Craig Duerson surely benefited from both home field advantage and starting from pole this weekend. The veteran racer out of St. Petersburg was perfectly dominant, capturing two-of-two in Formula Dodge Southern Regional Series competition and...
Craig Duerson surely benefited from both home field advantage and starting from pole this weekend. The veteran racer out of St. Petersburg was perfectly dominant, capturing two-of-two in Formula Dodge Southern Regional Series competition and winning his contests by a combined 16-sec. margin. Juan Manual Polar and Scott Poirier were equally brilliant; posting two victories as well. Under the dry, ideal conditions you'd expect in Florida, 45 racers including 13 Master's competitors swiftly navigated the 1.4 mile road course of Sebring International Raceway.
From pole in Group 1 Race 1, Duerson set the pace while the balance of racers played catch-up. Only Julio de Campos came close to challenging the Floridian. De Campos suffered a spin late that allowed Duerson to gain the point and then open up a sizable margin to capture the flag 0.04-sec. in front of de Campos. Scott Bassinder followed in third.
In Group 2 Race 1, Juan Manuel Polar was most fleet, jumping the pole at the start and turning in fastest lap en route to his first victory of the weekend. Matt Franc and Bus Risser finished in second and third respectively. Emilio Lezcano and Doros Loucaides shared a fine battle in this group, one of the more interesting match-ups not reflected in the results. New Yorker Roland Isra was the quickest in Master's competition.
Rafael Sperafico sandbagged the field in Group 3 Race 1 action, securing the lead from Arnold Brinkmann with only two laps to go. Sperafico, the most progressive driver in the field, started in ninth and ran a phenomenal race, slowly but deliberately advancing and saving his best for last. Polesitter Brinkmann would settle for second and Whitney Bellows third. The race was black-flagged due to an incident involving Mishael Abbott in which she was not seriously hurt.
After a lot of movement and several lead changes in the day's final race, Scott Poirier, Bud Risser and Anthony Massari came home in the same order they started, 1-2-3. Poirier took the checkered flag a substantial 0.04-sec. in front of Risser. Louis Dibrell was the most progressive driver of the bunch, finishing fourth after starting in ninth. Bud Risser earns additional points for his best in Master's result.
In Group 1 Race 2, Duerson earned his second victory of the weekend, again from pole and again it involved a battle with his early season nemesis Julio de Campos. The Floridian, perhaps benefiting from a good night's sleep, increased his margin of victory three-fold to take the checkered flag 12-sec. ahead of the second place finisher, Scott Bassinder. Bassinder was equally strong, finishing a goo distance in front of Matty O'Rourke, in third.
Juan Manual Polar led every lap in Group 2 Race 2 to take his second victory in as many tries. The polesitter had to hold off the aggressive efforts of Matt Franc and Peter Tucker for the win. Matt Green, who started in 11th, was determined not to stay there, advancing six positions to finish in fifth. Tucker claims additional Master's points for his result.
Group 3 Race 2 saw Brinkmann claim the win that had eluded him a day earlier. Whitney Bellows, who had trailed Brinkmann home the previous day, did so again with his second place result. Ben Moore III finished a close third. Don Deese ran a spirited race, earning a seventh place result after starting from 12th. Randy Allison was quickest among Master's competitors.
The penultimate race of the day featured a Scott Poirier win, seemingly easy, in front of Bud Risser and James Gue. Risser earned his second Master's points of the weekend.
In the Steve Allen Memorial, Roland Isra advanced from sixth on the grid to win the day's final race. Matt Franc advanced nine positions to finish in second place. Peter Tucker earned his second podium spot with third place.
The next race action in the Formula Dodge Southern Regional Series will be at Moroso Motorsports Park on December 2-3.
- Andrew Torres