Ronan Murphy suffered an unexpected suspension failure in today’s final race from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Circuit in the opening round of the 2020 US Formula 4 championship.
The issue put a full stop on a lively weekend for the kiwi who suffered a difficult qualifying session before storming through the field in treacherous weather conditions yesterday.
Meanwhile, Christian Bogle claimed provisional victory with his triumph remaining under appeal and will be determined post-weekend.
Due to yesterday’s safety car-affected race, series officials declared that race would offer zero championship points and drivers would start today’s second race from Friday’s qualifying times.
Unfortunately, this put Murphy on the back foot as he was compelled to line up down in 26th for the start of the final race.
Bogle got the jump on the field from the start but drama further back saw Seth Aldretti get tagged into a spin at Turn 4, stalling the engine and requiring a recovery under the safety car to be moved off the circuit.
An aggressive Dylan Tavella would elevate himself onto the rostrum with a daring lunge on Hunter Yeany at Turn 2.
The Kiwi Motorsport ace wouldn’t be done just yet and dragged himself alongside Nolan Siegel for second only for the duo to make contact, damaging the front wing of Siegel and allowing a fortunate Yeany to claim back second.
Unfortunately, as the early race shenanigans began to settle Murphy was seen returning to pitlane with a suspected mechanical failure. It would later be determined the issue was suspension related.
Upfront and another safety car intervention due to debris scattered along The Carousel neutralised the race just as Bogle began to feel the lurking threat of Yeany behind.
Off the restart and Tavella once again made a spectacle move on Yeany for second and began piling the pressure on Bogle before the third and final safety car was deployed, owing to a crash by Nick Persing at Turn 1.
By the time Persing would be recovered the 25-minute time limit had expired and Bogle cruised behind the safety car to claim his first points-paying victory of the season.
Jose Blanco would ensure two Kiwi Motorsport entries would finish inside the top four while fellow stablemate Spike Kohlbecker would hang on to seventh.
Round two of the US F4 season will see the field head to Virginia International Raceway on July 17-19.