Skip Barber National at Road America

< Back 07/02/2006

Sunday, July 02, 2006 A collection of photos of the weekend’s Skip Barber National event are here.

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (July 2) – Richard Heistand won Saturday’s race and Marco Di Leo the Sunday contest in rounds seven and eight of the Skip Barber National Presented by RACER at Road America. Di Leo paired his victory with a second place and took back the points lead from Alexander Rossi, who scored a fourth and a fifth in the weekend’s races.

Heistand (#81) was working hard to stay in front. The Saturday victory was his first in the National and makes him an unquestionable threat to win from here on in.

Race one on Saturday had trouble getting started: Two-thirds of the way around on lap one, rookie Juan Pfeiffer hit the wall in the high-speed Kink after avoiding a spinning Jason Fessenney. Red flag, re-grid and another start. This time, Kyle Wiegand and Duncan Ende got together – Ende’s car on top of Wiegand’s – in Turn Five. Another red. (None of the drivers were hurt in either of the incidents.)

Not how they wanted to ”Ende up.” Kyle Wiegand (#27) and Duncan Ende, Turn Five.

With the race now down to seven laps from the scheduled nine, third time was the charm and after polesitter Andy Rossetto led through One and Three, he got freight-trained in the run down to Five, where Rossi took the lead. Heistand meanwhile had rocketed up to third place. When the frantic pack made it down to Five on the second lap, Heistand got inside Rossi and Rossetto. Jonathan Goring also got Rossetto in the move, so now it was Heistand, Rossi, Goring, Rossetto. By the time they completed lap two, Goring was into second, Rossi third, Di Leo(!) fourth and Rossetto fifth. On lap three, Canadian Di Leo got past Rossi in Canada to take over third. The next time around Di Leo took over second while Rossi and Goring fell back to fifth and sixth, as their attempts to get past Heistand were parried with moves that had them taking to the grass.

Near the end of this lap eighth-place Jonathan Gore rolled his car in Canada, landing wheels down, so the race went full-course yellow for three laps, setting up a last-lap dash. Heistand got a perfect re-start over Di Leo and Rossetto and that was that. Rossi salvaged fourth, Kyle Lawrence quietly took fifth. For Heistand, who through the first six races had shown lots of speed but hadn’t parlayed it into victory, the win was like a monkey off his back. He’ll be an even stronger force to deal with the rest of the way in.

#1!: Heistand celebrates; first in the race and his first race win.

In contrast, Sunday’s affair had no stoppages but it was a wild one: the lead officially changed hands seven times in the nine laps. Despite losing third-starting Wiegand to the gravel trap on the first lap – Wiegand got forced out into the grass in the entry to Canada while tussling with Heistand for second – the rest of the leaders put on a dramatic display of take-no-prisoners racing. On the second lap Rossi and Heistand went side-by-side down to Eight, behind third place Di Leo, trying to out-brave each other, and it went wrong for Rossi as he caught his front end on the back of Di Leo and bent the nose and tore the front wings off. Two laps later another frontrunner was lost; Heistand’s brakes had started to go soft and he went straight in Eight and tagged the wall.

Kyle Wiegand’s (#87) shot at a podium ended early in race two. Goring (#30) and Heistand (#81) were one-two the first lap.

For the next frantic four laps, it was take your pick between Rossetto, Goring, Di Leo, Lawrence – not so quiet today – Darius Trinka and even Rossi, despite his snubbed nose. But by the last lap it was down to four players, Rossi and Trinka having lost touch, and even before this gang of four stacked themselves into Canada, Rossetto’s whole right side was in the grass, wingman to Goring, whose nose was literally rubbing up against leader Di Leo’s gearbox. Lawrence was a few feet behind, licking his chops at the prospect of the three in front of them making a mess of the upcoming corner. Di Leo and Goring went inside, Rossetto – he hadn’t lifted at all while riding the fescue – juked to the outside, the only one able to take the proper line, and we waited to see if this was going to end in tears.

Yes, this shot is from a long way off, but look: It’s the last lap and that’s Andy Rossetto off in the grass. And not lifting…

It didn’t. The four carved through Canada in crazy, wheel-to-wheel fashion, but everyone played nice. (Lawrence actually took over third, but Rossetto got it back with a better run out of 14 up to the checker.) Goring gave it his all as he chased Di Leo through the last two corners, but he fell an eyelash short, just .092 behind Di Leo at the line. Rossi, despite understeering like a dog through the Caroussel and the Kink, survived to fifth (in fact, taking the spot from Trinka on the last lap).

… but it worked out. That’s Di Leo (#14) with you-can’t-get-any-closer Goring behind him.

Di Leo and Jonathan Goring after the race. Goring said it was ”the most fun I’ve had in a race!”

So Di Leo now has his third win of the year and snatches the points lead back. He’s 16 up on Rossi, who had come into the weekend 14 up on Di Leo. Goring, Lawrence, Doman and Heistand all remain legitimate contenders. Now comes the street fight at Trois-Rivieres – Di Leo gets a home race – the first weekend of August. He who blinks first…

July 1, 2006, round 7 of 14, Skip Barber National Presented by RACER
Road America, 14-turn, 4.0-mile road course
Starting position in parentheses

1. (8) Richard Heistand, Orlando, Fla., 7 laps, 79.160 mph average speed
2. (7) Marco Di Leo, Markham, Ont. Can., 7 laps
3. (1) Andy Rossetto, Grafton, Wis., 7
4. (2) Alexander Rossi, Nevada City, Calif., 7
5. (5) Kyle Lawrence, Fort Gratiot, Mich., 7
6. (4) Jonathan Goring, Norfolk, Conn., 7
7. (9) Darius Trinka, Lithuania, 7
8. (11) Alex Doman, Conifer, Colo., 7
9. (14) Jason Fennessey, Andover, Mass., 7
10. (13) Peter Husser, Salinas, Calif., 7
11. (10) Jonathan Gore, Franklin, Tenn., 5 (accident)
12. (3) Kyle Wiegand, Bargerville, Ind., 1 (accident)
13. (6) Duncan Ende, Los Angeles, Calif., 1 (accident)
14. (12) Juan Pfeiffer, Bogota, Colombia, 0 (accident)

Race length: 7 laps of 4.0-mile, 14-turn road course for 28.0 miles
Time of race: 27 minutes, 17.200 seconds
Conditions: Dry, hot
Margin of victory: 0.367 seconds
Lap leaders: Rossi, 1; Heistand, 2 – 7
Caution laps: One caution period for 3 laps (laps 4 – 6); two red flags for 20 min. each
Fastest race-lap: NA
Fastest qualifier: Rossetto, 2:32.223 / 94.598 mph

July 2, 2006, Round 8 of 14, Skip Barber National Presented by RACER
Road America, 14-turn, 4.0-mile road course
Starting position in parentheses

1. (7) Marco Di Leo, Markham, Ont. Can., 9 laps, 93.016 mph average speed
2. (1) Jonathan Goring, Norfolk, Conn., 9 laps
3. (4) Andy Rossetto, Grafton, Wis., 9
4. (5) Kyle Lawrence, Fort Gratiot, Mich., 9
5. (6) Alexander Rossi, Nevada City, Calif., 9
6. (10) Darius Trinka, Lithuania, 9
7. (11) Juan Pfeiffer, Bogota, Colombia, 9
8. (9) Jonathan Gore, Franklin, Tenn., 9
9. (12) Alex Doman, Conifer, Colo., 9
10. (13) Jason Fennessey, Andover, Mass., 9
11. (14) Peter Husser, Salinas, Calif., 9
12. (3) Kyle Wiegand, Bargerville, Ind., 6 (spin and continue)
13. (2) Richard Heistand, Orlando, Fla., 3 (accident)
14. (8) Duncan Ende, Los Angeles, Calif., 0 (accident)

Race length: 9 laps of 4.0-mile, 14-turn road course for 36.0 miles
Time of race: 23 minutes, 13.302 seconds
Conditions: Dry, hot
Margin of victory: 0.092 seconds
Lap leaders: Goring, 1; Rossetto, 2; Goring, 3 – 4; Di Leo, 5; Goring, 6; Di Leo, 7; Rossetto, 8; Di Leo, 9
Caution laps: None
Fastest race lap: Pfeiffer, 2:33.346, lap 6
Fastest qualifier: Goring, 2:32.937/94.156 mph

SBN points standings, top 15 drivers, after 8 of 14 rounds:

1. Marco Di Leo, 406
2. Alexander Rossi, 390
3. Jonathan Goring, 376
4. Kyle Lawrence, 303
5. Alex Doman, 277
6. Richard Heistand, 273
7. Jason Fennessey, 202
8. Mario Adrian Ochoa, 192
9. Andy Rossetto, 183
10. Justin Moon, 175
11. Duncan Ende, 169
12. Kyle Wiegand, 156
13. Jonathan Gore, 153
14. Darius Trinka, 152
15. A.J. Riley, 124

Next: Rounds 9 & 10, at Trois-Rivieres Grand-Am Cup, August 5 – 6

Rick Roso

Testimonials Subscribe Contact