Nathan MorcomNathan Morcom showed plenty of fighting spirit in an uncompetitive car in the opening round of this year’s F2000 Championship Series at Virginia International Raceway.

The young Sydney driver shrugged off handling and mechanical problems with his Rondo-DPO RFR in practice and qualifying to charge from the rear of the 32-car field to 15th in Saturday’s first race.

His effort earned him the ‘Hard Charger’ award for the race.

Continued set-up problems with the RFR during Sunday’s qualifying for the second race again put Morcom in the back half of the field.

From 19th starting position he passed a handful of drivers on the first lap, but he was punted off the track at the beginning of the second lap.

The car’s suspension was damaged in the incident, putting Morcom out of the race.

Van Diemen driver Robert La Rocca dominated the round by winning from pole position and setting the fastest lap in both races.

Morcom will return to Australia for his next event, the first round of the Australian Production Car Endurance Championship, at Phillip Island on April 28-29.

He is scheduled to drive the Rondo-DPO BMW 335i in the six-hour race with Chaz Mostert, hoping to repeat their win in the final round of last year’s APCEC at Eastern Creek in December.

Photo by Dennis Valet.