Mission Accomplished in Season Finale at Pittsburgh

October 17, 2021 – Area 81 Racing had one objective at the start of the finale over the weekend in Pittsburgh and that was to finish 2nd in the 2021 North American Formula 1000 Championship. Tim Pierce, driver of #81, entered the weekend 4th in points. It was possible to move up to 2nd by finishing in the top five and finishing ahead of the #93 car in both races.

Tim would finish 3rd and 4th to earn 2nd place in the 2021 Championship season, but it was no easy task. Weather played a major factor in strategy and tire management. Friday’s practice was abnormally hot but a strong cold front was expected overnight. The team awoke to tornado warnings on Saturday morning with heavy winds and cold rain until noon. Tim qualified 3rd in the rain drenched Q1, but prevailing winds all but guaranteed a drying track in R1. All but one car in the field ultimately went with rain tires for R1 but it was clear the race would end on a dry track. Tim moved into 2nd at the start, passing the polesetter, who was on slicks. He would work his was up to 1st after the leader experienced a cut tire. As has become commonplace at Pittsburgh, a full course caution allowed the field to bunch back up and the gap evaporated. It also allowed the #77 car to enter pitt lane and replace his cut tire without losing a lap. As the track dried the polesetter and the #77 car would take the top spots, leaving Tim to defend a final push from the #93 while on burned up rain tires at the checker flag.

After qualifying 4th on a cold, green track on Sunday, Tim would battle nose to tail for 2nd place in R2. He set his sights on the two cars ahead in the first two laps, eventually moving into 3rd and challenged for 2nd place for much of the race. Eventually he was passed on the inside of Turn 17 near the end of the race to set the finishing order.

Tim Pierce, driver #81 – “I said after Race 2 that I couldn’t be happier to finish in 4th place. Alex, Nicho, and I were in a three car train almost the entire race. We were inches from one another at 140mph and just as close through the turns. It was a clean, hard fought race and you can’t ask for more.

Steve and I battled to the end of Race 1 and I was very fortunate to finish on top. It was a drag race to the finish line. He was involved in an incident in the second qualifying session and wasn’t able to compete in Race 2. I’d rather have been able to settle it on the track, but I’m glad he’s ok.

It has been a great season and we’re looking forward to an even better 2022!”

Thanks to our crew, series, sponsors, and competitors for a fantastic season.