Woods-Toth holds off Sherlock to win FR Americas at Road America

Patrick Woods-Toth (No. 27 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) emerged the winner in the opening race of the weekend for Formula Regional Americas Championship (FR Americas) at Road America. A hotly-contested race, wheel-to-wheel battles emerged throughout the entire field, with Woods-Toth having to hold off the advances of his teammate, Titus Sherlock (No. 31 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3), during a one-lap shootout to the checkered flag.

Woods-Toth led the field down the starting grid, but it was Sherlock who got the jump when the lights went out. With Sherlock completing the pass to overtake the lead by the time they reached Turn 1, Woods-Toth stayed tight on his gearbox as they worked through the opening turns. As they approached Turn 5—one of the best passing opportunities at the 4.048-mile circuit—Woods-Toth decided to brake late and drive to the inside of Sherlock. Racing side by side, the two engaged in a heated battle all the way through Turn 7, when Sherlock drove a bit too wide, giving up a couple positions and allowing Woods-Toth to drive away.

Opening up over a 5s lead as the race passed its halfway point, Woods-Toth appeared to have an easily-sailing path to victory. In the meantime, Jett Bowling (No. 02 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) was engaged in a tight battle with Nicole Havrda (No. 6 Valley Kitchens Ltd / Colonial Countertops Ltd Ligier JS F3), Ryan Shehan (No. 66 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) and Justin Garat (No. 17 Speed Factory Ligier JS F3) while competing for the fourth position. With just 12 minutes left on the clock, Bowling went wide on the exit of Turn 12, lost control of the rear of his car and spun around to make contact with the wall. An extensive cleanup ensued, which put Woods-Toth back on the defense for a one-lap shootout finish.


As the green flag waved, Sherlock pulled tight on Woods-Toth’s gearbox and raced side by side all the way through Turn 8. As they raced through the Carousel, Woods-Toth cleared Sherlock, holding the lead and taking the checkered flag with just a 0.215s advantage.

“The yellow came out at about the worst time for us,” Woods-Toth said on the podium. “We were pushing pretty hard to get a good gap; we weren’t saving any tires there. When the yellow came out, I knew it was going to be a fight. I just had to stay out of trouble. It was a good race with Titus [Sherlock]; he did a good job.”

FR Americas is back on track Saturday afternoon for race two at 5:25 p.m. CT. A live feed from the Road America Jumbotron will continue to be available throughout the weekend at Live timing and scoring can be accessed on the Race Monitor app, and additional news and updates from the Road America SpeedTour will be posted on the series’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Story originally appeared on Racer