Andretti Autosport’s Star Mazda driver, Zach Veach, came to the Auto Club Speedway for the final three rounds of the Formula Car Challenge Presented by Goodyear Winter Series with an 11-point lead having won the first two rounds held at Infineon Raceway from pole position. Veach picked up where he left off in Sonoma by taking pole again for both the regional and national races, this time on the rain-soaked road course at Fontana. Rain has never bothered the young racer, quite the contrary, he enjoys it.
“I have always loved racing in the rain and there’s a pretty good chance for it in tomorrows race so it will be an exciting one and a really good learning experience with more seat time in the rain with this car!” — Zach Veach, #77 Andretti Autosport
He did more that best the field in qualification, though. He destroyed them! His pole-setting time of 1:49.826 was 7.404 seconds fast than his nearest competitor around the 2.8-mile Sports Car Course layout. 7.4 SECONDS! His nearest competitors were Jim Mashburn and Carlos Linares who posted times 1:57.230 and 1:57.510, respectively. At that rate, Zach would lap the field in a mere 16 laps!
While Zach may thoroughly enjoy racing in the rain, the electrical system of his Star Mazda machine does not. Toward the end of the qualifying session for tomorrow’s National Race, electrical problems began to arise. Despite an all-out effort by the crew to get the car back into proper order, the problem reemerged at the beginning of the Regional Race #1 forcing Veach to record his first DNF of the five-race series.
Tomorrow, Zach will resume his customary position, starting from pole, for the National Race, but because of his DNF, he will start from the back of the grid, 16th, for Regional Race #2.
“We were excited this morning because, like we thought it would, the rain came and I’ve always been a big fan of driving in wet conditions. The first qualifying session went great and we took pole (for regional race one) by over seven seconds. In the second qualifying session (for the national race) we got pole as well but water started getting into the electronics and something went wrong with the electrical system in the car. We ripped the car apart and thought we had everything fixed before the first race, but as soon as the race went green we started having the problem again and it ended our day early. Luckily, I think we’ve fixed the problem and we were able to do lap to make sure everything was alright. We should be good to go tomorrow.
“I still have the lead in the championship points but the downside to today is that I now have to start tomorrow’s regional race from the back of the field. I think it will be tough to get to first place, but I’m going to try. I think it’s possible and being the last race we’re not going to leave anything behind in California tomorrow.” –Zach Veach, #77 Andretti Autosport
Unfortunately, the Formula Car Challenge doesn’t have live timing and scoring available on its website, so make sure you follow @ZachVeach, @FollowAndretti, and @FormulaCar on Twitter to keep up with tomorrow’s action.