Timmy Megenbier, Ricky Taylor Fire Opening Salvos SEBRING, Fla. (March 16) Timmy Megenbier and Ricky Taylor each left Sebring International Raceway with first-place hardware in the opening two rounds of the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National ...
Timmy Megenbier, Ricky Taylor Fire Opening Salvos
SEBRING, Fla. (March 16) Timmy Megenbier and Ricky Taylor each left Sebring International Raceway with first-place hardware in the opening two rounds of the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda. Both races saw multiple lead changes, sometimes two and three per lap, due in part to the introduction this year of Handford Devices on the Skip Barber Formula 2000 race cars. The depth of talent in this year's championship had something to do with it, too.
In the first race Megenbier spun from the lead on the first lap, falling to 18th. But the 15-year-old pushed his way back to the lead, slicing "past six cars on one lap following a late-race re-start. Jeff Oleen made a last lap effort that fell just .087 short while 2007 Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out winner Beau Debard, the polesitter, came third, a car length behind Oleen.
In the weekend's second race, Taylor, Megenbier, Debard, Kyle Lawrence, and Joel Miller, the Snap-on Stars of Karting/Skip Barber Scholarship winner, put on a clinic of how you make two , three- and even - four-wide racing through the corners work, Taylor eventually coming out on top, with Miller and Oleen second and third, respectively.
Megenbier, who had also earned sponsorship in the Karting Shoot-out two months ago, said of his first lap spin: "I just went into 13 too hot! I went back to throttle to try to settle the rear but I went around. I just tried to stay calm, I passed a bunch of cars, then we got the yellow, which was great for me." On his end of race charge: "I got the re-start perfect! I had momentum, plus guys were battling and getting high and loose and I took advantage and went from eighth to first."
Because of dicey weather and a damp track, the second race was run on BFG's treaded g-Force tires rather than the slicks that were on the cars in race one. Taylor, one of Wayne Taylor's two young sons racing in the Skip Barber series (the other, Jordan, is entered into one of Barber's regional championships this year), took advantage of his extra experience on those tires he had spent last year racing in Barber's Regional Series, which uses the treaded tires only. "I'm still not getting to the limit of the slicks," Taylor said, "but I'm real comfortable on the treads. During the race, I was getting passed on the straights and re-taking the lead in the corners. Then I figured out I needed to make the passes on the straight and it was then easier to hold the lead."
In the Masters Division, Dick Lippert's two ninth places has him in the points lead with 70. Jeff Kaiser finished 10th and 12th and sits second (64 points) while Stephen Kalogridis is third with 58.
Oleen's double-podium weekend has him in the points lead, 1 up on Taylor, 2 up on Miller (who was fourth in the second race) and 3 to the good on Megenbier, who was in third place in the second race with three laps to go when he fell off the road in Turn 10 but recovered to finish seventh.
Next up is VIR April 26-29, supporting the Grand-Am Rolex VIR 400.