Bonilla wins the Formula Dodge National Championship
Orlando, FL- The Skip Barber National Championship presented by RACER Magazine has finally come to a conclusion. For Floridian Gerardo Bonilla, it was a hard fought journey that ended in jubilation. Rounds 13 and 14 would bring the championship to a close at arguably the most competitive racing circuit in North America, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Bonilla got off to a great start for the three day race event. He ended up either fastest or second fastest in both of the practice sessions on the first day. The technical racing circuit offers a challenge to all of the competitors who have entered the event. "Driver's performance becomes a little more important at Mid-Ohio," stated Bonilla. "You may say I really like this type of challenge."
The second day of the event saw another practice session followed by qualifying for round 13. Bonilla managed the second fastest time in the morning practice session in slick racing conditions. Bonilla's qualifying time placed him second on the grid only 0.045 seconds behind the pole position time. When the green flag dropped, Bonilla maintained his second place position. A torrid race pace was set as Bonilla continued to run in second position. Then a slight bobble by the race leader Matt Varsha allowed Bonilla to make a pass for the lead. Bonilla was focused on winning the race and the championship was in sight. Into the last corner the checkered flag was in sight and with winning his fourth race of the year, Bonilla clinched the championship. "After the race I came into the pits with my fists were in the air," said Bonilla. "I've learned how to win a championship and I'm desperately hungry to do it again. Despite clinching the year long championship there was still another race left. "Winning the championship is so much tougher than people realize," said Bonilla "It's one of those victories you have to experience to fully appreciate."
The following day Bonilla arrived at the race track relaxed knowing that the championship was his. Despite this, he was determined to take the pole position in his final race of the season. Qualifying would see the track in the beginning with very low grip and had drivers struggling to carry corner speeds into the faster turns. "Near the end of the session I was able to put together a string of laps," said Bonilla. "In fact I had a flyer that secured pole and set a new track record!" Bonilla would start his final race from the pole, but the rest of the field was still racing for season ending championship positions. The second race of the weekend would see some great racing with great passing maneuvers. Bonilla would slip back in the race but bring home his Dodge powered RT/2000 formula car. Bonilla would win the championship with four wins and a 15 point lead over second place finisher, Jordy Vorrath. "The most overwhelming part of winning this championship, other than the enormously long wait, was the response from my friends, family and supporters," exclaimed Bonilla. Bonilla will not rest on these laurels as he prepares for the 2006 racing season. With the support from his family, friends and supporters he looks to the possibilities that await him in his open wheel career.