Dodge Pro Series rises again in Phoenix

The second round of the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series is set to take place on April 21 at Phoenix International Raceway. Returning to the Valley of the Sun for the first time since 1995, the Barber Dodge Pro Series looks substantially different...

The second round of the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series is set to take place on April 21 at Phoenix International Raceway. Returning to the Valley of the Sun for the first time since 1995, the Barber Dodge Pro Series looks substantially different from then, but will still provide the same intense competition. Now recognized as the Official Professional Entry Level Race Series of CART, the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series continues to produce top-shelf talent that is sure to rise the CART FedEx Series as have former Pro Series standouts Kenny Brack and Bryan Herta.

Eager to ascend the ranks in 2001 is round 1 race winner Alex Sperafico of Brazil who garnered his first Pro Series career victory on that occasion following a stirring drive. His early season form gives every indication that he will continue a force to be reckoned with for the balance of the season. Strong opposition will come from the two drivers that shared the podium with Sperafico. American Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2000 Barber-CART Rookie of the Year turned in very powerful performance during the first race at Sebring International Raceway finishing second to Sperafico. Frenchman Nicolas Rondet was equally impressive upon his return to the Pro Series having only committed to driving a month before the start of the season. With but a pair of days testing under his belt, Rondet returned to form quickly. His battle with Hunter-Reay was a nail-biter with Hunter-Reay eventually muscling his way into second place with a text book pass. Rondet settled for third after having led part of the race.

With 11 rounds remaining in the series, plenty of time remains for the 21 drivers from six countries to make their mark on the 2001 season. Wiley veterans Roger Yasukawa, Peter Boss, Matt Plumb and Sepp Koster -- all in the mix at Sebring- will look to snag a win and level out the pits table. But upstart rookies like Barber-CART Big Scholarship Winners Jon Morley and Rafael Sperafico are intent on making their mark as well. In a series as competitive and evenly balanced as the Barber Dodge Pro Series, anything can happen.

- George Tamayo

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Barber Pro
Drivers Peter Boss , Bryan Herta , Kenny Brack , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Roger Yasukawa , Rafael Sperafico , Sepp Koster , Alex Sperafico , Matt Plumb , Jon Morley