2003 Results - Star Mazda Series Red Line Oil Championship

Phoenix International Raceway
January 17-20, 2003

Anderson starts season strong with Phoenix Sweep


Monday, January 20, 2003. Phoenix, AZ - After just falling short of the 2002 Star Mazda Series West Coast Championship, Phoenix, Arizona native Mike Anderson charged out of the gates in the opening rounds of the renamed 2003 Star Mazda Series Red Line Oil Championship, claiming victory in the both the Saturday and Monday races on the infield road course at Phoenix International Raceway as part of an SCCA double national weekend.

“My work was cut out for me this weekend as there was a strong group of drivers bunched together,” Anderson would comment at weekend’s end. “Thanks definitely have to go out to my friend Chris Crampton for filling in for my dad, who spent the weekend passing a kidney stone, as well as my supporters at HASA Pool Products who came out here to cheer me on.”

Despite qualifying less than half a second behind Saturday pole-sitter John Olsen, Anderson would find himself starting in seventh place for the class.  After gaining a few positions at the start, he soon became locked in a battle for third place with John Olsen. “Olsen was turning some quick laps at that point in the race, I was pushing as hard as I could and was barely gaining,” Anderson said.  “Then I think he pushed too hard and his tires went away and I was able to pass on the front straight.”

Once past Olsen, who would later drop out with mechanical troubles, Anderson set his sights on series newcomer Alan Rudolph. Rudolph, another Arizona resident and chief instructor at the Bondurant Super Karting School, would make Anderson use every ounce of his car’s performance to take the position away, before falling to second place.

Anderson was able to open up a four second gap before his own tires started to give up, allowing Rudolph to close up a bit as they headed towards the checkered flag. “About four laps from the end my front tires started going away and Alan closed the gap,” Anderson said, adding, “by the end of the race my right front tire was blistered. I pushed really hard to get to the front, and that tire showed it.”

Tire problems would escape third place finisher Phil Fogg Jr., who escaped the colder climates of Portland, Oregon, for the holiday weekend, and credits another trip to Phoenix in December as laying the foundation for his success. “We ran an SCCA event down here in December and that really helped my engineer, Eric Purcell, and my crew chief, Mike Moyer, dial in the car and keep it there all weekend,” Fogg said later.

With a special holiday weekend format, Sunday would find the Star Mazda Series drivers faced with a single qualifying session heading into and early morning start for race number two. This time it was Jim Hall’s time to shine in his JHR Karting Mazda as he captured the pole position ahead of Anderson.  Also qualifying towards the front of the field were Brian Thienes and Rudolph on row two while the father/son combination of the Fogg family would occupy the third row.

Anderson would jump into the lead as the green flag dropped on Monday’s race, and run away from the field after adjusting his car to the early-morning conditions. “I couldn’t believe what a great start I got,” Anderson exclaimed. “Jim Hall hit the rev limiter and I had a 5 car length lead into Turn One.  The car was just awesome, we really nailed the setup for the cooler temps of the early morning race.”

Hall was still looking to regroup and regain the position though, and as he began his move trouble would intervene, as he came upon a damaged Atlantic car.  Hall explains, “There were a few of us battling for position when we came upon an Atlantic car that was missing some of his suspension, in one of those split second decisions I moved to the outside to get past him only to have him come my direction, forcing me into the runoff area, by the time I was able to return to the track I had fallen back several positions.

Coming through the traffic unscathed, and continuing to impress on his debut weekend, was Rudolph who would once again claim the second spot.  “The car performed really well,” Rudolph said. “This is my first weekend with the car and with Team Bucknum and we’ve spent the time getting adjusted. Working with my engineer, Ian Lacy, has been great and as we continue to work together I feel we will only get better.”

Completing a carbon copy of Saturday’s podium, Phil Fogg Jr. would once again occupy the third spot on the podium, lamenting the lapped traffic that held him up before he could mount a challenge for second spot. “I was able to make it through the incident that caught Hall only to be caught behind a slower Atlantic car for five laps,” Fogg said. “Still it was a great weekend.”

For their efforts, both Anderson and Rudolph are recipients of custom Red Line Oil driving suits courtesy of recently announced title sponsor Red Line Oil. Red Line Oil will present one such suit at each west coast race of the 2003 season, to the highest finishing series entrant that has yet to win a suit during the season.

The Star Mazda Series Red Line Oil Championship is an eleven race series, featuring races in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington. Round Three will be held at Willow Springs Raceway, In Lancaster, California, February 22-23.

-Eric McCombs
Star Mazda Series
Red Line Oil Championship
Round One - Phoenix International Raceway
Saturday, January 18, 2003
Pos Qual Driver Diff Fast Lap
1 7 Mike Anderson --- 01:01.334
2 2 Alan Rudolph 1.376 01:01.627
3 6 Phil Fogg Jr 3.087 01:01.805
4 3 Jim Hall II 12.846 01:01.635
5 4 Phil Fogg Sr 13.211 01:01.838
6 5 Garrett Drysdale 16.108 01:01.896
7 14 Ryan Justice 17.372 01:02.259
8 11 Bob Hatle 21.057 01:03.032
9 12 Barry Pantzer 21.47 01:02.699
10 16 Kelly Gallant 39.764 01:03.636
11 9 Brian Thienes -- 1 Lap -- 01:02.355
12 8 Bob Negron 24.031 01:01.947
13 13 Frank Eckert 32.835 01:03.095
14 18 Brian McAtee -- 2 Laps -- 01:04.598
15 17 Weldon Munsey 4.939 01:05.003
16 19 Rick Howden -- 3 Laps -- 01:07.038
17 20 Ginni Swanton -- 5 Laps -- 01:06.350
18 1 John Olsen -- 7 Laps -- 01:01.791
19 10 Scott Kusy --12 Laps -- 01:02.499
20 15 Steve Lenzmeier --20 Laps -- 01:03.677
Star Mazda Series
Red Line Oil Championship
Round Two - Phoenix International Raceway
Monday, January 20, 2003
Pos Qual Driver Diff Fast Lap
1 2 Mike Anderson 01:00.973
2 4 Alan Rudolph 13.539 01:01.263
3 6 Phil Fogg Jr 14.717 01:00.958
4 10 Bob Negron 22.911 01:01.206
5 9 Scott Kusy 23.185 01:01.631
6 3 Brian Thienes 23.476 01:01.470
7 1 Jim Hall II 25.13 01:01.364
8 13 Barry Pantzer -- 1 Lap -- 01:02.298
9 14 Brian McAtee 0.924 01:02.301
10 8 Ryan Justice 9.978 01:01.373
11 12 Bob Hatle 15.232 01:02.745
12 16 Steve Lenzmeier 36.995 01:02.966
13 17 Ginni Swanton -- 2 Laps -- 01:03.005
14 15 Weldon Munsey 9.505 01:03.418
15 5 Phil Fogg Sr -- 3 Laps -- 01:01.261
16 18 Rick Howden -- 4 Laps -- 01:07.179
17 7 John Olsen -- 7 Laps -- 01:01.524
18 11 Garrett Drysdale -- 9 Laps -- 01:01.690




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