TIMMY MEGENBIER WINS VOLKSWAGEN JETTA TDI CUP ROUND THREE AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK Vancouver's Thompson retains the Championship points lead Tooele, UT (May 17, 2009) -- Timmy Megenbier and Jake Thompson had a seesaw battle during this...
TIMMY MEGENBIER WINS VOLKSWAGEN JETTA TDI CUP ROUND THREE AT MILLER
Vancouver's Thompson retains the Championship points lead
Tooele, UT (May 17, 2009) -- Timmy Megenbier and Jake Thompson had a seesaw battle during this weekend's SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup racing events at Utah's Miller Motorsports Park. However, it was Megenbier who claimed victory in today's race by an 8.266-second margin.
The weekend started off with Megenbier running the fastest lap during Saturday's practice session, only to be topped in qualifying by Thompson. However, in the race, Megenbier capitalized on an early mistake by the pole sitter to take the lead on lap one. Megenbier never looked back and took the checkered flag in the #17 ChicagolandVW.com car, marking the Melrose Park, Illinois-native's first series win in two seasons.
"I felt good on the track all weekend, but last night after practice and qualifying, I spent a lot of time analyzing the car data that we had collected to put together a game plan for today's race," Megenbier said. "My main goal was to keep the car on the track and run consistent laps to preserve my tires until the end. The Pirelli tires were great and didn't seem to wear or even diminish at any point during the race. It feels really good to be able to score my first win here in Utah. Last year had its ups and downs, but I think my results this season so far put me in a good position to make a run at the championship."
After his early mistake on lap one, Vancouver's Thompson was able to recover and secure a second-place finish. The Vancouver native also had the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:41.812 (77.189 mph). Puebla, Mexico's Juan Pablo Sierra Lendle rounded out the podium with a career best third-place finish. This is the first time in series history that an American, Canadian and Mexican driver have been featured on the same podium.
Thompson headed into this weekend's action tied for the championship lead with Renton, Washington's Joey Atterbury. However, Thompson's finish places him in the points lead with 91 points, while Atterbury drops to third with 73 points. Megenbier's win moves him from ninth to second in the standings with 80 points. Taylor Broekemeier (69) and Mark Pombo (68) round out the top five.
"It was a pretty good day, and I was obviously hoping to come out on top after starting from the pole. Timmy (Megenbier) had a little bit more than me today, so I had to settle in and drive my race," Thompson said. "I got fairly close to him with about five laps left, but I used up my tires chasing him down and started making a few mistakes. Luckily, there was a pretty decent gap between myself and I was able to drive a bit more conservatively at that point to hold on to second place. The championship is my ultimate goal, so I'll take the points today and look to get back on the top of the podium at Mid-Ohio."
After the race, series officials imposed penalties on Andrew Novich and Kerstin Smutny for separate on-track incidents. Novich was penalized 10 points and five grid positions for the next race. Smutny was penalized one finishing position and five grid positions for the next race.
Miller Motorsports Park Director of Business Development, Bryan Miller placed 25th in the race as a guest driver. The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series' next race is at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, May 20-21.