RINO GETS OVER THE HILL LIME ROCK, Conn. (May 26) - Rino Mastronardi of Italy took the lead from polesitter Derek Hill going into the first coorner and never looked back, winning his second Barber Dodge Pro Series race of the year. "I won the...
RINO GETS OVER THE HILL LIME ROCK, Conn. (May 26) - Rino Mastronardi of Italy took the lead from polesitter Derek Hill going into the first coorner and never looked back, winning his second Barber Dodge Pro Series race of the year. "I won the race at start, when we come out of Downhill," Mastronardi said. "I get the jump on Derek, and that is the most important thing." Hill was on two-race win streak and had cut Mastronardis points lead to 10, but Mastronardi overcame both Hill--and an upset stomach that had him under the weather since Sunday afternoon--to even the wins tally at two apiece. "He's right, that was it right there, the start" Hill said. "The stewards had reminded us that the front row should be at the pace of the pace car, which ended up being a touch faster than I wanted to bring the field. Rino held back a bit, made a great start and beat me in the drag race." As they braked for Turn One, Hill got a little high and lost another position to the resurgent Andy Boss. Completing lap, one it was Mastronardi, Boss, Hill and Nick Rondet, and you could have thrown a small tablecloth over them for the next five laps. Then Mastronardi and Boss started to separate themselves from Hill and Rondet, who in turn was busy with Martin Stenshorne and Chris Menninga. But halfway through, Mastronardi lost his advantage when Stenshorne lost his coolant; a radiator hose blew just as Stenshorne exited West Bend, then slid off in the Downhill in his own water. Menninga tiptoed through okay but the trail of spray caught out Tony Renna, running eighth, Jarle Gasland (ninth, and having just set fastest race-lap) and John McCaig. The track went full course yellow to haul the cars out of the tires. Under the yellow Hill took the time to soften up the front bar, "Which made the car better, but still, Rino was flat through West bend and the Downhill. I know I wasn't, and I dont think Andy was either, Hill said, with Boss nodding in agreement. On the restart, Hill timed the run a little better than Boss and got underneath him going into One. Hill drifted high after the pass, allowing Boss to give serious consideration to going back underneath, but there really wasn't any room and he let Hill go. Hill stuck right on the gearbox of Mastronardi, which worried the Italian. "I don't know at all how much grip in the last corner there will be with the antifreeze," Mastronardi said. "But it was okay and I could stay in front." Hill finished a couple car lengths back, while Boss took third fairly comfortably over Rondet. Menninga, bit by some bad luck last year generallyy and at Savannah last week specifically, brought his car home a fine fifth. Skip Barber Eastern Formula Dodge veterans (and thus well versed in the art of finding Lime Rock speed) Will Langhorne, Steve Rikert, G.J. Mennen, Jr., and Scott Brunk were next, ahead of Mastronardi teammate Giovanni Gulinelli. Rocky Moran, Jr., third in points coming into Lime Rock, failed to finish. He and Langhorne were splitting the lapped car of Barry Atkins when Atkins moved right to let Langhorne past on the left. Atkins never saw Moran and ended up pranging the 17-year-old off into the steeply banked hillside. Boss leapt back into the points fray, going to third (with 35) from seventh, while Mastronardi gained three on Hill (its now 71 to 58). The two Juniors--Moran and steady Mennen--each have 34. -Rick Roso
Results from Monday's SCCA Pro Racing Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix of Lime Rock Park, 1.54-mile, 7-turn road course, with finishing position (starting position), driver, hometown or country, winner's average speed, laps completed (reason out, if any), and prize money. All cars identical Mondiale Barber Dodge V6 open-wheel, single-seat race cars.
1. (2) Rino Mastronardi, Italy, 82.405 mph, 27 laps, $10,000 2. (1) Derek Hill, Santa Monica, Calif., 27, $6,000 3. (3) Andy Boss, Narragansett, R.I., 27, $4,000 4. (4) Nick Rondet, San Diego, 27, $2,500 5. (9) Chris Menninga, Pella, Iowa, 27, $1,800 6. (6) Will Langhorne, Washington, D.C., 27, $1,500 7. (10) Steven Rikert, Rhinebeck, N.Y., 27, $1,300 8. (15) G.J. Mennen, Jr., Austin, Texas, 27, $1,700 9. (14) Scott Brunk, Frederick, Md., 27, $1,000 10. (11) Giovanni Gulinneli, Italy, 27, $1,000 11. (16) Samer Hindi, Los Angeles, 27, $800 12. (12) Mattias Andersson, Sweden, 27, $700 13. (18) Eric Tresslar, Denver, 27, $600 14. (20) Jarrett Boon, Phoenix, 27, $500 15. (22) Bill Tichenor, Dallas, 27, $500 16. (23) Matt Fowler, Ventura, Calif., 27, $500 17. (21) Mike Durand, Wayland, Mass., 27, $500 18. (19) Victor Gonzalez, Puerto Rico, 27, $500 19. (26) Denis Lay, Miami, 27, $500 20. (25) Sebastien, Carcone, France, 27, $500 21. (24) Charles Willis, Germantown, Tenn., 27, $500 22. (27) Barry Atkins, W. Palm Beach, Fla., 24, $500 23. (5) Martin Stenshorne, Norway, 12 (radiator hose), $500 24. (7) Tony Renna, Deland, Fla., 12 (accident), $500 25. (13) Jarle Gasland, Norway, 12 (accident), $500 26. (17) John McCaig, Canada, 12 (accident), $500 27. (8) Rocky Moran, Jr., Coto de Caza, Calif., 10 (accident), $500
Time of race: 30 minutes, 16.490 seconds (27 laps) Winning speed: 82.405 mph Distance: 27 laps, 41.58 miles Margin of Victory: 0.800 seconds Fastest Race Lap: Jarle Gasland, lap 12, :54.462 (101.796mph) Most Progressive Driver ($500): G.J. Mennen, Jr., 15th to 8th Lap leaders: Hill, 1 - 27 Caution periods: one, for four laps
Points following round 4: 1. Rino Mastronardi 71 2. Derek Hill 58 3. Andy Boss 35 4. G.J. Mennen 34 5. Rocky Moran, Jr. 34
Next race: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio, June 15 $$$ /EX