After a devastating loss, Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, Florida, was determined to clinch the inaugural F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda title early. With a strong start off the line, Kirkwood went lights to flag to claim his 13th victory of the season at NOLA Motorsports Park on Oct. 14, taking the checkered more than 32 seconds before second-place-finisher Baltazar Leguizamon of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The victory marked the Abel Motorsports driver’s 13th win of the season, clinching the inaugural F3 Americas championship one event early.
“We snuck away from the weekend with two wins and DNF, but still clinched the championship early. We had some struggles with mechanical failures, but fought through them. I am so proud of my Abel Motorsports team for always putting in the hard work, giving me a fast car. Just because we won the driver championship early doesn’t mean we will ease off for COTA, there’s still a team championship to win,” Kirkwood said.
Leguizamon also clinched the F3 Vice Championship early. With the second-place standing in the final NOLA round, Leguizamon earned 15 podiums, including two wins and two pole starts, respectively.
“It has been a good season overall,” Leguizamon said. “We were able to fight at the top many times and we improved as a team a lot. I’m really happy to have had the opportunity of being on pole and winning in such a fantastic series with an amazing engine and car. Earning FIA Super License Points was our target and we did it! I am thankful to all my team, Global Racing Group, sponsors and all the people who made this happen.”
Jacob Abel of Louisville, Kentucky, kept his top-three championship hopes alive after driving his No. 51 Abel Construction red, black and white machine to a third-place finish.
“I had some ups and downs in New Orleans,” said Abel. “I struggled to find pace early on and made mistakes in both Races 1 and 2. However, the weekend ended on a high with a third in Race 3. We are ready to come back strong for the season finale next weekend.”
In his second consecutive weekend, Parker Locke of San Antonio was presented with the Sabelt Hard Charger Award after making the most passes for the weekend.
F3 Americas Championship drivers have a quick turn around to compete in its double-header season finale at Circuit of the Americas Oct. 19-21.