FFR Drivers Battle at Putnam
Mt. Meridian, IN - Five Factory
Five Racing Challenge Series drivers travelled to Putnam Park to do
battle in the second round of the Great Lakes FFR Challenge Series.
Peter LaRose and Brian Sanders showed up Friday for a day of practice
with another organization before the NASA weekend. Later, Gregg (Sr) and
Greg (Jr) Wellinghoff and Lyle Riggen made their appearance.
Saturday morning open with a
misty rain falling. This continued for most of the day but stopped long
enough at times for both qualifying and the race to be dry. Brian took
the pole followed by Lyle, Peter, Gregg Sr. and Greg. Greg Jr. During
both the morning practice and qualifying, Greg retired with a smoking
car. At first it was thought to be oil spraying on the headers from the
gauge sending unit but later it was determined to be the power steering
pump leaking. However, the true cause was not determined before the race
and ultimately Greg was black flagged and retired from the race.
When the green flag dropped
Brian took the lead as Lyle’s side of the track had a bad start. Peter
was also able to get past Lyle. But Lyle was determined to get back to
the front. On Lap 4, he caught and passed Peter and by lap six was right
behind Brian. Brian and Lyle ran nose to tail for several laps with the
only distance between them coming as other cars were passing or being
passed. In the end, the race finished the same way it started, Brian
taking the checkers followed by Lyle, Peter, Gregg and Greg, who retired
Sunday the drivers arrived at
the track with beautiful weather. In an interesting twist, qualifying
produced the exact same order as Saturday. Brian again claimed the pole,
this time by more than 2.5 seconds over Lyle. Something worthy of note,
Lyle was running on the R888 and Brian was on very old RA1’s. Lyle’s
tires were new on Saturday and he was able to run with Brian, often
turning faster laps during the race. But Sunday was a completely
At the start of the race,
Brian’s line had the problems and Lyle easily took the lead but Brian
quickly recovered and settled in behind Lyle with Peter following third.
The order remained unchanged for over half the race. On lap 14, Brian
decided he was second long enough. Getting a run off turn 10 and
drafting down the front straight, Brian pulled out and late braked Lyle
in turn 1 for the lead. After taking the lead, Brian began to set fast
lap after fast lap increasing the distance over Lyle. Again, Brian took
the checkers and a new track record of 1:21.875.
“I knew I had him (Lyle) anytime
after the half way point in the race. The R888’s are just not living up
to the promise Toyo has made,” said Brian after the race. “Lyle is a
much better driver than the results and times show.”
The next stop for the Great
Lakes FFR’s is Grattan on June 5 & 6. The Midwest region will be at
BlackHawk on June 13-14.
GL/MW FFR Challenge Series Director