I’m a little late on posting this… but, I suppose late is better than never and let’s be honest, during these economic times, it’s nice to know for sure who plans to stick around for more than a couple races before writing a detailed— or semi-detailed in this case— report.
The Skip Barber National championship just completed Round 4 of the 2010 championship so this piece could easily be titled “early season preview“. Regardless of the title, there is still a lot of racing to be had and the overall championship remains wide open.
Please make the jump to read the full preview.
There are quite a few newcomers to the series this year, all of whom are looking to advance in motorsports. At this time, there are only three returning drivers (drivers who competed in the 2009 Skip Barber National championship); Dennis Trebing, Isaac Lyons and Ashley Freiberg. Ironically, they all finished right next to each other in the 2009 final standings. Dennis Trebing finished the year in fourth with 312 points. Isaac Lyons finished the season fifth with 286 points and Ashley Freiberg finished sixth with 283 points.
Two of the returning drivers have already won a race this year. Isaac Lyons won his first career Skip Barber National race last weekend and has been running at or near the front of the pack in just about every race. Dennis Trebing, who is currently third in the overall points championship, became the first repeat race winner of the 2010 season (Homestead-Miami and Sebring). Ashley Freiberg has had her share of bad luck to start the season but has still managed to produce a few solid results. She led a lap in last weekend’s Round 3 at Sebring International Raceway and found her way to a 5th place finish in Round 4.
MAZDASPEED Development Drivers
Last December, the Skip Barber organization held their annual Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-Out with 37 drivers competing for various prizes. The top award, a fully-funded ride in the 2010 Skip Barber National Championship, went to both Spencer Pigot and Felix Serralles. Nicolas Costa won a fully-funded half season in the National championship. Regional award winners were Mukul Sud, Sebastian Ordonez and Jesus Rios.
Both Spencer Pigot and Felix Serralles have been very impressive thus far into the season. Pigot is currently the only driver to have finished on the podium in all four events and currently leads the overall championship. He won Race 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Felix Serralles is yet to win a race in 2010 but the 17-year-old race driver has been extremely quick. He has set the fastest race lap in 3 out of the 4 events this season and finished on the podium in both races last weekend at Sebring. I think we are only beginning to see his potential in the car. Watch for a race win in the very near future.
Brazilian driver Nicolas Costa has finished every race inside the top-ten and has been a mark of consistency so far in the 2010 championship. He finished both of the opening races inside the top-five – which included a podium finish (3rd) in Round 2.
Other Drivers to Watch
Nick Andries, 19, of Pinellas Park, Fla., has shown some speed this season and has only finished outside the top-five once. He looked to have Race 2 wrapped up before being passed by Spencer Pigot at the stripe. The difference between the two at the finish line was 0.013 seconds.
British driver Daniel Lloyd has a background in tin-tops but he has certainly impressed a lot of people with his debut in the open-wheel ranks. Lloyd, 18, qualified on pole in Round 4 and has finished inside the top-ten in all but one race this season.
Mexican driver Luis Michael Dorrbecker has finished all but one race inside the top-ten and appeared poised to land on the podium in his first career Skip Barber National race before receiving a penalty for avoidable contact with Felix Serralles. Dorrbecker also earned the hard charger award in Round 4 for improving 7 positions in 9-laps.
Danilo Estrela struggled at Sebring International Raceway but he put in a very impressive drive in Round 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway by going from 14th to 4th in 16-laps. He was actually leading the race at the white flag but made a slight error under breaking which dropped him back to fourth. Estrela is another young driver that has quite a bit of potential.
Scott Anderson, 21, of Fort Collins, CO., has done a nice job this season as well. He has a background in Legend cars and stock cars … so it goes without saying, he is doing a tremendous job adapting to the open-wheel ranks. He has three top-ten finishes in four starts and has improved on his qualifying position in all but one race. Anderson is currently tied for 8th in the points championship with Daniel Lloyd.
My Championship Picks
It’s early and a lot can change but I know people enjoy this sort of thing, so I figured I’d post my just-for-fun picks.
My top-three for the 2010 Championship are:
- Isaac Lyons
- Spencer Pigot
- Dennis Trebing
As usual, this is shaping up to be a real exciting championship. The number of lead changes rivals just about any open-wheel series out there and it’s clear that there are a lot of talented drivers in the mix.