Kligerman, Skerlong and Scheer share the wins in Utah 2000 Class Carl Skerlong once again reaped the spoils as the 17-year-old Odyssey Motorsports racer captured win number seven of the season to further strengthen his lead in...
Kligerman, Skerlong and Scheer share the wins in Utah
Carl Skerlong once again reaped the spoils as the 17-year-old Odyssey Motorsports racer captured win number seven of the season to further strengthen his lead in the Formula TR 2000 class but it was Dustin Welch who proved to be the standout of the race.
A frantic start saw Welch command the lead heading into the first turn at the brand-new Miller Motorsports Park with the rest of the pack bunching up behind him fighting to follow the #20 Welch Racing car. Skerlong, having won the pole earlier in the day, dropped to fifth but was mindful of the pace in his #14 entry and he duly set about working his way back up to second by the end of the opening lap on the mammoth 4.486-mile road course.
By the third lap Welch and Skerlong were comfortably pulling away with Bret MacDonald climbing up to third ahead of Knudsen Racing team-owner, John Knudsen. One lap later and Skerlong reeled Welch in, making his move as the leader momentarily ran wide. Welch kept up the fight from second in what was undoubtedly his strongest drive of the season. It was ultimately to prove to be a heartbreaking day for Welch as he ran out of fuel on the last lap allowing Bret MacDonald to take second and John Knudsen third at the checkered flag.
Behind the podium finishers Bob Siska picked up a welcome 22 points for his fourth place finish followed by Dominic Scheer, who qualified and finished in fifth place, in the second Knudsen Racing entry. Derek DeBoer rounded out the top six at the end of 11-lap charge.
Round 7 Results 2000 Class: 1st Skerlong, 2nd MacDonald, 3rd Knudsen, 4th Siska, 5th Scheer, 6th DeBoer, 7th Welch
1st - Carl Skerlong: "I didn't get a great jump at the start and I ended up fifth heading into turn one. I worked back up to second but it took about four laps to catch up to Dustin. He dropped two wheels off when I was behind so I passed him for the lead. I thought it would be easy but I knew a couple of laps from the end the fuel situation would be tight. It looked like Dustin would pass me on the last lap but he ran out of fuel and we just made it to take the victory."
2nd - Bret MacDonald: "Off the start I ended up in third or fourth position but by turn three or four I had over-cooked the turner and walked it off-track and I ended up in last place. I kept cool though and drove as smoothly as I could and ended up in P2 at the end!"
3rd - John Knudsen: "Well I got third place but I had a bad set-up which didn't help. There was some good racing out there with Brett (MacDonald) and Derek (DeBoer). Ultimately we made a bad set-up call and went backwards. Hopefully we can fix that for the second race."
Parker Kligerman raced his way to a dominant victory over the rest of the Formula TR 1600 class as the series debuted at Utah's magnificent Miller Motorsports Park. The championship leader recorded his sixth win of 2006, once again from pole position, and in doing so he again headed a Paladin Motorsports 1-2 sweep of the podium with team-mate Liam Kenney coming home a fighting second.
Luis Martinez Jr. capitalized on a sluggish start by the front-runners to take the lead of the race on the opening lap from his fourth place qualifying slot. At the start of the second lap he was being chased by a rampant Kligerman and as they completed the monstrous 3500-foot main- straight heading into the first turn Martinez Jr. couldn't hold off Kligerman's pass for the lead. Billy Goshen was another driver clearly relishing the 4.486-mile road course and by lap three he had passed Kenney for third - their race-long battle proving to be one of the highlights of the day.
Goshen climbed to second on the next lap ahead of Martinez Jr. who would eventually drop back to take fourth at the flag. Kenney then hounded Goshen as Kligerman enjoyed an advantage boasting half the distance of the main straight. Goshen and Kenney traded second place but it was the #34 Paladin Motorsports car that would win the battle at the checkered, Kenney returning to the podium for the first time since Round 4, Goshen taking his third straight top-three finish. Odyssey Motorsports' Tayler Malsam continued to rack up the mileage coming home fifth ahead of Kerry Lynch and Tony Welch.
Round 7 1600 Class Results: 1st Kligerman, 2nd Kenney, 3rd Goshen, 4th Martinez, 5th Malsam, 6th Lynch, 7th Welch
1st - Parker Kligerman: "I made a pretty bad start and fell back to third at the first corner. I got back up to second then I battled with Luis for the lead. I got him going into the first turn on the second lap and from that point on I just focused on my race and started to build up a pretty good lead!"
2nd - Liam Kenney: "It was a great race! I had a bad start a bit like Parker so I was down to fourth. From there I battled the whole race with Luis (Martinez Jr.) and Billy (Goshen). I eventually made a great pass on Billy to take second and I managed to hold him off until the end of the race. It was exciting out there today and this is an awesome track!"
3rd - Billy Goshen: "I had a good battle with Liam and I'm happy to be back on the podium. They did a great job building this race track! I think with what we've learned from this race we'll be a lot faster tomorrow and hopefully come out of it with a win!"
Round 8 - Sunday 21st May
Dominic Scheer celebrated his first-ever Formula car victory as he stamped his authority in Round 8 at Miller Motorsports Park with pole position and an emphatic flag-to-flag win in the Formula TR 2000 class. Scheer's pole winning time, 2m47.899s, set on the 4.486-mile track was a new lap record and bumped series leader Carl Skerlong off the top of the timesheets for the first time in qualifying since the season began in California in March.
Scheer's subsequent victory in the #77 Knudsen Racing entry similarly dethroned Skerlong from the top step of the podium for the first time in 2006, bringing to an end the Odyssey Motorsports sublime run
of seven straight victories. Skerlong had to settle for third place, and fastest lap of the race, having lost second place to John Knudsen following an uncharacteristic spin in the closing stages of the 10-lap race. Knudsen, thrilled to see his young team-mate take the win, scored his second podium of the weekend having taken third place the previous day.
Dustin Welch recovered from an early race spin to take fourth place at the flag, the Burlington racer putting Round 7's fuel saga behind him for another solid points score. Fifth place finisher Bret MacDonald survived a late-race off to beat Derek DeBoer to the checkered with Bob Siska rounding off the field on the lead lap in seventh place.
Round 8 2000 Class Results: 1st Scheer, 2nd Knudsen, 3rd Skerlong, 4th Welch, 5th MacDonald, 6th DeBoer, 7th Siska
1st - Dominic Scheer: "It feels great to win! This is my first formula car victory so I'm extremely happy. I never felt I was at risk of losing first throughout and I had a great time out there, it was a good race."
2nd - John Knudsen: "Back to second where I belong! It was a great race and I'm really proud for Dominic to score the first win for the Knudsen Racing team."
3rd - Carl Skerlong: "I made another bad start but I made up position pretty quickly. It looked like it was going to be a pretty close race but I just drove it in too hard at one turn and lost the rear end, that was me for the race so I had to settle for third."
Unlike the previous day's race, Parker Kligerman ensured he led from the front as he wrapped up a highly successful debut racing at Miller Motorsport Park with his second victory of the weekend in the Formula TR 1600 class. The Paladin Motorsports racer hogged the spoils, collecting the maximum points score available over the two rounds, a total of 72, with a brace of pole positions and fastest race laps accompanying his victories at the stunning new race track.
The podium was completed by Billy Goshen and Liam Kenney, the two young guns swapping their podium slots from Saturday's race with Goshen finishing runner-up to Kligerman with Kenney taking third. Both drivers joined Luis Martinez Jr. in a thrilling battle for the podium. It was Martinez Jr. who looked likely to take second place while Goshen and Kenney battled behind but a problem with the #5 Kimball Racing car three laps from the finish cruelly dropped him out of contention.
Alexander Rossi returned having missed Round 7 due to prior race commitments, in which he won, qualifying and finishing fifth ahead of Odyssey Motorsports team-mate Tayler Malsam.
Round 8 1600 Class Results: 1st Kligerman, 2nd Goshen, 3rd Kenney, 4th Martinez Jr., 5th Rossi, 6th Malsam, 7th Welch, 8th Lynch
1st - Parker Kligerman: "I got the jump off the start and from there I just set out building up my lead. Overall it's been a great weekend and I've built up quite a lead in the points standings which is good."
2nd - Billy Goshen: "I didn't come out too well at the start but turned things around and had a good fight for position with Liam. I'm happy to have scored two podiums this weekend, I've been able to catch Liam in the points and I'm not too far behind him now."
3rd - Liam Kenney: "I guess my tires hadn't warmed up too much on the second lap and I went to make a pass and totally lost the car. I dropped to fourth then got back up to third. Billy and Luis put on a great race, we were all swapping position but I just didn't have enough for Goshen at the end."
The Formula TR Pro Series now heads to Nevada next and the Reno-Fernley Raceway for Rounds 9 and 10, June 24th-25th.
Formula TR 2000 Points Standings after Round 8: 1st Carl Skerlong (277), 2nd Dominic Scheer (210), 3rd John Knudsen (209), 4th Dustin Welch (156), 5th Bret MacDonald (153), 6th Bob Siska (144), 7th Derek DeBoer (106), 8th Dino Bruno (38), 9th Adam Davis (36), 10th Paul Mashouf (18)
Formula TR 1600 Points Standings after Round 8: 1st Parker Kligerman (278), 2nd Liam Kenney (192), 3rd Billy Goshen (184), 4th Tayler Malsam (158), 5th Luis Martinez Jr. (141), 6th Kerry Lynch (132), 7th Alexander Rossi (109), 8th Kerstin Smutny (103), 9th Tony Welch (98), 10th Cam Grisdale (60)