Chip Bryant was the big winner this past weekend when the Formula Dodge Eastern Region Championship came to Lime Rock Park. Bryant doubled his entry for the weekend running in both Groups 1 and 4. As a consequence he came away with four...
Chip Bryant was the big winner this past weekend when the Formula Dodge Eastern Region Championship came to Lime Rock Park. Bryant doubled his entry for the weekend running in both Groups 1 and 4. As a consequence he came away with four victories. Things weren’t so bad for Damian Della-Santina, Akihira Okamoto, and Mikel Miller either as they were double winners in each of their respective groups.
The first race for Group 1 saw Bryant lead it from the pole, gradually edging away from the pursuing field. His margin of victory was 10 seconds ahead of Tamafumi Kamiya and Tophie Stewart. The latter two had a good duel throughout the race finishing it nearly even.
Race 2 was all Bryant again albeit by a slimmer margin. Stewart and Kamiya had another fantastic battle with Stewart coming out ahead this time. Kamiya spun at one point but was able to recuperate to hold onto third place. In the Master’s Class, Mark Patterson took the victory in race 1 while Bill Telesco was the winner in race 2.
Group 2 saw Della-Santina lead every single lap in both races to take the double win. He and Mike Marino were nose to tail ahead of the field in race 1. Marino would finish second, three seconds behind Della-Santina. Len Forman took third and with it the Master’s Class win. Forman moved up a spot in race 2 to finish second behind Della-Santina. Again that meant he took the Master’s win, but he had some competition for this one from Roland Isra, who finished third.
The third group of the weekend repeated the cycle of the first two groups with Okamoto leading all the way in both races. Race 1 was a three car train at the front with Toshinobu Shigemitsu, a two-time winner at New Hampshire, running second as part of that train until he spun on lap-14. That promoted Joseph Calerone to second and Paul Zube to third. John Stickler took the Master’s Class honors.
Zube drove a solid race 2 to promote himself to second place, again behind Okamoto by just a tick over one second. Robert Grien captured the last step on the podium, which made him first in the Master’s Class.
Bryant was again in familiar circumstances in Group 4, winning both rounds. Chris Wilcox, second overall and the Master’s Class winner, showed signs of enough speed to give Bryant a chase, yet in the end he fell four seconds short. Dan Kraus was the benefactor of a Erik Penz spin that enabled him to retake the third place he had held early on in the race.
Wilcox came a hair’s breadth from spoiling the Bryant steamroller as he fell just 0.445 sec. shy of the win in race 2. The pair were in lockstep for much of the race, but in the end Bryant concluded his sweep. Dan Kraus drove a fine race to take third place.
The fifth and final group of the weekend provided for some exciting racing. Miller garnered a hard-earned win in the first race followed by David Kaemmer and Della-Santina. Miller and Della-Santina bumped one another at the start dropping Della-Santina to sixth whereupon he stormed back through the field to secure his podium position. Miller and Kaemer exchanged the lead in the early going until Miller was able to retake the spot with five laps in the balance.
The final race of the weekend was a three-car express train with the trio crossing the finish line within the one-tenth of a second. Della-Santina made the big run at the finish as the cars exited the Downhill Curve, bringing Kaemmer along with him. Miller had the advantage, but only just as his margin of victory was a miniscule 0.067 seconds.
As a result of his four wins, Bryant ties with Okamoto atop the points heap. Trailing ten points in arrears is Della-Santina with a 30-point gap back to Willcox in fourth and Shigemitsu fifth. Willcox also enjoys a handy lead in the Master’s Class.