Formula 1600 driver Ben Hurst of Oakville, Ontario kicked off his 2017 race season this past weekend taking part in the F1600 SCCA Majors at Homestead Raceway in Florida. This race is the first of two that Hurst will be contesting in the United States, with the second to come in the spring when he travels to Virginia International Raceway for the SCCA Majors April 14th-16th.
Having raced at Homestead in the same event last year Hurst was familiar with the track and wasted no time getting up to speed, taking part in a test day on Friday to reacquaint himself before taking part in two qualifying sessions and two races.
“The car was fast as soon as we rolled it off the trailer, the team did a great job setting it up over the course of the test days,” Hurst commented.
Hurst qualified for his first race 4th in class.
“Qualifying went really well,” Hurst remarked. “We quickly realized that we needed to get into a pack of cars in order to take advantage of the draft and break into the top three which is good to know for next time.”
Race 1 of the weekend saw Hurst achieve his first career win (finishing 3rd overall in a field of 31 cars).
“I had a good start in the rain, it was my first time on the Hoosier rain tires and I couldn’t believe how much grip I had. I was just looking for dry areas on the track. Two laps in I passed for the lead and continued to pull away for my first win. Coming across the line felt incredible, the best feeling yet, hopefully, there are more wins to come this season.”
Hurst qualified for race two of the weekend just outside the top three in 4th as well.
“In the second race, we got unlucky with lapped traffic and fell back to finish in my starting position of 4th despite climbing a few positions over the course of the race. Some days you have luck and others you don’t, that’s just racing. Still a great weekend and a great starting point for 2017!”
Hurst wishes to thank his team, Brian Graham Racing, his mechanic and Piper Race Cars for another great weekend.
Hurst is the Toyo Tires Formula 1600 Championship Rookie of the Year from 2015, BARC’s Best New Driver 2015 and a Team Canada Scholarship 2016 nominee. Hurst is proud to represent JRP and Total Balance Fitness.