SBRS: Lime Rock Park Eastern Regional report

Make It A Double Ernesto Viso, Andrew Prendeville and David Kaemmer were perfect, scoring two victories in Formula Dodge Eastern Regional action at Lime Rock Park. Similarly, Mike Wert took multiple Masters wins to make his charge in...

Make It A Double

Ernesto Viso, Andrew Prendeville and David Kaemmer were perfect, scoring two victories in Formula Dodge Eastern Regional action at Lime Rock Park. Similarly, Mike Wert took multiple Masters wins to make his charge in the Eastern Regional Masters Championship. Viso and Prendeville were among several rookies that fared well on the cozy 1.54-mile circuit. Rookies Bob Sayers, Jerry Molitor and Norio Takeda also turned in strong performances suggesting that championship contention may only be one season away. Leaving Lime Rock, Viso and Andy Newell lead the championship with 172 points, trailed slightly by Mike Marino, who sits with 167 points with three race weekends remaining. By virtue of his strong drives in Connecticut, Mark Patterson now holds a slight edge over Brad Parker and Wert in the Masters Championship. Heavy rains brought out treaded tires for Friday’s action, but improved weather saw R/T 2000s revert to Michelin slicks for Saturday’s races.

Viso prepares to assume the pole position

In Race 1, Viso darted out quickly en route to a wire-to-wire victory from pole, taking the checkered flag in front of steady Mike Marino and Tom Sands. Sands improved from the fourth position to claim the last podium spot. Bob Sayers drove a dynamic race, slashing his way from 15th to 11th before the first cycle, then improving six more positions for a top-5 result. Terry Ray took the Masters win in this race, besting Brad Parker for the honor and maximum points

Drivers grid up for race action

In Race 2, fourth place starter Andy Newell motored past Norio Takeda, Jordan Gore and Mike Marino to capture the win in group 3, race 1. Newell’s margin of victory over Marino was a thin 0.453 sec. While a number of racers tripped laps in the 1:03 sec. range, Takeda set the fastest lap among them with a time of 1:03.084 sec. Mike Wert earned his first Masters win of the weekend comfortably ahead of Dave Figurski, who place second in the 40-plus category. Practically everyone in the group went off track in the worsening conditions.

Newcomer Glen Scalia qualified an impressive seventh

Andrew Prendeville, starting from pole, suffered an early miscue that knocked him back to fourth when he touched the wall in the uphill and had to pit. He then bounced back ably to regained the point by lap 14 en route to his first Skip Barber Race Series victory. Prendeville’s brother Doug and Rob Grien joined the race winner on the podium, second and third respectively. Grien also nabbed extra points for the Masters class win. Lee Novak, who started in 14th, earned most progressive driver distinction by advancing to finish in the top-5.

The day’s final race featured a motivated David Kaemmer, who checked out from pole position and cruised to a comfortable 0.48.441 sec. margin win over Greg Storms and promising rookie Jerry Molitor. Molitor, who started last on the grid, drove an inspired race to his podium result. Roland Isra, who swept the Masters National races that were also held at Lime Rock Park, finished fifth and collected Masters points for the class win.

Viso kicked off the second day of racing in the Berkshires from pole position. Though Mike Marino consistently applied pressure, Viso took the group win in this 26-lap match-up for the second consecutive day. Marino held off a hard charging Bob Sayers to earn second place honors while Sayers finished in third. Masters racer Mark Patterson cherry-picked his way through a talented field to finish in seventh after having started from 17th on the grid. Patterson’s achievement earned him maximum Masters points and contributed to his championship lead.

The Skip Barber mechanics kept things running throughout the weekend

In group 3 race 2, Norio Takeda assumed the lead from polesitter Andy Newell on lap 15, then held the point the balance 11 laps to the final wire. Newell and third place starter Mike Marino joined Takeda on the steps to round out the podium. Jordan Gore set the fastest lap among the group with a time of 1:01.505 sec., considerably quicker than the times set the previous day on treaded tires.

Rookie Andrew Prendeville notched his second victory of the season from pole in dominant style. Masters racer Lorin Gill, the sixth place starter, came home in second with Lee Novak in third. Second place starter Doug Prendeville set fastest lap of the group but couldn’t overcome three off track excursions and had to settle for a seventh place result.

Group 5’s David Kaemmer earned a triple crown of sorts with his victory from pole and fastest lap along the way. Kaemmer resumed the lead late on lap 25 to snatch the win from a feisty Roland Isra. Isra had led from lap 8 to 25 and looked headed for a win. However, fortunes changes when a full course yellow came out with four laps to go bunching up the field. One lap later, the course went green. As the laps waned, Kaemmer tucked in behind Isra and in a last lap dash, popped out of the exit of the downhill to beat Isra at the flag and take an incredibly close 0.052 sec. victory over the New Yorker. Masters points leader Mark Patterson won the Masters class with his eighth place overall result.

The festive weekend ended with a Memorial race won by Jason Holehouse, followed by Steve Rickert and David Kaemmer. Holehouse broke the old track record of 1.01.010 sec. with his best lap time of 1.00.812 sec.

The Formula Dodge Eastern Regional Series and Masters National Championship moves to the Mid-Ohio Road Course for action on September 1 and 2.

- Andrew Torres

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