HIGHS AND LOWS FOR MANDARINO IN FORMULA RUSSELL ACTION Mechanical issue robs Canadian of weekend sweep at Infineon SONOMA, CA - Canadian Lorenzo Mandarino was back in SCCA Formula Russell Championship action this weekend and came away...
HIGHS AND LOWS FOR MANDARINO IN FORMULA RUSSELL ACTION
Mechanical issue robs Canadian of weekend sweep at Infineon
SONOMA, CA - Canadian Lorenzo Mandarino was back in SCCA Formula Russell Championship action this weekend and came away with another victory for his growing resume. Competing in the second round of the popular open wheel series at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., the 19 year-old focused on speed and consistency all weekend to complete this pre-season program with three podiums. The event went well despite trying weather, resulting in two poles, an impressive Saturday victory and a disappointing mechanical DNF on Sunday.
After winning a pair of pole positions in the respective wet track qualifying runs, Saturday's race was a simple push to the checkered flag for the emerging star. After a solid start, Mandarino pushed hard enough to build the necessary gap and then brought his Formula Russell car home for the win. Sunday's race was a little different, as after a gearbox issue on the warm-up lap (no fourth gear) sent him back to the pit lane for a spare car, the arrival of rain delayed the green flag so that the entire field could switch to wet weather rubber. At the eventual start, Mandarino led comfortably through a full course yellow for the run to the finish. After a strong restart re-built his lead, the spare car that Mandarino had been issued developed an electrical short in the damp waether, leaving him on the sidelines with a disappointing DNF.
"I know the Sunday race was mine, but that's racing I guess," offered the mature young Canadian. "I'm still pleased with my performance, knowing that I had been able to do what it took to sweep the weekend. That was my goal heading into to this race, and I'm happy with the way I handled the wet weather and all of the other challenges."
Mandarino will now turn his focus on the Snap-on Stars of Karting Championship, which will begin this coming weekend at the Oklahoma Motorsports Complex in Norman. Running in both headline classes, he is expected to vie for both race wins and national titles this year after putting his name among the sport's best when he won the prestigious Superkarts! USA SuperNationals last fall. Mandarino's success in the Formula Russell events have only served to maintain the confidence and momentum that he developed in late '05. Although he had not ruled out another Russell event, it is not on his schedule at this time.