Eastern Series Finale Crowns J. Taylor

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 Story photos begin below…
The Eastern Series season finale at Lime Rock Park featured two first time winners – Justin Piscitell and Evan Kalogiannis — as well as a successful ‘‘comeback’’ by Louis Albornoz. The weather cleared up beautifully in time for the races and after five groups completed their races Saturday afternoon, we crowned the champions.

The Eastern title was taken by four-time race winner Jordan Taylor, who scored 619 points. As a first-year driver, needless to say Jordan also won the Rookie of the Year honor.Gabby Chaves won five races but fell 22 tallies short to finish second overall, while third in the championship was two-time victor Gregg Markarian. Also winning Championship Division races were Conor Daly, Jeff Oleen, Peter Ludwig, Jeff Castellano and Nick Darinzo.

The highest finishing Sportsman Division driver was Carlos Medina. He won three Sportsman races and came home 16th overall in the championship. It should be noted that Corey Lewis only entered four races – and won them all. Also noteworthy is recognition for Most Improved Driver, and this year it went to the inestimable Pat Daly.

In the Masters Division, Tom Capizzi was the titlist, with Chris Brassard second and Doug Harrison third (as well as taking the ‘‘Grand Master’’ championship honor).

Congratulations to the champions! This was a terrific Skip Barber Eastern Race Series season…

Results, time sheets and qualifying are here

Here are the Eastern Region final points standings

There were three Sportsman Groups at Lime Rock, with both Group 1 races won by Corey Lewis, who led every lap of both races! Gilberto Garrudo was second in both races, setting fastest race-lap in the first one, while P3 in race one was eventual Sportsman champion Carlos Medina. Gustavo Linares set fastest lap in race two on his way to third place, after finishing sixth in race one. Also having good G1 Sportsman races were Scott James (fourth and sixth) and Nick Brady (fifth and fourth).

It had been a year since Louis Albornoz had raced, but in the first of Group 3’s Sportsman races, he led early, but then fell off the road! But Louis stormed his way back, taking the win from Paolo Orlandi by just .111 of a second. Jeff Rothstein completed the podium, with Barry Salween and Jeff Poarch rounding out the top five. It was a lot less dramatic for Albornoz in the second race, officially leading every lap and finishing 9 seconds up on Poarch. The drive of the race was from Fabrice Weill. He started on the sixth row but by mid-race was up to fourth. With five to go, Weill got around Rothstein to grab a podium. P. Orlandi rounded out the top five.

Group 5 was the third Sportsman congregation and its first race was a deusy between Justin Piscitell and Evan Kalogiannis. These two swapped the lead a half-dozen times. Kalogiannis was leading with a lap to go but Piscitell popped for the win, a scant .188 over Kalogiannis at the line. Gary Vizioli had a very good race, starting sixth and making the podium. Bill Shields and Russell Gee were fourth and fifth. In the second race, it was Kalogiannis-Piscitell redux, but this time Kalogiannis made the late-race pass for the win, just .063 in front of Piscitell at the checker. Shields and Fred Bevins duked it out for P3, with Shields eventually prevailing. Rich Rivera got a fine fifth.

The Eastern Series title contenders — Jordan Taylor and Gabby Chaves — were in Group 2. Chaves did all he could do by winning both races, but Jordan also did exactly what he had to do to win the championship. By finishing second to Chaves in both races, Taylor assured himself of the prestigious title. Bobby Ellis was quick too, finishing third in both races, even harrying Taylor for second place in the second race. Taylor set fastest lap in race 1 while Ellis did it in R2. Tom Capizzi and Gregg Markarian crossed the line under a blanket in the first race for fourth and fifth, respectively, but in the second race it was Jim Craige fourth and Capizzi fifth. Markarian’s seventh place in the second race, just behind John Potter, secured third in the championship.

Group 4 was the second Championship field and it was Nick Darinzo with an impressive win in the first race, avoiding the sliding-off-the-road-blues of some other frontrunners, including polesitter Bobby Ellis, and motoring to a 30-second margin of victory. The battle for second, third and fourth was a tight one, but no late moves were made as Pat Daly held off Jeff Castellano and Bill Hammer, with R.J. Smith coming home fifth.

The second race was a back-and-forth affair between Peter Ludwig and Darinzo, trading the lead in very entertaining fashion. Then Ellis, all the way from 12th on the grid, joined the party and led laps 19 and 20, but Ludwig made his final move for the lead with six laps to go. Ellis tried a run up to the line but fell .1 of a second short, with Darinzo just another 10th of a second further back. Hammer, Daly and Corey Lewis (from 14th) all came under the flag within a half-second of each other.

The Masters ‘‘Run-off’’
Ludwig, Hammer and Capizzi all took turns leading this one, but in the end Ludwig won the battle – 1.772 seconds over Hammer – but Capizzi the war, as his third place assured him the Masters championship.

Next up!
Just around the corner are the starts for the Southern and Western Series. The West opens first, November 2-4 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, then the Southern Series kicks off November 16-18 at the newest Skip Barber base location, Road Atlanta.

Also, we want our Race Series drivers to know that they can buy any Racing School or any Driving School for 30% off if they can do two things: 1), book it by the end of October, and 2), the school has to be one that is scheduled between now and December 31. If you have a spouse, daughter, son, friend, mom, dad – even a mother-in-law, for goodness sake – who you think would love to try the Skip Barber thing, now’s the time to buy! For example, a Three Day Racing School that normally would cost you $3,995 would be only $2,797. We’re doing this only for you, current Skip Barber customers. (And no, the 30% is not for Advanced Activities or Race Series programs – just for everything else!) Go ahead and call your Series Advisor if you want to take advantage…

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 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

Weekend champ Gabby Chaves (r.) won both Group 2 races, but it was Jordan Taylor (l.) who won the Eastern Series championship.

Carlos Medina (95) was the highest scoring Sportsman driver this year. He finished third and fifth in the weekend’s races to wind up 16th overall out of 127 drivers.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2007 Eastern Series Masters champion, Mr. Tooooooooooooooooooom Capizzi!

Louis Albornoz takes a year off, but comes back and wins two races. Betcha is happy…

Bobby Ellis gets some good air in the Uphill. He had some good results, too: a pole, two P3s and a second place.

Nick Darinzo (91) had a pole, a win and a third over the course of the Lime Rock finale weekend.

Corey Lewis entered just four Eastern Region races this year. And won them all.

Very cool podium, folks. In the middle is G5R1 race winner Justin Piscitell, a first-time winner. On the left is Evan Kalogiannis, who finished second on Friday but beat Justin on Saturday, for his first-ever win. On the right is Gary Vizioli, who scored his best-ever finish, P3 on Friday.

New guy Fred Bevins (he got a fourth in one of his races) and his awesome 810 h.p. Corvette.

Rick Roso

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