F4 US Championship

Noel Leon Takes Two, Clark Continues Winning Ways at Vintage Grand Prix

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(Photo Credit: @F4Championship on Twitter)

DEForce Racing‘s Noel Leon was the dominant man at the Vintage Grand Prix, taking the top step of the podium in races one and two at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Gonella Racing‘s Mac Clark continued his consistent string of podium finishes, capping off the weekend with a win in race three.

Provisional qualifying for race one was cancelled due to track conditions, with the grid being set by the points standings. Championship leader Leon started on the pole alongside Velocity Racing Development‘s Jason Alder. Lucas Mann, who was set to start seventh, was forced to start from the pit lane, and was soon involved in the race’s first full course yellow. Mann, along with Will Edwards, had to be towed out of the gravel trap at turn one, requiring a red flag for their extraction.

With about fifteen minutes left in the race, Leon led the field back to green ahead of Arias Deukmedjian and Clark, and would maintain his lead up until another full course yellow as Joe Ostholthoff stalled in the carousel turn 12.

The race went back to green with enough time on the clock for one more lap before the white flag, as Leon held off Deukmedjian and Clark to take the checkered flag for race one. After the race, penalties were handed to Clark and fourth place Justin Arseneau, Jay Howard Driver Development‘s Bijoy Garg was elevated to third place to round out the official podium.

Although he was knocked off the podium, Clark sat on the pole for race two, joined by Leon on the front row. The young Canadian held a strong half-second lead as Leon kept fighting to close the gap. He was assisted by a full course yellow with ten minutes to go for Trevor Russell, who went off course in turn nine. With the gap now closed, Leon made his move on Clark with five minutes remaining to take his second victory of the weekend. Clark went on to finish second and Alder returned to a podium finish for the first time since Road Atlanta at the beginning of the season.

The final race of the weekend came later that afternoon, with Rodrigo Gutierrez starting on the pole next to Leon. Clark, who started third, overtook both Gutierrez and Leon on the opening lap to take the lead of the race. Halfway through the race there was a short full course yellow for debris cleanup, but the race was quickly back to green as Clark continued to defend from the front row starters.

But just as the race went green again, another full course yellow was displayed as Oscar Haffar went off track and required a tow. Once finally back to green, Clark was able to hold off his pursuers and take home his third victory of the season. Leon was able to get around Gutierrez early in the race and took second place, while the polesitter took his first podium of the year in third place.

Emily Linscott, who is chronicling her journey through the US F4 Championship here on The Checkered Flag, started race one in thirteenth and slipped slightly to fifteenth, started race two down the field in twenty-first but improved to twentieth, and saved her best race of the weekend for last as she climbed from twenty-third to nineteenth by the end of the race.

The teams will next be on track at Brainerd International Raceway for the very first time on 16-18 July.

You can view full results from all the weekend’s action here.

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Lifelong sports junkie, currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Hofstra University. Lead writer for Indycar at The Checkered Flag.
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