In just eight races to date in the 2022 Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas) season, Raoul Hyman has already claimed the top step of the podium five times. Driving the No. 27 Bethesda Holdings Limited / Solomon Capital Enterprises / Oaklands / Kinross Ligier JS F3 for TJ Speed Motorsports, Hyman has been flawless this weekend—leading practice and qualifying and pacing the field from lights to flag on the challenging Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“My car really suits the track,” said Hyman on the podium. “It’s a really rewarding track. When you finish the race, there’s a lot of adrenaline and it’s nice to let that go when you cross the line. Driving the car around here is what drivers dream about. It’s what they want to have to compete with. When you can drive a car like this, at this level, everything just becomes a lot easier. I’m just really grateful for where I am, to be here with TJ Speed and to be able to drive these cars.”
Race two had an unconventional start after Hayden Bowlsbey (No. 3 Save22 / Southern Linac LLC Ligier JS F3) suffered a mechanical failure coming to the grid. Aborting the series’ traditional standing start, the field filed behind the safety car and lined up two-by-two for a rolling start. Everyone sailed cleanly through Turn 1 and began to focus on hitting their marks and setting their pace. As the race reached the halfway point, Hyman had opened up a 5.182s lead.
While Hyman led, Mac Clark (No. 25 Future Star Racing Ligier JS F3) steadily followed in second, holding his start position all the way to the checkered flag. Meanwhile, teammates Jason Alder (No. 77 Drive for Diabetes Awareness / HAKUN / TJ Speed Motorsports Ligier JS F3) and Nick Persing (No. 29 OPI Commercial Builders / TJ Speed Motorsports Ligier JS F3) battled for the third position. Persing had rolled off fifth, but he was able to work his way into the fourth position by the end of lap one, and overtook the third position by lap six.
Dylan Tavella (No. 14 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) had an exciting last lap pass to overtake Alder in Turn 4, earning him a fourth-place finish and leaving Alder to settle for fifth.
A full run-down of the official results from Race 2 are available, here.
Raoul Hyman, driver of the No. 27 Bethesda Holdings Limited / Solomon Capital Enterprises / Oaklands / Kinross Ligier JS F3 for TJ Speed Motorsports, had a perfect weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas). The 26-year-old paced practice and qualifying before leading every race from lights to flag to earn maximum points on the weekend. Strategy played a key factor in race three with rain in the vicinity and teams having to choose whether to start the race on wets or dry tires.
Hyman was one of eight drivers to start the race on rain tires, with the other four starting the race on slicks. At first, Hyman doubted whether rain tires were the right decision, especially with Mac Clark (No. 25 Future Star Racing Ligier JS F3) starting next to him on dry tires. While Clark raced conservatively in the opening laps, Hyman knew it was imperative to gain as much of an advantage as possible while the track was still damp. Hyman opened a 21.076s advantage by the halfway mark. At the same time, Clark was starting to notice an advantage of his own, continually logging lap times faster than his competitors.
Clark moved up as high as the third position before any advantage of slick tires was harshly erased with rain on the final two laps of the race. A steady drizzle started on the white-flag lap, but that quickly transitioned to heavy rain for the final lap. As three cars running slicks—including Clark—all spun on the final lap, Hyman tested the grip of his rain tires and sailed away to his sixth victory in the 2022 FR Americas season.
“Three out of three—let’s go!” exclaimed Hyman as he climbed from the cockpit. “That race was cool. We had a lead, but I knew there were guys behind me on slicks. I knew Dylan was behind me because he was on wets, but I figured when the slicks come in, usually they’ll be like eight seconds faster, so when they told me the gap was 18 seconds I figured, ‘Okay, that’s three laps, and they’ll be on you and they’ll pass you.’ So, [I] just kept going. Then the rain came down at the end. I had a big mouth at the start and said that we should’ve gone with slicks, but the team kept me in check and I don’t have much to say about it now.”
A full run-down of the provisional results from Race 3 are available, here.
FR Americas returns to the track next month for the New Jersey SpeedTour at New Jersey Motorsports Park, July 29-31. Tickets for the event are available now at NJMP.com/SpeedTour. Fans can replay the live stream of today’s races on SpeedTour TV’s YouTube page at YouTube.com/SpeedTourTV.