Spectrum makes history with US Championship win
After a sensational season, Finland’s Matias Köykkä driving a Spectrum-Honda for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing (CMWTR) has won the 2012 US Formula F 1600 Championship Series.
Köykkä clinched the title last weekend with a win and a fourth place finish respectively in the final two rounds at the iconic Watkins Glen International road course in New York. The title success is Spectrum’s first in the USA, and means Spectrum has now become the first ever Australian racing car constructor to win a championship series in the USA.
Köykkä ended the season seven points clear of Mygale driver Brandon Newey from Bryan Herta Autosport.
After a part-season campaign in 2011, Spectrum’s first full USF1600 season was an emphatic success with both Köykkä and Australia’s own Shae Davies winning races for CMWTR, the North American and Canadian distributor of Spectrum Racing Cars. From 12 starts, Spectrum won seven races while Köykkä also took out the SOS Children’s Villages Pole Award with a crushing seven pole positions over Mygale driver Brandon Newey who took two, as did Davies who competed only in selected events.
Spectrum’s 012H chassis is an all-Australian design constructed at Borland Racing Developments’ facility in Braeside, Victoria and is based on the 012 chassis used in the 2011 Australian Formula Ford Championship. The 012H is fitted with a 1600cc Honda engine and Hoosier slick racing tyres as per USF1600 series regulations.
At Watkins Glen for the final round, Köykkä was joined in the CMWTR line-up by American Neil Alberico, a driver with USF2000 and US karting experience. After topping Friday practice, Köykkä started fourth for Race 1 and eventually raced to the front where he headed Newey for the win, while Alberico took third and set a new USF1600 race lap record on the full 3.4-mile (5.43km) Grand Prix layout.
Köykkä added another three points to his series lead with pole position for Race 2, which saw a frenetic scrap develop between the first four cars. Köykkä adopted a calculated approach to finish fourth behind Alberico and by doing so collected enough points to seal the title.
Köykkä, from Tuusula, Finland, made his car racing debut with CMWTR in this year’s US F1600 series as a previous Finnish KF3 karting champion and CRG factory karter. Köykkä’s season was highlighted by achieving four of Spectrum’s seven race wins, with the 17-year old Finn delighted to take out the US-based series.
“It’s an amazing feeling to have come to the USA and won the USF1600 Championship Series. All season we’ve had a fantastic car and the racing was very close and competitive at each circuit. The team truly deserve this, so I must thank Dominic and Nicholas Cape from Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing for a wonderful year, and to Spectrum Racing Cars from Australia - our 012H was the class of the field all season,” said Köykkä.