SBRS: Eastern Regional VIR race recap

Returning driver Kurt Roehrig showed no signs of rust. In group 1 race 1, Kurt Roehrig reminded everyone that he still has what it takes to win a race. Roehrig, who raced with the Skip Barber Race Series in the early 1980s, show no signs of...

Returning driver Kurt Roehrig showed no signs of rust.

In group 1 race 1, Kurt Roehrig reminded everyone that he still has what it takes to win a race. Roehrig, who raced with the Skip Barber Race Series in the early 1980s, show no signs of rust, assumed the lead on lap 1 and then paced the pack to record the win. Pulling away steadily from second place Steve Vajda and third place Abraham Zimroth, Roehrig set a fastest lap of 1:17.072 sec. and took the checkered flag 7.875 sec. ahead of his immediate rivals. Peter Ludwig found himself in fourth place after starting back in 13th. John Angelone, the polesitter, retired after three laps with a mechanical failure. Roehrig also claims the Masters win over Tim Hoagland.

In the first Masters National Championship race of the weekend, Chris Willcox captured the lead on lap 6 from veteran racer Roland Isra and began to storm away from the field amassing a staggering 9.551 sec. margin of victory. The battle provided lots of entertainment for the spectators. Isra was left to fiercely defend second place from John Peterson who overtook Isra on lap 9, but was to be re-passed six laps later. Lorin Gill made a great start and drove a smart and consistent race to climb five spots to his seventh place finish position.

Isra celebrates with Marino and Edwards.

In group 3 race 1, tenth place qualifier Fred Rasch proved that a good start and a consistent race could yield a fantastic result regardless of qualifying performance. Immediately making up four spots on the first lap, Rasch continued to dice up the field picking off a driver every couple laps eventually taking the lead on lap 15 from Jerry Molitor, who went four-off and had to pit. Steve Vajda had his hands full in second place with Dana Martin who relentlessly pursued Vajda waiting for a mistake. Vajda was faultless and continued on to finish in second place and score his third podium finish of the weekend. Martin had to settle for third but collected the Masters win. Dan Boland had the race in hand before going off on his own.

New to the coveted top step of the podium, Kevin Adams, claimed his first-ever Skip Barber Race Series victory in group 4, race 1. He captured the win in stunning fashion leading all but the first lap and pulling away from the rest of the grid accruing an astounding 10.906 sec. lead over second place runner Tom Sands. Sands slotted into second spot in the first lap and drove a consistent race to stay there for the duration of the race. Roland Isra found himself being passed by Adams and Sands on the second lap but ensured that he remained in third place for the remainder of the event.

John Angelone celebrates his Race 2 victory.

Chris Oliver, Jerry Molitor, and Antoine Bessette started in 1-2-3 order and that is how they finished in the group 5 opener. With absolutely no change in position throughout the entire race among the top-3, the attention turned to Dick Lippert who clawed through the field from seventh place to a rewarding fourth place finish. Oliver, the Masters winner, performed the fastest lap of the race clocking a 1:17.185 sec. lap en-route to his victory.

In group 1, race 2, John Angelone set out to rebound from the unfortunate incident that robbed him in race 1. Starting from the second spot, Angelone overtook Roehrig for the lead on the first lap and never looked back. On lap 3 Roehrig dropped back to 12th spot after a four-off but continued to push hard, setting a fastest lap of 1:16.889 sec., to assume his 6th place finish and salvage the Masters win. Abraham Zimroth passed Steve Vajda for second place and managed to keep him at bay until the end of the race. Daniel Lazo almost scored a podium from his 11th pace starting position but ran out of laps to catch Vajda.

Drawing on his vast experience in the R/T 2000, Roland Isra lead the Masters National Championship Race 2 from start to finish pulling out a comfortable 4.221 sec. gap over Michael Edwards by race end. During the early stages of the race, Edwards fought with Brian Shepherd for second place until Shepherd slipped into the clutches of the ensuing back markers. Mike Marino drove a flawless race making the best of his 11th place grid position to finish in third place and round out the rostrum.

Group 3 race 2 saw a very determined Dan Boland storm the field to lock in the victory that slipped away in his first race. Although he started in fifth, by lap 7 he was leading the field all the way to the finish, clocking the fastest lap of 1:17.576 sec. in the process. Second place finisher Fred Rasch was passed by Boland on lap 6, and stayed close, but was unable to re-pass him. The battle for third place was hotly contested between Steve Vajda and Jerry Molitor, who secured the spot with a pass on lap 16. Phil Saville drove an inspired race climbing as high as fifth place from his 14th place grid position before giving up two spots and finishing in seventh place at day’s end. Dana Martin collected the Masters bounty.

Showing the paddock and fans that his winning result in race 1 was not luck, Kevin Adams again claimed victory in group 4 race 2. Although he started on pole, and finished in first, Adams certainly had his work cut out for him. Leading only the last four laps of the race, the 15th place starter battled mercilessly with John Peterson and Roland Isra for most of the race. Peterson and Isra would follow Adams home in second and third. At one point, Adams fell back to seventh after contact with Isra but found his way back to the front. Mike Distaulo also got a good start from his 11th spot on the grid, immediately improving 6 places eventually finishing fourth. Tom Sands was on his way to victory when a late spin left him no option but to go four-off.

Boland outlasted the challenges of Rasch and Molitor. Martin celebrates the Masters victory.

In group 5 race 2, Chris Oliver once again lead start to finish, however, this time Jerry Molitor made the inevitable result a lot less predictable. Claiming victory by only .344 sec., Oliver nevertheless came away from VIR with 40 points towards his championship bid. Antione Bessette once again rounded out the top 3 passing Mike Wert on lap 15. Brent Milner was in the third spot when a four-off moved him back.

The Rob Walker Memorial Race saw Phil Lombardi drive like a man possessed. Immediately making up 11 places on the start, Lombardi continued to impress setting the fastest lap of 1:16.510 sec. Michael Edwards and Roland Isra rounded out the podium.

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Michael Edwards , Roland Isra , Skip Barber , Antoine Bessette , Jerry Molitor , Abraham Zimroth , Peter Ludwig , Kurt Roehrig , John Angelone , Phil Saville , Brent Milner , John Peterson