Skip Barber Winter Series at Sebring

Rounds 7 & 8

Skip Barber presents the Mazda Winter Series for Skip Barber Formula and MAZDASPEED Challenge traveled to the legendary Sebring International Raceway this past week. Drivers from all over the country had a taste of warm Florida weather as they geared up to finish rounds 7 & 8. Grand Master Steve Randall had a clean sweep of the weekend with wins in all of his races. MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Driver Danilo Estrela took home two wins and widened his lead in the Formula Skip Barber Championship point standings.

Group 1,  Race 1 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, MAZDASPEED Challenge

Grand Master Steve Randall led the field to the green flag. Early in lap 1, S.Randall begins lengthening his lead from the rest of the pack by precisely maneuvering though each corner. Newcomer Christian Potolicchio also has a good start and maneuvers his way to second overtaking Bryan Hixon late in lap 1. Hixon has a slight bobble entering lap 2 and Maurizio Scala seizes the opportunity and overtakes him for third. S.Randall and Potolicchio continue to break away from the rest of field. In the back of the pack, Steven Molner and David Knight fight hard for sixth. Into lap 6, Hixon is slowly catching Potolicchio for second but Potolicchio is not giving up easily. Hixon makes his move going into lap 7, but he can’t make the move stick. Hixon continues to fight hard and in lap 8, overtakes Potolicchio , but both drivers work hard going into turn 7. Potolicchio overtakes Hixon at the end of lap 8. S. Randall takes the win followed by Potolicchio in second, Hixon in third, Maurizio Scala in fourth and Rod Randall in fifth. 

Group 1, Race 2 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, MAZDASPEED Challenge

Newcomer Christian Potolicchio started the race on pole, but Grand Master Steve Randall makes his move early in the race and reclaims the top spot going into lap 2. Bryan Hixon begins to pressure Maurizio Scala for third entering lap 2 and shortly makes the pop and overtakes the spot from Scala. Hixon has his eye on second and begins to catch up to Potolicchio. David Knight also makes his way up the pack and begins pressuring Scala for the fourth spot. Entering lap 7, Hixon is right behind Potolicchio. Potolicchio bobbles in lap 9 allowing Hixon to pass. Randall takes the win followed by Hixon in second and Potolicchio in third.

Group 2, Race 1 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, Formula Skip Barber

MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Driver Danilo Estrela started the race on pole. Early in lap 1, Jake Eidson makes his way from third to second overtaking Leonardo Jafet. Estrela begins to feel the pressure from Eidson going into turn 17, but Eidson doesn’t make the move. Going into lap 2, Eidson makes the pop and takes the lead spot from Estrela. Master Craig Duerson makes his way up the field and soon overtakes Estrela for the second spot. In lap 3, Eidson drops two and Duerson and Estrela make up ground to inch closer to first. As the leaders go into lap 4, Estrela retakes the lead from Eidson followed by Duerson. Duerson starts to put a little pressure on Estrela going into lap 6, but can’t make the move. Leonardo Jafet who’s fallen to sixth begins pressuring Jack Mitchell Jr. for fifth and both racers go hard going into lap 7. As racers enter lap 8, Estrela still leads followed by Duerson, Eidson, Matt Franc and Jafet. Eidson takes the second position from Duerson, but Duerson looks to reclaim it in lap 9, but doesn't have enough time. Estrela takes the win followed by Duerson, Eidson, Franc and Jafet.

Group 2, Race 2 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, Formula Skip Barber

Master Craig Duerson led the field to the green flag.  Eidson makes a move for first early in the lap and makes it stick. Going into turn 10, Matt McMurry and Leonardo Jafet make contact and the yellow flag comes out.  Green flag resumes in Lap 4. Duerson reclaims the top spot followed by Eidson and Matt Franc. Going into lap 5, the leaders begin to break away from the rest of field. Franc makes a move on Eidson for second going into turn 3, but can't make it stick. Eidson retakes the lead from Duerson but Franc is in the midst of the battle.  Going into Lap 6, Duerson and Eidson are side by side with Franc right behind them.  Franc makes a pop for first, but can’t make it happen. Franc overtakes Eidson for second sending Edison back to third as Duerson retakes the lead spot. Jack West, in fourth, is slowly catching up the leaders. Into lap 7, Eidson reclaims the lead followed by Franc and Duerson. The leaders are neck and neck going into the apex of turn 5. Franc finally makes the pop for the lead and makes it stick, however bobbles slightly and goes wide, but manages to keep the top spot. Eidson looks to make the move, but can’t. Franc takes the win followed by Eidson in second and Duerson in third.

Group 3, Race 1 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, MAZDASPEED Challenge

Grand Master Steve Randall takes an early lead. Bryan Hixon passes four cars going into turn 1 to move to fifth. In lap 2, Hixon continues his way up the pack and overtakes the third spot. As the pack enters lap 3, S.Randall still has a comfortable lead. In lap 3, Rod Randall makes a move on Hixon going into turn 1 and overtakes the second spot, but Hixon isn’t giving up—he retakes second and begins pulling away from R.Randall. Diane Mould looks to make a move on Doug Brown for seventh, but doesn’t make it happen. S. Randall takes the win followed by Hixon in second, R. Randall in third and D.Knight in fourth.

Group 3, Race 2 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, MAZDASPEED Challenge

Grand Master Steve Randall starts the race on pole position. Early into lap 1, he lengthens his lead early. Newcomer Christian Potolicchio maneuvers his way through the pack and jumps from eight to third in lap 1. Going into lap 2, Potolicchio overtakes David Knight for second. Greg Holloway is sticking with the lead pack staying in the fourth spot but is looking to make a move. Going into lap 4, Bryan Hixon takes second from Potolicchio. At the top spot, S.Randall still holds on to his comfortable lead from the pack. Going into lap 5, Hixon is inching closer to Randall and breaks away from the pack. Knight and Potolicchio are battling hard for third.  Holloway is right behind both trying to seize an opportunity to make his move. Knight reclaims third from Potolicchio. Holloway pressures Potolicchio and slides into fourth pushing Potolicchio back to fifth. S.Randall takes the win followed by Hixon in second and Knight in third.

 2011-2012 Top 10 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series Formula Skip Barber Championship Point Standings (two worst finishes dropped)  1. 207 pts Danilo Estrela  2. 186 Jake Eidson    3. 177 Nick Neri  - R  4. 176 Jack Mitchell Jr.  5. 169  Leonardo Jafet - R  6. 167 Greg Strelzoff - M   7. 163 Dr. Mike Edwards- GM  8. 146 Jose Montiel   9. 146 David Libby– GM  10.  140 Chuck Whtilock- GM - R

2011-2012 Top 10 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series MAZDASPEED Challenge Championship Point Standings (two worst finishes dropped)  1. 207 Steve Randall- GM  2. 180 Bryan Hixon  3. 175 Maurizio Scala - GM  4. 172 Nelson Canache - R  5. 122 Greg Holloway  6. 111 David Knight- GM  7. 109 Rod Randall- GM  8. 109 Maru Canizales- R  9. 107 Brad Randall 10. 100 Steve Molner- GM

2011-2012 Skip Barber presents the Mazda Winter Series / MAZDASPEED Challenge Winter Remaining ScheduleRounds 9 & 10, March 24-25: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, CARounds 11 & 12, April 13-14: Sebring International Raceway, FL