The final round of the Formula Dodge National Championship Series Presented by RACER Magazine took place at historic Lime Rock Park October 11-12. Wet conditions prevailed in every session on the 1.54 mile road course. Even though the conditions...
The final round of the Formula Dodge National Championship Series Presented by RACER Magazine took place at historic Lime Rock Park October 11-12. Wet conditions prevailed in every session on the 1.54 mile road course. Even though the conditions seemed to get increasingly worse, the lap times fell with every on track session. By the end of the 2nd qualifying session on Saturday morning Barber/CART scholarship winner Craig Baltzer had improved his lap time by 1.4 seconds. Baltzer's strong performance earned him 3rd place on the grid with a time of 1:14.664. Mercifully, the rain let up before the 20 car field negotiated the final downhill turn to take the green in the 25 lap main event. The slippery conditions made it tough for every driver on the track with several drivers sliding off the racing surface or spinning on the ice like concrete patches. Baltzer, who had a strong run going was battling with fellow scholarship winner Colin Fleming for 3rd place when on lap 9 Fleming dropped 2 wheels in the mud temporarily blinding the shadowing Baltzer, causing him to miss his turn and drop 3 places. Baltzer brought his number 86 car home to a 7th place finish setting a fastest lap of 1:13.039. With his efforts Baltzer gained 9 points which gave him a total of 82 for the championship securing 9th place in the overall points standings, and guaranteeing an invitation to the Barber Dodge Pro Series runoffs this December in Sebring.
"My first experience with Lime Rock has been a wet one. I had a great qualifying session today to end up 3rd. I really think I could have finished on the podium today. The race just didn't play out to my benefit. The drama started on the pace lap when the number 11 car wanted to get in front of me going into turn 1. He accelerated from my outside and chopped down on me, slamming into my left front wheel with his right rear. Visibly there was no damage but I experienced excessive lock up under braking on that wheel for the whole race. I was able to compensate by adjusting my braking, but I ended up dropping 3 more spots after I caught a mud splash in the visor while rounding the Big Bend turn. All in all I drove a good race and am happy with my performance. It's the little things that I had no control over that dropped me back. I want to give Divina Galica, Rick Ratajczak, and everyone else at Skip Barber Racing a big thanks for providing me with the tremendous opportunity to race in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER Magazine this year. The whole ladder system opportunity as well as the Barber/CART Karting run-offs has really jump started my career. My first season as a open wheel driver has been very memorable. I have learned so much about being a race car driver, from driving techniques all the way to the business side of the sport. I hope that in the next few years my career will continue to progress. Whatever success I might achieve in the future, my Skip Barber experience will always be a key ingredient in my career. Also a special thanks to Chuck Tate at Lakefront Technologies, Ron Joynt at Decal Works, RACER Magazine, and my Family for all the support throughout the year."
CMC Racing and Craig Baltzer now head to Marshaltown Iowa tomorrow for round 3 of the WKA/SCCA Constructors Cup Championship series. Baltzer currently leads the points race in the Intercontinental C (ICC) class with a 9 point lead over 2nd place.