SBRS: Duerson, Risser repeat as Southern Regional champions

Craig Duerson recorded two wins to clinch the Formula Dodge Southern Regional Championship in the first ever series action at Daytona Motor Speedway. Bud Risser, also with two wins under his helmet, clinched his second consecutive Masters ...

Craig Duerson recorded two wins to clinch the Formula Dodge Southern Regional Championship in the first ever series action at Daytona Motor Speedway. Bud Risser, also with two wins under his helmet, clinched his second consecutive Masters Championship in the South. The first day of racing was run on treaded tires under the threat of rain. Second day weather conditions called for slicks, which immediately resulted in swifter lap times. This marked the first outing by the Skip Barber Race Series on the 24-hour road course, a circuit approximately 3.56 miles in length.

Steven Klein was the first winner of the weekend in group 1 race 1, recording a narrow victory over Brian Rivera. Klein, who started from pole, traded the point with Rivera several times before wrestling it away for good on lap 7. Chip Bryant, last year's Eastern Series champion, followed closely in third. Todd Russo, the most progressive driver from 12th, took the Master's win with a fifth overall finish.

In group 2 race 1, Louis Dibrell scored a double victory, fastest overall and best in Masters competition. Dibrell's win included a fastest lap time of 2:18.063 sec. Polesitter Daniel Moraes, dislodged halfway into the contest, finished in second ahead of Whitney Bellows in third. Bellows had a phenomenal charge, advancing from 12th at the start to claim the last rostrum spot.

Craig Duerson got his first win of the weekend in group 3 race 1. Duerson started from pole and then held off aggressive overtures from Ben Moore III and Peter Tucker, who would go on to second and third place results. Tucker claimed some extra credit for his Masters victory. Bud Risser moved up from 11th on the grid to finish in the top-5.

Rookie and polesitter Scott Poirier won handily in group 4 race 1, recording a fastest lap time of 2:16.780 sec. along the way. His 9-second margin victory over Matt Franc and David Weiringa meant that the 1-2-3 start order would remain in tact. In fact, all top-six grid positions remained the same as racers struck defensive postures and passing opportunities were limited. Peter Stolper took the Masters win over Lorin Gill.

In the day's last race action, Gerardo Bonilla cruised to an 11-second victory in group 5, race 1. Bonilla led 11 of the 12 laps, nodding off on lap 4 before re-establishing the point for good on lap 5. David Harris followed in second. Bud Risser had another inspiring drive, from 13th at the start, to finish in third and take the Masters bounty.

Under cloudy but a considerably drier clime, the second day of racing would be one of chirping tires, roaring engines and clinching championships. Brian Rivera took the first win, narrowly, when he eclipsed Dan Kraus at the checkered flag by 0:071 sec. Polesitter Steven Klein, who had set fastest lap with a time of 2:13.568 to establish track record to that point, finished in third. Todd Russo was quickest among the Masters.

Louis Dibrell led all laps before winning his second race in as many outings over Daniel Maraes and Whitney Bellows. Neither Moraes nor Bellows could improve upon their 2-3 start positions, though they did manage to hold off the intentions of Ron Atapattu and Jay Fuchs. Atapattu would claim the Masters win while Emilio Diguida would earn most progressive driver distinction.

In group 3 race 2, Polesitter Craig Duerson lowered the track record considerably with his 2:12.915 sec. fastest lap en route to his second win and a championship clinching race. Duerson was dominant, opening up a gap that allowed him to take the checkered flag 17-seconds ahead of Ben Moore III in second. Moore was followed by Bud Risser, newly anointed Master's champion, in third. Gerardo Bonilla battled back from eighth to finish in fourth and earn most progressive driver.

David Weiringa answered back to lower the track record even further, this time with a 2:12.468 sec. lap time as he went on to take the win in group 4 race 2. Weiringa passed polesitter Scott Poirier early, and then held the point to the final flag. Poirier and Matt Franc followed closely in second and third. Peter Stolper took the maximum in Masters points with his sixth place finish and Al O'Connor was the most progressive driver of the group, finishing in seventh after a start from 12th.

In group 5 race 2, Scott Bassinder won in front of Gerardo Bonilla and David Harris. Bassinder's win was punctuated with a fastest lap time of 2:13.422 sec. Bud Risser continued his Masters dominance with another win in the 40-plus category, allowing him to take an early clinch of the Series Championship. The ever-improving Laura Rowe had her best race with a seventh place result.

In the Yogi Bear Memorial, Scott Bassinder, Dan Kraus and David Harris were the 1-2-3 finish order in the weekend finale.

-BARBER

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Scott Poirier , Skip Barber , Craig Duerson , Chip Bryan , Gerardo Bonilla