SBRS: Laguna Seca Results

Subject: Barber Dodge race, Laguna Uphill for Hill As Mastronardi Wins Fifth of the Year = MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 7, from Rick Roso) - In round 10 of 12 at Laguna Seca Raceway, as it has gone since season's start the battle...

Subject: Barber Dodge race, Laguna

Uphill for Hill As Mastronardi Wins Fifth of the Year =

MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 7, from Rick Roso) - In round 10 of 12 at Laguna Seca Raceway, as it has gone since season's start the battle royale continued between Barber Dodge championship protaganists Rino Mastronardi and Derek Hill. Both led the race here, but it was Mastronardi in command for the last 11 laps, taking his fifth win of the year and extending by six his points lead, with two races to go.

After the two tremendously competitive races prior to Laguna--Andy Boss' last-lap thriller at Mid-Ohio and the frenetic, multiple lead changes we were treated to at Road America--it was perhaps too much to ask for yet another wall rattler. Particularly since in years past, Laguna Seca Pro Series races have generally been drive-aways. Not today; It was nose-to-tail up front for most of the race, Rino nipping Chris Menninga by .780 of a second at the end, Hill another two car lengths back.

Both Hill and Mastronardi were having to walk the tightrope here. Each had made race-ending mistakes while going for the lead in the last two races; Mastronardi's overly optimistic try on Boss in the Keyhole at Mid-Ohio, Hill's slip into the gravel against Mastronardi in Canada Corner. Neither could afford a mistake of those proportions. If these two ended up going wheel to wheel, would they give each other room? Or would one or th= e other push until the other blinked?

In qualifying, Menninga earned his first career Barber Dodge pole by stomping Mastronardi by .433 of a second. And that tick of the clock covered the best laps of Nicolas Rondet, Hill, Martin Stenshorne and Rocky Moran, Jr. At the start, Menninga took the lead through Laguna's famous Turn Two, but he fell off the road in Three: "My fault. I braked early, knowing it was going to be slippery, but I didn't brake enough. I dropped two wheels and had to ride it out," Menninga said. Rino, Hill, Little Rock and Rondet flew past. On lap three, Hill made a slick inside move at the Corkscrew to take the lead from Mastronardi, while behind them Menninga was recovering brilliantly--he snatched fourth from Rondet in Two, then third from Moran in Five. But Hill had no rest from Mastronardi and indeed he was smoking the right-front Goodyear every lap going into the Corkscrew. "The left-right balance of the car is off," Hill said, shaking his head. It was pulling right and I had to yank it over to get it to turn in for the lefthanders. At Laguna, there are six of those, and it caught up with him on lap 10, when Mastronardi went inside in Two for the lead. Menninga was now all over Hill and when Hill dropped the right side exiting Six, Menninga pounced. They each tried to intimidate each other into backing off, but there was no contact and Menninga had the position, and that's where they finished. Behind were Rondet, Boss, Stenshorne and Jeff Simmons. Moran dropped to eighth after contact with Jon Fogarty damaged both their cars, while Scott Brunk and Eric Tresslar rounded out the top 10. The fight goes to Reno, Nevada, Oct. 19, where if Rino leaves with a 21 point lead over Hill heading to the finale back here at Laguna, he's the champ. Hill's Reno job is to finish in front of Mastronardi, hopefully by a large number of positions. Street fights are always unpredictable, so this will be very interesting wattching how it plays out.

Results Saturday of 30-minute SCCA Pro Racing Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the Texaco/Havoline 300 CART race weekend, Laguna Seca Raceway, 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course, with starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown or country, winner=92s average speed, laps completed, reason out, if any, and prize money. All cars identical Mondiale Barber Dodge V6 open-wheel, single-seat race cars.

1. (2) Rino Mastronardi, Italy, 91.329 mph (R), 21 laps, $10,000=

2. (1) Chris Menninga, Pella, Iowa, 21, $6,000 =

3. (4) Derek Hill, Santa Monica, Calif., 21, $4,000 =

4. (3) Nick Rondet, San Diego, 21, $2,500 =

5. (8) Andy Boss, Narragansett, R.I., 21, $1,800 =

6. (5) Martin Stenshorne, Norway, 21, $1,500 =

7. (14) Jeff Simmons, East Granby, Conn., 21, $1,300 =

8. (6) Rocky Moran, Jr., Coto de Caza, Calif., 21, $1,200 =

9. (13) Scott Brunk, Frederick, Md., 21, $1,000 =

10. (18) Eric Tresslar, Denver, 21, $1,000 =

11. (19) Samer Hindi, Los Angeles, 21, $800 =

12. (16) Victor Gonzalez, Puerto Rico, 21, $700 =

13. (23) Randy Harris, San Francisco, 21, $1,100 =

14. (9) Jose Antonio Costa, Peru, 21, $500 =

15. (15) Guillermo Rojas, Jr., Mexico, 21, $500 =

16. (7) Jon Fogarty, Portola Valley, Calif., 21, $500 =

17. (20) G.J. Mennen, Jr., Austin, Texas, 21, $500 =

18. (22) Sean Patrick Flanery, Hollywood, Calif., 21, $500 =

19. (24) William Peetz, Brazil, 21, $500 =

20. (25) Denis Lay, Miami, 21, $500 =

21. (21) Charles Willis, Germantown, Tenn., 21, $500 =

22. (27) Matt Robinson, Grove City, Ohio, 20, $500 =

23. (28) Patsy DiFilippo, Apollo, Pa., 20, $500 =

24. (10) Will Langhorne, Washington, D.C., 20, $500 =

25. (26) Scott Mayer, Franklin, Wis., 11, driveline, $500 =

26. (17) John McCaig, Canada, 4, accident, $500 =

27. (11) Jarrett Boon, Phoenix, 3, accident, $500 =

28. (12) Bruno Belt, Portugal, 0, accident, $500 =

=

Time of race: 30 minutes, 52.570 seconds (21 laps) =

Winning speed: 91.329 mph (R) =

Distance: 47.00 miles =

Margin of Victory: 0.780 seconds =

Fastest Race Lap: Chris Menninga, lap 16, 1:26.958 (92.652 mph) =

Most Progressive Driver ($500): Randy Harris, 23rd to 13th =

Lap leaders: Mastronardi, 1-3; Hill, 4-10; Mastronardi, 11-21 =

Caution periods: none =

=

Standings after Round 10 of 12: =

1. Rino Mastronardi 145 =

2. Derek Hill 130 =

3. Chris Menninga 110 =

4. Andy Boss 109 =

5. Nick Rondet 105 =

6. Rocky Moran, Jr. 84 =

7. Tony Renna 54 =

8. G.J. Mennen, Jr. 54 =

9. Martin Stenshorne 53 =

10. Giovanni Gulinelli 46 =

Next race: Reno Grand Prix, Reno, Nevada street course, Oct. 19

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