East & Midwest Regional at The Glen
Thursday, May 29, 2008 Watkins Glen International is one of America’s best known and well-loved tracks, what with its F1 history, the NASCAR races and a sports car heritage that’s the envy of circuits the world over. The Eastern/Midwestern combo race weekend was unofficially dedicated to Cameron Argetsinger, the track founder who recently passed … The weather was a bit chilly early in the week but the weekend itself turned out nicely. Ricky Taylor set a new record for a Skip Barber F2000 – he set a record on Saturday, then broke that one on Sunday…
Luca Orlandi edged Kim Kristian by just a couple of tenths, with Al Carter third. Brian Skinner set fastest race lap chasing Carter. Fifth was Robert Ecklin, followed by Ron Yarab and seventh-place Gary Visioli, up from 12th on the grid. Paul Subject, John Giddens and Gerry Foster rounded out the top 10.
Orlandi and Kristian were again the class of the field, finishing one-two, but this time Skinner edged Carter for third after a great battle. Subject snatched another P5, Yarab was sixth, followed by Ecklin, Giddens, Bill Oliver and Bob Gogerty. Orlandi set fastest race lap, too..
Tremendously close racing as Thiago Calvet and Brian Skinner (fastest lap) went back and forth up front in this all-green race. At the line, Calvet barely skinned Skinner — .050 MoV – with Julien Gerbi and Pat Daly right in their wake. In a solo fifth place was Leland Englebardt, but behind him the next four cars finished within 1.3 seconds of each other: Scott Panzer (from 16th), Fabrice Weill, Steven Mayer and Chris Brassard. George Kline was 10th.
Another terrific dice up front, this time between Gerbi, Daly and Calvet, Daly finishing things off nicely with the win over Calvet, Gerbi third. This one finished under yellow as Scott Panzer had a big one in Turn 11, which also took out Brassard and Mayer. Englebardt crossed the line fourth but was classified fifth after a car-contact penalty, so Skinner got the P4 laurels. Kline got a sixth, followed by Mark Clark and Robbin Conner.
A bit of a mess, this one, as there were three separate FCYs and the race finished under yellow. Ricky Taylor led every lap and broke Peter Ludwig’s SBF2000 track record. Luca Orlandi bagged second with a late-race pass of Kevin Tittle, with Ben Searcy fourth and Jared Beyer fifth. Gary Vizioli went from 12th to sixth, followed by Paul Subject, Jarred Douglas, Jim Norman and Robert Ecklin.
In stark contrast to this group’s first race, Sunday’s tilt was green-green-green and Taylor led-led-led. Well, until the last corner on the last lap, heading to the checker… Yep, Taylor made an uncharacteristic mistake, tagging the wall in T11 within sniffing distance of the black and white flag! Searcy inherited the win, Orlandi was second and Tittle third, Beyer and Subject rounding out the top five.
Jiminy Crickets, Brian Skiner was a very busy racer. Not satisfied with running just G1 and G2, Skinner was also in Group 4. And all he did was waltz to the win, leading every lap (with a little help from the last two laps being under yellow). Doug Harrison hounded Al Carter all race long and finally got around him for P2 just before the FCY. Chris Brassard got fourth while Leland Englebardt climbed all the way from 12 th on the grid to finish fifth, setting fastest race-lap in the process. Jeff Rothstein, Nick Spencer, Steve Hahn, Tom Goodhart and Myron Turner rounded out the top 10.
Skinner was on fire and very confident; he gave up the lead to Carter after the first lap then stayed near carter’s gearbox for the entire race until making his last-lap move for the win. Carter added fastest race-lap to his second place honors. Englebardt crossed the line in third but a pit infraction penalty relegated him to an official sixth, giving Brassard third, Harrison fourth and Rothstein fifth.
On the June 28-29 weekend, the East and Midwest championships head to rounds five and six at another venerable circuit, Road America. A couple weeks before that, the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda visits Mosport (June 13-15), supporting the Grand-Am KONI Challenge headliner. And in case you missed it (all you Glen racers!), the non-points races of the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge at Lime Rock during the Memorial Day weekend were a big hit. Click here for the race stories…