After incredible race pace at his second NACAM F4 event a month ago and with a chance to take the lead in his first formula car championship, American standout and formula car rookie, Jak Crawford, traveled to San Luis Potosi for the third event weekend in the NACAM F4 program. Taking on the Autodromo Tangamanga Slp, the talented youngster grabbed three top-five results including two podium finishes and one race win.
In a jam-packed weekend, Saturday would be the home of two practice sessions, one qualifying session and the first wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend with race one. After narrowly missing the pole position on Saturday morning by a scant .010, Crawford had positioned himself on the front row having used only one new set of tires, while his fellow front row starting competitor had used two.
“Qualifying went well enough, and I know I made a little mistake. We could have had a shot at the pole position had we used the same strategy as our competitor, but we almost had it with only one set of tires,” explained Crawford.
The race one start was a bit of a disaster as the front row, as well as other drivers throughout the field, jumped the start but only the two leaders were forced to have drive-through penalties. With a two second gap between the two leaders, both served their penalties and after they cycled through with their drive through slap on the wrist, Jak exited the pits more than nine seconds in arrears of the leader, with the difference being pit road speed. Crawford choosing to use the pit road speed limiter and the other driver free-styling to a much higher pit road speed, but by virtue of turning some of the fastest laps of the weekend, the talented Texan drove forward to a second place finish only 1.1 seconds behind the race winner at the finish line.
The second race on the weekend would take place on Sunday morning as the top-five from Saturday’s results would be inverted for the start. Courtesy of his second place finish the day before, Jak was relegated back to the outside of row two in the fourth position. With passing notoriously difficult due to the dusty, narrow race surface, Crawford was forced to play follow the leader as he sat patiently in third for the majority of the race.
On lap nineteen, Crawford finally pulled the trigger with a tricky pass to move into the second position and no sooner than lap twenty, the multi-time race winner made a bid for the lead. Making it count in the very last passing opportunity, Crawford went around the outside of the eventual second place finisher, showing great car control through the dust and marbles to drive on to the victory a final corner later.
Based on the qualifying session the previous day, Crawford lined up on the outside of the front row for the start of race three. Falling a little behind during the opening few circuits, Jak began to take chunks out of the deficit before taking over the point as his competitor would retire on the side of the track due to a mechanical issue. Then half a lap later, the yellow flag flew to recover the stalled car.
A great jump on the restart saw the 13-year-old Crawford open up a quick three second advantage on his challengers in only two laps before the officials black flagged Jak for cutting the race course. With the team arguing their case, race officials eventually gave into the call on track, but issued a jump start penalty to the American, something that took place nearly ten laps prior to the current on track scenario.
Crawford added, “I am not really sure why first I received a penalty for a jumped start nearly halfway through the race. At the end of the day, it took away another win because I only had time to drive to fourth, and something that will make me even hungrier as I look towards my next event.”
With incredible race pace that saw Crawford half a second or more faster than his fellow competitors on each lap, and in spite of a creeping-clutch that forced two race mis-start calls, the American now leads the overall point standings. The next event will take place next month in Monterrey where Jak is hoping for more luck that leads to deserved wins for his Mexican team’s effort and race pace being shown.
Jak Crawford would like to thank Scuderia Martiga, David Martinez and Carlos Pena, and all the other members of the team. A big shout out to Darren Manning of iAdvancedMotorports for continuing to mold Jak into the formula car racer he is becoming and to his long time partners, OMP and Bell Helmets for their safety equipment.
For more information on Jak Crawford please follow him on Facebook: @jetpakjakcrawford and on Instagram: jakcrawford52. Jak’s marketing website is jetpakjak.com.
Photo: Jak Crawford Racing