2001 Results - Star Mazda Series - North American Series
Sebring International Raceway
Block Kicks Off Big Saturday with
First Pro Victory
Once out front, Block ran a relatively conservative race,
concentrating on consistency, but it was points leader Scott Bradley who jumped into the early lead and then tried to keep the pressure on Block to
the checker. Bradley, who lined up alongside polesitter David Sterenberg, led the pack into Turn One when Sterenberg missed an upshift at the green.
Block went left around Sterenberg, beating fourth-fast qualifier Matt Beardsley into the turn to follow Bradley. Recovered from his slow start,
Sterenberg stayed to the inside at Turn One with Beardsley on the outside,
but the pair made contact and Sterenberg got turned around and fell back to
20th before he could safely (thanks to lots of heads-up racing by everyone)
rejoin the fray. "Yeah, I missed a shift, but I thought I gave Matt enough
Up front, Bradley led Block, Beardsley, rookies Oliver Rowen and
Guy Cosmo, with Masters driver Doug Peterson in sixth. The remaining top 10
after the first lap included Pierre Ehret, Marc Cota-Robles, Chris McMurry
and Robert Noell. Missing from the usual front-running group was Scott
The only pass for the lead came on the second lap when Block
drafted Bradley down the long back straight and made the pass in Sunset Bend. Beardsley also tried to race by Bradley, but spun on the exit of
Sunset Bend, falling back to eighth. Also on the move was Cosmo, who got by
Rowen for third on the second lap when the transmission in the Valley Motor
Center driver's car lost fifth gear. Rowen eventually pulled off course two
laps later with the gearbox completely locked up.
As Block worked to increase his lead, which was nearly three
seconds by lap eight, the battle up front was for second between Bradley and Cosmo. At about the halfway point, Cosmo was closing fast, but backed
off unexpectedly and then spun on lap 12 in Sunset Bend. "Believe it or not, the frame on my glasses broke and they weren't straight," Cosmo said.
"With them sideways on my eyes, everything was distorted." After the race,
the 23-year-old Long Island-based driver, who spent 10 months in Denmark last year as the Mygale works development driver in the Scandinavian
Formula 2000 series, admitted he spent the money he had earmarked for corrective eye surgery on a pro Formula Atlantic test. "I had these glasses
welded so they wouldn't break. I guess I'll have to try something else."
Now some 10 seconds behind Bradley, Cosmo concentrated on defending
his podium finish from Cota-Robles, teammate Michael Stephens, Beardsley,
Sterenberg, Ehret, McMurry and Ed Zabinski. Bradley, meanwhile, tried to close in on Block, but simply ran out of laps. "Chad was just a lot better
Block agreed with Bradley's assessment of the tire situation. "My
car was outstanding on cold tires, thanks to Mike Williams (Block's Valley
Motor Center crew chief)," Block said. "I wanted to get the start and I expected to follow Dave (Sterenberg), but luckily I had already pulled out
when Dave missed his shift."
The Speedvision telecast of the Sebring race, featuring
commentators Greg Creamer, Johnny O'Connell, Andrew Marriott and pit reporter Calvin Fish, will be shown Monday, May 7 @ 8:30 p.m. & 12:30 a.m.
on May 8, Eastern time. Please check your local listings to confirm the dates, airtimes and any repeat broadcasts.
For more information about the Star Mazda Series North American
Championship, please log on to the Star Mazda Series website at www.starmazda.com or contact series administrator Gary Rodrigues at (818)
909-5319. --Jane Anderson
Provisional Race Results
TOP 10 NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS
(After 2 of 9 rounds):
1. Scott Bradley, 84; 2. Chad Block, 81; 3. Matt Beardsley, 70; 4. Guy Cosmo, 69; 5. Marc Cota-Robles, 61; 6. Michael Stephens, 60; 7. David Sterenberg, 59; 8. Marc DeVellis & Tim Jennings, 49; 10. Scott Kusy, 47.
TOP 5 NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP MASTERS SERIES POINT STANDINGS
(After 2 of 9 rounds):
1. Scott Kusy, 32; 2. Doug Peterson & Dick Downs, 30; 4. Dan Weyland, 28; 5. Rick Waddell, 21.
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