Matos masters Mosport. Barber-Champ Car Scholarship driver Raphael Matos of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, made the most of his first visit to Mosport International Raceway for rounds six and seven of the 2003 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National ...
Matos masters Mosport.
Barber-Champ Car Scholarship driver Raphael Matos of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, made the most of his first visit to Mosport International Raceway for rounds six and seven of the 2003 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER Magazine, winning both races to take the lead in the championship standings. The wins were the first in National Championship competition for Matos, who started the season on the pole in Sebring, but hadn't been able to convert his speed into a win to date this season.
Gerardo Bonilla of Orlando, Florida, scored his first pole position in Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER Magazine competition after a masterful session in the wet but drying conditions in qualifying. Bonilla led the field to the green flag for the first National Championship race of the weekend, but round three race winner Ben Freudenberg made the most of the first lap to take the lead from Bonilla. Matos also got off to a fast start, and made his own move on Bonilla to take second place. Matos didn't let Freudenberg get far ahead, though, as he surged to the front to take the lead by the end of the first lap as Freudenberg and Bonilla gave chase.
Bonilla lost positions again when he had a quick off-course excursion at the fast right-hand third corner, but was able to get his car pointed in the right direction again without bringing out a yellow flag. Round one winner Matt Jaskol of Los Vegas, Nevada, got a good start from fifth position, and moved up into fourth by the third lap, behind Zilvinas Oskutis, who had moved into third after Bonilla spun.
Matos was hammering away in the lead when the field was regrouped after the yellow flag was brought out to move the stricken car of Cliff White out of harms way, who had gone off-course. Matos held onto the lead on the restart, and worked to reestablish a gap back to the field. Matt Jaskol passed Oskutis for second place and began to try and track down Matos. The fight for second place was not over yet, though, as Dominique Claessens of Torrance, California, and Freudenberg exchanged the position over the next three laps before Jaskol retook the spot and set his sights on chasing down Matos again.
Chris Prey was showing his mastery of the fast flowing Mosport track with a strong drive from his twelfth starting position up to sixth place, where he began to battle with round two winner Philippe Gelinas for fifth. The two had a spirited battle, nearly touching on several occasions around the 2.5-mile ten-turn Mosport track.
Another battle further back in the pack between Abraham Zimroth, Ricky Schmidt, and Salvador Duran was no less spirited, as the three-car train looked differently every lap to the finish as the three exchanged positions
Matos took the checkered flag 3.5 seconds ahead of Jaskol, with Freudenberg crossing the finish line 2.1 seconds behind to take third place. Dominique Claessens came home in fourth, with Gelinas in fifth as he and Prey battled to the line for the position. Bonilla came home a disappointed seventh after having started from the pole, with Zilvinas Oskutis taking eighth position ahead of Abraham Zimroth. Ricky Schmidt rounded out the top ten, moving up from his thirteenth starting position.
Raphael Matos started the second race where he fished the first, from the lead, as Salvador Duran, who won rounds four and five at Road America, started the race from second. Chris Prey started in third, and found a way by Duran by the end of the first lap to take second place from the young Mexican, with Barber Champ Car Scholarship driver Joe D'Agostino running just behind the lead pack in fourth position.
A spin for Abraham Zimroth brought out the yellow flag just three laps into the race. Zimroth was able to rejoin the field from far behind his strong fifth starting position, but was able to stay on the lead lap.
Matos held on to the lead at the restart, with Chris Prey following closely in second place. Behind the lead group, Matt Jaskol was having a strong race, moving up to ninth position by the third lap, and then continuing his march up the charts after the restart up into the top five. Jaskol's task was made easier on the thirteenth lap when the field was again bunched up behind the Dodge Viper pace car after Zoltan Bodor went off course in turn eight, a fast right hander that follows the long Mario Andretti straightaway.
On the restart, Matos held onto the lead, but Chris Prey gave chase, passing Matos for the lead on the as the two headed into turn eight. Matos stayed right on the gearbox of Prey, though, and on the penultimate lap, repeated the same maneuver on Prey, drafting him down the long run into turn eight, and passing him as the two went into the braking zone to take the lead and the win.
The Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER Magazine will race next at Road America on the weekend of the Fourth of July.
The Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by Racer Magazine boasts an illustrious list of graduates, from last years champion, Grant Maiman, who will compete this summer in European Formula Renault as part of the Red Bull Formula One Drivers search, to Ryan Hunter-Reay, who made his first Champ Car World Series start last month in St. Petersburg, Florida. Other graduates include 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series Champion A.J. Allmendinger, 2002 FF2000 Champion Brian Sellars, and 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series competitors Al Unser, Scott Proirier, Leo Maia, and Colin Fleming.
The 2003 Championship again features a field deep in talent comprised of champions from lower formulae and karting. Raphael Matos of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, secured his Barber-Champ Car Scholarship at Sebring last December in the Formula Dodge National Run-Off, and is hoping to convert this opportunity into a championship. The young Brazilian was quickest in every session during the event, and is hoping to keep the pace up through the 2003 season. Four other drivers in the field are also members of the Barber-Champ Car Scholarship program, as Joe D'Agostino of Plantation, FL, Philippe Gelinas of Grand-Mere, Quebec, Matt Jaskol of Las Vegas, NV, and David Jurca of Federal Way, WA all secured a funded ride in the 2003 Formula Dodge Championship after impressing in the Barber-Champ Car Karting Scholarship Run-Off in January.
Skip Barber Racing School is the world's leading provider of automotive education and entertainment. With five base locations in Connecticut, Florida, California, and Wisconsin, Skip Barber operates at over twenty tracks nationwide. The Dodge Division of DaimlerChrysler, Michelin North America, and Quaker State are key strategic partners for the company. NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon, Indianapolis 500 Champion and Champ Car Champion Juan Montoya, and legend Michael Andretti are but three graduates to have emerged from Skip Barber Racing's nearly thirty years of training and expertise.
<pre> Race Results Round Six Formula Dodge National Championship Presented By Racer Magazine
Fin Pos St Pos Name Laps 1 3 Raphael Matos 2 5 Matt Jaskol 3 2 Ben Freudenberg 4 8 Dominique Claessens 5 6 Philippe Gelinas 6 12 Chris Prey 7 1 Gerrardo Bonilla 8 4 Zilvinas Oskutis 9 15 Abraham Zimroth 10 13 Ricky Schmidt
Race Results Round Seven Formula Dodge National Championship Presented By Racer Magazine
1 1 Raphael Matos 2 3 Chris Prey 3 11 Matt Jaskol 4 4 Joe D'Agostino 5 7 Philippe Gelinas 6 2 Salvador Duran 7 12 Dominique Claessens 8 8 Ricky Schmidt 9 10 Gerardo Bonilla 10 15 Brian Frisselle
Round One Sebring Jaskol Round Two VIR Gelinas Round Three VIR Ben Freudenberg Round Four Road America Duran Round Five Road America Duran Round Six Mosport Matos Round Seven Mosport Matos