Masters at the Trembling Mountain

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 Race One:
From the pole (his “usual” starting position), Chris Willcox led the field to the green. From fourth on the grid, Jimmy Locke got a good start and was third as they crossed the start line and by the time he exited Turns One and Two, he was into P2 over John Mayes.

On lap two, Dom Bastien spun in Four, costing him two spots and relegating him back to 10th. Tom Cochran, new to the Master’s National, goes four-off as well. Unfortunately he didn’t read the Masters National rule book; he pits for a safety check. Up front, Willcox has some breathing room, but Mayes and Lippert have closed on Locke, making it a three-car battle for second. Tom Roberts and Peter Tucker are also hard at it for fifth, and Murray Marden is not far from these two.

Lap four: Status quo up front, though Roberts has gotten around Tucker for fifth. Bastien is charging back from his earlier indiscretion and moves up two spots ahead of Lowe and Peterson to get him to eighth, one better than where Bastien started.

By lap eight most of the battles have separated except for Locke, Mayes and Lippert. They’re still nose to tail still, but going into Four, Locke succumbs to the pressure and spins, dropping him to sixth. But Bastien, proving the first time was not a fluke, loses it again in T4, rejoins in 10th where he would finish.

By lap 10, Willcox has all but checked out. Mayes and Lippert are still together, but behind these two Tucker has closed in on Roberts for fourth. Next time by Roberts steps it up. Partly it’s to stay in front of Tucker, partly because now he can see Mayes and Lippert. At the back of the field, Cochran goes four-off again — and pits, again.

With two to go, Lippert gets the run on Mayes and takes him going in to turn 10! This is great for Roberts as he latches onto the back of Mayes, and Tucker is not far behind.

Chris Willcox (c.) won both races at Mont-Tremblant, while Dick Lippert (r.) scored two P3s. John Mayes (l.) paired his Saturday P2 with a Sunday fifth.

Last lap. Lippert, Mayes and Roberts are chained together the whole lap as they head to the last chance to pass: Namerow, the hairpin just before pit-in. Lippert stays on line so Mayes pops to the inside. They are side by “eeetch” (as Sylvain says) in the brake zone! Roberts is right behind Lippert but brakes too late. Instead of hitting Lippert he moves to the outside and gets in the grass, going waaaaaaaay four-off. Roberts bounces through the gravel, keeps going and rejoins, but now it’s Mayes and Lippert hub to hub through Namerow, through the fast lefthander and up to the line. Who gets second place? Mayes, by the three little 10ths… What a finish!

Race One final results:
1., Chris Willcox; 2., John Mayes; 3., Dick Lippert; 4., Peter Tucker; 5., Tom Roberts; 6., Jimmy Locke; 7., Murray Marden; 8., John Peterson; 9., Jim Lowe; 10., Dom Bastien; 11., Tom Cochran

Race Two:
The green waves and Lippert gets a great start from his P2 starting position, and actually leads Willcox across the line. But Willcox has the better line for Turn One and snatches back the lead. Out of Eight, the second-gear, increasing radius hairpin, they start the long run to 10. Locke gets the run on Lippert and makes the move for second. Mayes is fourth and being hounded like you read about by last-minute addition Bill Hammer. (Saturday morning, Hammer decided to check out how much fun these guys were having. He only did four fliers in qualifying but was able to hold on to a sixth-place starting position!) Back in the pack Cochran spins in Eight. Having fully digested the rule book, he stays out of pit lane…

The action did not settle down during the second lap. First, Bastien gets squirrelly in Four, tank slaps it all the way to Five… and spins. (This two-corner combo is proving to be quite treacherous for Dom.) Down Eight Roberts tries the pass on Marden and they go through side by “eeetch” and drag race to T10 where Roberts finishes the pass. Ahead of these two, Hammer is hammering on Mayes for P4. Up to Namerow and Mayes makes the mistake. He overshoots the corner and goes four-off. It’s Hammertime!

Lap three. Tucker closes on Mayes for fifth; Roberts, Peterson and Marden are locked in mortal combat for seventh; and at the front Locke and Lippert are doing their best to stay close to Willcox.

Lap four. No changes for most of the field, but Bastien gets by Lowe for 10th and Cochran passes the other “late add,” Russell Payton. Payton flew from the west coast Saturday just to make this race!

Dom Bastien had a bit of a time figuring out Turns 4 and 5, but he still scored 14 points.

Over the next handful of laps things start to settle in. Willcox pulls away from Locke and Lippert, and Tucker is still trying to find away around Mayes. Roberts pulls away from Peterson, who does the same to Marden. Bastien gradually closes on Marden. Lowe spins in Turn 7, but luckily doesn’t hit anything. He pits to have his bodywork (and underwear) adjusted and rejoins.

Four to go… Mayes is feeling the pressure from Tucker, but on the run to 10 Peter “Tucks” inside of Mayes and gets the position! Hammertime has surreptisiously made some inroads on Lippert and looks like he might have a shot. Meanwhile, Bastien has caught Marden and the “Dom-inater” out-brakes him into Namerow.

Three to go… Mayes isn’t giving up and puts the pressure on Tucker through both Seven and Eight and gives Tucker the same treatment in T10. Bastien, having saved up his “push to pass” inventory, uses one on Peterson going down to 10 to take P8.

With two to go, Willcox comes up on lapped traffic. Is there hope for Locke and Lippert? Nope, Willcox gets around fairly easily. On the last lap, the P2 battle reaches the lapped traffic, but instead of tightening things up, it slightly separates them, taking away any last-lap heroics.

Race Two final results:
1., Willcox; 2., Locke; 3., Lippert; 4., Bill Hammer; 5., Mayes; 6., Tucker; 7., Roberts; 8., Bastien; 9., Peterson; 10., Marden; 11., Russell Payton; 12., Lowe; 13., Cochran

Pork Chop Willie was a late add to the Sunday Masters National. With very little track time, Bill Hammer qualified sixth and finished fourth — well done…

Todd Snyder

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