SBRS: Sperafico Keeps on Rolling

Rafael Sperafico's bid for a double hat trick fell short in the first race of Group 1, but he more than made up for it with another three straight wins and a lap record as the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Southern Race Series paid a visit to Moroso...

Rafael Sperafico's bid for a double hat trick fell short in the first race of Group 1, but he more than made up for it with another three straight wins and a lap record as the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Southern Race Series paid a visit to Moroso Motosports Park in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Sperafico was hoping to keep his race win streak from Sebring alive; however, a cut and thrust battle with Arnold Brinkman in the first race for Group 1 dashed his hopes. All was not lost for Sperafico as he came out on top of that battle with Brinkman to finish in second place, with Brinkman third. Scott Presti scored the well-earned win as he took the lead on the first lap from his second starting position. With the exception of lap 4, the lead was his for the duration. Pole sitter and point's leader Scott Bassinder briefly regained the lead on lap 4 only to lose it the following lap, and ultimately slipped to fourth-place where he would eventually finish.

Race 2 for Group 1 began the Sperafico steamroller. He jumped out in front on lap 2 and never looked back, setting a track lap record in the process at 1:36.159 sec. Presti followed up his Race 1 win with a second place. Brinkman didn't falter in Race 2, and bested his Race 1 finish with a third place.

Not to be completely outdone by Sperafico, Craig Duerson scored a double victory. Duerson won Group 2, Race 1 handily, leading all but one lap. Risser and Baker came in contact on the last lap. The veteran Risser dsahed into the pits for mandatory safety check and in doing so crossed the finish line as the checkers fell. Unfortunately for Baker, he fell afoul of the rules by staying out on track and was therefore accessed the 20 sec. penalty. Second place went to Bud Risser, who took the position after Chris Baker was accessed the penalty; thus, demoting him to fourth. Randy Allison inherited the final podium spot with a third-place finish.

It was Duerson ahead of Risser and Baker in a squeaker as the three crossed the line within a second of one another in the second race for Group 2. Baker had an up and down affair as he vaulted into the lead from his fourth starting position, and held it until lap 6. Eventually he fell to fourth before clawing back to third-place. Risser had an almost mirror opposite race to Baker. Starting from second-place, he too fell to fourth before making a late charge that saw him finish second. Duerson won the race fending off the hard charging Chip Bryant who went four-off on the last lap and unfortunately for him rejoining the race in fifth where he ultimately finished. Baker's only consolation was being the race's Most Progressive Driver.

The first race for Group 3, saw a seesaw battle between Sperafico and Bassinder. The lead swapped six times between them, each leading the race for a total of nine laps. Sperafico prevailed ahead of Bassinder with Roland Isra finishing in the same place where he started, third.

Group 3, Race 2 was a straightforward event as Sperafico stormed away from pole to never look back, taking a flag-to-flag victory. Bassinder duly gave chase in second-place but was not quite a match for the speedy Sperafico. John Hall came up early from his fourth spot on the grid to secure third place.

After the dust settled from the on track activity, Sperafico leapt from fifth to third in the points with 152points to his name. Bassinder slipped to seond place with 170 points as he trails new leader Duerson on 187 points. Fourth through sixth are now Presti, Baker (tied with Matt Franc) and Risser in that order.

-George Tamayo

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