SBRS: Series Sebring preview

Skip Barber National Preview - Sebring Sebring, Fla. (Mar.15) After providing arguably the best racing of the weekend at the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the drivers of the 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National next tackle...

Skip Barber National Preview - Sebring

Sebring, Fla. (Mar.15) After providing arguably the best racing of the weekend at the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the drivers of the 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National next tackle the historic 3.7 mile Sebring International Raceway for Rounds 3 and 4 of the season during the 58th Annual 12 Hours of Sebring. Point leader and MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver Spencer Pigot looks to carry his momentum north from Homestead, where he scored a pole and a third before picking up his first career Skip Barber National victory while several drivers look to make that final step onto the top of the podium this weekend.

2009 Review

Last year at Sebring was about one driver; Connor De Phillippi. De Phillippi, the eventual Skip Barber National Champion picked up his first two Skip Barber National wins from pole in dominating fashion on his way to a record-setting seven wins on the season. De Phillippi makes his Star Mazda debut this weekend with JDC Motorsports. Of our trio of sophomore drivers this season, this year's second in points Dennis Trebing came away with the best results at Sebring, coming back from a pair of high speed shunts early in the week to score a pair of front row starting positions and a third place in Race 1. Isaac Lyons made his Skip Barber National debut with a sixth and a 16th while Ashley Freiberg was 19th and 14th in her two races.

Past Champion News

A pair of past National Champions got their seasons off on the right foot at this past weekend's IZOD IndyCar Series opener in Brazil.1999 National Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay led the most laps in an exciting wet and dry race before coming home in second, while 2003 champ Raphael Matos scored a career best fourth in the streets of Sao Paulo.2004 National Champion Marco Andretti didn't fare as well, being taken out in Turn 1 on the first lap of the race. Joining Connor De Phillippi on the grid for the Star Mazda opener at Sebring is 2008 National Champion Conor Daly, who recently signed with Junco Motorsports for the 2010 season. Rumor has it that 2007 champ Joel Miller may have a deal in time to join De Phillippi and Daly on the grid next week. Entry list, Rounds 3 & 4, 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda Sebring International Raceway, 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course.

Three to watch this weekend

Homestead was the "weekend that could have been" for Mexican driver Luis Michael Dorrbecker and MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver Felix Serralles. Dorrbecker led laps and challenged for the win in Race 1 while Serralles set fast lap in both races. Their Race 1 results are tied together by contact in Turn three on the penultimate lap that left Dorrbecker on his lid and Serralles without a rear wing. Judged to be avoidable contact by series officials, both drivers were assessed 20-second penalties, which cost Dorrbecker his first National podium and cost both drivers valuable points. Look for these two to challenge for the podium this weekend.

Danilo Estrela's weekend was a bit more surreal. The 16 year-old from Long Branch, N.J. travels solo to the race weekends, relying on local taxi service to get to the track. This plan almost cost him a race as the Homestead taxis don't start running until 9am on Saturdays. Not only did Estrela miss the morning driver's meeting, he barely made the race, running into the paddock with his helmet in hand as the field was rolling out to the grid. Playing catch up, he finished Race 1 in 17th. Race 2 was a different story; as Estrela came from 14th at the start to lead late before out-braking himself on the last lap. He recovered to finish fourth. With a weekend (and some networking) under his belt, look for Estrela at the sharp end of the field at Sebring.

-source: skip barber

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay , Skip Barber , Marco Andretti , Felix Serralles , Joel Miller , Conor Daly , Dennis Trebing , Spencer Pigot , Ashley Freiberg , Danilo Estrela