New Yorkers dominate wet Eastern Opener. Snow served to remind all drivers that they were in Connecticut. Cold weather, including snow showers, welcomed 60-plus racers who ventured to Lime Rock Park for the Formula Dodge Eastern Regional ...
New Yorkers dominate wet Eastern Opener.
Snow served to remind all drivers that they were in Connecticut.
Cold weather, including snow showers, welcomed 60-plus racers who ventured to Lime Rock Park for the Formula Dodge Eastern Regional opener. Five drivers -- Atticus Missner, Abraham Zimroth, Mike Marino, Roland Isra and David Kaemmer -- headed their respective race groups both times out in the unusually harsh Northwest Connecticut conditions. All five now share the lead with 40 points early in the 16-round series.
National Championship driver Atticus Missner chased down polesitter Aurelio Lopez late in group 1 and then stretched out his lead over the final four laps to capture the victory over John Angelone and Richard Polidori. Morgan Davies was the most progressive racer, advancing from 19th to finish in the top-5.
Abraham Zimroth, of the Upper West Side, claimed his first race series win from pole, leading all 27 laps and taking the checkered flag by a 17 second margin ahead of Kevin Adams and Todd Russo. Adams drover a near-flawless race, picking off 11 positions to earn most progressive driver distinction, setting the fastest lap time of 0:58.616 sec. along the way.
In group 3, New Yorker Mike Marino sidestepped polesitter Chris Oliver on lap 5 and then barely held him off to the final stripe. Oliver, who tripped the fastest lap with a time of the group, was in Marino's shadow for most of the final 23 laps but couldn't make a pass stick. Scott Boissoneau, from 14th, rounded out the podium with his fine third place result.
The 1-5 start order was preserved in group 4, which saw Masters doyen and New Yorker Roland Isra endure all Len Forman could throw at him, motoring to a thin 0.414 sec margin victory. Steve Vajda defended third position with aplomb to land on the podium.
In the day's finale, polesitter David Kaemmer overcame a poor start, in which he forfeited his lead on the opening lap, to recapture the point on lap 2 and take the win in group 5 over Bob Sayers. Antione Bassette, who paced the field over the first circuit, followed in third.
Damp conditions gave way to even worse weather as a low pressure system moved in over Lime Rock Park, affording the drivers and families cold rain, sleet and even snow showers. R/T 2000s were shod with Michelin treaded tires for the second day out. Atticus Missner outlasted a good charge from John Angelone, who led briefly, to take his second win. Missner led 12 of the 13 laps and registered the fastest lap with a time of 1:22.615 sec., significantly slower than the previous day due to the inclement weather. Angelone would later battle with Ed Somma, holding him off to record second place. Somma finished third ahead of most progressive driver Dennis Crowley, who advanced from 14th, to finish fourth.
Polesitter Abraham Zimroth scored a one-second margin victory over Todd Russo and Peter Ludwig. Russo improved upon the first group's fastest time with a lap at 1:20.181 sec. William Yontz ascended three positions, from 12th, to land in the top-10.
In group 3 redux, Mike Marino fended off Tom Sands down the front straight to record his second victory of the weekend. Sands lowered the best time standard even more by lapping the 1.53 mile circuit in 1:18.824 sec. Chris Oliver claimed third place to record his second podium in as many days. Chris Brown drove a notable race to finish with a sixth place result after starting in 11th on the grid.
Eastern regional veteran racer Roland Isra fended off Len Forman again in group 4, despite Forman setting the pace briefly mid-race. Isra led 16 of 17 laps and the final nine before capturing the checkered flag in front of all the cold and wet spectators. Despite the temperature, spirits were warm as the affable New Yorker pulled into pit lane and celebrated his win. Forman earned runner-up for the second day ahead of Mexico's Miguel Abaroa, in third.
The weekend finale, group 5, featured three race leaders. Dave Figurski got a great start and led the first 2 laps before being reeled in by Bob Sayers. Sayers led 13 laps and looked like the lock with two to go. But polesitter David Kaemmer pulled out all the stops to reclaim the lead for the first time all race and pace the remaining laps to the stripe. Sayers followed 0.602 seconds behind for second place ahead of R.J. Smith, who advanced from sixth, to land in third.
The Formula Dodge Eastern Regional Championship shifts South to presumably warmer weather when the series resume at Virginia International Raceway on June 21-22.