Race One: Short & Sweet for Bonilla

Thursday, March 17, 2005 SEBRING, Fla. – It what was the shortest Skip Barber National race in its six-year history, Gerardo Bonilla overcame very wet, slippery conditions at Sebring International Raceway to win round one of the 14-race championship. A first-lap red flag halted the proceedings (two different incidences), and with a time-certain schedule, there was no stopping the clock. So on the re-start, we watched Bonilla beat Matt Varsha and Casey Neal in what was officially a four lap, 15-mile event. Full report in tomorrow’s two-race re-cap.

Key moment: Gerardo Bonilla (#54) beat Casey Neal (#94) into One on the re-start. Moments later, Neal overcooked Turn 9 and went mudbogging, allowing Matt Varsha into P2.

Round 1 of 14, Skip Barber National Championship Presented by RACER
Sebring International Raceway, 17-turn, 3.7-mile road course
Starting position in parentheses
1. (1) Gerardo Bonilla, Orlando, Fla., 4 laps, 60.591 average mph
2. (3) Matt Varsha, Atlanta, Ga.
3. (2) Casey Neal, Middletown, Ohio
4. (7) Garrett Zine, Rio Linda, Calif.
5. (13) Jordy Vorrath, White Rock, B.C., Canada
6. (8) Richard Heistand, Sunny Isles, Fla.
7. (9) Cole Nelson, Atwater, Calif.
8. (5) Adam Tran, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
9. (6) Lorenzo Mandarino, Burnaby, B.C., Canada
10. (12) John Angelone, Bridgewater, N.J.
11. (4) Lucas McConnell, Springfield, Va.
12. (17) Paul Albert, Ottawa, Ont., Canada
13. (10) Peter Ludwig, New Paltz, N.Y.
14. (22) Jimmy Locke, Center Barnstead, N.H.
15. (14) Winston de Wardt, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
16. (24) Alain Roger Matrat, Annapolis, Md.
17. (25) Jeremy Morales, Glen Head, N.Y.
18. (11) Alan Sciuto, Orange, Calif., 0 laps, contact
19. (15) Andy Rossetto, Grafton, Wis., 0 laps, contact
20. (16) Pablo Sanchez Lopez, Xochimanga, Mexico, 0 laps, contact
21. (18) Terrick Mansur, Oranjestad, Aruba, 0 laps, contact
22. (19) Chris Cook, Coopersburg, Pa., 0 laps, contact
23. (20) Eoin Ryan, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, 0 laps, contact
24. (21) Jimmy Holden, Tiona, Pa., 0 laps, contact
25. (23) Rick Carlino, Harrisburg, Pa., withdrew

Race length: 4 laps of 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course for 14.8 miles
Time of race: 14 minutes, 39.332 seconds
Average speed: 60.591 mph
Margin of victory: 4.273 seconds
Lap leaders: Bonilla, 1 – 4
Fastest race lap: Bonilla, 2:49.155, lap 4
Fastest qualifier: Bonilla, 2:46.292

Bonilla (54), Varsha (5) and in the mist, Neal (94) following the re-start.

That’s not going to work… On the opening lap, Andy Rossetto had contact with another car in the Caroussel; behind him, Jimmy Holden, Eoin Ryan, Chris Cook and Terrick Mansur were caught out by the wide swath of slippery paint that markes Start/Finish at Sebring, precipitating (no pun intended) the 10 minute red flag.

Click here to go to Race 2…

Rick Roso

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