2001 Results - Star Mazda Series - West
Willow Springs International Raceway
Jenkins Tops All Marks On Way To Double Wins
|Scott Jenkins' name appeared at the top of every category this weekend as the 18-year-old
Team Bucknum Racing driver claimed the pole both days, lead all laps and set
fastest race laps on his way to dual wins. The sixth and seventh rounds of
the Star Mazda Series West Division championship was held in conjunction with a NASA road racing event at the Willows, Calif., road racing facility.
Hot and windy conditions challenged racers both days, which only increased awareness about grass fires if cars got off course. Rookie Bob Crossley remembered series steward Jack Brabban's warning about the potential danger when he went off course during Saturday qualifying and kept both himself and his car safe when sparks did ignite a small fire after he restarted.
In Saturday's race, Jenkins led green to checker with teammate Pierre Ehret finishing 0.322sec behind in second. The best race was for third, however, among Moses Smith, Scott Kusy, Bob Negron, Jim Hall II and Marc DeVellis, who set the race's third-fast lap while running in this
pack. The group battled hard with Kusy taking over third from Smith on lap four, and holding the position until lap 16 when Kusy missed an upshift on a restart following a full-course yellow. Rookie Frank Bain, who is also Smith's new SierraSierra teammate, went off in Turn One, forcing officials to dispatch emergency crews to retrieve him. Fortunately, Bain got underway
on his own and the race resumed with less than three laps to go.
Kusy recovered quickly and actually made a move on Smith in the last turn on the last lap, but couldn't complete pass to reclaim third. There was some contact between Kusy and Smith that resulted in slight damage to Kusy's front wing. At the checker, Moses' advantage was a scant
0.172sec over Kusy.
From his record-setting pole position effort Sunday morning (Jenkins posted a 1:44.847 pole time, which broke Joey Hand's mark of 1:45.068, set in 1999), Jenkins found himself in a three-car charge into Turn One, sandwiched by Kusy on the inside and Ehret on the outside.
Realizing he'd have to back out to make the turn, Kusy lifted but may have caught his front wing on Jenkins tire. This contact gave Ehret the early advantage, but Jenkins recovered and chased Ehret, passing to reclaim the lead before the end of lap one.
"Breaking records is one of my many goals this year," Jenkins said. "In the race we were dealing with huge tail winds from the hot, windy weather. The race was really how I thought it would happen, except for the start when Pierre got a jump on me. That was OK because I knew he would run a clean race and that we would be able to run some fast laps and get away from the other guys."
Hall also got a great start, charging from sixth to third by the second lap. Despite the skewed front wing, Kusy battled with Hall for most of the race with Kusy eventually holding off the series veteran for the last podium position.
There were several visits to the pits by usually top-running drivers, including a second lap stop by Smith, who had been running third when the engine started stumbling. Crews diagnosed an ignition problem and remedied the situation, but he rejoined the race a lap down to the leaders.
Bob Hatle also made an unscheduled stop. On lap 13, he entered the pits with a broken right rear suspension and posted an uncharacteristic DNF. Rookies Bain and DeVellis were engaged in a good race for sixth until a temperature warning light came on, distracting DeVellis long enough that he missed his braking point for Turn Three. Luckily, he recovered from the slight miscue to finish seventh.
The weekend included three new series drivers: Bain, of San Diego; and the father/son team of Dick and Bob Crossley, of Oregon. Welcome to all three and congratulations to Bain, who won a set of Goodyear tires.
The eighth round of the Star Mazda Series West Division is July 7, at Irwindale Speedway, which is also the final event in the three-race Red Line Oil Oval Championship. Jenkins has an eight-point lead in that series over Negron. Hall is third, just four points behind Negron.
For West Division points, Smith's lead over Hall is 12, 254 to 242, with Hatle third at 217. In the Masters championship (for drivers 45 years of age and older), Hatle has a four-point lead over Kusy.
For more information about the Star Mazda Series West Division 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
ROUND 6, STAR MAZDA SERIES WEST DIVISION
SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2001/THUNDERHILL PARK
(3-mile road course)
Driver/Hometown (Sponsors/Team) qualifying time. All drive Star Formula
Mazdas with 13B Mazda rotary engines on Goodyear tires.
QUALIFYING: 1. Scott Jenkins/Portland, Ore. (Team Bucknum Racing/ebear.com, HASA Pool Products, AGG Enterprises) 1:46.185; 2. Pierre Ehret/Munich, Germany (Team Bucknum Racing/Flamingo Resort Hotel, in Sonoma County) 1:47.169; 3. Bob Negron/San Jose, Calif. (Raceland) 1:48.077; 4. Scott Kusy/Scottsdale, Ariz. (Valley Motor Center/Troon Golf) 1:58.626; 5. Moses Smith/Chandler, Ariz. (SierraSierra/Troon Golf, JOZ Enterprises) 1:48.753;
6. Jim Hall II/Ventura, Calif. (JHR/Jim Hall Karting School) 1:48.872; 7. Marc DeVellis/Burnaby, B.C. (DeVellis Racing/Gateway Growth Funds, Voyager Entertainment, DeVellis Racing, Auducci's) 1:49.783; 8. Chris Emanuel/Huntington Beach, Calif. (Valley Motor Center/Airguard, Hawn) 1:50.760; 9. Bob Hatle/Oceanside, Calif. (R.H. Racing) 1:51.391; 10. Frank Bain/San Diego, Calif. (SierraSierra) 1:51.720; 11. Bob Crossley/Tillamook, Ore. 1:53.428; 12. Dick Crossley/Bay City, Ore. 1:55.835.
RACE (18 laps, 54 miles): 1. Jenkins, 18 laps; 2. Ehret; 3. Smith; 4. Kusy; 5. Negron; 6. Hall II; 7. DeVellis; 8. Hatle; 9. D. Crossley; 10. Emanuel, 17; 11. B. Crossley; 12. Bain, 16.
TIME OF RACE: 34m10.744s
TOP 10 WEST DIVISION POINT STANDINGS
(After 7 of 12 rounds):
1. Smith, 254; 2. Hall II, 242; 3. Hatle, 217; 4. Kusy, 186; 5. Negron, 181; 6. Jenkins, 180; 7. Ehret, 167; 8. Emanuel, 166; 9. Larry Couture, 141; 10. Chad Block, 78.
TOP 5 WEST DIVISION MASTERS SERIES* POINT STANDINGS
(After 7 of 12 rounds):
1. Hatle, 104; 2. Kusy, 100; 3. Negron, 88; 4. Emanuel, 76; 5. Ron Island, 28.
*For drivers 45 years of age and older.
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