SBRS: Sebring Race Closes Out Southern Series

A very competitive Skip Barber Formula Dodge Southern Race Series drew to a close at Sebring International Raceway on April 29-30. In the end, Rafael Sperafico tied with Scott Bassinder for secured second place in the standings. He was also...

A very competitive Skip Barber Formula Dodge Southern Race Series drew to a close at Sebring International Raceway on April 29-30. In the end, Rafael Sperafico tied with Scott Bassinder for secured second place in the standings. He was also honored with the Rookie of the Year crown, while Top-10 finisher Roland Isra garnered the Most Improved Driver of the Year honor. Craig Duerson officially became the champion having actually locked up the title in the previous round.

Tim Todd scored his first and second career Skip Barber Race Series victories in Group 1. He did so with utter domination winning from the pole, and leading every single lap of both races. Laura Rowe also scored a career best second-place finish in race 1, holding off Emilio Lezcano in third place. Race 2 duplicated race 1 with the exception of Ron Hayter who was elated when he came up from the fifth starting position to take second place behind Todd and ahead of Lezcano.

Group 2 was filled with all of the top positions in the points table. As one would expect, it was also the most enthralling racing of the weekend. Race 1 was nose to tail and side by side action all the way. Sperafico, Scott Bassinder and Duerson mixed it up at the head of the field. Sperafico jumped into the lead at the mid-point, but was given a blocking warning for defending his position a bit too aggressively from Bassinder. He crossed the line first, but was later judged to have not heeded the warnings of race officials for which he was levied a 5 sec. penalty; thus relegating him to second place ahead of Duerson.

Sperafico avenged his race 1 indiscretions by setting a new track record en route to a win by over 7 sec. ahead of Matt Franc and Duerson. The win solidified his hold on second place, despite the tie in points with Scott Bassinder in the standings, due to the fact that the tie-breaker favored Sperafico.

Group 3 produced a first time winner as well as the biggest come from behind victory of the weekend.

Anthony Massari squeaked out his first career victory by 0.6 sec. ahead of Jose Armengol in second place and Ivan German in third. The trio benefited from some last lap contact between Juan Manuel Polar and Ross Fonferko who up to that point had been one-two throughout the race.

Polar and Fonferko blitzed the field at the start of race 2, gaining nine positions on the first lap alone, then assuming the lead and second-place respectively by lap three. From there, the pair drew away until the finish. Race 1 winner Massari held on to the following podium spot, coming home third.

The Master’s Memorial on Sunday was the title decider for that class. Bud Risser and Roland Isra battled for the lead early on, but it was Risser who prevailed and thereby securing the Master’s crown. Shareef Malnik finished second followed by Randy Allison in third. Isra ended up seventh in the race and second in the Master’s Championship.

The Skip Barber Race Series kicks off its Eastern Region Championship this weekend at Virginia International Raceway coinciding with the competition debut of the Formula Dodge R/T 2000. The Midwestern Series opener follows two weeks hence at Grattan Raceway in Michigan, also the site of the inaugural season for the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER.

-George Tamayo

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Roland Isra , Rafael Sperafico , Skip Barber , Craig Duerson , Jose Armengol , Juan Manuel Polar , Anthony Massari