Barber Dodge Qualifying Agate and Story
Hill On Top of It In Savannah SAVANNAH, Ga. (May 17, from Rick Roso) - With four minutes remaining in final qualifying for the Barber Dodge Pro Series round at the Dixie Crystal Grand Prix of Savannah, Derek Hill bumped points leader Rino Mastronardi from the pole, bettering Mastronardi's Friday time by one-half second. Hill's 1:14.369 (95.072mph) gave him his first pole of the year but it is his third straight front-row start of 1997. Norway's Jarle Gasland also took Mastronardi down a notch by turning a lap of 1:14.511. Mastronardi indeed went faster than yesterday but only by a 10th of a second and will start third. Hill, 22, son of 1961 World Champion Phil Hill, had crashed early in first qualifying and was way down the grid, but within minutes of today's qualifying he was knocking up against Mastronardi's and finally took the pole with a lap that, as he said, "I knew was good, so I went to do a better one next time around but I had overheated the tires and that was that. This is my third front row start, isn't it?" Tony Renna, another young driver considered a top championship contender, suffered a driveline failure yesterday and was also buried way back in the field. He was quickly chopping his lap time down when he got loose in the quick Turn 1 and Two complex and smacked the wall. Renna was okay and the car will be repaired in time for Sunday's race but he will start a dismal 20th. Jeff Simmons, younger brother of CART Indy Lights points leader Chris Simmons, is making his professional debut in Barber Dodgge this weekend and has been impressive; he has been one of the quicker drivers of the weekend and qualified ninth, just behind Andy Boss, second in Barber Dodge points behind Mastronardi. The 30-minute Barber Dodge Pro Series race from Savannah starts at 10:00 a.m. Sunday and will be televised on ESPN2 Sunday, June 8 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. time Starting order after final qualifying for SCCA Pro Racing Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the inaugural Dixie Crystals Grand Prix of Savannah. Qualifying position, driver, hometown or country, lap time and average miles per hour around 1.964-mile, 10-turn road course. All cars identical Mondiale Barber Dodge V6 open-wheel, single-seat race cars.
1. Derek Hill, Santa Monica, Calif., 1:14.369, 95.072 mph 2. Jarle Gasland, Norway, 1:14.511, 94.891 3. Rino Mastronardi, Italy, 1:14.865, 94.442 4. Rocky Moran, Jr, Coto de Caza, Calif., 1:14.918, 94.375 5. Mattias Andersson, Sweden, 1:15.019, 94.248 6. Chris Menninga, Pella, Iowa, 1:15.046, 94.214 7. Will Langhorne, Washington, D.C., 1:15.089, 94.160 8. Andy Boss, Narragansett, 01:15.128, 94.111 9. Jeff Simmons, East Granby, Conn., ,1:15.235, 93.978 10. Steven Rikert, Rhinebeck, N.Y, 1:15.269, 93.935 11. Martin Stenshorne, Norway, 1:15.358, 93.824 12. Nick Rondet, San Diego, Calif., 1:15.428, 93.737 13. Scott Brunk, Frederick, Md., 1:15.468, 93.687 14. Samer Hind, Los Angeles, Calif., 1:15.655,93.456 15. G. J. Mennen, Jr., Austin, Texas, 1:15.698, 93.403 16. Giovanni Gulinelli, Italy, 1:15.700, 93.400 17. John McCaig, Victoria, B.C.,Canada, 1:15.745, 93.345 18. Victor Gonzalez, Hatoray, Puerto Rico, 1:15.748, 93.341 19. Jarrett Boon, Phoenix, Ariz., 1:15.749, 93.340 20. Tony Renna, Deland, Fla., 1:15.824, 93.248 21. Eric Tresslar, Denver, Colo., 1:16.055, 92.964 22. Matt Fowler, Ventura, Calif., 1:16.328, 92.632 23. Sean Patrick Flanery, Hollywood, Calif., 1:16.735, 92.140 24. Bill Tichenor, Dallas, Texas, 1:17.211, 91.572 25. Patsy DiFilippo, Apollo, Pa., 1:17.901, 90.761 26. Charles Willis, Germantown, Tenn., 1:17.955, 90.698 27. Denis Lay, Miami, Fla., 1:18.039, 90.601 28. Sebastien Carcone, Paris, France, 1:18.339, 90.254 29. Barry Atkins, West Palm Beach, Fla., 1:18.547, 90.015 $$$