Preview: National at Road America
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 LKHART LAKE, Wis. – Rounds 11 and 12 of the Skip Barber National Presented by RACER are this weekend at Road America, supporting the Champ Car Road America Grand Prix. The title chase for the $100,000 championship bonus is effectively down to three drivers: Jonathan Goring, Marco Di Leo and Alexander Rossi, with Kyle Lawrence, Alex Doman and Richard Heistand still in with mathematical chances. Just 39 points separate the top three, and with a victory worth 65 points – and the drivers scoring only their best 12 of the year’s 14 races – it’s all still up for the taking.
Goring and Di Leo each have three wins, while Rossi has two. Heistand and Chris Wehrheim (not entered this weekend) have solo victories. More germane is that this is the second time this year the Skip Barber National has come to Road America. In early July in rounds seven and eight, Heistand took the first race, with Di Leo second. Di Leo then won the second race, Goring in P2.
The curveball is that Road America’s long straights make the draft a key determinant; going from fifth to first on any given lap is not uncommon. Which means Road America is known for producing first-time winners. On the way to winning the 2004 Skip Barber National title, Marco Andretti’s first – and only – win came here at Road America. Last year, Goring’s first SBN victory was at Road America. This year, it was Heistand’s turn to break through at Road America.
And here’s a couple more curveballs for you: Charles Anti is entered into this weekend’s races. Anti competed in the Skip Barber Regional and National series in 2004 and 2005 on his way up into Star Mazda, and won a bunch of races in the Regionals. And Paul Albert, who finished seventh in 2005 SBN points (he had a fourth and a fifth at Road America that year) is also entered.
Skip Barber National Presented by RACER
Points standings, top 10 drivers, after 10 of 14 rounds:
1. Jonathan Goring, 507
2. Marco Di Leo, 487
3. Alexander Rossi, 468
4. Kyle Lawrence, 395
5. Alex Doman, 372
6. Richard Heistand, 351
7. Jason Fennessey, 280
8. Mario Adrian Ochoa, 240
9. Peter Husser, 216
10. Darius Trinka, 209
Interesting Editorial Note: The Champ Car Atlantic Championship is also at Road America and please note that seven of the top 12 drivers in the points standings all used one or more of the various Skip Barber racing championships on their climb to racing’s upper ranks: Raphael Matos (2003 Skip Barber National champion); David Martinez (one win and fourth in 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series);Jonathan Bomarito (Skip Barber Regional race winner, currently Skip Barber instructor); Alan Sciuto (2005 Skip Barber/Stars of Karting Scholarship winner, 11th in 2005 Skip Barber National points); Leo Maia (sixth in 2001 Skip Barber National; champion 2003 Barber Dodge); Robbie Pecorari (2004 Skip Barber/Stars of Karting Scholarship winner, one win and fifth overall in 2004 Skip Barber National); and Joe D’Agostino (ninth in 2003 Skip Barber National).