SBRS: Southern Series Competitors to Battle at Sebring

Less than 15 points, the value of a second-place finish, separate the top four drivers in the Skip Barber Southern Race Series as the second half of the season gets underway on the 12 Hour circuit at Sebring International Raceway on Feb ...

Less than 15 points, the value of a second-place finish, separate the top four drivers in the Skip Barber Southern Race Series as the second half of the season gets underway on the 12 Hour circuit at Sebring International Raceway on Feb 19-20.

For added excitement, a non-championship group has been added to the weekend’s festivities featuring drivers from the Barber Dodge Pro Series. Those drivers will be looking to gain valuable track time on the full Sebring course as the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series season gets under way there in less than one month. Matt Plumb, Brent Sherman, Alex Sperafico, Thed Bjork, Milka Duno, Rhonda Trammel, and Jeremy Smith will be joined by Formula Dodge veterans Bryan Sellers (defending Midwestern Series champ), Chris Baker, Matt Franc and Todd Russo, all of whom have had tests in the Barber Dodge Reynard 98E.

Following the last round on the shorter modified Sebring track, points leader Scott Bassinder holds an eight point advantage over Craig Durerson who in turn leads Matt Franc and Scott Presti with only a mere seven points separating the three. Rounds five and six took place last month featuring some of the closest and fastest racing ever witnessed at a Skip Barber Race Series event. On that occasion, the track record fell three times and three races were decided on the final lap.

Also on that occasion, points leaders Bassinder and Duerson squared off in the same group, each taking a last lap victory from the other. The two will be featured in separate groups this weekend, but that’s not to say that they won’t face tough competition. For his part Bassinder will have to contend with third-placed Franc, who went home with a victory and a second-place at the last event, as well as fifth-placed overall and first in the Master’s category, Bud Risser.

Duerson (Group 3) will have to fend off the double duty Quentin Wahl who is also competing in Group 1 as well as Group 3. Also in Group 3, Arnold Brinkman will hope to build on the momentum he established in rounds five and six which included a third-place finish.

In Group 2, sixth-placed Chris Baker and seventh-placed Rafael Sperafico will go tete-a-tete. Baker was one of the track record setters in the last event who garnered a last lap victory on Sunday to go along with his second-place Saturday finish. Not far behind them in the points chase is ninth-placed Charlie Plumb, whose brother Matt will be competing in the aforementioned Pro Series Group.

The final points paying group (Group 4) includes fourth-placed Scott Presti and second-placed in Master’s Class, Shareef Malnik in addition to eighth-placed Chip Bryant.

A total of 57 drivers, including the non-championship Pro Series group, will line-up on the grid this weekend. As always, the competition should be fierce around the 17-turn, 3.61 mile track that will test the grit and the mettle of some of the best amateur open-wheel racers in North America.

-George Tamayo

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Milka Duno , Brent Sherman , Chris Baker , Rafael Sperafico , Thed Björk , Skip Barber , Alex Sperafico , Bryan Sellers , Chip Bryan , Matt Plumb , Quentin Wahl , Jeremy Smith