- 03 October 2018
2018 saw Tim Paul continue his run to the front of the F2000 Championship Series field, as the R-Sport driver scored podium after podium in his most competitive year yet.
“I think my favorite moment of 2018 was leading at VIR and pulling away until we were sidelined with an ECU failure. It was super early in the race, and of course anything can happen, but I know our strength in that race would have kept us out front,” said Paul. “It seems the 2018 season for R-Sport and I is filled with ‘woulda, shoulda, couldas’ but I am confident we were the car to beat at VIR and I honestly don't think we would have had a hard time staying out front.”
After a rough start to the season, Paul said his favorite event was Mid-Ohio, a fixture on the seven-weekend Formula Race Promotions scheduled.
“My favorite event was the Glenn Philips Memorial at Mid Ohio,” recalled Paul. “Glenn was my mentor in open wheel road racing and losing him not just as a mentor and engineer professionally, but a close personal friend was very hard. Having the memorial each year is a way to remember Glenn and what he did not just for me, but for the entire F2000 Championship Series and Formula Race Promotions paddock and sport should never be forgotten. “
Luck wasn’t on Paul’s side to start the season, with engine issues plaguing the No. 6 through the first events of the year.
“Looking back if you don't see a tough year of tough breaks, well you're blind. But we pulled together and every event we ran our pace was strong and everyone gave everything they had, every minute. That's what racers do, and that's who we are. I had Paul Reiffle (engineer) and Brad Hollinger's (mechanic), and my Dad’s support all year and it never waivered, no matter how badly we were disappointed,” Paul said.
For Paul, a typical race weekend starts before he even gets to the track, with phone calls with driver coach Jim Kerney, who Paul credits with his surge in pace.
Going through the weekend, Paul and Kearney sit down after each session to discuss what was right and what can be improved.
“This information would then be taken to Paul Reiffle who would take that information and turn it into changes on the car,” Paul explained. “He would decide to make the shock or wing adjustment, and how much or little. Even races ran the same way. Always trying to improve before the next session, no matter what was going on.”
As for new drivers coming into F2000 in 2019, Paul had this advice: “Bring your ‘A’ game, because if the competition is even half as hard and close up front as it was this year, it will be the toughest season of your life if you want to run up front.”