SBRS: Southern Regional Championship Daytona report

D'Agostino and Pew maintain Southern Series points lead. Joe D'Agostino and Masters racer John Pew successfully defended their points lead in Formula Dodge Southern Regional Championship action from Daytona Infield this past weekend. The...

D'Agostino and Pew maintain Southern Series points lead.

Joe D'Agostino and Masters racer John Pew successfully defended their points lead in Formula Dodge Southern Regional Championship action from Daytona Infield this past weekend. The 2.68-mile circuit was home to Rounds 5 and 6 and the backdrop for two D'Agostino victories and Pew's maiden win in the series. Midway through the championship, the Rookie holds an impressive 41-point margin over two Masters racers: Pew and Larry Revier, themselves at the top of their own Masters category.

In group 1 race 1, Pew capitalized on a strong qualifying session, one that landed him on pole, to lead all 19 laps and take the win over Masters rival Revier. Revier started third but locked up P2 at the start when he edged out Roger Cote. Cote drove steadily to land on the podium in third. Ed Doyle charged through the field with remarkable effectiveness, promoting himself four positions to finish sixth. Don Deese tripped the fastest lap with a time of 1:23.245 sec. but couldn't overcome an early miscue that earned him a 60-sec post race penalty.

Race 2 featured a good battle for lead position between the series points leader and two other drivers: Aivaras Pyragius and defending Masters Champion Roland Isra. D'Agostino claimed the point from Pyragius with seven laps to go and never looked back, taking the checkered flag by a comfortable 13-seconds. Zolton Bodor put an exclamation point on his hard charge from 13th to finish second ahead of Isra in third. Pyragius, who led the first 12 laps, later suffered car contact with fastest lap setter John Mayes and fell out of contention.

The day's final race saw Rodrigo Penatti charge from fourth and upset Roger Cote with two laps remaining to claim his first Skip Barber Race Series victory by a 0.5 sec. margin. Cote had the race in command over the first 17 laps, setting a best time of 1:25.938 sec. along the way. Polesitter John Pew ran with the leaders all race, taking the checkered flag only a second behind the winner to claim third place and a spot on the podium. The race featured a number of collections that knocked several drivers out of contention. Among those tripped up were Jeff Relic, who hit Phillipe Gelinas, but still managed to finish fourth. Early on, Bob Crozier spun before being tagged by Emilio Lezcano. Crozier wasn't as fortunate and had to park his R/T 2000 only after two laps.

The second day of action was just as fruitful, producing two first-time winners in Ben Tangye and Roger Cote. In group 2 race 1, Tangye bounded from sixth, slotting into third position after only four cycles around the infield. Polesitter John Pew, who led until three laps to go, had car contact with Cote on the last lap and fell out of the money, facilitating Tangye's victory. Larry Revier started from, and successfully defended, second position for his second visit to the podium. John Peterson rebounded from tough luck in race 1 [flat tire] to collect the final position on the rostrum in third. Peterson's ascension from ninth position earned him Most Progressive Driver distinction.

Joe D'Agostino earned his second win of the weekend, leading flag-to-flag over all 19 trips, to best his closest rival Roland Isra. Isra started third and advanced at the start where he held P2 for the balance laps. Aivara Pyragius charged from sixth to join the pair on the podium. Jake Nawrocki was fleetest among this set, tripping a lap time of 1:20.060 sec. before retiring due to contact with John Peterson.

In group 3's finale, three drivers shared the lead over this 17 lap contest, shortened due to two wave-offs at the start. Polesitter Rodrigo Penatti, aiming for a second win, paced the first 10 laps and looked like the lock until he ran into the back of Phillipe Gelinas' R/T 2000 with two laps to go while Gelinas held the point. The fallout allowed Roger Cote to inherit the lead where he held off the field over the final three laps en route to his first Series victory.

The Daytona Endura, dubbed Enduro, was captured by Team Rowe, which consisted of Laura Rowe and Todd Snyder. The team proved quickest among a field of 11 entries in the popular 40 lap contest. The team's winning time was 1:14.57 sec.

Sebring International Raceway offers its own version of Southern hospitality when the series resumes the weekend of February 15-16. Catch all the action on the Skip Barber News.

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Roland Isra , Skip Barber , Todd Snyder , John Pew , Joe D'Agostino , John Peterson , John Mayes