SBRS: Sebring report and results

> Date: 16 Mar 96 14:19:15 EST > From: rick roso <72230.271@compuserve.com> FIRST WIN FOR MOSER SEBRING, Fla. (Mar. 16) - As any Barber Dodge Pro Series driver will tell you, the racing is so close and competitive that the tiniest...

> Date: 16 Mar 96 14:19:15 EST > From: rick roso <72230.271@compuserve.com>

FIRST WIN FOR MOSER

SEBRING, Fla. (Mar. 16) - As any Barber Dodge Pro Series driver will tell you, the racing is so close and competitive that the tiniest mistake will cost you big. The flip side is that anything you"re given, you grab it without a moment's hesitation and with absolutely no misgivings. Tim Moser took his first Barber Dodge win when in the last lap in the last turn, Fredrik Larsson and Nicolas Rondet crashed as they fought for the finish line, 50 feet away. Third place Moser, last year's Rookie of the Year, was handed his first win. It was a thoroughly exciting--but typical for Sebring--Barber Dodge finish. Moser's victory moved him from nowhere in points to fourth, and the way the first two races have shook out simply lends credence to the notion that this year you might need two hands to count the number of race winners. Moser's inheritance at Sebring takes nothing away from him as a driver. It was a well-deserved win, as he's clearly fast and smart--prior poles, fastest race laps and podium finishes attesting--and all drivers hope that their bad luck is judiciously balanced by the good, and hopefully in the same season. Moser, sponsored in part by David Letterman, a repeat student at the karting school Moser instructs for, crashed at St. Petersburg while dicing for the lead after his suspension was damaged in an early fracas with eventual winner Mauro Fartuszek. So the Sebring race leaves Good Luck and Bad Luck tied at one apiece. Big Scholarship driver Tony Renna was on pole, heading a field of 28, the first 12 of which separated by less than second, but admitted he did not get a good start and was seventh by the time the field got to the Hairpin. Second-starting Larsson thus led into Turn Three, and the furious positioning behind him let him drive to a six car-length lead immediately. That left Moser and Rondet (from fifth) locking horns for the next five laps. On lap six Moser made a tiny mistake--remember those?--in Turn 15 and Rondet blasted past. Simultaneously realizing what was needed, complete cooperation to hunt down Larsson, they hooked up in a two car train. We knew what we had to do. Tim was quicker than me in the slow bits, and I faster on the backside, and we were both a few ticks faster than Freddy, Rondet said. With two laps to go, Rondet had his front wings under Larsson"s gearbox. A look inside in the Hairpin got Larsson to lock up, but he kept the lead. Larsson is no shrinking violet himself, so if Rondet was going to get around he was going to have to go the mat to do it. So it would come down to the last lap and as it turned out, the last corner. Flying down Ulmann Straight, Rondet popped out of the draft and moved to the outside. Side-by-side into 17 they went, two millimeters apart, the Frenchman claimed (and verified by the perfectly directed Blockbuster Video blimp camera shot). Literally only feet from the finish line-- it's just beyond the apex of this long, wide, 180 degree righthander--they touched and spun. Secondary contact tore off Larsson"s left rear, which flew up in the air and came down on his head (ouch!). Moser rocketed by the carnage while Rondet kept it lit and crawled across the line, just in time to nip a resurgent Renna. It was just good, hard racing, and with smiles on their faces, a spontaneous acknowledgement of the terrific race they just had, Rondet and Larsson both apologized to each other in the paddock afterwards. And what of 1996's other players? St. Pete winner Fartuszek was only 12th quickest in qualifying, then ran into the back of Jeff Willoughby in the Hairpin, ending his day. Geoff Boss pulled in after four laps, saying his motor went soft after it got hot, while Derek Hill's new gearbox left him struggling with the upshifts from second to third. On the happier side of things, Brian Selby qualified and finished an impressive fourth (and now third in the points) while Jeff Bucknum dramaticallly improved on his St. Petersburg race with a fifth here at Sebring. Andres Felipe Gomez, Thomas Schie, Seiji Ara, Willoughby and G.J. Mennen rounded out the top 10. For the first time since September of 1994, when Mark Hotchkis led home Jaki Scheckter and Geoff Boss at Road America, the podium was made up entirely of former Skip Barber 2.0L Race Series drivers. Moser and Rondet starred in the Western championship while Renna won Barber's Southern series last year. Now in the points lead, Renna is showing precisely the form the "Big Scholarship judges predicted they'd see in this quiet 19-year-old, while Moser's pick as Rookie of the Year looks pretty smart, too. -Rick Roso

SCCA Pro Racing, Round 2, Barber Dodge Pro Series, at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway, 3.6-mile, 17-turn road course, March 16, 1996. All cars identical 3.5L Dodge V-6, Mondiale chassis, Goodyear Eagle race tires.

Time of Race:29:54.505 (14 laps) Winning Average Speed: 101.100 mph (R) Margin of Victory: 3.403 seconds Fastest Race Lap: Tony Renna, lap 4, 2:07.216/101.870 mph (R) Progressive Custom Wheels Most Progressive Driver Award ($500): Rocky Moran, Jr., 25th to 15th Lap Leaders: Fredrik Larsson, 1 - 13; Tim Moser, 14.

Fin Qul Driver/Town/Country Laps Earn. Pts Status

  1 3   Tim Moser/Ventura, Calif.               14  $10,000 20        Running
  2 5   Nicolas Rondet/France                   14  $6,000  16        Running
  3 1   Tony Renna/Deland, Fla.                 14  $4,000  15        Running
  4 4   Bryan Selby/Alpine, Calif.              14  $2,500  12        Running
  5 6   Jeff Bucknum/Simi Valley, Calif.        14  $1,800  11        Running
  6 10  Andres Felipe Gomez/Colombia            14  $1,500  10        Running
  7 9   Thomas Schie/Norway                     14  $1,300   9        Running
  8 16  Seiji Ara/Japan                         14  $1,200   8        Running
  9 8   Jeff Willoughby/E. Lansing, Mich.       14  $1,000   7        Running
 10 13  G.J. Mennen/Vernon, N.J.                14  $1,000   6        Running
 11 17  Memo Gidley/San Rafael, Calif.                14   $800    5        Running
 12 14  Chris Menninga/Pella, Iowa                14   $700    4        Running
 13 20  Skip Streets/Manhattan Beach, Calif.        14   $600    3        Running
 14 11  Derek Hill/Santa Monica, Calif.                14   $500    2        Running
 15 25  Rocky Moran, Jr./Coto de Caza, Calif.        14 $1,000    1        Running
 16 19  Jakob Sund/Denmark                        14   $500        Running
 17 21  Rino Mastronardi/Italy                  14   $500        Running
 18 23  Gary Glanger/Dallas, Texas                14   $500        Running
 19 15  Leandro Larrosa/Argentina                14   $500        Running
 20 24  Tim Enoch/Mission Viejo, Ca             14   $500        Running
 21 22  Steven Rikert/Rhinebeck, N.Y.           14   $500        Running
 22 18  Brian McCarthy/Dayton, Ohio             14   $500         Running
 23 26  Nick O'Sullivan/Boulder, Co             14   $500        Running
 24 28  Joe Vantreese/Batavia, Ill.             14   $500         Running
 25 27  Jarrett Boon/Chandler, Ariz.            14   $500         Running
 26 2   Fredrik Larsson/Sweden                        13NR $500        Accident
 27 12  Mauro Fartuszek/Argentina                 8NR $500        Accident
 28 7   Geoff Boss/Narrangansett, R.I.                 4NR $500        Retired

Points Standings After 2 of 12 Rounds 1. Tony Renna 25 2. Mauro Fartuszek 21 3. Bryan Selby 21 4. Tim Moser 20 5. Seiji Ara 19 6. Fredrik Larsson 16 7. Nicolas Rondet 16 8. Andres Felipe Gomez 15 9. Rino Mastronardi 14 10. Derek Hill 14

Next Race: Round 3, Phoenix, April 21 -end for more information on

Skip Barber Racing School email WWW@skipbarber.com

Barber Dodge Pro Series email to Rick Roso 72230.271@compuserve.com

all typos are mine, with apologies

Greg Rickes

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