2007 Formula Mazda Challenge Closes with O'Neill Out Front Prewett and McCormack earn victories on final weekend of the season With the checkered flag falling for the final time this year for the Formula Mazda Challenge it was suitably...
2007 Formula Mazda Challenge Closes with O'Neill Out Front
Prewett and McCormack earn victories on final weekend of the season
With the checkered flag falling for the final time this year for the Formula Mazda Challenge it was suitably appropriate that Patrick O'Neill should be the recipient in a season that saw him dominate the series with victories in fourteen of the sixteen events to earn his first championship. Paul Lahaye would wrap up second in the championship ahead of defending champion Stan Kohls with a solid second place finish in Saturday's double points event.
"It has been a tremendous season and I have to extend my thanks to my crew and everyone at World Speed Motorsports as well as my driving coach Tom Dyer for all their efforts this season," O'Neill commented. "Factoring in the two drop results rule for the series I scored the maximum possible points making it a perfect season."
With the championship banquet scheduled for Saturday evening the penultimate round of the championship was held on Friday, with O'Neill earning the pole position in the #64 O'Neill Construction Pro Formula Mazda and rolling to victory while Kohls in the #8 World Speed Motorsport Pro Formula Mazda and Lahaye in the #4 North Bay Neurosurgical Association Pro formula Mazda battled for second place as they battled down to the wire for second in the championship. In the Mazdapalooza class series newcomer Sean Prewett would claim his first victory of the season ahead of Garen McCune and Bruce Carpenter.
Saturday would arrive as a picture perfect day with the only question remaining being how the championship points would fall behind O'Neill. For the final time this season O'Neill earned the top spot on the grid with Lahaye sitting in second and Kohls poised to strike, needing a win to climb into second place overall, but the duel would end prematurely when Kohls spun on an opening lap fracas dropping him to the back of the field. Dave House would emerge from the melee and go on to claim the final podium spot of the season and his fifth podium overall in the #86 Brocade Pro Formula Mazda.
With the top four drivers in the Mazdapalooza class sitting out the event Saturday's event would feature a strong run for veteran Bob McCormack who rolled from the back of the grid to claim the class victory, while Prewett made his second podium appearance of the weekend with a second place finish and Kurt Sager returned for the first time in 2007 to record a third place finish. With the books closed on the season Shawn Westerhoff emerged as the Mazdapalooza champion with a slim 5 point margin of second place challenger Doug Smith. Defending champion Chaz Lemmon would finish third overall just 9 points adrift of the top spot.