Podlesni Claims First Win of Season in Round 3
Rosamond, CA. (April 4, 2009) Robert Podlesni of Thousand Oaks, CA was able to convert his pole position into a victory today in round 3 of the Pacific F2000 Series presented by Terminal Velocity Processing. Starting in pole position driving his #84/Terminal Velocity Processing/Alpinestars/DFR Van Diemen was overtaken at the start by PR1 Motorsports teammates Shaun Modisette and Scott Rarick as the field streamed three wide into turn one. Modisette in his #26/Carson Trailers/Van Diemen prevailed and at the end of the first lap Modisette, fresh off his wins in the first two rounds earlier this year, led Rarick, #34/Van Diemen, Podlesni followed closely by DFR teammate Peter Hastrup in his #5/Western Building Materials/Nuttal, Brown & Coutts/Van Diemen. Series newcomer Michael Simpson, #48/DFR/Van Diemen ran fifth followed by Max Hyatt, #22/Performance Drink/PR1 Van Diemen, Ira Fierberg, #27/Barry I Goldstein/CPA/Sparco/DFR Van Diemen, Peter West, #99/Terminal Velocity Processing/DFR Van Diemen, Les Phillips, #89/Swiss Implant/Porterfield Brakes/Mygale and Michael Murphy, #18/Mygale.
On lap two Hyatt managed to get by Simpson and West spun elevating Phillips and Murphy as Modisette continued in the lead.
Podlesni managed to get by Rarick on lap three for second place and a lap later as Modisette made a brief off- course excursion moved into the lead taking Rarick with him into second.
Lap four found Michael Murphy, who had spun between turns three and four, stranded for several laps as emergency crews worked desperately to free his car from it's precarious position centered over a drainage swale between the hillside and the edge of the track. Murphy was finally extricated and was able to continue on and finished tenth.
The race stabilized in this order for the next several laps with Podlesni leading Rarick, Modisette, Hastrup having edged away from the battle for fifth between Hyatt, Simpson and Fierberg with Phillips and West in eighth and ninth.
Fierberg made his move on lap nine and overtook Simpson for sixth and followed that with a pass of Hyatt for fifth the following lap, a position he would hold to the end.
Simpson was not content to follow Hyatt and passed him for seventh on lap thirteen while at the front Podlesni still lead from Rarick who now had Modisette in close pursuit and looking for a was past. Modisette got a huge run on Rarick in turn five used that momentum to carry him around the outside of Rarick through the high speed turn eight and went on to finish second. Rarick went on to finish third and with it took the Expert (drivers 35-50) Class win.
Podlesni posted the fastest lap of the race and maintained the gap to the finish and was 3.772 seconds ahead at the flag. It was Podlesni's first win of the season although he was somewhat surprised given the fact that he had not practiced on Friday. He only ran a limited number of laps in qualifying in cold windy conditions and commented, "It was difficult trying to get heat into the tire in these conditions but with a 1:00 pm start that should not be a problem for the race." "Once I was in the lead and started to build a gap, I tried to conserve my tires for tomorrow but was worried that the PR1 drivers might close the gap", he stated, "I managed to hold on and I think we will be good tomorrow."
Peter Hastrup had a lonely race to the flag once he lost touch with the leading trio. His finish enabled him to take the Masters (drivers 51 and over) Class win. Peter was pleased with the car and the finish and hope to be able to continue his strong performance on Sunday.
There was a tie for the hard charger award with certificates awarded to Michael Simpson and Shaun Modisette.