Taking a break from the recent trend of double winners, the Formula Dodge Midwestern Regional Championship saw eight different winners over the two-round weekend. The recent races in both the Eastern and Midwestern Regional Championships have...
Taking a break from the recent trend of double winners, the Formula Dodge Midwestern Regional Championship saw eight different winners over the two-round weekend. The recent races in both the Eastern and Midwestern Regional Championships have seen the same face atop the podium for both rounds. Variety atop the podium was the order of the weekend.
Four different groups saw action on the just over two-mile short course that still included the infamous Carrousel, Kink and Canada Corner complexes.
The first race for Group 1 saw the return of long-time series competitor Brian Shepard to the top of the victory podium, Shepard won the race wire to wire from his third spot on the grid. He faced a stiff challenge from Whitney Bellows until Bellows ran into difficulties two laps short of the end. That promoted Erik Hansen into the runner-up position and Mark Barrens into third. With his victory, Shepard also takes the 20 points for the Masters Class win.
Juan Ignacio Caceres, the pole sitter race 1 for Group 1, came from the seventh position on the grid to take the victory in the second race. Gaining four positions on lap-2, Caceres took up the point by lap-6 for good. Race 1 winner Shepard finished this one in second place after leading for five laps, and was again top dog in the Masters Class. Mark Barrens duplicated his race 1 effort by finishing third, again.
Group 2 at Road America was reserved for Rounds 5 and 6 of the Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER (see Skip Barber Racing News 7/2 and 7/3 for report).
Group 3 was a seesaw battle among the top-3 finishers. Tim Rose ended up the victor, leading the last five laps up to the checkers. He was followed by Jon Van Caneghem in second, who had been in the lead on two separate occasions. Jim Victor was shadowing the two leaders for the entire race to finish a close third. Victor was the victor in the Master's Class by virtue of his third place overall.
Race 2 saw Mark Lindman take the victory ahead of Barrens, racing in group 3 as well as 1 this weekend, and Gary Longo. All three were the benefactors of a close battle for the lead between Rose and Van Caneghem that cast both drivers aside on lap 14 of the 18 run. Lindman was also counted as the Master's winner.
Greg Thek took his first Formula Dodge Regional Championship race victory. He had started the race second on the grid, but had dropped to third at one point before clawing back to the top of the running order. David Wieringa had a stellar run, coming from as seventh starting position to take the number two spot. Justin Shad was promoted to third following a time penalty dispensed to Hirotoshi Takeuchi who thusly was relegated to fourth place. Keith Green took the Master's class honors
Andre D'Cruze had his revenge in race 2. He had been leading the first race for Group 4 until he was beset by a mechanical woe. This time he and his car hung on for a flag-to-flag victory. Ryan Jones stormed through the field from the 12th starting position to gain the runner-up honors and race 1 winner Thek finished in third. The Master's win went to Mark Gerisch in race 2.
The fifth and final group of the weekend saw Justin Beckman take the victory. He had run the entire race in second, tailing Jon Van Caneghem throughout. Van Caneghem was the first to see the checkered flag but was levied a 20-second penalty, which dropped him to fifth in the final standings. George Scheiderer came home second after a good battle with Grant Maiman who finished third.
Scheiderer moved up a spot in the second race to score the win by five tenths of a second over Justin Beckman. Scheiderer pulled off a last lap pass on Beckman as the two streaked toward the finish line and the proverbial photo finish. Maiman again in third was hot on their gearboxes crossing the line just over a second after Scheiderer.
Rose now has a one-point advantage over D'Cruze in the overall standings (61-60) followed by Maiman seven points off the lead. Curt Andrews and Mark Barrens round out the first five.
The next round of the Formula Dodge Midwestern Championship takes place once again on the short course at Road America on July 15-16.