the Fast Lane
2005 champ Dennis Nicholson tries
to recapture past glory...
... while Bruno Passacantando hopes
for his first SCT title.
This year saw a resurgence of racing from the front, but in
the end, racing from the middle or back had its moment in the
Terry Schulz started the trend on a track that fairly demands
the strategy - Hungaroring. Terry led the race after every turn
after starting out on the outside of Row 1. Chris Long also
qualified from Terry's heat moving up from fifth to second.
The other set of cars racing Hungaroring in the first qualifying
heat would actually qualify four different drivers. Doug Gallulo
and Fabio Pellegrino finished first and second, but Tim Mossman's
third and Rob Kircher's fourth would eventually qualify them
for the Final although Tim would not know that till after the
last qualifying heat and Rob would qualify as an alternate.
The second qualifying heat was at the faster Silverstone track
(pre 2010 set-up). In one heat, Jack Beckman came from seventh
- the last row - to win the race, beating out Doug Schulz who
finished second from the first row of the grid. In the other
heat, Don Tatum won from the inside of Row 2 while Robert Rund
came in second after starting seventh.
The last qualifying heat resulted in several drivers who had
already qualified by finishing in the top two, which is how Tim
made the Final on the strength of his third fplace finish in
Heat 1. Bruno Passacantando started sixth and won at Monza with
Doug Schulz again finishing second. On the other track the top
two came from the front row as Terry won his second heat from
the pole and Lane Newbury held his ground to claim second after
starting outside onRow 1.
The Final was run on Melbourne, which proved a technically
challenging track. Before the race began, the famous "Ugly
Green" car raced by ill two-time champion Gerald Lientz
ceremonially led the field on the grid. Sadly, Gerald passed
in the months after WBC. He will be greatly missed.
Terry bid 4.5 higher than the second place bid (Doug G.) and
5 more than the third place bid (Don) to gain the pole. Terry
took advantage of pole position to open up a five-space lead
at the end of the first lap. But after his high bid and active
lap 1, Terry had only six wear and one skill left. Doug G could
not hang with the leaders long and fell back to sixth after the
first lap but Don did stay near the top and was in third place
only three spaces behind Terry after he crossed the line to start
Lap 2. Don also had three more wear and three more skill than
Terry at that point. Chris Long used a 100 start speed and forced
pass after Turn 6 to jump up from seventh on the grid to fourth
after a lap. But the big winner after Lap 1 was Lane who moved
up from eighth to second yet still had 13 wear and 7seven skill
left - more than double Terry's resources.
Lane got ahead of Don to stay at the end of the first sector
of the second lap. About half way through the race, Fabio joined
the front runners, but his stay at the front was short. Terry
managed to hold Lane off for most of the lap but Lane bid his
time and finally pulled even with him heading into the last corner.
At this point, Terry was completely out of chips which allowed
Lane to late brake unopposed to gain the line heading into the
last corner forcing Terry outside for a naked chance. Terry
made the roll and stayed next to Lane as they ran down the front
straight to start the last lap.
Lane had two wear and four skill heading into the first corner
of the last lap and easily gapped the field through the front
half of the last lap as the cars behind had few resources left.
Chris L failed a forced pass through the third corner that would
have put him in second place. Chris may have been the last driver
who could have made a run at Lane and fell out of contention
in the end. After a test brakes roll just before Corner 5, Lane
began to relax into a huge smile as he crossed the line as a
first time champion a full turn and five spaces ahead of Don
and Terry who crossed the line together in second and third respectively.
Robert Rund ended up fourth only two spaces behind Don after
a huge push in the last lap to improve from tenth on the grid
and ninth after two laps. Doug G crossed the line two turns
after Lane for fifth together with Robert Kircher in sixth who
started last on the grid as an alternate and moving up from twelfth
after two laps.
A picture is worth a thousand words so for a turn-by-turn
pictorial account see the only photo album at Picasa (http://picasaweb.google.com/lucidphoenix/WBCFinalsTurnByTurn).
Speed Circuit racing as practised at WBC can be viewed
Kevin Keller and John Welage try to
add their titles,
but the man
standing between them will join
the champ club this year.
Chris Hancock & daughter Christina
were the only
racing team, and Christina the only
Danica Patrick wannabe.