SBRS: Sebring report and results

SBRS: Sebring report and results
Dec 29, 1996, 6:56 PM

> Date: 16 Mar 96 14:19:15 EST > From: rick roso <> FIRST WIN FOR MOSER SEBRING, Fla. (Mar. 16) - As any Barber Dodge Pro Series driver will tell you, the racing is so close and competitive that the tiniest mistake ...

> Date: 16 Mar 96 14:19:15 EST > From: rick roso <>


SEBRING, Fla. (Mar. 16) - As any Barber Dodge Pro Series driver will tell you, the racing is so close and competitive that the tiniest mistake will cost you big. The flip side is that anything you"re given, you grab it without a moment's hesitation and with absolutely no misgivings. Tim Moser took his first Barber Dodge win when in the last lap in the last turn, Fredrik Larsson and Nicolas Rondet crashed as they fought for the finish line, 50 feet away. Third place Moser, last year's Rookie of the Year, was handed his first win. It was a thoroughly exciting--but typical for Sebring--Barber Dodge finish. Moser's victory moved him from nowhere in points to fourth, and the way the first two races have shook out simply lends credence to the notion that this year you might need two hands to count the number of race winners. Moser's inheritance at Sebring takes nothing away from him as a driver. It was a well-deserved win, as he's clearly fast and smart--prior poles, fastest race laps and podium finishes attesting--and all drivers hope that their bad luck is judiciously balanced by the good, and hopefully in the same season. Moser, sponsored in part by David Letterman, a repeat student at the karting school Moser instructs for, crashed at St. Petersburg while dicing for the lead after his suspension was damaged in an early fracas with eventual winner Mauro Fartuszek. So the Sebring race leaves Good Luck and Bad Luck tied at one apiece. Big Scholarship driver Tony Renna was on pole, heading a field of 28, the first 12 of which separated by less than second, but admitted he did not get a good start and was seventh by the time the field got to the Hairpin. Second-starting Larsson thus led into Turn Three, and the furious positioning behind him let him drive to a six car-length lead immediately. That left Moser and Rondet (from fifth) locking horns for the next five laps. On lap six Moser made a tiny mistake--remember those?--in Turn 15 and Rondet blasted past. Simultaneously realizing what was needed, complete cooperation to hunt down Larsson, they hooked up in a two car train. We knew what we had to do. Tim was quicker than me in the slow bits, and I faster on the backside, and we were both a few ticks faster than Freddy, Rondet said. With two laps to go, Rondet had his front wings under Larsson"s gearbox. A look inside in the Hairpin got Larsson to lock up, but he kept the lead. Larsson is no shrinking violet himself, so if Rondet was going to get around he was going to have to go the mat to do it. So it would come down to the last lap and as it turned out, the last corner. Flying down Ulmann Straight, Rondet popped out of the draft and moved to the outside. Side-by-side into 17 they went, two millimeters apart, the Frenchman claimed (and verified by the perfectly directed Blockbuster Video blimp camera shot). Literally only feet from the finish line-- it's just beyond the apex of this long, wide, 180 degree righthander--they touched and spun. Secondary contact tore off Larsson"s left rear, which flew up in the air and came down on his head (ouch!). Moser rocketed by the carnage while Rondet kept it lit and crawled across the line, just in time to nip a resurgent Renna. It was just good, hard racing, and with smiles on their faces, a spontaneous acknowledgement of the terrific race they just had, Rondet and Larsson both apologized to each other in the paddock afterwards. And what of 1996's other players? St. Pete winner Fartuszek was only 12th quickest in qualifying, then ran into the back of Jeff Willoughby in the Hairpin, ending his day. Geoff Boss pulled in after four laps, saying his motor went soft after it got hot, while Derek Hill's new gearbox left him struggling with the upshifts from second to third. On the happier side of things, Brian Selby qualified and finished an impressive fourth (and now third in the points) while Jeff Bucknum dramaticallly improved on his St. Petersburg race with a fifth here at Sebring. Andres Felipe Gomez, Thomas Schie, Seiji Ara, Willoughby and G.J. Mennen rounded out the top 10. For the first time since September of 1994, when Mark Hotchkis led home Jaki Scheckter and Geoff Boss at Road America, the podium was made up entirely of former Skip Barber 2.0L Race Series drivers. Moser and Rondet starred in the Western championship while Renna won Barber's Southern series last year. Now in the points lead, Renna is showing precisely the form the "Big Scholarship judges predicted they'd see in this quiet 19-year-old, while Moser's pick as Rookie of the Year looks pretty smart, too. -Rick Roso

SCCA Pro Racing, Round 2, Barber Dodge Pro Series, at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway, 3.6-mile, 17-turn road course, March 16, 1996. All cars identical 3.5L Dodge V-6, Mondiale chassis, Goodyear Eagle race tires.

Time of Race:29:54.505 (14 laps) Winning Average Speed: 101.100 mph (R) Margin of Victory: 3.403 seconds Fastest Race Lap: Tony Renna, lap 4, 2:07.216/101.870 mph (R) Progressive Custom Wheels Most Progressive Driver Award ($500): Rocky Moran, Jr., 25th to 15th Lap Leaders: Fredrik Larsson, 1 - 13; Tim Moser, 14.

Fin Qul Driver/Town/Country Laps Earn. Pts Status

 1 3 Tim Moser/Ventura, Calif. 14 $10,000 20 Running 2 5 Nicolas Rondet/France 14 $6,000 16 Running 3 1 Tony Renna/Deland, Fla. 14 $4,000 15 Running 4 4 Bryan Selby/Alpine, Calif. 14 $2,500 12 Running 5 6 Jeff Bucknum/Simi Valley, Calif. 14 $1,800 11 Running 6 10 Andres Felipe Gomez/Colombia 14 $1,500 10 Running 7 9 Thomas Schie/Norway 14 $1,300 9 Running 8 16 Seiji Ara/Japan 14 $1,200 8 Running 9 8 Jeff Willoughby/E. Lansing, Mich. 14 $1,000 7 Running 10 13 G.J. Mennen/Vernon, N.J. 14 $1,000 6 Running 11 17 Memo Gidley/San Rafael, Calif. 14 $800 5 Running 12 14 Chris Menninga/Pella, Iowa 14 $700 4 Running 13 20 Skip Streets/Manhattan Beach, Calif. 14 $600 3 Running 14 11 Derek Hill/Santa Monica, Calif. 14 $500 2 Running 15 25 Rocky Moran, Jr./Coto de Caza, Calif. 14 $1,000 1 Running 16 19 Jakob Sund/Denmark 14 $500 Running 17 21 Rino Mastronardi/Italy 14 $500 Running 18 23 Gary Glanger/Dallas, Texas 14 $500 Running 19 15 Leandro Larrosa/Argentina 14 $500 Running 20 24 Tim Enoch/Mission Viejo, Ca 14 $500 Running 21 22 Steven Rikert/Rhinebeck, N.Y. 14 $500 Running 22 18 Brian McCarthy/Dayton, Ohio 14 $500 Running 23 26 Nick O'Sullivan/Boulder, Co 14 $500 Running 24 28 Joe Vantreese/Batavia, Ill. 14 $500 Running 25 27 Jarrett Boon/Chandler, Ariz. 14 $500 Running 26 2 Fredrik Larsson/Sweden 13NR $500 Accident 27 12 Mauro Fartuszek/Argentina  8NR $500 Accident 28 7 Geoff Boss/Narrangansett, R.I. 4NR $500 Retired 

Points Standings After 2 of 12 Rounds 1. Tony Renna 25 2. Mauro Fartuszek 21 3. Bryan Selby 21 4. Tim Moser 20 5. Seiji Ara 19 6. Fredrik Larsson 16 7. Nicolas Rondet 16 8. Andres Felipe Gomez 15 9. Rino Mastronardi 14 10. Derek Hill 14

Next Race: Round 3, Phoenix, April 21 -end for more information on

Skip Barber Racing School email

Barber Dodge Pro Series email to Rick Roso

all typos are mine, with apologies

Greg Rickes

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