Portland beckons as Formula TR Pro Series hooks up with ALMS Anaheim, California (July 20, 2006) - The Formula TR 2000 Series hooks up with America's premier sports car series this weekend, the American Le Mans Series, as it heads to...
Portland beckons as Formula TR Pro Series hooks up with ALMS
Anaheim, California (July 20, 2006) - The Formula TR 2000 Series hooks up with America's premier sports car series this weekend, the American Le Mans Series, as it heads to the Portland International Raceway in Oregon for Rounds 13 and 14, Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd July. Back-to-back race weekends, following last Sunday's double-header at the California Speedway, means the field arrives in Portland race-prepared and ready to duke it out on the 1.967-mile road course.
Championship leader Carl Skerlong was denied a maximum score last weekend as John Knudsen claimed pole, and the bonus points, for Round 11 but the Odyssey Motorsports racer swept the rest with a pair of victories and fastest laps as well as pole for Round 12. John Knudsen proved to be Skerlong's closest competition in California as his team-mate Dominic Scheer, a two-time winner this season, was absent from Fontana. Knudsen subsequently moved up to second in the title chase but sits a distant 104 points back 535-431, from Skerlong.
Scheer is expected to return at Portland and the whole field has an opportunity to gain ground on Skerlong as he sits out Round 13 on Saturday due to Star Mazda commitments at the same track. The reigning Formula TR 1600 Champion will return for Round 14 on Sunday. The series also welcomes back in Portland the Welch Racing entries of Dustin Welch, Derek DeBoer and Adam Davis - the trio sitting out the previous two events due to the recuperation of team-owner Jerry Welch from a successful lung cancer operation.
Currently sitting fourth in the championship, CT Motorsports' Bret MacDonald hopes the car problems that blighted his progress in California are behind him. MacDonald was forced to retire from Round 11 just two laps into the race and came close to scoring a podium in Round 12 before he was forced to pit for a tire change. Bob Siska sat out Round 12, also with car issues, following a fifth place effort in Round 11 but is back in action this weekend.
Forming part of the support package to the headline American Le Mans Series, Round 13 has the honor of being held just prior to the start of the sports car spectacular on Saturday evening guaranteeing an eager crowd on- hand to watch Formula TR's young guns battle it out.
The challenge that awaits the field is the 12-turn, 1.967-mile Portland International Raceway road-course. Two practice sessions on Friday will prove useful as the 1600 competitors look
to stop series leader Parker Kligerman sweeping the podium as he did last weekend in California. The Paladin Motorsports racer collected wins number eight and nine at Fontana despite some close competition initially from Luis Martinez Jr., who successfully bagged a pair of second-place podiums for his sterling efforts.
Billy Goshen's consistency, further enhanced with two more third place finishes last time out, holds on to second in the title-hunt just 25 points ahead of Martinez Jr. in third. Kligerman's team-mate, Liam Kenney, will be keen to return to the podium in Portland having been absent from the top- three since Round 8 back in May. Mechanical issues blighted a promising title challenge, including five podiums, in Utah last month, dropping him from second to sixth in the points, but he responded in California with a pair of top-five finishes.
Odyssey Motorsports' Alexander Rossi, the only driver to beat Kligerman this season with three wins to his credit, will also be looking to put mechanical woes behind him in Portland as they dogged him throughout last Sunday's races and cost him valuable championship points. Elsewhere Welch Racing's Tony Welch returns to action this weekend with George Latus joining the field also in Portland.
Round 13 takes place at the Portland International Raceway on Saturday, 22nd July, with Round 14 held the following day, Sunday 23rd July - www.portlandraceway.com
The Formula TR Pro Series offers drivers the chance to compete in Formula Renault 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre open-wheel race cars over a 20-race season comprised of 10 double-header weekends from March-October 2006. Circuits visited include California Speedway, Miller Motorsports Park, Buttonwillow Raceway Park and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.