In Barber Dodge Round 2 Tilt. . . SNYDER WON'T HAVE IT EASY AT HOME TRACK LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 16) - In the longest between-races break in the history of the Barber Dodge Pro Series, round 2 of the 1998 $1.1M championship is next weekend, May...
In Barber Dodge Round 2 Tilt. . . SNYDER WON'T HAVE IT EASY AT HOME TRACK
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (May 16) - In the longest between-races break in the history of the Barber Dodge Pro Series, round 2 of the 1998 $1.1M championship is next weekend, May 22-25, during the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park's 1.54-mile, seven turn circuit in northwest Connecticut. The March 21 Sebring season-opener was won by Todd Snyder, a Skip Barber Racing School instructor from Sheffield, Mass., in what was the series' first race with the carbon-composite Reynard Dodge race cars.
Snyder's win at Sebring was in a walk (more than five seconds, an eternity in Barber Dodge, over Victor Gonzalez, Jr.) and that, combined with his extensive knowledge of Lime Rock-he's got countless miles here as a Skip Barber Formula Ford and Formula Dodge test driver-makes him the odds-on favorite to win.
But that assessment will have to be reconsidered if the rumor that Rino Mastronardi is going to re-join Barber Dodge, beginning at Lime Rock, is true. Last year, Mastronardi finished second to champion Derek Hill, and in fact won five races to Hill's four-including the race at Lime Rock. Barber Dodge Driver Relations Manager Rick Ratajczak admits he has had numerous "serious" conversations with Mastronardi, who sadly has not been able to come up with a proper budget for a '98 Dayton Indy Lights or FIA F3000 campaign.
Besides the nascent Mastronardi threat, Snyder will have to contend with a number of Formula Dodge Eastern Race Series graduates, each of whom has an ample share of experience at Lime Rock, which hosts four Eastern Series rounds every year. Will Langhorne, G.J. Mennen, Jr., Pete Boss, Eric Tresslar and Jeff Simmons (who missed Sebring thanks to an off-season leg injury) can probably claim more racing miles at Lime Rock than can Snyder. And there's forget Rocky Moran, Jr., quick as greased lightening, and Nicolas Rondet, the '97 R.O.T.Y.
I haven't even mentioned the foreign hot shoes that Snyder will have to face down again: Sepp Koster, the 1995 Benelux FF champion, who took the pole at Sebring (then retired with suspension damage); Martin Stenshorne, who was running fifth at Lime Rock last year, in touch with the leaders, until a radiator hose went ka-blooey; Giovanni Anapoli, the '97 Nations Cup champion, who was running second to Snyder at Sebring until he and Stenshorne "got together" in Turn 3; and Owen McAuley, the '95 British F3 International Cup champion.
Round 2 of the 1998 Barber Dodge Pro Series green flags at 10:40 a.m. local time, Monday, May 25. The first espn2 broadcast is set for Sunday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, with three replays to follow.
Points after Round 1 Points Prize Money 1. Todd Snyder/Sheffield, Mass. 20 $12,000 2. Victor Gonzalez/Puerto Rico 16 8,000 3. Thomas Schie/Norway 14 6,000 4. G.J. Mennen, Jr./Austin, Texas 12 4,000 5. Samer Hindi/Los Angeles, Calif. 11 2,500 6. John McCaig/Canada 10 2,000 7. Jon Fogarty/Portola Valley, Calif. 9 1,800 8. Tom Woods/Rancho Cordova, Calif. 8 2,200 9. Memo Rojas, Jr./Mexico 7 1,600 10. Gregg Borland/Elkhart Lake, Wis. 6 1,500 11. Brian Pelke/Lansing, Ill. 5 1,400 12. Peter Boss/Narrangansett, R.I. 4 1,300 13. Giovanni Gulinelli/Italy 3 1,200 14. Owen Trinkler/Nashville, Tenn. 2 1,100 15. Sepp Koster/The Netherlands 1 500 Shane Donley/Las Vegas, Nev. 1 1,000