Memorable Moroso: Rounds 9 & 10, Southern

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 Before we get into the Moroso Race Weekend re-caps, we just wanted to make sure everybody knows that we again have been asked by Watkins Glen International to bring our ‘‘show’’ to the big June 7-10 Rolex Grand-Am weekend! Our races are open to ANY series driver over the age of 18.

NOTE: These races are also part of the 2007 Masters National Championship schedule.

At this point we’re looking at having pre-event (Thursday) Lapping, plus separate qualifiers for each race.

This is a UNIQUE opportunity for our Series drivers to race in front of a very large, very appreciative racing crowd, during a professional road racing weekend. Don’t miss out!

Okay, back to Moroso…

Fantastic weather and the smallest number of CDRs in SBRS history – there wasn’t even one FCY the whole weekend – were just a couple of the highlights of the Southern Series Race Weekend at Moroso Motorsports Park. Two sons of famous racing fathers – Derek Daly and Eric Bachelart – made their debuts with us. Conor Daly is the 15-year-old son of Derek, known to the kids as the SPEED TV announcer but whose racing CV includes: former F1 race winner, two-time winner of the Sebring 12-Hour, former British F3 champion, and Formula Ford Festival champion. Eliott Bachelart, also 15, is the son of Eric: Belgian Touring Car star, CART Indy Lights champion, Ferrari Le Mans driver, and owner of the Conquest Racing Champ Car team. One of the most successful drivers of the early years of the Indy Lights Series, Bachelart moved to the United States from his native Belgium in 1990 and finished third in his first Lights race. He would earn two more podiums in his rookie year and followed that season with a championship run that included four race wins. He moved into Champ Car the following season and finished second to Stefan Johansson in the series Rookie of the Year chase. He retired from driving in 1996 and founded Conquest Racing in 1997. The team competed in the Indy Lights series before moving to the IRL in 2001 with Laurent Redon, earning a podium finish in 2002 at California Speedway as well as taking the season Rookie of the Year Award. In 2007, Conquest is running New Zealand’s Matt Halliday.

RC&T&S&H were handled admirably by Kim, Kelly and Kick Kickelson, and a perfect job by the Skip Barber crew, too (congrats to Randy Penning, the Mechanic of the Weekend).

We also want to welcome four other new drivers to our Race Series: Doug Anderson, Sean Happ, Mike Riolo and Bob Vlastos.

Results, time sheets and qualifying are here

Here are the Southern Region points standings

Southern and Western Series schedules – plus the recently announced East and Midwest skeds! — are here

Here the race group re-caps…

New driver Mike Riolo had a fourth and a third in his first-ever race weekend.

G1R1 (Sportsman)
Conor Daly, showing his success in karts was based on more than a last name, started on the front row and took advantage of polesitter John Potter’s ride through the tulies at Turn Three on the first lap to lead flag-to-flag in his SBRS debut. Eliott Bachelart ran a solid P2 though he never really worried Daly much. The haggling over third place was another matter altogether, with Nick Spencer, Dan Graeff and newbie Sean Happ going at it hammer and tongs, Spencer eventually getting away from Graeff and Happ, who crossed the line P4/P5 inches apart. Doug Anderson came home sixth, followed by Scott ‘‘Tank’’ Panzer, Potter and Erik Brumme. Daly set fastest race-lap (1:40.126), a micro-second quicker than Bachelart’s :40.299

You think there’s a reason why famous racers send their progeny to Skip Barber Racing? The latest: Derek Daly (far left) with son Conor, who had a win in a Sportsman and a fifth in a Championship event. Eric Bachelart (far right) – Champ car team owner, Indy Lights champion, Belgium touring car star – with Eliott, who got a P2 on Saturday in Sportsman and a sixth (from 11th) in Championship on Sunday.

G1R2 (Sportsman)
Daly and Bachelart graciously moved up to Championship Group 2, so this became a six-man contest. Spencer led the opening laps but by the third time around, Potter had wiggled his way past for the lead, with Anderson hounding the both of them. Eventually Potter broke away, leaving a terrific race-long dice between Spencer, Graeff and Anderson for second-through-fourth, the positions changing lap to lap. With two laps to go, Spencer went hub-to-hub with Graeff and made a pass stick to grab third place, less than a second behind P2 Anderson at the checker. Happ and Brumme rounded out the field. Potter juuuuuuust missed getting into the :39s, turning a 1:40.00, on his penultimate lap.

John Potter had a memorable weekend, winning three of the four races he entered.

G2R1 (Championship)
This was a flag-to-flagger for Craig Duerson, leading all 15 laps and finishing 8 seconds up on P2. And this race was all about second place. Through the entire first half of the race, there was a different driver in P2 after each lap. First Hayden Duerson, then David Libby, then Hayden again, then Libby again, then Ricky Taylor, then Libby, then Taylor, then Libby. Shew! Libby was then able to hold second from lap eight on, with Taylor stalking. But on the last lap, Ricky pounced to take second place away from Libby. Matt Ferris and Hayden D. came across the line 3 seconds later, nearly side by side, for fourth and fifth. Jordan Taylor, Ricky’s little bro’ came sixth, followed by Dom Bastien and Luca Orlandi.

G2R2 (Championship)
Right from the git-go of this 14-lapper Craig D. and Ricky T. were the strongest, and it took half the race for Duerson to make a 3-second gap on Taylor. Early on it was a great six-car fight for P3: Hayden D., Libby, Ferris, Jordan T., Conor Daly and Eliott Bachelart. It took all the way to lap eight before third through sixth ‘‘settled down,’’ and it wasn’t until lap 10 that the remaining four positions were decided. At the checker, Jordan T. took third behind his brother, while Ferris, who briefly toyed with third place, ended up where he started, fourth. Daly and Bachelart tag-teamed to haul themselves from 10th and 11th to finish fifth and sixth, respectively, with Hayden D., Bastien, Josef Newgarden (punted from behind on the opening lap) and Luca Orlandi rounding out the runners. Libby had to park it after seven laps, the result of contact that he and Hayden D. had at various times during the race.

Shelley Taylor, you gotta be one proud Momma! In G2R2, Ricky (far left) was second and Jordan was third. That guy in the middle has been known to pedal a race car pretty fast, too…

G3R1 (Sportsman)
John Potter, who was doubling, basically walked this race. After an early tussle for second place involving Jay Fuchs, Mike Riolo and Don Van, by lap four Van had the position for good. Then the race saw a duke-out for P3 between Riolo and Fuchs, a battle soon joined by a flying Scott Panzer, coming up from DFL, who got up to fourth on lap 12, behind P3 Fuchs. But Riolo fought back and with two to go Riolo got back around Panzer and held fourth to the flag. Bob Cooper came sixth, Albert Carter seventh and Mark Olson eighth. Bob Vlastos and the two Skinners – Brian and Bill – rounded out the field.

G3R2 (Sportsman)
It was Potter again, leading every lap which meant he batted .750 for the weekend. Early on Fuchs held station in second place, with Van right behind. Then Van went past Fuchs – but only for a few laps as Jay took P2 back on lap 13. But the next lap Fuchs fell to fourth as both Van and Riolo went around him and that’s how it finished: Potter, Van and new-guy Riolo, followed by Fuchs, Carter, Olson, Brian Skinner and Vlastos.

New Masters driver Bob Vlastos had a good time at Moroso.

Billy ‘Legal Eagle’’ Jacobs Enduro Memorial
Back in the day, as Little E would say, Terry Earwood was a drag racing legend. One of his drag racing bro’s was Billy Jacobs, whose race cars (some of them meeting NHRA specs, some, um, maybe not…) were dubbed Legal Eagle. Billy recently passed, so this Memorial – an enduro, two drivers per team – was run in his honor. ‘‘Matt Craig’’ in the 43 and ‘‘Bobo Libby’’ in the 31 were the early frontrunners, with ‘‘Eliott Coner’’ and ‘‘Doppler Ferris’’ challenging. The 43 team took the lead for good on lap 20 of this 37-lapper, but climbing through the ranks was ‘‘JP Bastien,’’ the number 99 moving into third on that lap, taking second one lap later. At the checker, the 43 was 27 seconds up the road from P2, but it was very close, especially for an enduro, for the next three spots. ‘‘JP Bastien’’ was only 4 seconds clear of ‘‘Doppler Ferris,’’ and ‘‘Bobo Libby’’ was less than 1 second behind them. Good stuff…

Next up!
The season finale of the 2006-2007 Western Region is this weekend (March 31-April 1) at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. In the Championship division, it’s down to Tim Traver and Alan Baia, tied for second place and trying to overhaul points leader Tom Roberts. In Sportsman, leader Gary Williams, Jr., has Juan Pablo Glover Contreras and Michael Ramies to contend with. The season-end banquet is at a very cool place we found – and it’s right on the beach (which one would suspect with a name of ‘‘Beach Resort Monterey’’). We’re going Hawaii theme, which means Miller is probably going to bring one of his $15,000 carbon-fiber surfboards for all of us to ogle. And maybe hula girls… Plus, be prepared for a Pink Floyd-quality stage show for the evening’s awards ceremonies.

Right after the Western Series ends, we’ve got the Daytona finale for the Southern Series, April 13-15. Daytona’s 24-hour course is a great venue to end the season. And with the Skip Barber Formula 2000s now equipped with Handford Devices, the racing and drafting should be out of this world exciting. The banquet is at ‘‘Daytona U.S.A.,’’ which is an awfully cool place.

East and Midwest Series Open Soon
Based on the positive feedback we’ve gotten from our drivers over the past couple of years, we are continuing the trend of combining many of the East and Midwest weekends.

That means this year’s first three race weekends – VIR, Watkins Glen and Road America – are East-Midwest combos. The East then has a Lime Rock Park event, then the two championships come together again for Mont Tremblant and Mid-Ohio.

Then, the stand-alone finale for the Midwest is Road America and for the East, Lime Rock closes out the championship.

The dates and venues are below, but first we want let you know that we are again offering a discount for the Race Series for those that would like to pre-pay.

If you pay for a full season (plus any additional Lapping Days and Practice Days you would like to include) by Monday, April 16, we will take off 10% – that’s like getting a Race Weekend for free.

2007 Midwest Race Series
April 20-22, VIR
May 25-27, Watkins Glen
June 29-July 1, Road America
July 27-29, Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant
Oct. 30-Sept. 2, Mid-Ohio
Sept. 28-30, Road America

2007 Eastern Race Series
April 20-22, VIR
May 25-27, Watkins Glen
June 29-July 1, Road America
July 12-14, Lime Rock Park
July 27-29, Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant
Oct. 30-Sept. 2, Mid-Ohio
Oct. 11-13, Lime Rock Park

Rick Roso

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