TWIN PEAKS SAVANNAH, Ga. (May 18) - In the closest finish in Barber Dodge Pro Series history, Derek Hill won his second Barber Dodge Pro Series race in a row at the inaugural Dixie Crystals Grand Prix of Savannah. Hill, the 22-year-old son...
TWIN PEAKS SAVANNAH, Ga. (May 18) - In the closest finish in Barber Dodge Pro Series history, Derek Hill won his second Barber Dodge Pro Series race in a row at the inaugural Dixie Crystals Grand Prix of Savannah. Hill, the 22-year-old son of 1961 World Champion Phil Hill, crossed the finish line 18 inches (officially, .012 of a second) in front of Rino Mastronardi. Rocky Moran, Jr., was third, a car length behind Mastronardi. Following the last of three caution periods, with five minutes to go Hill, who had started on pole, led from Mastronardi on the restart. Mastronardi laid back for the next three laps, but with one to go he gave it everything he had and got a run on Hill through the last two corners. Coming on to the front straight the Italian got alongside Hill and had he had 20 more yards, Mastronardi would have had his second win of the year instead of Hill. "I felt pressure from Rino and Rocky the whole race," Hill said in the post-race conference. "I know sometimes it looks easy from the outside, but I knew those two were coming the whole time. It was hard, but the win feels great." Jarle Gasland, who started alongside Hill, was in an incredible battle for third with Andy Boss that ended dramatically when they got a little too close. On the restart after the second caution of the day, those two touched going down the main straight, as each wouldn't give an inch. The resulting melee and flying tires also took out Mattias Andersson and Steve Rikert, running seventh and ninth, respectively, while others escaped damage with dramatic evasive maneuvers. Martin Stenshorne wound up fourth, with Will Langhorne fifth, but Langhorne was moved back three positions in the final results for an improper start, elevating Italian Giovanni Gulinelli to fifth, his best finish ever. The attrition and some fine driving allowed Tony Renna, one of two Rookies of the Year (Hill is the other), to finish seventh after starting 20th--thanks to a crash in final qualifying--to earn the Most Progressive Driver Award. With three races down and nine to go, Mastronardi remains atop the points standings with 51 to Hill's 41. Moran, Jr., Renna and G.J. Mennen round out the top five.
Results from Sunday's SCCA Pro Racing Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the Dixie Crystals Grand Prix of Savannah, 1.965-mile, 10-turn temporary road course, with finishing position (starting position), driver, hometown or country, winners 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. (1) Derek Hill, Santa Monica, Calif., 53.874 mph, 17 laps, $10,000 2. (3) Rino Mastronardi, Italy, 17, $6,000 3. (4) Rocky Moran, Jr., Coto de Caza, Calif., 17, $4,000 4. (11) Martin Stenshorne, Norway, 17, $2,500 5.(16) Giovanni Gulinelli, Italy, 17, $1,800 6. (18) Victor Gonzalez, Puerto Rico, 17, $1,500 7. (20) Tony Renna, Deland, Fla., 17, $1,800 8. (7) Will Langhorne, Washington, D.C., 17, $1,200 9. (15) G. J. Mennen, Jr., Austin, Texas, 17, $1,000 10. (12) Nick Rondet, San Diego, Calif., 17, 1,000 11. (19) Jarrett Boon, Phoenix, Ariz., 17, $800 12. (14) Samer Hindi, Los Angeles, Calif., 17, $700 13. (21) Eric Tresslar, Denver, Colo., 17, $600 14. (17) John McCaig, Canada, 17, $500 15. (24) Bill Tichenor, Dallas, Texas, 17, $500 16. (22) Matt Fowler, Ventura, Calif., 17, $500 17. (27) Denis Lay, Miami, Fla., 17, $500 18. (29) Barry Atkins, West Palm Beach, Fla., 17, $500 19. (26) Charles Willis, Germantown, Tenn., 16, $500 20. (6) Chris Menninga, Pella, Iowa, 15 (driveline), $500 21. (2) Jarle Gasland, Norway, 8 (accident), $500 22. (8) Andy Boss, Narragansett, R.I., 8 (accident), $500 23. (5) Mattias Andersson, Sweden, 8 (accident), $500 24. (10) Steven Rikert, Rhinebeck, N.Y., 8 (accident), $500 25. (25) Patsy DiFilippo, Apollo, Pa., 4 (accident), $500 26. (28) Sebastien Carcone, France, 4 (accident), $500 27. (9) Jeff Simmons, East Granby, Conn., 0 (accident), $500 28. (13) Scott Brunk, Frederick, Md., 0 (accident), $500 29. (23) Sean Patrick Flanery, Hollywood, Calif., 0 (accident), $500
Time of race: 37 minutes, 11.062 seconds Winning speed: 53.874 mph Distance: 17 laps, 33.388 miles Margin of Victory: 0.012 seconds Fastest Race Lap: Rocky Moran, Jr., lap 16, 1:14.454 (94.847mph) Most Progressive Driver ($500): Tony Renna, 20th to 7th Lap leaders: Hill, 1 - 17
Points following round 2: 1. Rino Mastronardi 51 2. Derek Hill 41 3. Rocky Moran, Jr. 34 4. Tony Renna 26 5. G.J. Mennen 26
Next race: Lime Rock Park, Conn., May 26 $$$