VINKMULDER WINS CARTECH FM CHALLENGE SEASON-FINALE AHEAD OF NEW CHAMPION LAWRENCE 2009 season concludes at Road America with entertaining championship-deciding race ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (September 3, 2009) -- The Cartech FM Challenge ...
VINKMULDER WINS CARTECH FM CHALLENGE SEASON-FINALE AHEAD OF NEW CHAMPION
2009 season concludes at Road America with entertaining championship-deciding race
ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (September 3, 2009) -- The Cartech FM Challenge season concluded in fine fashion on Sunday (August 30), with a highly entertaining championship-deciding race at Road America. Jason Vinkmulder emerged with the race win in Round Six, while Bruce Lawrence secured the series title with a runner-up finish.
The sixth and final round of the 2009 Cartech FM Challenge featured several series regulars taking to the well-liked and challenging Road America road course in Wisconsin. After a morning practice session to become reacclimated to the fast 4.0-mile layout and work on the ideal car setup, the grid for the season-finale was set via Saturday afternoon qualifying. Commencing what would ultimately be a successful event, Vinkmulder secured the pole position via lap of 2:17.804. Lawrence, who entered the weekend as one of four drivers in contention for the series title, along with Jeremy Grenier, Franklin Futrelle and Juan Marchand, helped his cause with the second fastest time.
Returning to the cockpits of their Cartech FM Challenge cars early Sunday morning, the waving of the green flag for Round Six witnessed Vinkmulder getting away cleanly to retain the lead. Lawrence slotted into second, while Marchand quickly advanced four places into third. With Joe Garner and Steve Jenks not much further adrift, the order among the top-three remained constant until lap eight, when Marchand found a way past Lawrence. The series organizer returned the favor one lap later, retaking second place. With lapped traffic playing an ever increasing role, the order was not finalized until the checkered flag waved after 12 laps. Vinkmulder, having never relinquished the top spot, scored his first win of 2009 by 4.690s. Lawrence crossed the stripe in second, leading Marchand, Jenks and Dale Vandenbush to the start/finish. In finishing second, Lawrence was able to clinch the 2009 Cartech FM Challenge title (139-120) ahead of Marchand, while Grenier, who was not in attendance finished third. In capturing the title, the Formula Mazda standout takes home the bulk of the $10,000 series prize fund that is paid out to the top-15 competitors in the series championship.
"I would like to thank everyone for making the 2009 edition of the Cartech FM challenge both successful and enjoyable," stated series organizer Lawrence. "With the generous support of the series sponsors Cartech, Goodyear and Hoosier, the racing action was superb from race one all the way to the season. I would also like to thank John Heckman of the FRCCA for hosting us at Summit Point, as well as our social event organizers Guy Pipitone, Dale Swope, Jason Vinkmulder, Jeremy Grenier and Franklin Futrelle.
"Plans are already underway for 2010, with events on tap with both the SCCA and other organizing race bodies," added Lawrence. "We look forward to seeing all the 2009 series competitors back behind the wheel, and welcome any new drivers looking or cost-effective, competitive Formula Mazda racing."