Jesse Lazare made his debut in the F1600 Championship Series this past weekend aboard his Piper DF5/Honda prepared by BGR Team Grote.
In his third race in his young career, Lazare had to adapt to his third different series in as many races as he also had his first go on the series spec Hoosier tire. A mere eight weeks past his 15th birthday Jesse was up against a very stout field of far more experienced racers. With former National Champions among the talented field Lazare quickly got up to speed and progressed throughout the weekend.
Qualifying was a tough go on the Saturday as a sway bar issue hampered the effort put forth by the young driver. Race one on the saturday produced a thriling battle for the win among a five car breakaway and just behind them was another five car battle that was just as intense. Lazare moved up to the 7th position and battled with the runner up from last years championship Tim Kautz. A small mistake at the end of the backstraight and just as quick as that he dropped spots to 11th. A strong recovery yeilded a 9th place finishing position.
A better qualifying for the Sunday round resulted in the 8th fastest spot and high hopes to get to the front group for the race. At the drop of the green Lazare moved forward to 6th and challenged the eventual second place car of Garret Grist for the first few laps. As things settled in it was a high speed train of cars to through the top 10. A battle with the Piper of Kautz lasted for another few laps but then a slip up at the carousel cost momentum and then a position as the reigning National Champion Lewis Cooper slipped by. The two then swapped positions again but when the checkered flag fell it was Lazare in 8th for his Pro racing debut.
“We are very sastified with the results this weekend, commented team owner Brian Graham, that was as impressive an entry list as I have seen in many years. Some of the most respected names in F1600 the USA has to offer and added to that the young international stars and you have a great series to race in. We almost forget that this is Jesse’s third race ever and he is already fighting with the best out there. We have thrown him into the deep end, first the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship, then the Formula Tour 1600, and now this series at three of the most difficult tracks in North America.”
BGR Team Grote is back in action this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for rounds 7 and 8 of the Toyo Tires F1600 Championship. The duo of Jack Mitchell Jr ,who has just been announced as a candidate for the Team USA Scholarship, and Lazare will be both going for the wins along with Marc Bishara who will make his debut at CTMP and B class reigning champion Kieran Murphy. Ivan Graham will also be out for his first event of the season to round out a five car team for BGR.
BGR Team Grote has put more drivers in the winners circle than any other team in OFFC history and continues to strive to provide the perfect
environment for karters to make the transition to the open wheel ranks. The winners of the past 6 consecutive years of Rookie of the Year will be
looking to continue that tradition this season. To learn more about the team visit www.briangrahamracing.com