MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 12) - Barber Dodge Pro Series points leader Jeff Simmons of East Granby, Conn. extended his lead in the quest for a second-straight championship with a dominant performance in the Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca...
MONTEREY, Calif. (Sept. 12) - Barber Dodge Pro Series points leader Jeff Simmons of East Granby, Conn. extended his lead in the quest for a second-straight championship with a dominant performance in the Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca Raceway Sunday afternoon.
Simmons ran unchecked from the pole to post a 2.303-second victory over Todd Snyder of Sheffield, Mass. With two races left in the 12-round schedule, Simmons raised his points margin over Snyder to 129-114 with his third victory of the season.
"What can I say? It's been a perfect weekend," Simmons said. "I was fastest in every session, fastest in qualifying and had the fastest lap in the race. It doesn't get any better than that."
Snyder was the favorite coming into the weekend, with a pair of wins on the historic 2.24-mile, 11-turn road course last year. But the 1998 Barber Dodge championship runner-up could do little more than try to push his nemesis into a mistake that never came.
"Obviously, I would have liked to have won. Jeff got a good start and pulled away pretty well, and I tried to run with him as best as I could," Snyder said. "On the (lap 17) restart, I underestimated how cold the tires were and got a little sideways out of Turn 11. That was all he needed. His car was just a little better all weekend."
Townsend Bell of Costa Mesa, Calif. used a strong start and perfect pass to finish third. Bell made a run from the sixth spot to fourth into turn one and later slipped past Iradj Alexander in Laguna Seca's famous Corkscrew on the first lap.
"We bumped a little going into turn one, so I backed off just a bit. I was waiting on the outside next to Alexander and the grip was there, so I just went ahead and took the position," Bell said. "The track was definitely rough. Some of the fast corners didn't have much grip today."
Alexander of Giubiasco, Switzerland applied pressure on Bell at various times in the 24-lap race, but ultimately settled for fourth. Local favorite Jon Fogarty of Portola Valley, Calif. finished just behind Alexander for his fourth Top-5 finish of the campaign. Roger Yasukawa of Santa Monica, Calif. moved into a tie in the Rookie points with his sixth.
Sepp Koster of the Netherlands took sole possession of third in the championship standings by finishing seventh. Koster had entered the weekend tied with Peter Boss of Narragansett, R.I., who ended up ninth on the day.
Pella, Iowa native Jamie Menninga provided the buffer in the eighth spot. Alexandre Sperafico of Brazil completed the Top 10. Jason LaPoint of Woodburn, Oregon earned the Progressive Custom Wheels "Most Progressive Driver" $500 award with an 11th-place finish in his pro debut.
Simmons' mechanic, Rolando Coronado, completed a sweep of honors for the weekend by earning the Klein Tools Mechanic of the Race award. Coronado received a custom tool kit and a cash bonus for his efforts.
Simmons was optimistic about his chances for a championship repeat as the battle heads to Homestead Motorsports Complex for Round 11 the weekend of September 26. The season finale is slated for Watkins Glen October 3 with the FIA GT Championship.
"Homestead was a pretty good track last year. I just missed getting the pole there," Simmons said. "Watkins is going to be a little different using the full course, but I won there last year so I'm comfortable. I've just got to do what I can to finish up front in both those races."
Being perfect is just a bonus.
For complete qualifying results and photos, visit the Skip Barber Racing School website: www.skipbarber.com
#MONTEREY, Calif. - Results Sunday from the 40-minute timed ISERV Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey on the 2.24-mile, 11-turn Laguna Seca Raceway with finishing position, starting position, driver, hometown or country, laps, reason out (if any), and prize money. All cars are identical Reynard Dodge V6, open-wheel, single-seat race cars on Michelin racing tires.
1 (1) Jeff Simmons/East Granby, Conn., 92.285 mph, 24 laps, $12000 2 (2) Todd Snyder/Sheffield, Mass., 24, $8000 3 (6) Townsend Bell/Costa Mesa, Calif., 24, $6000 4 (3) Iradj Alexander/Giubiasco,Switzerland, 24, $4000 5 (5) Jon Fogarty/Portola Valley, Calif., 24, $2500 6 (7) Roger Yasukawa/Santa Monica, Calif., 24, $2000 7 (4) Sepp Koster/The Netherlands, 24, $1800 8 (12) Jamie Menninga/Pella, Iowa, 24, $1700 9 (10) Peter Boss/Narragansett, R.I., 24, $1600 10 (14) Alexandre Sperafico/Brazil, 24, $1500 11 (18) Jason LaPoint/Woodburn, Oregon, 24, $1900 12 (19) R. B. Stiewing/Lime Rock, Conn., 24, $1300 13 (20) Kip Gulseth/Manitowac, Wisc., 24, $1200 14 (16) Rhonda Trammell/Pittsboro, Ind., 24, $1100 15 (21) David Francis, Jr./Cypress, Calif., 24, $1000 16 (15) Brent Sherman/ Northbrook, Ill., 24, $500 17 (24) Keith Dusko/Red Bank, New Jersey, 23, $500 18 (9) Nilton Rossoni/Curitiba, Brazil, 22, $500, Contact 19 (8) Michael Valiante/Vancouver,Canada, 22, $500, Contact 20 (17) Tom Fogarty/Copco Lake, Calif., 22, $500, Running 21 (13) Brian Pelke/Lansing, Ill., 17, $500, Contact 22 (22) Scott Mayer/Franklin, Wis., 16, $500, Contact 23 (23) Jon Vannini/Hillsborough, Calif., 10, $500, Contact 24 (11) Matt Plumb/Unionville, Pa., 9, $500, Electrical
LENGTH OF RACE: 24 Laps of 2.238 Mile Circuit for 53.712 miles TIME OF RACE: 40 Minutes, 46.659 seconds AVERAGE SPEED: 79.032 mph MARGIN OF VICTORY: 2.303 Seconds LAP LEADERS: Jeff Simmons - All Laps FASTEST RACE LAP: Simmons 1:27.267 (92.324 mph) FASTEST QUALIFIER: Simmons 1:26.259 (93.402 mph) PROGRESSIVE CUSTOM WHEELS MOST PROGRESSIVE DRIVER: Jason LaPoint, From 18th to 11th TOTAL PAYOUT: $52,100
Championship Points after Round 10 1) Simmons, 129 2) Snyder, 114 3) Koster, 90 4) Bell, 88 5) Boss, 88 6) Fogarty, 76 7) Rossoni, 72 8) Menninga, 72 9) Valiante, 62 10) Yasukawa, 62