Ian Lacy Fills in With Two Phoenix Wins for P-1 Racing

Ian Lacy Racing

April 4, 2005-- With regular driver Fiorenzo Tirinnanzi unable to make the trip to the Pacific F2000 Series Rounds 5-6 at Phoenix International Raceway, P-1 Racing's #32 Napa Auto Parts/Denso Van Diemen Zetec-Ford was left without a pilot.  So the search was on.

P-1 Team Manager Geoff Fickling along with car owner/driver John Lombardo found their man, F2000 veteran Ian Lacy.  Hiring Lacy just a week prior to the event, any testing time was not feasible, so they would have to figure it out on the job."

Lacy lived up to the hype as he qualified on the pole by over seven tenths of a second for Saturday's event. Teammate John Lombardo hustled his #30Napa Auto Parts/Denso Van Diemen Zetec-Ford to eighth on the grid while P-1's third car piloted by Chris Hundley driving in his second Pacific F2000 event of the season placed his #31 Napa Auto Parts/Denso Van Diemen Zetec Ford in 20th place.

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Lacy drove a superb race, leading flag to flag to capture P-1 Racing's first Pacific F2000 series win for 2005.  But it wasn't as easy as it looked on paper.  Lacy had to fend off a hard charging PR1 Motorsports duo of points leader Mike Forest and J.R. Hildebrand, but was able to hold the lead throughout to win by a close 0.905 seconds.

"Those guys were coming," said an ecstatic Lacy who finished sixth in last year’s East Coast-based Cooper Championship Series for Formula Ford 2000 Zetec cars despite missing the first few races of the season due a to lack of sponsorship.  "I tried to run a conservative pace because I wanted to look after my tires for tomorrow’s race, but I had to step it up to keep him behind me.  I want to thank JohnLombardo for the opportunity to be here this weekend. It’s a wonderful series and very competitive."

Speaking of which, Lombardo also drove a strong race.  Coming from his eighth place on the grid, the Brea, California resident showed his usual colors by picking off four cars en route to a great fourth place finish.  Hundley, struggling to adapt to the tricky 1.51 mile "roval", improved a bit to cross the line in 18th.

With their Cooper Tires feeling the effects of a hard days running, Sunday would prove to be an interesting day.  In attempts to keep the racing equal between the Zetec-powered cars and the Pinto-powered machines, the Pacific F2000 series ruled that the Pintos are allowed to run an unlimited amount of tires, compared to the Zetec's rules dictating they run on the same set for both Saturday and Sunday's events.  This coupled with a restrictor plate bolted on the Zetec power plant, it makes for some great racing between the two packages.

Sunday's qualifying favored the Pinto car's new tires as Jesse Yorio took the pole on Sunday in a Pinto-powered machine.  Lacy wound up a close third, Lombardo seventh, and Hundley in 25th.  

At the start, Lacy quickly moved past a slow-starting Yorio while Hildebrand took the lead.  But just two laps later, Lacy took the lead and never relinquished it.  Holding off a strong late-race charge by both Yorio and Hildebrand, Lacy took home his second straight victory, winning his second Pacific F2000 race in as many starts.

Lombardo meanwhile struggled with his used tires and a greasy track, holding on for an eighth place finish.  The good news is he gained a position in the points championship to fourth place and gained ground on third place Tim Harris.  Hundley had a fine drive going, picking up a second per lap compared to his qualifying time and was running in 17th place before being hit from behind which bent his suspension, prematurely ending his day.

While only competing in two of the first six races, Lacy's two victories puts him in 6th place in the Pacific F2000 Points Standings.

Next up for the P-1 Racing team is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this weekend where Rocky Moran Jr. will pilot P-1's #5 King Taco/Trench Shoring/Napa Auto Parts Swift 014.a Toyota.  The following weekend, P-1 will head east to compete in the first two rounds of the east-based Cooper Tires Zetec Championship at Road Atlanta April 14-16.  Regular F2000 Zetec drivers Lombardo, Hundley and Tirinnanzi will do the driving duties with the help of Lacy as a driver coach/engineer.