Great Lakes FFR Visits
Mt. Meridian, IN -- This past
weekend two of the Great Lakes FFR drivers visited Putnam Park. As it
turns out, this was to be a meeting of the same two racers who fought
the weather a month ago at Mid-Ohio. Peter LaRose and Brian Sanders
faced off again for the duel. At Mid-Ohio, Peter walked away with two
wins by playing the rain game the best. But at Putnam, it was Brian
walking away with both wins. This essentially makes the two drivers even
in points when 2 races are dropped at the end of the season.
Prior to a NASA event at Putnam,
an independent driver rents the track on Friday and offers a test and
tune day, Peter took advantage of this and gained some valuable seat
time and track experience. Saturday morning brought cool temps but an
otherwise beautiful day. During the morning warm up and qualifying,
Brian struggled to find grip. The track was very green due to heavy
rains the prior week and the cool temps did not help. Also, Putnam is
notoriously abrasive on tires and the marbles started to form. All
weekend it was like driving on ball bearings. The car didn’t push. The
car wasn’t loose. It was just a constant four wheel drift everywhere.
Saturday’s race was gridded with
Brian 3 spots ahead of Peter but due to a scratched car and one stalled
on the grid, Peter started the race next to him. Brian took the lead
into turn 1 and started to stretch out a lead. But this race was to be
filled with incidents. Thankfully none of them involved the two FFR’s.
Twice during the race, after Brian had gained a considerable lead, Peter
was put right back on his bumper when the pace car was sent out to
collect the field. In the end, after a green-white-checkers, Brian took
his first win of the season.
Sunday was filled with more of
the same. Frustration levels were high with an uncooperative track. Due
to an early morning incident, qualifying was scrubbed and the cars were
gridded for the race the same as Saturday. The only real difference in
the two races was that Sundays had no yellow flags. So Brian was able to
open an early lead and stretch it out over the course of the race to
take his second win. With the poor track conditions, no one was even
close to breaking the track record.
The next stop for the GL racers
is Grattan in Michigan on June 7-8. Brian and Peter are both looking
forward to this one as Lyle Riggen and Ed Boothman should be joining the
C’ya at the track!