Mid-Ohio Race Weekend Report
Friday, September 08, 2006
The Mid-Ohio pix are here
It was a big combined weekend at Mid-Ohio: Masters National (click here for story), East and Midwest. The National Presented by RACER was also supposed to be here, but some issues with track policy prevented that. Despite not having the best weather, everything worked out fine and we saw some pretty exciting stuff. And we’re sure Walter ‘‘Wes’’ Homan and Chris Hawley – first time winners! – would agree with that.
The season finales for each region are around the corner and all four titles – Midwest Championship and Sportsman, East Championship and Sportsman – are up for grabs.
The Midwest Sportsman group is a battle between Mark Fee (251 points) and Mike Kolacki (237), while Peter Ludwig (605) and Revere Greist (549) need to decide Championship honors. Road America in late September is going to be hot!
The Eastern boys – and girls – are even tighter. Julia Landauer and Tim George, Jr., are deadlocked at 315 points in Sports‘‘man,’’ while A.J. Riley (536) and Stevan McAleer (512) are going to take it to the wire in Championship. Look out, Lime Rock…
All Race Series schedules are here
G1R1 (Championship Midwest)
A 13-lapper in the wet, A.J. Riley from the outside front row snatched the lead from polesitter Kyle Lawrence and led the whole race. Lawrence, a frontrunner in the National, tailed Riley for five laps but then fell down to fifth on lap six. That made Jeff Castellano P2 for the next six circuits. The J.C. went four-off (lap 12), giving Gore the spot. But on the last lap Gore went agricultural. So guess who got second? Yep, Mr. Lawrence, who had been swimming back to the top. Doppler Dave Lunnenberg was awesome in the wet, starting ninth and taking over third on the last lap thanks to the Gore gaff. Chris Oliver and Dom Bastien were clean and green and rounded out the top five.
G1R2 (Championship Midwest)
Gore made up for his R1 result with a beauty of a drive in a cold and damp 17-lap race. Starting eighth, Gore made up a bunch of spots right out of the box – he was P3 by lap three – then stalked Lawrence for five laps. Both Gore and Riley put Lawrence behind them on lap nine. Spins-and-contact between Lawrence and Riley got off the hook for a spin-and-contact incident between them when they were able to make their safety checks under yellow (laps 12 and 13). On the re-start, Doppler couldn’t hang on to second place as Lawrence got around. Riley was a lap down in fourth and Oliver fifth.
G3R1 (Sportsman Midwest)
A big – and wet – field for this 13 lap contest as 19 drivers took the green. There were two two-lap FCYs (laps 4/5 and 8/9) and after the second one, polesitter Walter Homan, who had fallen to third early in the race, had the lead. Homan motored away, leaving a second-place squabble to Lee Carpentier and Mark Fee. But Carpentier went four-off on lap 12. That put Fee P2 while Chris Hawley, grabbing three spots on that lap, was third. No last lap heroics as it finished Homan (first time!), Fee, Hawley, Mike Kolacki and Kasey Kahn – er, I mean Kuhlman – took fifth. Paul Joakim, John Potter and Carpentier were next, with ninth place taken by Dale Kistler-Collins (from 18th!) and Dirk Daems 10th.
G3R2 (Sportsman Midwest)
No cautions in this one. The field was now tumescent, having swollen to 21 overnight. Saturday winner Ho-man couldn’t home-in in this one, spinning a couple times relatively early on (he would eventually finish 16th). The early leader was Fee, but Hawley made him pay up on lap three. Hawley began to gap Fee and when Kasey Kah – er, I mean Kuhlman – took over P3 from Kistler-Collins on lap eight, it was he and Fee fighting for fird (I mean third) until the end. Kolacki collected a fine fourth and Potter fifth. DKC, Joakim, Carpentier, Daems and Don ‘‘He Can’’ Van rounded out the top 10. This was a first-time win for Hawley. Way to go!
G4R1 (Championship East)
Yuck. A wet race more yellow than green as a bunch of ‘‘FOs’’ slowed the proceedings. Alex Doman, one of the quicker National drivers this year, led every lap, including the last two, under yellow. Mike Distaulo was a master of the restarts and earned a well-deserved second. A.J. Riley, doing double duty, was similarly good and copped a P3. The points leader coming into the weekend, Scotsman Stevan McAleer, started on the front row but fell off the road two laps from the end and came home eighth.
G4R2 (Championship East)
Doman, who’s had much more than his fair share of bad luck this year, was walking the field in this 15-lap race when one lap from the end, a caliper broke as he was heading to the Keyhole. He’ll be okay. But gosh-golly, we had no idea he could swear so well… Riley in second place had McAleer right behind him from lap six onward, Mathew Jordan and Jeff Relic part of the mix, too, until lap 14, when McAleer snatched it back. After Doman’s crash, Riley got the lead back and held off McAleer by 3/10s of a second at the checker. Jordan was less than a half-second further back, with Relic in fourth right on his gearbox. Jonathan Gore made up the most places, 12th to fifth.
G5R1 (Sportsman East)
Carpentier was on the front row with poleman Steven Mayer in another large-field race (17 starters) that went 13 laps, with two early caution periods. Carpentier had the lead at the end of lap one but Mayer got all cattywampus in Turn One on lap two and the track went yellow, with Tim George, Jr., now in second place. Green for lap four, the order was Carpentier, George, Chris Gaydos, Walter Homan, Tom Capizzi, Harsha Sen, Chris Brassard, James Booth, Charles McManus and Nick Spencer. But we had to go FCY again, just after Homan had taken over third. Green again for the start of lap seven, by lap nine Homan picked off George and went after leader Carpentier. On lap 12, Homan did get him, but on the last lap Lee returned the favor and won the race. Homan crossed the line P2, but he was ‘‘served’’ 20 seconds ex post facto for ‘‘failing’’ to report and that gave George the spot Capizzi had a fine run to third, McManus fourth and Homan classified fifth.
G5R2 (Sportsman East)
George, Carpentier and Spencer took control right from the git-go and ran one-two-three to the end. The big battle was fourth-through-seventh which, following a mid-race, two-lap FCY, involved Brassard, Booth, Capizzi, Gaydos and, until a spin/four-off two laps from the end, Mayer. Brassard and Booth took turns in P4 while Capizzi hounded Gaydos for sixth like you read about until finally making the pass on the last lap. Those four crossed the line under a blanket less than two seconds ‘‘wide.’’ Tom Cochran, Barry Biggin and Sen rounded out the top 10.
Very busy the next two months! The Skip Barber National Presented by RACER runs with Champ Car at Road America September 22-24. Then, at Road America one week later, the Midwest season finale (September 29-October 1) and races 15 and 16 of the Masters National are on tap. Two weeks after that is the Eastern Series finale at Lime Rock Park (October 12-14) and two weeks after that is the Western opener at fabulous Miller Motorsports Park – which is also the National’s season ender! Three more weeks and we’re off to Road Atlanta: That’s the Southern Series opener and the Masters National closer. Great schedule, great tracks, hope to see you there…
2006 Midwest Finale
Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, Road America
2006 East Finale
Oct. 12 – 14, Lime Rock Park
2006-2007 Skip Barber Southern Race Series
Nov. 17-19, Road Atlanta
Dec. 15-17, Sebring International Raceway
Jan. 5-7, Homestead Miami Speedway
Feb. 16-18, Sebring International Raceway
Mar. 23-25, Moroso Motorsports Park
Apr. 13-15, Daytona International Speedway
2006-2007 Skip Barber Western Race Series
Oct. 27-29, Miller Motorsports Park
Dec. 8-10, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Jan. 19-21, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Feb. 9-11, Thunderhill Raceway Park
Mar. 2-4, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Mar. 30-Apr. 1, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca