Grattan Dubbed Success
Monday, September 13, 2010
Some say he wears make-up under that helmet and can cook up potatoes like nobodies business… All we know is he knows the difference between Eau Rouge and Au Grattan. He’s the Stig’s New York Cousin.
Truth be told we didn’t know much about Grattan but the word of mouth was good and from the tracks own web site. “The road course is a winding, hilly, complex assortment of almost every conceivable corner imaginable for a road course. The ten turns include both uphill ascending radius turns, a flat out dog leg off the 160 degree hairpin turn, a hidden apex, a monza bowl, ess turns, and even a challenging downhill reverse camber turn. It has been said that if you can master Grattan Raceway you can drive anywhere.”
Sounds like a place any Skip Barber racer would want to take a bite of, so chew they did for the 6th of 8 regional race weekend gatherings for this years summer series.
Group 1 Race 1
If Ashley Freiberg is in a regional race then she’s wearing pink and on pole with everyone else trying to keep up and that’s exactly how it played out. This race was different in that Thomas McGregor seemed to have Ashley’s measure passing her repeatedly in the early part of a lap only to be re-passed until lap 14 when he finally made it stick and led the lap. The two fought back and forth the last five laps… Ashley led lap 15, and Thomas led laps 16 & 17. Will Ashley’s regional dominance be broken on lap 18? Stay tuned.
Dr. Mike started P3 and Austin Dyne charging up from P6 spun in front of Dr. Mike forcing him to drive 4-off to avoid contact. They both had to report for a safety check dropping them down the charts.
Zach Silver slotted himself into P3 early on and held it through the finish. Jim Booth held P4 solidly from lap 3 and was first Master and Grand Master while Robert Ecklin and Paul Subject had a terrific battle for P5 that Subject won by less than 2 seconds. Gary (The Viz) Vizioli had a solid P7, Marcus Foertsch grabbed P8, Austin Dyne got around Dr. Mike P10 (both working back from 4-offs) on the last lap rounding out the top ten.
And the winner? On the last lap Ashley Freiberg got around Thomas McGreggor to win the race and continue her dominance of the series while McGreggor made a very impressive show of it.
Group 1 Race 2
Ashley had enough back and forth in Race 1 and decided to put an end to it early in Race 2 as she timed the start perfectly and put her head down, driving away from Thomas who had Zach Silver filling his mirrors. Austin Dyne and Dr. Mike Edwards quickly worked their way up to swapping P4 and P5 half a dozen times with Jim Booth almost losing their draft before catching back up at the end. Gary Vizioli got around Ward Herst on lap 7 and drove away.
At the finish Ashley Freiberg walked away with a 10.3 second dominant win while Thomas McGreggor P2 was in front of Zach Silver P3 by 2.2 seconds. Austin Dyne P4 nipped Dr. Mike P5 (first Master and Grand Master) after a great battle by less than half a second with Jim Booth P6 keeping ‘em honest less than a tenth of a second behind Dr. Mike. Smiling Paul Subject P7 once again got the best of Robert Ecklin P8 but only by a couple of tenths with Gary Vizioli P9 just over a second back hoping for a mistake to take advantage of and Ward Herst 15 seconds back completed the top 10.
Group 2 Race 1
The tale of the tape doesn’t really do justice to the on-track action as the guy that qualified first finished first, 2nd place finished 2nd and the 3rd finished 3rd but you’d have never guessed that order on the next to last lap as you could have thrown a blanket over P1 thru 4 for most of the race. Ashley Freiberg and Thomas McGreggor were less dominant being out of their open-wheel element but Ashley’s brother Brian seemed right at home.
Angelo Dinkov took the early lead with Tyler Wolfson, John Dubets and Brian Freiberg in a very close lead/follow. Mathew DiLeo and David Steinschraber were right behind them with Ashley Freiberg and Thomas McGreggor giving chase as well.
John Dubets soon took P2 from Wolfson and proceeded to hound Dinkov though there still wasn’t much daylight between Dinkov, Dubets, Wolfson and Brian Freiberg. While Ashley Freiberg pulled in behind Mathew DiLeo.
On lap 13 John Dubets took the lead and held the point until the last lap when he spun but did not go four-off in turn 10 gifting the lead back to Dinkov who held Brian Freiberg P2 off by less than 2 tenths and Tyler Wolfson P3 just three tenths in back of Brian. Mathew DiLeo in P4 was six seconds back with Ashley Freiberg P5 half a second behind DiLeo.
John Dubets’ last lap misstep dropped him all the way back to P6 and Ward Herst P7 was only 2 seconds back of Dubets. Thomas McGreggor was all alone in P8 and Bruce Robson P9 won his battle with David Steinschraber P10 leading him to the line by just over 3 tenths.
Group 2 Race 2
With a clean start Angelo Dinkov led the first lap before Brian Freiberg took the point on lap 2. Tyler Wolfson P3, Mathew DiLeo P4 and Ashley Freiberg P5.
By lap 8 John DuBets worked his way up from P6 to P3 behind Brian Freiberg, Tyler Wolfson but ahead of Angelo Dinkov, Mathew DiLeo, his sister Ashley and Bruce Robson.
Unfortunately DiLeo then had contact with Angelo Dinkov in turn one and both had to report for safety checks.
With two to go Tyler Wolfson got around Brian Freiberg for the lead and on the last lap John DuBets took P2 from Brian as well. At the checker Tyler Wolfson had half a second on John DuBets P2 with another half second back to Brian Freiberg P3 who was half a second ahead of his sister Ashley Freiberg P4. More than 30 seconds later the very tight Indy Lights battle was won by David Steinschraber P5, three tenths up on Mathew DiLeo P6, who was 3 tenths ahead of first master and grand master Bruce Robson P7 who was less than a tenth up on Ward Herst. P8. Seven tenths later Angelo Dinkov P9 crossed the line 1.3 seconds up on newcomer Frank Smith P10.
Group 3 Race 1
Jesus Rios was the Alpha dog in this group as his best times were 6 tenths better than anyone else’s allowing him to walk away from the field at the start. Thomas McGreggor fell into line with Sebastien Ordonez and Zach Silver giving worthy chase.
On lap two Dr. Mike Edwards spun and Michael Johnson drove 4-off to avoid him. Both reported for safety checks. On lap 4 Paul Subject and Robert Ecklin were having a good battle when they came together and also had to report for safety checks. This left Jim Booth, Gus Doppes and Bruce Robson competing for 5th, 6th and 7th.
As the laps wound down Jesus Rios nursed his 11.5 second lead for the easy win while Thomas McGreggor P2 was kept honest by Sebastien Ordonez P3 leading him by seven tenths at the flag. Zach Silver P4 was 3.5 seconds behind the podium finishers before first master and grand master Jim Booth P5 took the checker. Gus Doppes P6 had a solid run with Bruce Robson P7, Kyler Robertson P8, Robert Ecklin P9 and Michael Johnson completing the top 10.
Group 3 Race 2
Jesus Rios did more of the same in this race maintaining his six tenth per lap dominance while stretching an early lead from pole. Zach Silver was in the hunt until he went four-off in turn 12 and had to report. On lap 2 Thomas McGreggor was also hard charging in P2 when he went four-off in turn 12 and had to report as well.
This firmly deposited Jim Booth into P4 and Dr. Mike Edwards clawing his way up through the field from P 14 to P5. McGreggor and Silver had their work cut out for them as they fought back through the field after their safety checks. Paul Subject and Michael Johnson had a terrific battle until Johnson’s shifter broke. Kyle Robertson and Paul Subject then took on each other.
At the finish Jesus Rios had an even more commanding 14.7 second lead over a very lonely Sebastien Ordonez P2 who was over 20 seconds ahead of first master and grand master Jim Booth P3. Twelve seconds later Dr. Mike Edwards P4 was just able to hold off Thomas McGreggor P5 by less than a tenth of second. (Phew!) Zach Silver P6 finished over two seconds up on Kyle Robertson P7 who won his battle with Paul Subject P8 by less than half a second. Gus Doppes took P9 and Robert Ecklin completed the top 10.
The George M. Steinbrenner Memorial
This memorial had all the drama of Steinbrenner in his prime. Angelo Dinkov hit the wall in turn 2 on lap 1 bringing everyone in with a black flag and single file restart in starting grid order minus the crashed car.
Tyler Wolfson took the lead from Jim Booth on lap 3 as Dom Rotundo put down his clip board and pushed the gas pedal all the way to P2 on lap 5. Little Stevie Welk would have none of this though and wrestled P2 from Dom on lap 6 and the outright lead from Wolfson on lap 9. Sebastien Ordonez carved up from P12 to P3 and the closest battle the whole race was between Dr. Mike and Dom Rotondo with Dom getting around Dr. Mikes very wide race car.
When Steinbrenner fired Billy Martin Swelk led Wolfson P2 by 1.7 seconds and Sebas P3 was 6 seconds behind them both. Dom P4 held off wild and crazy Dr. Mike P5 by four 10ths with Jim Booth P6 two seconds back. Indy Lights was more than 50 seconds later while Robert Ecklin P7 and John DuBets P8 had a close battle. Torrid Ted Jewell brought it home in P9 beating Shelbilly BlackIntyre P10 by more than eight seconds.
Mid-Ohio is in the headlights for the second to last event of the series on September 18-19. Stay tuned as the kids, the masters and grand masters all close out the 2010 summer season at speed.
The Stig’s New York Cousin