|September 3-4, 2000 - Rounds Nine and Ten Summit Point Double Regional|
Victor Seaber Wins Both Races for His First Ever FM Wins!!
Weekend Leaves Nichols Leading Crockett in the Series by 4 Points Going Into Last Race
Saturday opened with cloudy skies and an ominous weather forecast. Five FM racers were set for the qualifying session to determine the grid for Sunday’s race. As the racers left the grid on a dry set up with slicks, the wet sprinkles appeared. Everyone hustled knowing that the times would only get worse as the session progressed. It did!
Jim Nichols showed how to do it, qualifying first at 1:21.245 to place 7th on the combined FA, FC, FM, FF, CF 36 car grid. Victor Seaber was next with 1:21.949 for 10th, then Bill Haney at 1:23.062 for 14th. The newest entrant to the Star FM Series, Sprague Theobald, was the 4th fastest at 1:23.958 placing him 16th. Theobald is returning to FM racing after a few seasons off, having taken the time to write a thrilling sea novel called “The Reach” available from www.1stbooks.com. Last but certainly not least was Bruce Crockett who posted a qualifying time which was disallowed due to an alleged passing incident under the yellow. Nothing worse than hearing your name called over the PA system to go see the Chief Steward, right Bruce. This situation put Bruce at the back of the entire field. Unfortunately, 2 other FMers, Chris Schanzle and Tuck Hunter were registered but no shows.
The second qualifying session in the afternoon would determine the grid for the Monday Labor Day race. This time Seaber pulled out all the stops to post a 1:15.120 for 1st FM and 3rd overall. It must have been the draft from the Formula Atlantic right Victor. Next was Nichols with 1:16.256 for 8th, Haney at 1:16.324 for 9th, Crockett at 1:17.526 for 12th and Thebald at 1:20.670 for 20th.
Monday’s race found Haney out of the running as he was not feeling well and wanted to save his car for testing the following weekend at VIR in preparation for the Road Atlanta Pro race. In the almost 90 degree heat, the actual start was delayed for 2 pace laps while the Starting Judges determined who was out of line and should be black flagged! With a clean start underway, Nichols held off Seaber into turn one but then Seaber drafted past on the straight in the next lap. Nichols was on his best behavior thinking about the overall Star Series points count. This weekend would be key to gaining points and he could not afford another no points weekend like Watkins Glen. Crockett, desperately wanting Series points to catch Nichols, struggled with all the traffic starting from the back of the grid and later said the other racers were great with their mirrors and it was good practice doing all that overtaking.
Seaber finished 1st in FM and second overall with a best race lap of 1:16.883. Nichols was next in 4th with a best 1:17.193. Then Crockett 8th at 1:17.737 and Theobald in 23rd with 1:20.893. The track was fairly slippery due to the heat and prior race oil incidents in the fast 3rd turn. This accounted for the seemingly slow times.
Monday’s dry race start was marred by the fact that when the green dropped the Pole sitting Formula Atlantic car just stalled. This held up all the cars on the key inside row of the field, which included Seaber and Nichols. Crockett however seized the moment and went streaking by on the outside to gain valuable positions before turn one. Seaber and Crockett came out of turn one together. Nichols was separated from them by a couple of Formula Continentals. These cars proved to be a disaster for Nichols as they slowed each other down dicing leaving Nichols watching his pray, Saber and Crockett, pull farther away. Theobald had some turn one confrontation with another car, which bent his front wing element. This affected his handling all race long, but he ventured on for the seat time, posting some great times considering the unsettled aerodynamic package. Seaber then pulled clear of Crockett after a few laps and got some amazing drafting from the lead Continental. Needless to say, he was gone and that was the race.
Results for Monday’s race had Seaber 1st FM, 3rd overall at 1:15.214. Next was Crockett in 5th with 1:16.785 followed by Nichols in 7th with 1:17.066 having never broken free from the FCs to chase the leaders. Theobald was in 28th with 1:20.979.
|North Eastern Division Official Results - Summit Point Double Regional|