Skip Barber National Preview – Virginia International Raceway

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010 Alton, Va. (Apr. 20) As the drivers of the 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda head north from Sebring, Fla. to Virginia International Raceway for Round 5 and 6 of the season, Mother Nature could have a bigger than expected affect on this weekend’s results. After supporting the American Le Mans Series at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Skip Barber National is part of a full weekend of racing at VIR, featuring the Bosch Engineering 250 for the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series. MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver Spencer Pigot looks to defend his championship lead from the likes of Dennis Trebing, the first two-time winner this season, first-time winner at Sebring Isaac Lyons and recently crowned Southern Race Series champ Ashley Freiberg.

2009 Review
After Connor De Phillippi’s domination at Sebring last year, VIR was a wide-open affair with drivers Brett Smrz and Felipe Polehtto taking the wins. Our trio of returning drivers had mixed results in last year’s event. Isaac Lyons, second in this year’s points posted 11th and 6th place finishes. Dennis Trebing, who dropped to third in points despite picking up his second win of the year at Sebring, came away from VIR with a 15th and a 7th place finish. Ashley Freiberg, 7th in points after four races this year finished in 6th and 17th place at this event a year ago.

Alumni News
The big news since Sebring came from 1999 National Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, who picked up his second career IZOD IndyCar Series win at last weekend’s Long Beach Grand Prix. A close second would be 2008 National Champion Conor Daly, who picked up his second career Star Mazda win a week earlier in St. Petersburg. St. Pete also saw the debut of the new USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, which was utterly dominated by two-time 2009 National race winner Sage Karam, who was quickest in every session before walking away from the field in both races.

While school kept 2007 champ Joel Miller off the grid at Sebring, the California native made his Indy Lights debut with Andersen Racing at Long Beach, where he finished 11th. Congratulations to 2008 Skip Barber National runner-up Josef Newgarden, who recently signed to drive in GP3 for the powerful Carlin team.

Entry list, Rounds 5 and 6, 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
Virginia International Raceway, 3.27-mile, 20-turn road course.
S – Skip Barber Cup driver
Scott Anderson, 21, Fort Collins, Colo.
Nick Andries, 19, Pinellas Park, Fla.
Luis Michael Dцrrbecker, 17, Queretaro, Mexico
Ashley Freiberg, 18, Homer Glen, Ill.
Daniel Lloyd, 17, Huddersfield, England
Isaac Lyons, 20, Hillsborough Down, Northern Ireland
Brandon Newey, 17, Indianapolis, Ind.
Jim Norman – S, 51, Tampa, Fla.
Spencer Pigot, 17, Windermere, Fla.
Felix Serralles, 17, Haines City, Fla.
Mukul Sud, 24, Bangalore, India
Dennis Trebing, 18, Cape Coral, Fla.

Three to watch this weekend
VIR marks the first Skip Barber National race for Ashley Freiberg since she made history by becoming the first woman to win an overall Skip Barber Race Series championship at the recent Southern Race Series finale at Sebring International Raceway.

Nick Andries returns to Skip Barber National competition after a one-off Star Mazda race in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla. Nick hopes to capitalize on his experience in the more powerful Star Mazda car when he resumes his quest for the 2010 title at VIR.

Another driver making progress this season with a limited number of open-wheel starts under his belt is Fort Collins, Colo. driver Scott Anderson. Anderson, the 2009 SCCA Rocky Mountain Division National Spec Racer Ford Champion and Rookie of the Year, has shown steady progress this season as he learns both the tracks and the Formula Skip Barber race cars used in the National Series.

Two other drivers to watch this weekend are here for more than one reason. Irishman Isaac Lyons and Englishman Daniel Lloyd, second and eighth in points respectively after Sebring, are both based out of European countries hard hit by the air traffic shutdown caused by ash being expelled by the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland. At the time of this preview it is still up in the air (no pun intended) whether either driver will make it to VIR.

Schedule
Thursday, April 22
Test Session 1, 8:20 – 9:00am
Test Session 2, 9:50 – 10:30am
Practice, 11:20am – 12:00pm

Friday, April 23
Round 5 Qualifying, 6:30 – 7:00pm

Saturday, April 24
Round 5 of 14, 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, 9:00 – 9:45am

Sunday, April 25
Round 6 Qualifying, 9:25 – 9:55am
Round 6 of 14, 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, 3:40 – 4:25pm

Follow the races almost live on twitter.com/SkipBarberNatl and look for the race weekend wrap-up on www.skipbarber.com.

Since 2006, Skip Barber National Champions have continued their racing careers through the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder. 2009 Skip Barber National Champion Connor De Phillippi will race for JDC Motorsports in this year’s Star Mazda Championship courtesy MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development. Other drivers with Skip Barber Racing School ties include 2007 Atlantic champion and IZOD Indycar driver Raphael Matos and 2009 Atlantic champion and Rolex Sports Car Series driver John Edwards.

A limited number of seats are available for both single Race Weekends and the full championship. For more information on qualifications and pricing, please contact Chris Kretzmer at Skip Barber Racing School at (860) 435-4138 or ckretzmer@skipbarber.com.

Jim Altemus

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