Modified course or the full circuit. It doesn't seem to matter to Formula Dodge Southern Race Series competitors. Apparently, there's just something about Sebring International Raceway that brings out the best in the drivers on the Southern ...
Modified course or the full circuit. It doesn't seem to matter to Formula Dodge Southern Race Series competitors.
Apparently, there's just something about Sebring International Raceway that brings out the best in the drivers on the Southern series. One month after setting three track records on Sebring's Modified layout, the Formula Dodge chauffeurs attacked the full 3.61-mile layout at the venerable Florida road course this past weekend.
The result was another barnburner.
The track record was broken four times and lowered by nearly two seconds. On five occasions, the race winner needed to make a last lap pass to secure the victory. And five races were decided by seven-tenths of a second or less.
The big winner was Rafael Sperafico. Sperafico won both races in Group 2 to run his personal winning streak to three and set two track records. When the weekend was over, Sperafico held the mark with a lap of 2:31.512.
Chris Baker followed Sperafico in both races while Whitney Bellows and Louis Dibrell notched third-place finishes. Dibrell advanced from 12th to claim his podium spot, which also earned him the Masters Division victory. Jay Fuchs picked up the other Masters win.
Group 3 featured a spirited showdown between Craig Duerson and Arnold Brinkman. Brinkman twice had victory snatched from his grasp on the last lap. Craig Duerson was the driver who administered both passes, winning by .094 seconds on Saturday and by .188 seconds on Sunday.
Todd Russo turned in a masterful performance, coming from 14th to third, to capture the Masters race on Sunday. Quentin Wahl topped the Masters Division on Saturday.
Group 1 had multiple contenders rise and fall in a matter of a few laps. Five different drivers led laps and there were four leaders in the final six laps alone on Saturday. Matt Franc emerged from the pack to edge points leader Scott Bassinder by .269 seconds while Shareef Malnik took third and the Masters victory.
Bassinder and Franc went at it again in the second race with Bassinder coming out on top by .675 seconds. Bud Risser claimed a well-deserved Masters win, advancing from 15th to third. Ray Shaffer underscored the competitiveness of this group. Shaffer established a track record (that would be broken by Sperafico in the next race), but had to settle for fourth.
In Group 4, Scott Presti had his hands full with Chip Bryant, but managed to pull out two victories. Presti need a last lap pass to nip Bryant by .583 seconds on Saturday. Gilles Tinguely was a close third. The three finished in the same order on Sunday. Randy Allison and Malnik were the Masters Division winners.
Several drivers from the Barber Dodge Pro Series were pitted against Formula Dodge veterans in Group 5. Bryan Sellers pulled away from Franc and Thed Bjork in the first race. Matt Plumb came from fifth to beat Sellers and Rhonda Trammel on Sunday.
- Roy Hasty