Skip Barber Winter Series Kicks Off At Road Atlanta

The Skip Barber presents the Mazda Winter Series for Skip Barber Formula and MAZDASPEED Challenge commenced this week at Road Atlanta. Despite the chilly autumn weather, the racers started off the season with strong performances all around. Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout runner up Nick Neri finished the weekend at the top of the Formula Skip Barber Championship point standings, and Steve Randall took the MAZDASPEED points lead in the season opener.

The Skip Barber presents the Mazda Winter Series for Skip Barber Formula and MAZDASPEED Challenge next competes at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca December 10-11 for Rounds 3 & 4. Follow all the action on twitter.com/RaceSkipBarber.

Group One, Race One – Formula Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Driver and the newest Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout winner Danilo Estrela started the race on pole.  Lap 1 got off to a disappointing start for Jack Mitchell Jr., who suffered at the hands of a mechanical issue and was forced to retire early. Erickson Shirley and Chuck Whitlock had contact in 10A, causing a four lap yellow flag. Danilo had a strong start, quickly gaining space between himself, Nick Neri and Jake Eidson. However, the three still battled closely through entirety of the race. In lap 8, Neri made a pass in 10A for the lead and succeeded, the first of many passes for race one.  In the final lap, Estrela, battling hard for position went four wheels off in Turn 10A. He continued, but suffered a drive through penalty. Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout runner up Nick Neri earned the first win of the winter season, his first Skip Barber Racing School win overall. Jake Eidson came in second and Dr. Michael Edwards in third.

Group Two, Race Two – Formula Skip BarberSkip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout runner up Nick Neri started the race on pole. Jack Mitchell Jr. challenges Neri early in Lap 1 for first. In Lap 2, Neri fell to third while Jake Eidson took first position followed by Mitchell Jr. for second. The fight for first resumed as drivers entered Lap 3. Mitchell Jr. overtook Eidson in Lap 3. Meanwhile, newest Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout winner Danilo Estrela, worked his way from ninth position to fourth position. Heading to Lap 4, Mitchell Jr. still held the lead but Neri brought the gap closer. Neri took the lead from Mitchel Jr. in Lap 5 followed by Mitchell Jr. in second position. Estrela moved into third position as he took  turn 1 in Lap 6.  The back and forth battle for first didn’t stop as Mitchell Jr. overtook first in Lap 6. Estrela continued to make ground as he moves into second in Lap 7.  As racers headed into Lap 9, Mitchell Jr. maintained first followed by a determined Estrela. Neri moved into third re-joining the battle for the lead. In Lap 14, Neri continued his move up the pack, moving to second, but not for long as Estrela took second position in Lap 15. Neri fell back to fourth, as Eidson took third.  Mitchell Jr. took the win followed by Estrela for second, Eidoson for third, Neri for fourth and Dr. Michael Edwards for fifth.

 Group 1 Skip Barber Formula Southern Series, Starting Position in Parenthesis

Group 1 Race 1   Group 1 Race 2 1. (3) Nick Neri   1. (2) Jack Mitchell Jr. 2. (6) Jake Eidson   2. (9) Danilo Estrela 3. (5) Dr. Mike Edwards - GM   3. (3) Jake Eidson 4. (4) David Libby - GM   4. (1) Nick Neri 5. (9) Jeff Relic - M   5. (4) Dr. Mike Edwards - GM 6. (18) Azim Gandhi   6. (6) Jeff Relic - M 7. (7) Gus Doppes - GM   7. (8) Gus Doppes - GM 8. (1) Danilo Estrela   8. (11) Jose Montiel 9. (12) Greg Strelzoff - M   9. (10) Greg Strelzoff - M 10. (8) Jose Montiel   10. (15) Bobby Eberle - M 11. (15) Maurizio Uribe   11. (12) Maurizio Uribe 12. (16) Greg Holloway - M   12. (5) David Libby - GM 13. (17) John Schauerman - GM   13. (16) Matt McMurry 14. (10) Bobby Eberle - M   14. (17) Chuck Whitlock - M 15. (14) Erickson Shirley - GM   15. (14) John Schauerman - GM 16.(11) Matt McMurry   16. (7) Azim Gandhi 17. (2) Jack Mitchell Jr.   17. (3) Greg Holloway - M 18. (13) Chuck Whitlock - M     Top Master: Dr. Mike EdwardsPole Position: Danilo EstrelaFastest Lap: Jake Eidson (1:37.950 /93.354 mph) Most Improved: Azim Gandhi, 12 positionsLaps Led: Danilo Estrela 1-5; Nick Neri 6-7; Estrela 8; Neri 9; Estrela 10-15; Neri 16 Track Conditions: Sunny, dry and cold    Top Master: Dr. Mike EdwardsPole Position: Nick NeriFastest Lap: Danilo Estrela (1:37.395 /93.886 mph) Most Improved: Danilo, 7 positionsLaps Led: Nick Neri 1; Jake Eidson 2; Jack Mitchell, Jr. 3-4; Eidson 5; Mitchell 6-9; Estrela 10-12; Mitchell 13-16Track Conditions: Sunny, dry and cold

Group Two, Race One – MAZDASPEED ChallengeDr. Michael Edwards, Skip Barber Grand Master, started the race on pole. Lap 1 started with Nelson Canache having a strong start, taking the first position in the turn.  Keiron O’Rourke, Skip Barber Master, who started sixth, also had a solid start, jumped to second in the lap 1. The action continued in lap 1 with Jay D. Rowley, Skip Barber Grand Master, spinning in Turn 5. He recovered and was able to resume. In lap 4, Skip Barber newcomer, Maria Canizales, fought hard for tenth position, held by Maurizio Scala. In lap 5, lap leader Nelson Canache goes four off in Turn 5. Despite going four wheels off, Canache manages to stay in fifth position.  Lap 6 showed Keiron in the lead followed by Brad Randall, DJ Randall and Steve Randall.  Maria finally passes Scala in lap 6.

Group Two, Race Two – MAZDASPEED ChallengeAfter taking home the previous day’s win, Master Kieron O’Rourke started Race Two from the pole position, and maintained his lead for the first eight laps of the race. DJ Randall and Steve Randall stayed close behind, attempting to pass in lap 3, going three wide into Turn 1. Grand Master Gus Doppes had unfortunate contact with the wall in lap 4, turn five, escaping unharmed.  At the restart, O’Rourke had another strong lead, but spun and went four wheels off track in Turn 1, forcing him to come into the pits for a safety check. DJ Randall grabbed the lead, followed by Master Bryan Hixon and Brad Randall. Grand Master Dr. Mike Edwards remained close behind in fourth, with Steve Randall in fifth.  In lap 14, Hixon started to struggle, and B. Randall took the lead only to have contact with DJ Randall in the same lap.  Dr. Edwards took the lead with B. Randall nipping at his heels. Because of his contact with DJ Randall, B.Randall had to complete a four-off safety check, allowing Dr. Edwards to take the lead and win the race followed by Steve Randall and Master Greg Strelzoff.

 Group 2 MAZDASPEED Challenge, Starting Position in Parenthesis

Group 2 Race 1   Group 2 Race 2 1. (6) Kieron O'Rourke - M   1. (6) Dr. Mike Edwards - GM 2. (4) DJ Randall   2. (3) Steve Randall - GM 3. (5) Steve Randall - GM   3. (5) Greg Strelzoff - M 4. (12) Bryan Hixon - M   4. (4) Bryan Hixon - M 5. (7) Greg Strelzoff - M   5. (11) Maurizio Scala - M 6. (1) Dr. Mike Edwards - GM   6. (9) Brad Randall 7. (8) Greg Holloway - M   7. (10) Jay D. Rowley - GM 8. (2) Nelson Canache - M   8. (1) Kieron O'Rourke - M 9. (3) Brad Randall   9. (8) Nelson Canache - M 10. (10) Jay D. Rowley - GM   10. (7) Greg Holloway - M 11. (9) Maurizio Scala - M   11.(12) Maria Canizales 12. (11) Maria Canizales   12. (2) DJ Randall     13. (13) Gus Doppes - GM Top Master: Kieron O'Rourke Pole Position: Dr. Mike EdwardsFastest Lap: Kieron O'Rourke (1:46.648 / 85.740 mph) Most Improved: Bryan Hixon, 8 positionsLaps Led: Nelson Canache 1; Kieron O'Rourke 2; Canache 3-5; Kieron O'Rourke 6-16Track Conditions: Sunny, dry and cold   Top Master: Dr. Mike EdwardsPole Position: Kieron O'RourkeFastest Lap: Steve Randall (1:46.071 / 86.206 mph) Most Improved: Maurizio Scala,6 positionsLaps Led: Kieron O'Rourke 1-8; Dr. Mike Edwards 9; DJ Randall 10-13; Brad Randall 14; Edwards 15; B.Randall 16Track Conditions: Sunny, dry and cold

2011-2012 Top 10 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter SeriesFormula Skip Barber, Championship Point Standings1. 63 pts Nick Neri2. 62 Jake Eidson3. 56 Dr. Mike Edwards4. 55 Danilo Estrela5. 51 Jeff Relic6. 49 Jack Mitchell Jr. 7. 48 Gus Doppes8. 47 David Libby9. 44 Greg Strelzoff10. 44 Jose Montiel

2011-2012 Top 10 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter SeriesMAZDASPEED Challenge, Championship Point Standings1. 62 pts Steve Randall2. 60 Dr. Mike Edwards3. 58 Kieron O'Rourke4. 56 Bryan Hixon5. 56 Greg Strelzoff6. 51 DJ Randall7. 47 Brad Randall8. 46 Maurizio Scala9. 45 Greg Halloway10. 45 Nelson Canache

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