Skip Barber National Heads to Trois-Riviиres
Monday, July 31, 2006 LAKEVILLE, Conn. – The Skip Barber National Presented by RACER is making its first-ever appearance at the Grand Prix de Trois-Riviиres 5-6 August. This is the series that produced drivers such as Formula 1’s Scott Speed, Champ Car’s A.J. Allmendinger and the IRL’s Marco Andretti.
The two races at the Grand Prix de Trois-Riviиres are rounds 9 and 10. The points leader is 19-year-old Marco Di Leo, from Markham, Ontario. He has won three of the first eight races, including his most recent victory at Road America in early July. In second place is 14-year-old Alexander Rossi, from California. Rossi has two wins and is just 16 points behind Di Leo. The demands of a ‘‘street’’ race are much different than that of a natural road course – and none of the drivers in the National this year have ever competed in one.
Canadian Marco Di Leo, one of this year’s Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out sponsorship winners, leads the SBN points heading to ”Three Rivers.” SBN title contenders Alexander Rossi and Jonathan Goring also earned sponsorship from the Shoot-out.
If Di Leo does take the Skip Barber National title and its $100,000 bonus – the season finale is 23-24 September supporting the Champ Car race at Road America in Wisconsin – he’ll be the first Canadian to do so. In fact, no driver from Canada has won any Skip Barber professional championship.
‘‘To win this championship that so many successful drivers have won in the past would be amazing,” Di Leo says. ‘‘I’m proud to be Canadian competing in an American dominated field. Hey, if I win the championship it will do great things for my career and Canadian motorsports.”
Second place in points is 14-year-old Alexander Rossi, from California. Rossi has two wins and is just 16 points behind Di Leo. In third is 16-year-old Jonathan Goring, from Connecticut, with one victory and two second-place finishes.
Di Leo was asked if Trois-Riviиres is his first race on a street circuit: ‘‘This is indeed my first street race in a race car and it should prove to be a memorable one. I am definitely excited to race at Trois-Riviиres and feel that my great accomplishments on street races in go-karts will carry over next weekend.”
Does Di Leo have a game plan for Trois-Riviиres? ‘‘With the points lead my game plan is to qualify well and stay out of trouble in the race. I know that the best way to stay out of trouble is to be in the lead, and that is what I plan to do from green to checkered.”
Skip Barber National 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, 5-6 August