Skip Barber National at Road America: De Phillippi doubles up… again

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Monday, August 24, 2009 Results and images below

Elkhart Lake, Wis. (Aug 23) – At the end of a wild weekend at Road America, the 2009 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National has turned into a one driver tour de force by Connor De Phillippi. With his six and seventh wins this weekend, De Phillippi surpasses Grant Maiman’s single season win record, set in 2002.

Round 9
De Phillippi led the field from pole for Round 9 on Saturday. After an early full course yellow for Skip Barber National newcomer Cameron Dobson’s off-course excursion, De Phillippi took the race by the throat, with Sage Karam, Spencer Pigot and Dennis Trebing fighting amongst themselves early for second. The scrap for second allowed De Phillippi to stretch his lead and allowed Ashley Freiberg to work her way through the field.

Freiberg, starting from the back due to car problems in qualifying, took advantage of her familiarity with her home track and the dicing of her competitors to work her way from 14th at the start to tenth at the first caution. When racing resumed on Lap 4, so did Freiberg’s march to the front. By the time the second caution came out on Lap 7, Freiberg was up to third and threatening the top two when the race ended under the yellow a lap later.

Connor De Phillippi claimed the win, with MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver Court Vernon working his way to second and Ashley Freiberg in third; her first podium in Skip Barber National competition. Kyle Marcelli had a great run himself; coming from tenth on the grid to finish fourth, while Spencer Pigot finished his first Skip Barber National race in fifth. Dennis Trebing brought his car home in sixth after being as high as second late in the rate, with Sage Karam in seventh and Robert LaRocca in eighth. Brian Skinner made his National series debut with a fine ninth while Julian Albarracin rounded out the top ten.

Round 10
Turn 12, also known as Canada corner, is one of Road America’s signature corners. On Sunday it was also the sight of two big incidents that affected the outcome of Round 10.

Court Vernon picked up his series leading fourth pole position in the morning’s qualifying session and led the field to the green for the final race of the weekend. Early incidents between Brian Skinner and Julian Albarracin on Lap 2 and Al Carter a lap later were quickly overshadowed by the first “big one” in Canada, involved Kyle Marcelli, Robert LaRocca and Dennis Trebing, who, after starting on the front row for the second time this weekend, ended up on his lid in the gravel trap at the exit of the corner. All three drivers climbed out and were okay.

After an extended clean up period, the race resumed with Vernon in the lead, followed by Felix Serralles, De Phillippi, Karam… the whole field. Between the draft and some spectacular moves, the top positions switched hands multiple times each lap, with Vernon holding the lead most laps at the stripe. Karam took his turn at the front late in the race, with Freiberg up to second and Vernon down to third before the second incident down in Canada brought the race to an end. Isaac Lyons was having one of “those” weekends. Fast in qualifying and practice, suspension damage during the warm-up knocked Lyons out of Round 9 before it even started. To help learn the track, the Irishman entered the Regional Race Weekend running with the National Series. Sunday morning he took his first Skip Barber Race Series victory before jumping into Round 10 qualifying, where contact with Connor De Phillippi damaged his car enough to relegate him to 15th for Sunday afternoon’s race. He then went back to the Regional Series where he nipped Felix Serralles by .069 sec. for his second win of the weekend before running over to the National paddock to strap in for Round 10.

Staying out of the early trouble, Lyons worked his way toward the front, taking sixth on Lap 7 and running as high as second in the big pack before falling into line behind De Phillippi and Vernon on the run from The Kink to Canada. Upon getting to Canada and turning in, he was collected by Ashley Freiberg and sent tumbling into the gravel trap outside of the corner. Both drivers climbed of their car unhurt, but the incident, combined with the damaged car of Felix Serralles parked in Turn 5, race control called for the checkered flag at the end of the eighth lap.

The quick finish set up a drag race between De Phillippi, looking to extend his points lead, and Vernon, looking to gain some hard earned ground in the points. Coming out of 14 for the final time, Vernon held a slim lead with De Phillippi on his gear box. Cresting the hill, De Phillippi made his move; popping out from behind the Vernon and as they crossed the stripe, he inched ahead to take the by the slimmest of margins – four one-thousandths of a second – his record breaking seventh of the season. Vernon had to settle for another second place; his third of the season.

Lost in the shuffle were the fine runs by National rookie Cameron Dodson, who ran his own race and stayed out of trouble to come home third, and Sage Karam, who led two of the last three laps before ending up in fourth when the dust settled. Ashley Freiberg freed her car from the gravel down in Canada to come around to fifth place. Felix Serralles was credited with sixth, while Isaac Lyons’s day ended upside down in seventh. Also on his lid was Dennis Trebing, who was credited with eighth, followed by Robert LaRocca and Kyle Marcelli, who were also knocked out in the Lap 3 incident.

———-

With another weekend sweep, Connor De Phillippi extends his lead in the 2009 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda standings to 42 over new second place driver Court Vernon. Kyle Marcelli moves up to third in the standings ahead of Felipe Polehtto, who drops to fourth after missing the weekend, while Sage Karam moves up to fifth. The Skip Barber National next visits Braselton, Ga. for Rounds 11 and 12 of the 2009 season, supporting the American Le Mans Series for the 12th Annual Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda6 September 22-25 at Road Atlanta.

Results, BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
August 22, 2009, Round 9 of 14, BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
Road America, 14-turn, 4-mile road course
(Starting position in parentheses)

1. (1) Connor De Phillippi, San Clemente, Calif. 8 laps, 72.227 average mph
2. (5) Court Vernon, Key Biscayne, Fla., 8
3. (14) Ashley Freiberg, Homer Glen, Ill., 8
4. (10) Kyle Marcelli, Barrie, Ont., Canada, 8
5. (4) Spencer Pigot, Windermere, Fla., 8
6. (2) Dennis Trebing, Cape Coral, Fla., 8
7. (3) Sage Karam, Nazareth, Penn., 8
8. (6) Robert LaRocca, Delray Beach, Fla., 8
9. (9) Brian Skinner, Philadelphia, Penn., 8
10. (7) Julian Albarracin, Bogota, Colombia, 8
11. (11) Dr. Michael Edwards, Cincinnati, Ohio, 8
12. (13) Felix Serralles, Haines City, Fla., 8
13. (12) Sean Quentin Wahl, Santa Barbara, Calif., 8
14. (8) Al Carter, Greenville, Del., 6 (contact)
15. (15) Cameron Dobson, Greenfield, Ind., 0 (contact)
16. Isaac Lyons, Hillsborough Down, Northern Ireland, DNS (suspension)

Race length: 8 laps of 4-mile road course for 32 miles
Time of race: 24 minutes, 47.100seconds
Conditions: Overcast and cool
Margin of victory: ended under yellow
Lap leaders: De Phillippi 1-8
Cautions: two for 2 laps
Fastest qualifier: De Phillippi, 2:31.005 / 95.361 mph
Fastest race lap: Vernon, 2:31.481/ 95.061 mph, lap 7

August 23, 2009, Round 10 of 14, BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
Road America, 14-turn, 4-mile road course
(Starting position in parentheses)

1. (3) Connor De Phillippi, San Clemente, Calif. 8 laps, 72.227 average mph
2. (1) Court Vernon, Key Biscayne, Fla., 8
3.(13) Cameron Dodson, Greenfield, Ind. 8
4. (4) Sage Karam, Nazareth, Penn., 8
5. (9) Ashley Freiberg, Homer Glen, Ill., 7 (contact)
6. (5) Felix Serralles, Haines City, Fla., 7 (contact)
7. (14) Isaac Lyons, Hillsborough Down, Northern Ireland, 7 (contact)
8. (2) Dennis Trebing, Cape Coral, Fla., 3 (contact)
9. (10) Robert LaRocca, Delray Beach, Fla., 3 (contact)
10. (8) Kyle Marcelli, Barrie, Ont,, Canada, 3 (contact)
11. (7) Al Carter, Greenville, Del., 2 (contact)
12. (13) Brian Skinner, Philadelphia, Penn., 1 (contact)
13. (6) Julian Albarracin, Bogota, Colombia 1 (contact)
14. (11) Quentin Wahl, Santa Barbara, Calif., DNS (withdrawn)

Race length: 8 laps of 2.3-mile road course for 32 miles
Time of race: 24 minutes, 23.123 seconds
Conditions: Sunny and hot
Margin of victory: 0.004 sec.
Lap leaders: Vernon 1 – 5; Karam 6 – 7; De Phillippi 8
Cautions: Yes
Fastest qualifier: Vernon 2:30.204 / 95.870 mph
Fastest race lap: Karam, 2:33.956 / 93.533mph, lap 6

2009 Skip Barber National points standings after 10 of 14 rounds, top 15 drivers:
1. Connor De Phillippi, 334
2. Court Vernon, 292
3. Kyle Marcelli, 249
4. Felipe Polehtto, 231
5. Sage Karam, 227
6. Dennis Trebing, 226
7. Ashley Freiberg, 200
-. Isaac Lyons, 200
9. Stevan McAleer, 192
10. Julian Albarracin, 190
11. Sean Rayhall, 164
12. Brett Smrz, 153
13. Michael Vincec, 144
14. Robert LaRocca, 138
15. Corey Lewis, 120

1897-1
Connor De Phillippi (63) leads Court Vernon and Sage Karam into Turn 5 on Saturday.

1897-2
Round 9 podium (l. to r.) Dr. Michael Edwards, Master’s Division winner; Ashley Freiberg, 3rd place; Connor De Phillippi, winner; Court Vernon, 2nd place

1897-3
The calm before the storm. Court Vernon leads the field through Turn 1 at the start of Round 10

1897-4
What .004 sec. looks like. Connor De Phillippi beats Court Vernon to the stripe by a coat of paint.

1897-5
Connor (1st) and Court (2nd) on the podium again. Not shown, 3rd place Cameron Dodson

Jim Altemus

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