F4 U.S. Championship season kicks off June 10-12 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey. Tickets are available at njmp.com or by calling the New Jersey Motorsports Park box office. Fans can follow Forcier’s progress on his Instagram (@raphaelforcier62) or the car’s development at Group-A Racing’s Facebook (facebook.com/GroupARacing).

*Written by F4 U.s Championship

Forcier Joins U.S Formula 4 With Group-A Racing

Lindenhurst, New York (April 5, 2016) – Group-A Racing is proud to announce they have signed 16 year old Canadian, Raphael Forcier, to compete in the inaugural FIA United States Formula 4 Championship. Raphael will drive the #62 Parizeau Pawulski Architects Formula 4 car fielded by Group-A Racing.

Forcier is a16 year old Canadian who is born and raised in Montreal. He is fluent in two languages speaking both French and English. Raphael got his start in motorsports, first racing dirt bikes before transitioning to four wheels competing in the Eastern Canadian Karting Championship. He most recently earned a top 5 championship result in the points standings before making the move up to cars in the 2015-2016 Skip Barber Winter Series. In his first season racing cars Raphael earned a win at Homestead-Miami Speedway and 6 podium finishes on his way to a 4th place finish in the championship standings during his rookie car campaign.

Raphael will now step up to compete in the inaugural season of the U.S Formula 4 Championship with Group-A Racing, looking to further develop his career with the tools both the FIA and the Group-A Racing team has to offer.

With Forcier joining Group-A Racing Formula 4 program he will get the unique opportunity of working with Ian Brown as his engineer who has over 25 years in Indy Car. He will be learning the engineering side of the sport from one of the best in the business who has seen it all at the top levels.

“I am really excited to have Raphael graduate to Formula 4 with our team” said Group-A Racing team manager Jonathan Scarallo. “He has done a really nice job during his rookie season in cars and with the coaching and engineering expertise he will receive from us he will continue to get better during every test and race weekend to achieve great results.”

“I am very grateful to have a seat with Group-A Racing for the opening season of the FIA U.S Formula 4 Series” said Forcier. “I am really excited to be working with Jonathan Scarallo & my engineer Ian Brown. I am looking forward to achieving success throughout the season with great teamwork.”

Raphael will get his first experience with the team and the Crawford built Formula 4 car during a 3 day test in 2 weeks. He will then get more days of pre season testing in May looking to hit the ground running for the season opener at Lime Rock Park.

For more information on the team along with other test & race opportunities please contact Jonathan Scarallo GroupARacing@aol.com or 631-974-4379.

Group-A Racing Adds Veteran Engineer Ian Brown

Lindenhurst, New York (February 3, 2016) – Group-A Racing is pleased to announce the addition of veteran, engineer Ian Brown to the team. Ian comes to Group-A Racing after most recently competing with Andretti Autosport. Ian will work with the team’s FIA Formula 4 program and Formula Lites Championship. The addition of Ian to the team is effective immediately.

Ian Joins Group-A Racing having worked with some of the most famous teams and drivers around the world – race teams such as Andretti Autosport, Forsyth Racing, Patrick Racing, Toll/HSV, and Bryan Herta Autosport, and with drivers such as Scott Pruett, James Hinchliffe, Scott Speed, Tanner Foust, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jean Alesi and Al Unser Sr just to name a few.

Ian got his start in 1977 as a mechanic and quickly worked up the ladder to Indy Car. He got his first engineering opportunity in 1991. He has worked at the top levels of motorsports both here in the United States and in Australia, in the super competitive Australian V8 Super Car Championship. He has won the biggest races in both continents as well such as the 1993 Indy 500, along with the 2003, 2004, 2006 Bathurst 1000. In 1997 Ian was award the CAM Shock Specialist Of The Year award in Indy Car, a racing community award to the outstanding Damper Tech of the year. In 2013 Ian was hired by Andretti Autosport to be a part of all of their programs with the main focus in 2013 being USF2000. He won the rookie title with Garret Grist capturing a race win and many podiums along the way. In 2014 he engineered the Global Rally Cross program winning many races in a championship battle.

During this time, Ian has become very involved with the development of Chassis Sim, which is one of the biggest chassis simulation programs. This program is used by Indy Car itself, along with most of the Indy Car teams as well as other pinnacle series teams around the world.

“Ian is going to add so much to our team and I am so excited about him coming aboard” commented team manager Jonathan Scarallo. “Ian has been a long time friend of mine and obviously some one I always wanted to hire because of everything he has to offer, and I am incredibly happy for the stars to have finally aligned so it could happen this year. He will also add to the driver development side of things, teaching them how to give feedback and do debriefs to the level as it will be expected from them in Indy Car, as well as add all of his expertise in the engineering and simulation side of things. Because of Ian we will be able to do things for our drivers that nobody else in the paddock will be able to do.”

“I am looking to forward to this new challenge with these awesome state of the art cars” said Brown “It’s essential for the entire team to focus on the same goal, we will always adapt the car for the driver and conditions to get maximum performance. With that, we will be able to consistently challenge for wins and hopefully the championship.”

Drivers interested in testing and race opportunities with the team’s FIA Formula 4 program & Formula Lites program can contact them via 631-974-4379 or GroupARacing@aol.com

Jackie Ding Returns to Formula Lites with Group-A Racing for 2016

Indianapolis, Indiana (December 11, 2015) – Announced today at the Performance Racing Industry Show (PRI Show) Jackie Ding has re-signed to return with Group-A Racing for a sophomore campaign in the 2016 Formula Lites Series. The announcement was done during a press conference hosted by Honda, also announcing a new 2.0 liter turbo charged engine for the Formula Lites cars in 2016. With the agreement between Jackie Ding and Group-A, is also an extension with him as part of the Group-A Racing Driver Development Program.
Jackie has been part of the Group-A Racing Driver Development program since the beginning of his career, which only started two years ago. He got his start in the Skip Barber Regional Series working with his private coach provide by Group-A, which saw him improve at a rapid rate. Ding was able to achieve success in a very short time earning poles, wins and numerous podium results. After that he stepped up into pro racing, competing in the inaugural Formula Lites Series last year with Group-A Racing. The young Chinese born driver improved all throughout the year earning many podiums and a win at VIR, which was a 1-2 sweep for Group-A Racing.
“I am really happy to have Jackie back for another year in Formula Lites” said team manager Jonathan Scarallo. “He has been such a pleasure to work with from every single perspective. This will be the first time in his short career that he is returning to a series, which will be a great chance for him to really sink his teeth into a championship effort. I am confident he will be a very serious threat with us all year long.”
“I’m very excited to be back with Group-A Racing and campaigning in Formula Lites!” said Jackie Ding “Everyone at Group-A helped me ever since the beginning of my career, and I fully appreciate what they have done for me. With one year of experience in chassis #007 FL15 already, I can’t wait to go out and fight for this years Formula Lites title!”
As part of being in the Group-A Racing Driver Development Program, Jackie will continue receiving assistance in building his brand, activating sponsorship, along with career management preparing for future programs. Plans have12038305_1694722410760822_4111729996932531006_n been put into motion for opportunities for Jackie in 2017. In 2016 Jackie will again drive #86 FL15 sponsored by Huewei, EVE Energy and Zone District Clothing.
Drivers interested in testing and race opportunities with Group-A Racing can contact them via 631-974-4379 or GroupARacing@aol.com

Group-A Racing Commits to F4 United States Championship With 4 Cars

Lindenhurst, New York (October 1st, 2015) – This time last year Group-A Racing was making preparations to compete in the inaugural season of the Formula Lites Series. The Formula Lites cars are built by Crawford composites, powered by Honda engines, run on Pirelli tires and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. Twelve months later Group-A Racing is pleased to announce the expansion of operations into the new F4 United States Championship.

The F4 United States Championship is a new FIA sanctioned international series, with the cars built by Crawford Composites, powered by Honda engines, run on Pirelli tires and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing with the FIA affiliation. The series will serve as a starting point for drivers making the transition from karts to cars. It will also serve as a feeder series to the Formula Lites Series after drivers have competed in the F4 Championship and are ready to move up.

Group-A Racing has already purchased four cars from Crawford and will have some of the first cars coming out of the factory. The aggressive approach is to make sure the team can be ‘first in best dressed’ for the inaugural season. This same approach was used for them with Formula Lites in 2015, which allowed the team to have a lot of success winning races, including a 1-2 sweep at VIR.

F4 is a global concept created by the FIA being used around the world. All the series are spec series with carbon chassis cars, paddle shift, and engines making 160HP. The concept is brought in to make economical equipment and operating cost while still giving all the latest technology and safety to the drivers. The series will be the only junior category in the United States at the moment that a driver can earn points to one day achieve a FIA super license to race in the pinnacle of motorsports – Formula 1.

“Formula 4 is the perfect introduction class for our program as a team,” said team manager Jonathan Scarallo. “We are all about driver development and we have been missing a proper introductory series to transfer the drivers from karts to cars. Formula 4 gives the drivers all the tools they need, with modern state of the art cars and fantastic commercial partners such as Honda, Pirelli, Crawford, SCCA, FIA etc. On top of that, it’s an economical series to run in creating a lot of value for the drivers. It will be a great training platform for drivers to get their start in cars and then move up the ladder with us to Formula Lites.”

The team is already in deep negotiations with numerous drivers to fill the four seats they are offering. Interested drivers can contact the team via 631-974-4379 or GroupARacing@aol.com.

Group-A Racing Sweeps Front Row & Wins at Houston

Lindenhurst, New York (September 24, 2015) - Group-A Racing ended the inaugural Formula Lites in a very strong manner. Both its team’s drivers started 1-2 in both races with Jose Armida earning his first win during the weekend.

           The weekend started off with the promoter’s test day and official practice, with both drivers coming up to speed and working with the teams engineers to make necessary adjustments to deal with the bumpy MSR Houston circuit. The team had good pace but was still looking for more going into qualifying.

The team made some last minute adjustments going into qualifying which paid off. Jose Armida earned his first pole of the year for himself and the team at his home track. Group-A Racing teammate, Jackie Ding ,qualified second giving the team a 1-2 sweep in qualifying. The top three were covered by a staggering .059 of a second showcasing the incredibly tight competition in the Honda powered series.

At the start of race 1 Jose Armida would build a gap over the field with teammate Ding running third. Armida would be hounded down by the 2015 champ, Papareli. The two of them went at it for numerous laps until finally Papareli was able to get by Armida. In the end the Group-A Racing duo would finish 2-3.

Race two would see the Group-A Racing drivers again start 1-2, but this time it was Jackie Ding checking out with an early lead. He was setting the fastest lap of the race until sadly, 12038305_1694722410760822_4111729996932531006_nhe made a mistake causing a spin. Jose Armida was there to pick up the lead. Just as he did during race one, he had to hold off a hard charging Papareli. The two even had contact on the last lap, but Armida held him off to earn his first series win.

The team has already started to schedule off season testing and talking with drivers looking to race in the series next year. Group-A Racing plans to expand from two cars to four cars full season in Formula Lites. Interested drivers in both testing and 2016 race seats can contact them via 631-974-4379 or GroupARacing@aol.com

Post Event Quotes:

Team Manager Jonathan Scarallo: “I am really just so proud of everybody involved with this. Jackie and Jose have improved so much during the year; the crew has done a fantastic job all year and this is a great way to end the year. We have been so close to so many poles, so to finally earn one is great, but more important another win is even better. Especially for Jose to earn his first win at his sponsor’s track, it could not happen at a better time. It’s a shame the season has to end when we are on such a roll, but we will carry this momentum into the off season and into 2016.”

Jose Armida Driver #7 MSR Houston FL15: “First off all I want to thank Group A Racing for the amazing job they did this year and also MSR Houston for the support along the season. The weekend was great, we achieved our first pole position and also our first victory in the series. We were looking for this all season and we worked really hard for it. Hope to be back next year and win the championship!”

Jackie Ding Driver #86 Huawei Honor, EVE Energy FL15: “It wasn’t the best of weekends for me personally, as I think I could have, and definitely should have, done better, but I’m also very proud of our effort and performance as a team. To see Jose qualify on pole and finally take a win is a testament to both the team and his own improvement, so congrats to him for all that he has achieved. As for myself, all I can say is I am happy about how far I’ve come since the beginning of the season, and I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful team. Of course I won’t settle for third happily, so even though the season is over, I am fully motivated to work all through the winter to become better. Thank you to Huawei Honor, Eve Energy, Zone District, all of my supporters, and of course Group-A Racing for the great opportunity they’ve given me. Next year, I’ll be ready to fight for the championship!”


Group-A Racing Earns 2-3 Finish at Pikes Peak

Lindenhurst, New York (September 10, 2015) – Rounds 9 & 10 have come and gone this past weekend for Group-A Racing in the inaugural Formula Lites Series at Pikes Peak
image2International. Group-A Racing drivers Jackie Ding & Jose Armida earned a 2-3 finish in both rounds after showing vey strong pace throughout the weekend.

The weekend started off with the promoters test day. Jackie Ding finished the morning quickest on the time sheets with Jose Armida not far behind. The next day gave the drivers official practice sessions & qualifying for race one.

Qualifying turned into a very exciting battle for pole position. Group-A Racing’s Jackie Ding initially put the car on the pole to end up on the outside pole nipped by .03 of a second. Jose Armida earned 3rd only four tenths off.

“From one perspective I am incredibly pleased, but the competitor in me is very bitter at the moment” said team manager Jonathan Scarallo. “I am very proud of the cars we put on track and the effort both drivers and the team put in, but it’s tough to come so close to earning the pole and not getting it.The last two races we have missed the pole by a total of 1 tenth of a second when you add up the difference from both events. It’s all good though, we’ll try and get it in the race when it really counts.”

In race one Jackie Ding & championship leader Pappereli battled it out for the lead, trading fastest lap of the race back and forth. As the race went on Pappereli was able to stretch abit of a lead taking the win over Ding. Jose Armida was tremendously consistent and ran 3rd the whole race to add another podium to his tally forthe year.

Race two, the top four were inverted placing Jose Armida on the outside pole and Jackie Ding in 3rd for the start. Going into turn one both Group-A Racing drivers and Pappereli were three wide and had some minor contact during the fierce tight battle. Coming out of turn one the running order was Bell, Armida,Papereli and Ding all nose-to-tail. Jose immediately pounced on Bell in turn two on lap one to take the lead. Armida led the first few laps with Pappereli and Group-A Racing team mate Jackie Ding chasing him down. The three battled it out the first third of the race. Eventually when the checkered flag flew,Group-A Racing would earn another 2-3 finish with Ding 2nd and Armida 3rd.

Post EventQuotes:

Team manager Jonathan Scarallo: “Overall I am happy with everything from this weekend. We were part of very close battles in qualifying and both races, but sadly come up a bit short. I am very happy with the way we have developed our cars; both drivers told us the cars were perfect during the races for them which is great to hear. Now we will keep working hard on developing our package and developing our drivers to hopefully finally earn a pole at MSR Houston and hopefully a couple more wins.”

Jackie DingDriver #86 Huawei, EVE Energy, Zone District FL-15: The results certainly weren’t bad, but I’m also frustrated about the fact that we couldn’t get a first place or a pole, or just a fastest lap! Frustration aside, I’m really happy about how far we have come from the first race in Thompson. I would love to end the season strong in MSR Houston, so that’s what I’ll work toward until then!

Jose Armida Driver #7 MSR Houston FL-15: “It was a good weekend. Even though I didn’t achieve the results I was looking for, I was able to be very consistent. Second race was more exciting than first one, I lead some laps but I couldn’t quite get the win. I will continue to work, so I can be better at my home race at MSR Houston.”

 

Cameron Das Joins Group-A Racing For CMP

Cameron Das Joins Group-A Racing For CMP

Lindenhurst, New York (August 11, 2015) – Coming off a 1-2 sweep at the last round at VIR, Group-A Racing will be expanding into a 3 car program for the next Formula Lites round at Carolina Motorsports Park. Group-A Racing Development Driver Cameron Das will move up to make his pro racing debut this weekend in the Formula Lites Series.

            Das, a 15 year old from Baltimore, Maryland, joined the Group-A Racing Driver Development program this past March, with a plan for him to make the transition from karts to cars doing the Bertil Roos Racing School. From there, he moved into the Bertil Roos FF2000 Series where he earned his first win in just his second race weekend last month. He has been able to get some testing time in a Honda powered F1600 car and recently just finished his first SCCA Majors race, where he won the second part of the double header. Now he will move up the Honda ladder system to Formula Lites Series with Group-A Racing, to get his feet wet for a full season campaign in 2016.

“Cameron has been progressing at a very rapid rate” said Group-A Racing team manager Jonathan Scarallo, who has been doing all the private coaching with Cameron. “He is very methodical with his approach and does a great job of taking the feedback I give him, applying it and therefore going quicker every time out. I am confident he is going to do a great job and surprise most of the paddock on how quick he is right out of the gate.”

Off the track Cameron is an excellent student & was recently accepted to an elite boarding school,Phillips Exeter School for the fall semester. Out of over 3,000 applications for the entire school, less then 400 were accepted, with Cameron being one of them.

The entry for Cameron will be a joint venture between Group-A Racing and Howard Motorsort who had a car become available last minute making this opportunity a possibility. This will make it a 3 car program for Group-A which brings them one step closer to running 4 cars in the series as originally planned.

“I am extremely excited to participate in the upcoming race and I am grateful for the confidence Group-A, and specifically Jonathan Scarallo, have in my abilities” said Cameron. “From the moment I first saw the Formula Lites car, I was intrigued by the series and technology behind this amazing car. I am also thankful to Max Crawford for allowing me the opportunity to test the car and Katherine Legge for her guidance and feedback during the event. With the support I have been given by Crawford and Group-A, I believe I am ready for the Formula Lites experience and look forward to my first Pro race this weekend at Carolina Motorsports Park.”

The seat will become available yet again for the final two rounds at Pikes Peak International & MSR Houston for one-offs or a package to do both races. Interested drivers who would like to compete in these races can contact the team via (631) 957-3901 GroupARacing@aol.com

Group-A Racing Earns 1-2 Finish at VIR

Lindenhurst, New York (June 28, 2015) – Group-A Racing had a record setting weekend this past weekend during the Formula Lites event at Virginia International Raceway. The team was the first ever in series history to achieve a 1-2 sweep with its drivers Jackie Ding & Jose Armida.

It had been 5 weeks since the last race at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Group-A Racing kept busy during the break with a testing program to further develop their car setups, as well as coaching its drivers to improve doing race simulations and qualifying simulations. After successful couple of days the team and its drivers were feeling confident going into the event.

The weekend did not start off as everybody had hoped with the initial expected speed not showing. The drivers mainly worked with their driver coach ,Jonathan Scarallo, to make the necessary improvements to find the time needed.

Qualifying would give mixed emotions for the teams drivers. Jose Armida made a very big improvement yet again and earned the outside pole. Jackie Ding, sadly had a mistake on his third flying lap that forced an early end to his session. With that, he still he managed to qualify 3rd.

“Overall I am pleased with how the weekend has gone” said team manager and driver coach Jonathan Scarallo. “I have worked really hard coaching the drivers and they have done a great job of taking the coaching, applying it ,and therefore going quicker every time. We hoped we could maybe grab the pole, but still it was a good showing and we can challenge for the win tomorrow.”

At the start, Jackie Ding challenged his Group-A Racing teammate going into turn one. Jose would hold him off and continue to for the next three laps. On lap four Jackie got by his teammate going into turn one and set his sights on the leader who had built a 4 Group-A Racing team photo after 1-2 sweepsecond gap while the two Group-A Racing drivers battled. Ding & Papperlli started to trade fastest lap of the race causing the lead to stay at the 4 second gap. Through persistent pressure applied by Ding, Papperlli made a mistake in the final corner giving Jackie the lead and Jose 2nd. The Group-A Racing duo kept it that way to the checkered flag giving the team and the Formula Lites Series their first ever 1-2 finish.

In race two Jose Armida started third and Jackie Ding started fourth. Both drivers got good starts moving up to 2nd and 3rd. The Group-A Racing duo hounded Nick Neri for the lead. Unfortunately, Jackie’s race would come to an early end, when a parts failure occurred in the left rear. Jose Armida started to run Neri down for the lead, cutting it down lap-by-lap. Armida got to the leader at the very end but did not have enough time to find a way past, coming home with another second place finish.

“This result is such an incredible feeling” said Jonathan Scarallo “We worked really hard during the break and to earn a 1-2 finish the first race back is incredible. Everybody in the team and the drivers have worked so hard this year and it’s great to see the on track results showcasing the work that has been put in. It’s very unfortunate to have the mechanical situation with Jackie in race two. If it was not for that we might have swept both races. It’s the first time one of our cars has had a mechanical DNF since 2009, but that’s racing sometimes. We’ll get it fixed for the next one.”

“I’m extremely happy about the progress that we made and the results that we have achieved together. Not only did my driving improve a lot with help from the team, our understanding of these Formula Lites cars also grew immensely. To come home with a victory feels amazing, not to mention it being a one-two finish for Group-A Racing. It’s the perfect way to say “Thank You“ to the team! Before the next race, I’ll be working harder than ever to get another victory!” said Jackie Ding

“It was a very good weekend for everyone. The team, Jackie and I worked very hard the last days and I think it payed off. We are the first team in Formula Lites to have a 1-2 and I think that it is pretty special. Looking forward to do it all over again at Carolina Motorsports Park next month!” said Jose Armida.

For more information on race and testing opportunities with Group-A Racing contact them via 631-957-3901 or GroupARacing@aol.com

Double Podium Results for Group-A Racing at Thompson

Lindenhurst, New York (June 3, 2015) – This past weekend was the time many

Jose Armida #7 MSR Houston

Jose Armida #7 MSR Houston

people in the motorsports industry were waiting for; the inaugural Formula Lites Series race weekend. With big commercial partners behind the series such as Honda HPD & Pirelli, along with beautiful modern state-of-the-art cars built by Crawford Composites, many were anxious to see it officially happen.

Group-A Racing was one of those anxious after starting to plan a program to run in the series a little over a year ago. The team had two young drivers with 17 year old Chinese driver Jackie Ding and 21 year old Mexican Jose Armida, who raced with Group-A in F2000 during the 2013 season.

Jackie Ding #86 Huawei Honor, EVE Energy

Jackie Ding #86 Huawei Honor, EVE Energy

Thursday offered all the teams and drivers a test day to start to learn the Thompson Speedway layout and the series spec FL-15 car. Lead engineer, Angelo Zarra, had a long list of things to test on the setups to start learning about the car. Each session offered them more time to try more things and give the drivers more time to tune their driving style for this new car. Both the team & drivers improved every session, setting its fastest times of the day during the last session despite tires being old and the track being much hotter.

“So far I can’t really have any complaints.” Said team manager Jonathan Scarallo. “Both drivers have kept the cars on track; we learned a tremendous amount about the FL-15 cars and they have run flawlessly right out of the Crawford factory.”

Friday offered everybody two more practice sessions and then qualifying for race one on Saturday. Sadly, during the opening minutes of practice that morning Jackie Ding made an error causing an off and a crash. The damage consisted of both left side corners along with the front wing & nose. The team got on it immediately, thrashing to put the car back together and managed to get it all fixed in just 3 hours time so that he could make qualifying.

Jackie then returned the favor to the team putting in a last lap flyer placing him third on the grid. Jose did the same thing as well placing him fifth, but only a few tenths behind second.

 

Both Group-A Racing cars fought hard and clean during race one

Both Group-A Racing cars fought hard and clean during race one

Lead engineer Angelo Zarra continued to make more changes to the cars going into the race, which paid off in particular for Jose Armida. He immediately set his fastest lap of the weekend and jumped into fourth position, all over his Group-A Racing team mate for third. The two drivers battled all race long with Jackie managing to hold off his teammate for third & Jose finishing fourth.

Race two saw both Group-A Racing cars starting on the front row. Unfortunately, Jackie got hit in the back on the start, bending his right rear toe arm, essentially ending his race. Jose fought all race long, now being the defender instead of the attacker, holding off race one winner, Nick Neri, for second.

“While we always go to the race track to win, I am very happy with everything from this weekend” said Jonathan Scarallo. “The drivers improved every session, Angelo made a lot of great adjustments to the cars making them quicker all through out the weekend and the cars ran great right out of the box. It has been great to be here after so much work going into making this happen, and it’s been fantastic having so much support from Honda, Pirelli & the media outlets that have been covering the event. Now it’s time to see how we can move one step up the podium at NJMP in just 2 weeks!”

Driver Quotes:

Jackie Ding, #86 Huawei Honor, EVE Energy, Zone District: “To me, this was a great beginning to a new chapter, said Jackie Ding. The #86 FL15 was fantastic” said 17 year old Jackie Ding. “Everyone at Group-A was completely supportive, and starting the new season with a podium finish felt awesome. However, I can’t get complacent, since I am still the performance-limiting piece of the puzzle. I still lack the physical strength and experience to continuously push the car to the limit, so I must work hard to become better. Overall, I must thank Group-A Racing, for providing me with such a great team, as well as Huawei Honor, Eve Engergy and Zone District for their support. I will strive to become better as the season continues.”

Jose Armida, #7 MSR Houston: “This was a great start for me. The team, Jackie and I worked hard all weekend and we achieved solid results. It was definitely a good way to start and I am looking forward to improving more at New Jersey in a few weeks” said Mexican Jose Armida.