Skip Barber National Preview
Tuesday, June 27, 2006 ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – With six races down and eight to go in this year’s Skip Barber National Presented by RACER, it’s clear we have the makings of a fight to the finish. Alexander Rossi and Marco Di Leo stand just 14 points apart, with Jonathan Goring just six further back. Rossi’s and Di Leo’s results thus far are virtually identical: each has two wins, a second, a fourth and a sixth. The difference is Rossi’s 14th at Laguna in race two (worth 15 points) to Di Leo’s 16th at Lime Rock in race five, with Di Leo’s race one pole worth a point. Goring won one of the Lime Rock races and finished second in the other to put him right there in the title mix.
Coming up this weekend are rounds seven and eight, at one of the best tracks in the country, Road America, where the draft down its long front straight plays a major role. The run down to Turn Five is also extremely important, because Five is one of the best passing zones anywhere. Caroussel to the Kink to Canada? You guessed it. Critical.
What it all means is that at Road America, it’s extremely important to put yourself in a position to win – and that’s not necessarily first place – with one or two laps to go.
Goring’s breakthrough SBN win came at one of the Road America races last year, so you know he’s going to be a player. Andy Rossetto had to miss the Lime Rock races, but he will be a big factor here. Rossetto won two of this track’s four races last year, and also took two pole positions.
But that’s the thing about Road America. It has a history of producing surprise winners. Richard Heistand has come on extremely strong this year and is surely on the cusp of victory. Will it be at Road America? Alex Doman has had some solid top-five results this year. Will he do a “Goring” and make it happen? Ricky Taylor isn’t doing a full season of National, but he’s entered Road America and you can’t count him out, either.
The bottom line: This year’s National field has a whole host of potential Road America winners and it should be one darn exciting race weekend.
Kyle Lawrence (l.) had solid results at Lime Rock, Jonathan Goring (c.) got his first-ever National win at Road America, and Richard Heistand (r.) has already shown the speed to win. They’re all contenders to win one of this weekend’s two races.