SBRS: Lime Rock Park preview

Memorial Day weekend at Lime Rock Park will be a little extra special this time around. The Barber Dodge Pro Series will run an out of the ordinary double, staging rounds 3 and 4 at the famed Road Racing Center of the East. It will also mark the...

Memorial Day weekend at Lime Rock Park will be a little extra special this time around. The Barber Dodge Pro Series will run an out of the ordinary double, staging rounds 3 and 4 at the famed Road Racing Center of the East. It will also mark the first event sanctioned by Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) in the circuit's near half-century history. The Barber Dodge Pro Series is the Official Entry Level Professional Race Series of CART.

The first two rounds of the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series have lived up to the competitive form of the series as they have produced two different winners. In fact with the exception of Nicolas Rondet, both rounds have produced different podiums. The exceptional performances by the Frenchman, including the win at round 2 in Phoenix, have him leading the overall standings. Third place at in round 1together with the bonus points he earned for winning the pole and setting the fastest race lap in Phoenix sees him on 36 points.

Second to Rondet is Barber-CART Big Scholarship driver Rafael Sperafico with 25 points. The 19 year old rookie finished third at round 2 in Phoenix securing his first podium finish in only his third career start. In spite of his relative inexperience, Sperafico has shown that he is more than capable of competing for the win. Older cousin Alex, won the opening race at Sebring but found himself less than fortunate at the following race. Nevertheless, the three points he picked up in Phoenix keeps him third overall, a point down on Rafael.

The double race format however may provide the perfect venue for some savvy Lime Rock veterans to seize the moment. Matt Plumb of Unionville, Penn returns to his home track, the very one he learned to race a car on in his Skip Barber Three Day Racing School, in the hopes of turning a disastrous season around. Plumb has yet to finish a race, the victim of car contact in the opening two races. Dutchman Sepp Koster has fared a little better, finishing second in round-two while Ryan Hunter-Reay could stand to make the biggest gain overall as he resides fourth overall with 23 points. Hunter-Reay, the 2000 Barber-CART Rookie of the Year, was formerly the lap record holder at Lime Rock Park in the Skip Barber Race Series and has numerous race wins there to his credit in that series.

In all a field of 20 cars will take the green flag for both races. Round 3 is set for Saturday evening at 5:10 p.m. while round 4 will see the green flag drop at 11:00 a.m. on Monday morning.

-George Tamayo

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay , Rafael Sperafico , Sepp Koster , Skip Barber , Matt Plumb