Racing at Mid-Ohio: The East/Midwest Regional Series
Wednesday, September 05, 2007 Mid-Ohio was the last of this summer’s Midwest/East combo weekends, and we were blessed with great weather and a lot of fun. We had a first-time winner (Congrats, Ricky Ehrgott!) as well as Craig Duerson setting a new treaded-tire Skip Barber F2000 Mid-Ohio track record (now down to 1:35.648). Below are the group re-caps…
G1R1 (East Sportsman)
Carlos Medina led every lap, second place was taken over by Gustavo Linares on lap two and Scott Panzer had P3 by lap 3. Mike Kolacki went from eighth to fourth while Ben Smith went from fourth to fifth.
G1R2 (East Sportsman)
Linares was leading Medina through the first half of the race but a Linares mistake saw him fall to sixth, putting Medina in the lead for good. Panzer took over second and Smith third. After Kolacki and Linares tangled (both had to retire), Nick Brady, coming up from seventh place, took advantage of a Panzer four-off and a Smith error to snag second place with two laps to go. And on the last lap, Smith got back to third when Scott James threw away a fine drive with an off in 13; that also gave fourth and fifth to some Ryans: Jonathan and Rod. Stew Agreen went from 13th on the grid to sixth at the checker.
G2R1 (East Championship)
A busy one, folks, as Mike Denino led lap one (which actually finished under yellow, to yank Chris Brassard out of the beach) and on the re-start for lap two, kept his lead over Kyle Longmore. But Longmore went to the point on the third lap when Denino spun in T1. With Denino having to pit, Longmore had a big, big lead on P2 Chris Oliver. On lap seven, David Cox put Oliver back to third while lurking in fourth was Greg Markarian. On the next lap, everything changed. First, Oliver re-took second and Markarian claimed third, shuffling Cox to fourth. Then, Hamilton Smith found himself in the litter in Seven, necessitating an FCY. And that’s when we discovered Longmore with an oil leak so sadly, he had to park it. That put Oliver in the lead after the re-start but that lasted just a single lap – Markarian went to the front on lap 10 and never looked back. Oliver, however, had a charging Mike Edwards to deal with those last five laps and lost second place on the last lap. Fourth was John Potter while Cox finished fifth.
G2R2 (East Championship)
No full course yellows, no major offs as Markarian went flag to flag at the front. Doc Edwards breifly held second but Oliver was around him soon enough and motored on the rest of the way in P2. Third place belonged to Edwards for three laps before Potter laid claim, but his reign was for just four laps as Denino took over mid-race and he too kept it until the end. Hamilton Smith was brilliant, scything his way from 14th on the grid to fourth at the checker, while the Doc salvaged a fifth.
G3R1 (Midwest Sportsman)
The top five finishing drivers in this one had best laps within a second and a half of each other, but it was Ricky Ehrgott leading every lap to pick up his first win. Gustavo Linares battled briefly with Mike Kolacki over second place, but that dice was settled relatively early. Tom Bonatz and Nick Brady rounded out the top five.
G3R2 (Midwest Sportsman)
Bonatz and Brady came together in Turn 11 on the opening lap, so laps two and three were FCY with Ehrgott over Linares and Scott Panzer. From the green that began lap four up through lap eight, the order remained the same: Ehrgott, Linares, Panzer, Kolacki, Andy Piscitello. Lap nine, Panzer grabbed second place from Linares. A lap later, Barry Biggin snatched fifth from Piscitello. Drama on the last lap, however, as Panzer and Linares, eyes on the prize that was second place, had contact in Three That beached Panzer and although Linares crossed the line behind winner Ehrgott, his time penalty would make him officially third, behind P2 Kolacki Piscitello and Biggin rounded out the top five.
G4R1 (Midwest Championship)
Despite not having been in a Skippy car in a while (he’s been managing his son Hayden’s winning karting and Skip Barber campaigns), Craig Duerson walked this one. Not only was Duerson the only one in this group to get into the 1:36s, but his MoV was a full half-minute. Blake Kreiger and Kasey Kuhlman were pretty much unmolested the entire race in P2 and P3, respectively. Lindsey Adams, running a solid fourth the first two laps, got together with David Cox, which pretty much much put paid to any chances at the podium. The battle for fourth and fifth was the raciest; Zach Ply and Marc Abernathy went at, back and forth, Ply eventually consolidating it three laps from the end. Eric Mayo (sixth) got within a second of those two by the checker.
G4R2 (Midwest Championship)
Right from the green there was a bit of a problem; when the field came aroind to Turn One, Rick Ehrgott spun, Harsha Sen was collected and we had to go full course yellow for the first two laps, with the order Duerson, Kreiger, Ply, Kuhlman and Dion Von Moltke. Green to begin lap three, on lap five Adams got herself two spots, sixth to fourth, by getting around Kuhlman and Von Moltke. One lap later, second place changed hands with Ply passing Kreiger. But the complexion changed on lap seven, when third-place Kreiger spun in the esses, forcing Von Moltke into the grass. After Kreiger got re-fired and Von Moltke made his stop, the top five were Duerson, Adams (up from ninth, by the way), Ply, Kuhlman and Cox. Duerson was walking the field and would win handily, but second through seventh were within five seconds of each other (and second-through-fifth inside of one second!), so nothing was settled until the very end. Adams ran very well and put up the race’s second fastest lap. When she got around Ply for the last time, on lap 12, she kept second place until the end. Kuhlman was fifth, nipping Cox, who had come from furthest back on the starting grid, 11th.
As light as Keith Watts on the pedals of his SBF2000, as nimble as is his fingering of radio remote-control devices, was the Gossamer Albatross, the human-powered flying machine that crossed the English Channel in 1979. A seriously talented inventor was Mr. P.B. MacCready, who fashioned the cyclist-piloted aircraft out of Mylar, piano wire and plastic. In defense of the multitude of Skippy instructors who spend inordinate amounts of time, talent and money on flying model airplanes, consider this quote from MacCready, to the Sand Diego Union, in 1992: ‘‘Anybody who’s not interested in model airplanes must have a screw loose someplace!’’ No screws loose for winner Watts, or P2 Fratt Manc, or P3 Gregg Markarian. Doc Edwards and Duerson, fourth and fifth, we’re not so sure about…
September 13-15, the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda heads to fantabulous, gi-normous Miller Motorsports Park for rounds 11 and 12 (13 & 14 of the Masters Division). Joel Miller leads the youngsters, while Dick Lippert has a razor thin lead over Jeff Kaiser in the big boys department.
On the Regional end, the Midwest wraps up its series September 28-30 at Road America, then two weeks later the Eastern boys and girls close out at Lime Rock October 11-13.
And the next thing you know, the West and South open up!
2007 Eastern Race Series
April 20-22, VIR
May 25-27, Watkins Glen
June 29-July 1, Road July 12-14, Lime Rock Park
July 27-29, Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant
Oct. 30-Sept. 2, Mid-Ohio
Oct. 11-13, Lime Rock Park