Aug 122011

Competition stiffens at the front of the pack at Shannonville

The Formula 1200’s only non-Mosport stop of the season saw the second weekend head to Shannonville Motorsports Park.  Qualifying saw the top five drivers all qualifying within 1.6 seconds.  Leading the pack to the green flag was Steve Bamford (#7) with his first career pole position, along side points leader Michael Iamundi (#35).  Right off the start, with tons of pressure from behind, Bamford lost it out of turn 2, handing the early lead off to Iamundi, who was being closely followed by Phil Wang (#73), Andrew McMurray (#16) and rookie Andrew Waring (#24).  Noel Brigido (#46) would also have problems on the first lap, getting loose at the end of the back straight.  He would be forced to come into the pits, putting him a lap down.  On his way back up through the field, Bamford would come into contact with newcomer Van Peter Hanson (#31), and would be forced to retire.  A heated battle at the front would see McMurray taking the lead at an optimal moment.  During lap 6, in a heated battle, rookies Spencer Todd (#18) and David Taylor (#5) would come together, bringing out the caution.  The cars would not be cleaned up in time, and the win was handed over to McMurray, with the final spots on the podium going to Iamundi and Wang.

Race two saw another tight battle up front between McMurray, Iamundi, Wang, and Waring.  Starting from the back, Bamford would make his way back up to 5th, but no higher.  With the top three breaking away until the final lap, Wang would have brake problems, handing the final podium spot to Waring.  The win would go to McMurray again in a thrilling finish as Iamundi crossed the line with an expiring engine.  Spencer Todd would make a nice recovery after the first race finishing 6th, ahead of Brigido, Shane Viccary (#27), Hanson, and Taylor rounding out the top 10.

The final race of the weekend would be one of attrition.  The start would see McMurray, Iamundi, Waring, and Bamford fighting for position, as Wang fell to the back after a spin.  After lap 1, Viccary and Todd would both be forced to retire.  A few laps later, McMurray would also have the same fate, all with mechanical issues.  In lap 4, a scary moment at the end of the back straight would see Taylor and Brigido coming together and getting airborne.  The race was immediately red flagged, with all eyes and medical personnel on Noel Brigido.  Noel would end up coming out of it unscaved, being released from the on-site medical center.  The race, however, would end under the red flag, handing the win to Iamundi, with Waring and Bamford rounding out the top three.

Maintaining the points lead after the weekend would be Iamundi, gapping Wang by 60 points.  Waring would take over the rookie points lead, with Todd and Taylor just over 20 points back.  Winning all three Masters races, Kevin Deevey (#25) has now taken a strangle hold on the Masters points race by over 100 points.