RACE: Cartech FM Challenge Summit Point post-event notes

LAWRENCE EXITS SUMMIT POINT WITH CARTECH FM CHALLENGE WIN Series organizer narrowly led Pipitone and Jenks to the checkered flag in Round Five SUMMIT POINT, W.V. (July 29, 2009) -- The 2009 edition of the Cartech FM Challenge resumed recently...

LAWRENCE EXITS SUMMIT POINT WITH CARTECH FM CHALLENGE WIN
Series organizer narrowly led Pipitone and Jenks to the checkered flag in Round Five

SUMMIT POINT, W.V. (July 29, 2009) -- The 2009 edition of the Cartech FM Challenge resumed recently with Round Five at Summit Point Motorsports Park. Bruce Lawrence emerged with a valuable series win over Steve Jenks and Guy Pipitone, in what was perhaps the most entertaining event in series history.

As part of an all formula car Bill Scott Formula Car Series event organized and operated by the Formula Car Race Car Club of America, the fifth event of Cartech FM challenge commenced on Friday (July 17) with plenty of track time. Despite rain showers briefly interrupting the day's activities, all the series drivers took part in four 30-minute practice sessions. Grenier, who calls Summit Point his home track and has a race shop at the facility, not surprising proved to be the quickest when the final checkered flag waved. That being said, track newcomers Lawrence, Jenks and Pipitone weren't far back on the time sheets.

Returning to the 2.0-mile road course one day later, first up for the Cartech drivers was a 20-minute qualifying session. Setting the provisional grid for Round Five on Sunday, it was immediately apparent that the battle for P1 on the timing charts was going to be a heated affair. With multiple drivers trading fastest laps, the order was only decided when the checkered flag waved. Jenks emerged as the man everyone was chasing, narrowly edging Grenier, Pipitone and Lawrence. Showing the competitiveness of the series, the top-four were separated by only two tenths of a second.

While qualifying marked the end of official series competition for the day, the Cartech FM challenge drivers returned to the track for additional non-points action, including a highly entertaining exhibition race that featured a Grand Prix style standing start. Running incident-free, the added sessions was well received by both the fans and the drivers.

Race day for the Cartech FM Challenge competitors commenced with a second qualifying session, setting the starting order for the race later in the day. The 25-minute session once again featured multiple drivers in contention for top honors, with several posting laps under the current track record. When the checkered flag finally waved, Pipitone had captured the pole position with a new lap record of 1:13.35. Jenks secured the P2 position, while series newcomer Joe Colassaco and Grenier earned row two starting positions.

Following a non-points heat race, the Cartech FM Challenge drivers returned to their cockpits for Round Five at Summit Point. Pipitone enjoyed a clean getaway when the green flag waved, maintaining the top-spot ahead of Jenks. Behind the lead duo, Lawrence was the driver on the move, advancing up to third, while Grenier briefly lost ground, avoiding a non-series car spinning. With the top-four running in close formation corner after corner, the order remained constant until Lawrence executed a perfect passing maneuver under braking in turn one. Working his way past both Jenks and Pipitone, the series organizer exited the turn in the lead. Thanks to the fastest laps of the race, and the on-going battle for position between Pipitone and Jenks, Lawrence was soon able to build a slight advantage on his pursuers. Never relinquishing the lead, Lawrence scored the win at the conclusion of the 20-lap race. Jenks, having found a way around Pipitone late in the race, finished second, while Grenier and Dale Swope completed the top-five.

The 2009 edition of the Cartech FM Challenge, which features a $10,000 prize fund, concludes on August 30, with Round Six taking place at Road Atlanta in Georgia.

Additional information on the Cartech FM Challenge can be obtained via the series website @ www.thecartechchallenge.com.

-credit: cfmc

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Series SCCA
Drivers Steve J