Summer Series: Johnson and Bloum Earn First Wins at Watkins Glen

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lakeville, Conn. (May. 25). Round two of the Skip Barber Racing School Summer Series took place in Watkins Glen, New York. Rain was plentiful on Friday which provided quite a challenge for the racers during Practice rounds one and two, though the weather cleared just in time on Saturday for some competitive racing. There were cheerful spirits off track that quickly became serious once the helmets were put on. Michael Johnson and Connor Bloum claiming their first time wins while Scott Anderson and Felix Borodaty set new track records. The track was challenging, there was much to see and the action never stopped! Everyone is looking forward to round three at Lime Rock Raceway Park on June 9-11, 2011.

A big congratulations goes out to Michael Johnson who not only, after racing with Skip Barber Racing School, for a year won his first race, but also made history by becoming the first paralyzed driver to win an open wheel formula car race! For the last year, Michael has been racing in a hand controlled Formula Skip Barber race car built specially for him by Skip Barber Racing School crew.

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Group 1 Race 1 – Skip Barber Formula Summer Series
Group 1 Race 1 started out cleanly with Shelby Blackstock taking an early lead. Michael Johnson passed him in the bus stop to take the lead. Greg Strelzoff made a pop for fourth position under Dr. Mike Edwards and made it work. Meanwhile Shelby Blackstock retook the lead from Michael Johnson, putting a small gap between the two. Lap two brought about an eager Michael Johnson who worked on closing the gap between himself and Shelby for the lead. Stephen Mayer went four off in the bus stop and continued. Further back in the pack, Scott Anderson, Dr. Mike Edwards and Stefan Rzadzinski were battling hard for fifth position. Scott made a pop under Dr. Mike and made it stick taking fifth. Lap four we saw a spin by Bobby Dans in the bus stop and he continued. Scott Anderson and Stefan Rzadzinski worked together to get into the battle for the top three positions. Scott Anderson made yet another pop for position on lap six taking fourth from Greg Strelzoff. Back up front Michael Johnson was really battling Shelby Blackstock hard for the lead position. Scott Anderson worked his way up to third position by lap seven. Lap eight, Shelby Blackstock noticed Michael Johnson was about to be solidly in his draft. A full course yellow came out due to a loss of control by Steven Mayer. The green flag flew alongside the white flag on lap eleven bringing heated competition for the lead. Bobby Dans spun in turn one and continued but up front we see a major battle with Michael Johnson going to the inside of Shelby Blackstock for the lead and he got by. Shelby didn’t want to give up and pops but Michael Johnson beat him to the flag to take the win! This was Michael’s first win with the Skip Barber Race Series!

Group 1 Race 2
In Group 1, Race 2 we saw another clean start until we reached the back four who were dicing it up a bit by going four wide into turn one. Scott Anderson made an early pop for the lead taking it from Michael Johnson. There was also a big four car battle for fourth position by David Knight, Chris Brassard, Dr. Mike Edwards and Greg Strelzoff. Bobby Eberle spun at the exit of turn one and continued on lap two. Stefan Rzadzinski took the lead on lap three while David Knight started to close the gap between him and the top three, meanwhile Chris Brassard and Greg Strelzoff had a really good battle for fifth position. Bobby Dans had a spin and hit the turn five wall on lap four while Scott Anderson reclaimed the lead from a close following Stefan Rzadzinski. Stefan managed to reclaim the lead on lap five bringing Michael Johnson along with him into second position. Chris Brassard took fifth place from Greg Strelzoff on lap five. The top five were nose to tail on lap seven but the big move of the race was by David Knight who came from fourth to second in a flash. Scott Anderson took the lead back and extended it about ten car lengths that time. Lap eight brought a focused Stefan Rzadzinski into the second position as he looked at catching Scott Anderson for the lead. Lap eleven brought bad news for Chris Brassard as he spun in turn ten but continued however he lost position to Greg Strelzoff. The checkered came out on lap twelve to Scott Anderson followed by David Knight and Stefan Rzadzinski.
Group 1 Skip Barber Formula Summer Series, Watkins Glen International
Starting Position in Parenthesis

Group 1 Race 1   Group 1 Race 2
1. (5) Michael Johnson   1. (2) Scott Anderson
2. (1) Shelby Blackstock   2. (4) David Knight – GM
3. (15) Scott Anderson   3. (3) Stefan Rzadzinski
4. (4) Stefan Rzadzinski   4. (10) Greg Strelzoff – M
5. (3) David Knight – GM   5. (1) Michael Johnson
6. (6) Michael Edwards – GM   6. (6) Chris Brassard – GM
7. (8) Chris Brassard – GM   7. (7) Gary Viziloi – GM
8. (9) Gary Viziloi – GM   8. (5) Michael Edwards – GM
9. (12) Steve Nelson – GM   9. (9) Robert Ecklin – M
10. (10) Robert Ecklin – M   10. (8) Steve Nelson – GM
11. (2) Greg Strelzoff – M   11. (12) Bobby Dans
12. (13) Bobby Eberle – M   12. (11) Bobby Eberle – M
13. (14) Philip Mitchell    
14. (12) Bobby Dans    
15. (7) Steven Mayer – GM    
     

Top Master: David Knight
Pole Position: Shelby Blackstock
Fastest Lap: Stefan Rzadzinski (2:11.834 / 92.844 mph)
Most Improved: Scott Anderson, 12 positions
Laps Lead: Shelby Blackstock 1-11; Michael Johnson 12

  Top Master: Greg Strelzoff
Pole Position: Michael Johnson
Fastest Lap: Greg Strelzoff (2:10.668 / 93.673 mph)
Most Improved: Greg Strelzoff, 6 positions
Laps Lead: Scott Anderson 1-3; Stefan Rzadzinski 4; Anderson 5-6; Rzadzinski 7; Anderson 8-12

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Group 2 Race 1 – Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge
Group 2, Race 1 of the MAZDASPEED Challenge was a nice clean start with Scott Anderson taking the early lead. Felix Borodaty went four off heading into the laces and continued making his safety stop the next time around. By lap two the top four had created a big gap between themselves and fifth position. The leaders were evenly spaced on lap three as they approached the esses. Shelby Blackstock popped wide into the esses which caused Scott Anderson to brake and Shelby to take the lead. Meanwhile Connor Bloum was catching up to the leaders at a rapid pace. By lap four, Connor had made his way up to second position with hopes for the lead. The top three were nose to bumper on the outside of the esses. Connor Bloum lead coming out of the laces followed by Scott Anderson and Shelby Blackstock. Cameron McIntyre had a slight mishap on lap six when he hit the turn eleven wall which brought out a full course yellow. It was decided to stop the cars on lap seven for debris cleanup but by lap nine the green flag was resumed. Connor Bloum took an early extended lead. There was a possible contact call on Shelby Blackstock and Scott Anderson on lap eleven which just further extended Connor’s lead. The checkered flag came out for a very excited Connor Bloum who claimed his first victory with the Skip Barber Race Series!

Group 2 Race 2
Group 2, Race 2 started out four wide across the start/finish line and into turn one. Connor Bloum took a big lead early on but Jim Craige concentrated on catching up to him while Scott Anderson helped from third position. Scott Anderson made an attempt to pass on lap two but couldn’t quite make it stick so he went back into his third place spot. Anderson did manage to take second position from Jim Craige on lap three but Jim did not give it up easily. Connor Bloum still had a significant lead over everyone while back in the pack Aaron Fernandes and Jonathan Joseph had a really good battle for ninth position. Scott Anderson and Jim Craige decided to work together to catch up to Connor Bloum. A full course yellow came out on lap five after Pablo Cisilino went four off in turn eight getting caught in the gravel trap. The green flag resumed on lap eight where Connor left the rest of the pack in the dust. Pablo was still releasing a bit of gravel from his car so he decided to retire early. Lap nine brought a battle for the lead between Scott Anderson and Connor Bloum with Connor able to maintain for the moment. Scott Anderson passed Connor for the lead coming to the white flag but Connor did not go easily in second place so the battle continued. Aaron Fernandes and Jonathan Joseph worked their way up to seventh position with their battle on the white flag lap. Chip Howell had a small spin at the apex of the bus stop and continued. Jonathan Joseph took himself out of the battle with Aaron Fernandes by spinning and making small contact with the inside wall at the bus stop. Back up front Connor re-passed Scott for the lead which he was able to keep all the way to the checkered flag.
Group 2 MAZDASPEED Challenge, Watkins Glen International
Starting Position in Parenthesis

Group 2 Race 1   Group 2 Race 2
1. (3) Connor Bloum   1. (1) Connor Bloum
2. (4) Jim Craige – M 2. (6) Scott Anderson
3. (5) Chip Howell 3. (2) Jim Craige – M
4. (6) Matt Fassnacht – M   4. (4) Matt Fassnacht – M
5. (7) Felix Borodaty – M   5. (5) Felix Borodaty – M
6. (1) Scott Anderson   6. (3) Chip Howell
7. (9) Pablo Cisilino 7. (10) Aaron Fernandes
8. (10)Leon Cejas – GM 8. (8)Leon Cejas – GM
9. (11) Jonathan Joseph 9. (9) Jonathan Joseph
10. (2) Shelby Blackstock 10. (7) Pablo Cisilino
11. (12) Aaron Fernandes  
12. (8) Cameron McIntyre  
     
Top Master: Jim Craige
Pole Position: Scott Anderson
Fastest Lap: Felix Borodaty (2:19.143 / 87.967 mph)
Laps Lead: Scott Anderson 1-3; Shelby Black stock 4; Anderson 5; Connor Bloum 6-12
  Top Master: Jim Craige
Pole Position: Connor Bloum
Fastest Lap: Scott Anderson (2:20.259 / 87.267 mph)
Most Improved: Scott Anderson, 4 positions
Laps Lead: Connor Bloum 1-10; Scott Anderson 11; Bloum 12

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Group 3 Race 1 – Skip Barber Formula Summer Series
Group 3, Race 1 started out very clean. By lap two Shelby Blackstock had a significant lead over Robert La Rocca. Scott Anderson passed Robert to take the second position but Shelby still had a big lead on the group. Scott Anderson found some speed and began to catch up to Shelby on lap three. Alexey Dronov and Dr. Michael Edwards went side by side on lap four. On lap five, Scott Anderson caught up to Shelby Blackstock and passed him to take the lead. Robert La Rocca stayed in third position not quite willing to turn it into a battle. Shelby Blackstock went side by side with Scott Anderson on lap seven but made a big slide which gave Robert La Rocca a chance to pass but he wasn’t quite able to make it happen. Meanwhile Stefan Rzadzinski caught up with the top three and created a draft with Robert La Rocca. By lap eight Stefan changed his mind and looked to start passing Robert for second position as this battle heated up. Dr. Michael Edwards took a cruise through the escape at the bus stop as what appeared to be a mechanical failure and he pulled over at the Nascar turn. Shelby Blackstock took the win followed by Scott Anderson and Robert La Rocca.

Group 3 Race 2
Group 3, Race 2 was a four wide start. There was a call for possible contact between Alexey Dronov and Stefan Rzadzinski to be looked at after the race. Meanwhile Alexey took the lead over Greg Strelzoff and Paul Subject. Chris Brassard and Dr. Michael Edwards battled it out for fifth position. Lap three brought Greg Strelzoff to the lead followed by Alexey Dronov and Paul Subject hanging out in a solid third position. It was also noticed that Dr. Michael Edwards had a bent right front wing. Gary Vizioli was ready for a battle for third position on lap four. Stefan Rzadzinski had a slight spin where some contact was made. He continued, however, to his safety stop the next time around. Gary Vizioli made a big move on lap six over Paul Subject for third position. Paul took a wide line but tucked back in behind Gary. Alexey also made a pass on lap seven by popping at the start/finish line to take the lead from Greg Strelzoff. Paul Subject and Gary Vizioli had a bit of a back and forth battle for third position on lap nine while William Pagan had a small spin in turn one where he continued. Dr. Michael Edwards added some heat to the battle for third position when he joined on lap ten. Greg Strelzoff managed to catch up to Alexey Dronov to retake the lead on the white flag lap. Greg took the win followed by Alexey, Dr. Michael Edwards, Paul Subject and Gary Vizioli.
Group 3 Skip Barber Formula Southern Series, Watkins Glen International
Starting Position in Parenthesis

Group 3 Race 1   Group 3 Race 2
1. (1) Shelby Blackstock   1. (3) Greg Strelzoff – M
2. (4) Scott Anderson   2. (2) Alexey Dronov
3. (2) Robert La Rocca   3. (4) Paul Subject – GM
4. (3) Stefan Rzadzinski   4. (5) Gary Vizilo – GM
5. (5) Alexey Dronov   5. (10) Michael Edwards – GM
6. (6) Greg Strelzoff – M   6. (6) Chris Brassard – GM
7. (7) Paul Subject – GM   7. (9) Tom Goodhart – GM
8. (10) Gary Vizilo – GM   8. (7) Steven Hahn – GM
9. (9) Chris Brassard – GM   9. (1) Stefan Rzadzinski
10. (11) Steven Hahn – GM   10. (8) William Pagan – GM
11. (13) William Pagan – GM    
12. (12) Tom Goodhart – GM    
13. (8) Michael Edwards – GM    
     
Top Master: Greg Strelzoff
Pole Position: Shelby Blackstock
Fastest Lap: Shelby Blackstock (2:10.815 / 93.587 mph)
Most Improved: Scott Anderson, GAry Vizilo, William Pagan, 2 positions each
Laps Lead: Shelby Blackstock 1-4; Scott Anderson 5; Blackstock 6; Anderson 7-9; Blackstock 10-12

  Top Master: Greg Strelzoff
Pole Position: Stefan Rzadzinski
Fastest Lap: Stefan Rzadzinski (2:11.151 / 93.328 mph)
Most Improved: Michael Edwards, 5 positions
Laps Lead: Greg Strelzoff 1; Alexey Dronov 2-4; Strelzoff 5; Dronov 6; Strelzoff 7; Dronov 8-11; Strelzoff

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Group 4 Race 1 – Skip Barber Formula Summer Series
Group 4, Race 1 nearly started out clean except for spin by George Kline where he just grazed the inside wall and continued in the laces. Scott Anderson passed Shelby Blackstock for the lead with some side by side racing. Ashley Freiberg concentrated on catching up to the leaders on lap three. Shelby Blackstock lead the group on lap four while Ashley still tried to make her way up the ladder. Dave Biddle had a small spin on lap five at the top of the hill but he continued on with no problems. Ron Kirshner got lapped by the leaders on lap six and Ashley Freiberg withdrew with a possible mechanical on lap eight. Shelby and Scott brought it down to the wire when they popped for the lead on the white flag lap but Shelby was able to hang tight as he took the win.

Group 4 Race 2
Group 4, Race 2 started out with a three wide race. Ashley Freiberg was determined to not let the issues last race hold her back this race as she mowed down the field on a mission for the lead. Jim Craige went to and early lead over Alexey Dronov. Ashley worked all the way from tenth to second position by lap two with her mind set on taking the lead. She made a pop with success on lap three taking over the lead from Alexey Dronov. Alexey passed Ashley retaking the lead on lap four but she did not give it up easily. Ashley popped and passed again on lap five while Jim Craige took a look at joining the lead battle. Ashley extended her lead about three car lengths over Alexey. Jim Craige slipped a bit which put some distance between him and the leaders. There was a big battle on lap seven in the back pack coming down the front stretch. Robert Ecklin had a small spin going into turn one but kept it together and continued. Jim Craige also spun in turn six and hit the wall but managed to continue. Lap eight we saw Ashley doing a beautiful job in turn one and Jim Craige retired with damage to his car. Bill Shields spun and hit the wall in turn nine on lap eleven. They threw yellow flags in that corner while he was down on course. The leaders came to checkers with a very happy Ashley Freiberg taking the win followed by Alexey Dronov, Robert Ecklin and Greg Strelzoff.
Group 4 Skip Barber Formula Southern Series, Watkins Glen International
Starting Position in Parenthesis

Group 4 Race 1   Group 4 Race 2
1. (1) Shelby Blackstock   1. (10) Ashley Freiberg
2. (4) Scott Anderson   2. (1) Alexey Dronov
3. (2) Alexey Dronov   3. (3) Robert Ecklin – M
4. (3) Jim Craige – M   4. (11) Greg Strelzoff – M
5. (5) Robert Ecklin – M   5. (5) Bryan Hixon
6. (6) Bill Shields – GM   6. (7) George Kline – GM
7. (7) Bryan Hixon   7. (6) Jose Montiel
8. (10) Jose Montiel   8. (8) Dave Biddle – M
9. (9) George Kline – GM   9. (9) Ron Kirshner – GM
10. (11) Dave Biddle – M   10. (4) Bill Shields – GM
11. (13) Ron Kirshner – GM   11. (2) Jim Craige – M

12. (12) Ashley Freiberg

 

 

     
Top Master: Jim Craige
Pole Position: Scott Anderson
Fastest Lap: Shelby Blackstock (2:10.551 / 93.576 mph)
Most Improved: Alexey Dronov, 9 positions
Laps Lead: Scott Anderson 1; Shelby Blackstock 2-3; Anderson 4; Blackstock 5-7; Anderson 8-11; Blackstock 12

  Top Master: Robert Ecklin
Pole Position: Alexey Dronov
Fastest Lap: Ashely Freiberg (2:10.821 / 93.563 mph)
Most Improved: Ashley Freiberg, 9 positions
Laps Lead: Alexey Dronov 1-5; Ashley Freiberg 6-12

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2011 Top 10 Skip Barber Formula Summer Series
Championship Point Standings

1. 132 pts Scott Anderson
2. 123 Shelby Blackstock
3. 119 Kenton Koch
4. 116 Stefan Rzadinski – R
5. 110 Brian Cook – M
6. 106 David Knight – GM
7. 104 Michael Johnson
8. 103 Franco Aragones
9. 100 Alexey Dronov – R
10. 99 Robert Ecklin – M

2011 Top 10 Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge
Summer Series Championship Point Standings

1. 130 pts Connor Bloum – R
2. 126 Jim Craige – M
3. 107 Chip Howell – R
4. 97 Felix Borodaty – GM, R
5. 91 Shelby Blackstock
6. 81 Aaron Fernandes Keith May – R
7. 62 Cameron McIntyre
8. 62 Jonathan Joseph
9. 57 Scott Anderson
10. 56 Matt Fassnacht – M

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Skip Barber Racing School provides entry-level, equal car championships, the athletes with media exposure, expert coaching, on-track experience, financial awards and motorsport scholarships. The reason many people choose to race with Skip Barber Racing is because they know it is the place where the stars of tomorrow begin their careers. The Skip Barber Racing School launched the auto racing careers of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Scott Speed, A.J. Allmendinger, Raphael Matos and many more.

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