GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Aug. 29) - Todd Snyder pulled off an opportune pass on pole sitter Sepp Koster of the Netherlands, then drove it home to post his third consecutive Barber Dodge Pro Series victory at the West Michigan Grand Prix on the streets...
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Aug. 29) - Todd Snyder pulled off an opportune pass on pole sitter Sepp Koster of the Netherlands, then drove it home to post his third consecutive Barber Dodge Pro Series victory at the West Michigan Grand Prix on the streets of Grand Rapids Sunday.
Snyder of Sheffield, Mass. used the victory to close within 10 points of championship leader Jeff Simmons of East Granby, Conn. after Round 9 of the 12-race schedule. In the course of his streak, Snyder has jumped from seventh to second overall.
With the tight 1.58-mile, 13-turn street course providing little room for passing, Snyder played it cautious in the early going. When Koster left an opening on lap 17 at the exit of turn one, Snyder was able to slip by and never looked back. The two frontrunners faced little resistance from the rest of the field, with Snyder up by 4.474 seconds at the checkered flag.
"On the start I was alongside going down into turn one and I saw the guys behind me were going at it pretty good. I backed out of it so I could tuck in behind Sepp. It was basically patience," Snyder said. "It makes no sense to really try and make mistakes and have the rest of the field catch us. He needed a win and I needed a win, but a second would also help. We weren't going to do anything stupid to throw it away."
For his part, Koster cashed in on a dominant weekend in which he led every track session. The Dutchman was thrilled with his first career podium finish, which moved him into fourth in the championship. He conceded that a small opening was all Snyder required, a moment that was aided by the pounding the city streets put on the gearbox.
"I made a couple mistakes in shifting coming into turn one and Todd was always catching up to me. I was always the first one coming to the yellows, so he was able to sneak up on me when I slowed down. He put me under pressure and I was concentrating on making sure I was downshifting correctly," Koster said. "I didn't get it into first gear going into turn one and I locked up the rear wheels. I kept it in second gear because I didn't want to block him. I really, really needed the points. I had to make sure I had a good, solid finish and got some money so that I can finish the season."
Jon Fogarty of Portola Valley, Calif. placed third for his first podium appearance of the season, beating back a series of challenges from fourth-place finisher and Sliderule Motorsports teammate Jamie Menninga.
"I was slowing down and maybe checking my mirrors a little too much. I had to finish ahead of Jamie and more importantly, Michael Valiante, because we came in tied in the points," Fogarty said. "Overall it was a good race."
Valiante of Vancouver, B.C. solidified his lead on the Rookie of the Year chase with a fifth-place finish. Valiante leads sixth-place finisher Roger Yasukawa of Santa Monica, Calif. 62-52 in the rookie points.
Defending series champion Jeff Simmons of East Granby, Conn. bent his right front wing three laps into the race, but managed to hold off Townsend Bell of Costa Mesa, Calif. for a seventh-place finish. Peter Boss of Narragansett, R.I. and Brian Pelk of Lansing, Ill. rounded out the top 10 finishers.
Round 10 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series is scheduled for Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif. September 12 as part of the CART Grand Prix of Monterey. Snyder, won twice at Laguna in 1998 and will attempt to become the first Barber Pro Series driver to win four races in a row since Robert Amren turned the trick in 1992.
NOTES: Kip Gulseth of Manitowac, Wisc. took home the Progressive Custom Wheels "Most Progressive Driver" $500 bonus for his charge from 18th to an 11th place finish.
Ross McLeod was named the Barber Dodge Pro Series "Mechanic of the Race", earning a $100 cash award and certificate.
#GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Results Sunday from the 40-minute timed ISERV Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the West Michigan Grand Prix on the 1.58-mile, 13-turn Scott Brayton Memorial Street Circuit with finishing position, starting position, driver, hometown or country, laps, reason out (if any), and prize money. All cars are identical Reynard Dodge V6, open-wheel, single-seat race cars on Michelin racing tires.
1 (2) Todd Snyder/Sheffield, Mass., 75.777 mph, 32 laps, $12000 2 (1) Sepp Koster/The Netherlands, 32, $8000 3 (3) Jon Fogarty/Portola Valley, Calif., 32, $6000 4 (6) Jamie Menninga/Pella, Iowa, 32, $4000 5 (4) Michael Valiante/Vancouver,Canada, 32, $2500 6 (11) Roger Yasukawa/Santa Monica, Calif., 32, $2000 7 (7) Jeff Simmons/East Granby, Conn., 32, $1800 8 (14) Townsend Bell/Costa Mesa, Calif., 32, $1700 9 (10) Peter Boss/Narragansett, R.I., 32, $1600 10 (9) Brian Pelke/Lansing, Ill., 32, $1500 11 (18) Kip Gulseth/Manitowac, Wisc., 32, $1900 12 (17) R. B. Stiewing/Lime Rock, Conn., 32, $1400 13 (8) Alexandre Sperafico/ToledoParana, Brazil, 32, $1300 14 (12) Matt Plumb/Unionville, Pa., 31, $1100 15 (13) Nilton Rossoni/Curitiba, Brazil, 25, $1000, Contact 16 (15) Vanderlan Junior/Goiania, Brazil, 14, $500, Contact 17 (16) Brent Sherman/ Northbrook, Ill., 12, $500, Contact 18 (5) Iradj Alexander/Giubiasco,Switzerland, 8, $500, Contact 19 (19) Scott Mayer/Franklin, Wis., 2, $500, Contact
LENGTH OF RACE: 1 Lap of 1.424 miles and 31 Laps of 1.580 Mile Circuit for 50.404 miles TIME OF RACE: 41 Minutes, 13.032 seconds AVERAGE SPEED: 73.600 mph NEW RECORD MARGIN OF VICTORY: 4.474 Seconds LAP LEADERS: Sepp Koster, Laps 1 through 17; Todd Snyder Lap 18 - 32 FASTEST RACE LAP: Todd Snyder 1:15.062(75.777 mph) Lap 32 NEW RECORD FASTEST QUALIFIER: Koster, 1:15.428 (75.410 mph PROGRESSIVE CUSTOM WHEELS MOST PROGRESSIVE DRIVER: Kip Gulseth From 18th to 11th TOTAL PAYOUT: $49,600
Championship Points after Round 9 1) Simmons, 108 2) Snyder, 98 3) Boss, 81 4) Koster, 81 5) Bell, 74 6) Rossoni, 72 7) Fogarty, 65 8) Menninga, 64 9) Valiante, 62 10)Moran, 61