The 2014 points season concluded at the SARRC Invitational Challenge at the world-renowned Daytona International Speedway over the weekend. Area 81 Racing’s Tim Pierce was tied for first and Richard Franklin 11 points back in third place going into their first appearance at Daytona. Four F1000 competitors were in the running for the SARRC Championship. After the dust settled, Tim earned his first SARRC Championship with a second-place finish and second overall. Richard would finish a respectable sixth place in class and seventh overall.
Both drivers took advantage of the Friday test day to become familiar with the track and determine car setup for the high banks of Daytona. The Saturday qualifying sessions gave the team confidence, as Richard placed second in Q1 and Tim placed second in Q2. The Sunday race ultimately featured Tim starting second and third overall, with Richard in striking distance in fifth position and seventh overall. A Formula Atlantic, who held pole position, pulled off the track with mechanical issues during the warmup lap and Tim quickly slid up into his position on the front row for the green flag. A careful start put Tim in third on the opening lap and briefly in fourth place at the halfway point, but he was able to find a rhythm with a spectacular display of determination in back and forth passes to regain second place. Richard found himself out of the draft of the front group, but kept them in sight while in a battle of his own. Unfortunately, the race was cut short a lap when a disabled car pulled off in the infield hairpin and a full course caution brought out the safety car for the checker flag.
"There is no feeling like going 154 mph on the banks of Daytona. I had no idea my car would go that fast. We had the rare opportunity to test various aerodynamic profiles on Friday. My Firman RFR-1000 has always had great mechanical grip so I thought I could remove the wing elements for minimum downforce and maximum top speed. The chain developed a tight spot on Saturday and we did not have a spare. My dad told me to just run it until it breaks. I was a little nervous between the chain and the fierce fight with two other drivers, but we ended up finishing well enough to win the championship. We have faced extreme adversity throughout the year and that makes it so much sweeter. I’d like to thank Waterfall Security Solutions, BriKy Coolers and Franklin Insurance Agency, as well as my family, my crew, and the team. This championship would not be possible without their support." -Tim Pierce, Car 18
"Congrats to Tim for a hard fought 2014 SARRC F1000 Championship. He is a talented driver and has had to overcome some unfair/unwarranted mechanical issues in the past. Consistent points scoring wins Championships, and this year it was Tim’s turn to shine. As for Daytona, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself at the top of the time sheets on Friday’s test day. The car had plenty of speed, so we didn’t really make any changes. Unfortunately, that meant I stayed at the same relative pace, while my competitors got faster. The race was cut short by a couple of laps right off the start by a FA stopping on course on the warm-up lap. I had a fierce battle for 5th until the yellow came out again. As six F1000’s lined up nose-to-tail, I was looking forward to taking advantage of the big draft on the restart, but by then the 12 lap race was over. Reflecting on the year, I’ve still had a good SARRC racing season, with plenty of wins and podiums. Many thanks to my family, crew and sponsors; Waterfall, BriKy Coolers and Franklin Insurance Agency for making it all possible." -Richard Franklin, Car 81