New Hampshire International Speedway was the scene of cold and wet round 3 and 4 action in the 2001 Formula Dodge Eastern Regional Series. 33 racers had to overcome challenging conditions to score wins, points and stay on track. On Saturday, the...
New Hampshire International Speedway was the scene of cold and wet round 3 and 4 action in the 2001 Formula Dodge Eastern Regional Series. 33 racers had to overcome challenging conditions to score wins, points and stay on track. On Saturday, the field ran on a modified turn-6 due to track flooding.
Returning driver Mike Marino, the current points leader, started the weekend with a win in group 1 race 1 over David Kaemmer, in second, and Mike Weagley, in third. Marino, who won at Lime Rock Park in May, started from the fourth position and advanced three positions on his first lap to assume the point. He led all remaining 17 laps. John Stickler claimed the Masters glory with his fourth place result. Aaron Sansone registered most progressive driver, moving up from ninth to finish fifth in his first race weekend with the Series.
Andy Newell was a first time winner as he motored to a 12-sec. margin victory in flag-to-flag style. The polesitter, now second in overall points, checked out while Bob Sayers, Chris Oliver and Abraham Zimroth battled for the two remaining podium spots, eventually secured by Sayers and Oliver. Sayers set the fastest lap of the group with a time of 1:34.222 sec. on the 1.6-mile road course. Scott Boissoneau drove a spirited race to earn most progressive driver distinction while Mike Wert secured the best result in Masters competition.
In the day's last action, 2000 Midwestern Masters champion Roland Isra used a last lap pass of Peter Ludwig to claim the victory. Isra comes off a recent win in the season opener at Lime Rock Park. Ludwig, from fifth, would settle for second place ahead of Mark Patterson, in third. Isra led eight of the 17 lap contest.
Day two of racing featured a wet track but no rain. Still the field ran on Michelin treaded tires for a second consecutive day. Owing to drier conditions, the track reverted to the original configuration in turn-6.
Mike Marino made it two-of-two on the weekend, this time checking out from pole position and leading all 18 laps. David Kaemmer nipped at Marino for most of the action but couldn't best him, eventually tripping the flag a thin 0.682 sec. off the pace. Norio Takeda, starting from last, rounded out the podium with his third place finish. John Stickler took the Masters bounty and a seventh place overall result.
Andy Newell raced to a second consecutive win over Bob Sayers and Chris Oliver, albeit the margin of victory was much closer. Polesitter Newell volleyed the lead with Sayers for the early stages of the 20 lap race, then settled in to lead all remaining 14 laps, setting a fastest lap time of 1:13.563 sec., considerably faster than Saturday's lap times set in the wet. Lorin Gill moved up with aplomb to earn most progressive driver as well as Masters honors.
In group 3 race 2, Ernesto Jose Viso, the points leader heading into New Hampshire, advanced from last place passing all cars en route to the checkered flag. Viso, who started from 11th, improved five positions on the first lap and sat in third by lap 3. He contended with experienced racers David Kaemmer and polesitter Roland Isra for the lead and eventually wrestled the point on lap 8. Isra and Kaemmer would follow to the flag with second and third place results, Isra taking the Masters win in the process.
Ernesto Jose Viso won the Memorial, again battling back from an adverse start position, last in a field of 18. Viso needed 17 laps to find clean air and then led the remaining 8 laps. Roland Isra, who led the majority of the race, and Norio Takeda came home in second and third place respectively.
The Formula Dodge Eastern Regional Championship moves to Virginia International Raceway for series action on June 23 and 24.
- Andrew Torres