Get Racing!   |   News   |    Regions   |   Racers   |   Schedule   |   Points   |   Discussion Forum   |   Gallery    |   Videos   |   Home   |   Contact Us

Sanders - Riggen Split Wins at August Mid-Ohio

Lexington, OH - This past weekend felt like a typical Ohio August weekend, temperatures in the high 80’s and high humidity. This combination made racing all the more challenging. Six NASA Great Lakes FFR regulars showed up with the same thing in mind - have a good time and/or win! Rookie Mike Dzuirgalski, Lyle Riggen, the Wellinghoff Duo, Gregg Sr. and Greg Jr., and Brian Sanders came to race while other rookie Wes Holiday continued to get a feel for the rear-wheel drive Challenge Car in HPDE4. While Wes is no stranger to racing, he has spent most of his time behind the wheel of front-wheel drive cars. The only one missing was Peter LaRose who had to cancel at the last minute for unforeseen circumstances.

It all started on Friday with Brian taking advantage of the test-n-tune day. The first two morning sessions went off without a hitch with respectable lap times being turned. Then during the third session, while negotiating “madness,” Brian experienced a loud bang, the rear stepped out, and the driveshaft began grinding against the safety loop. As the car was straightened, the grinding stopped. Through the next right hander - nothing? Then the left hander, under the bridge and there was that horrible grinding noise from the driveshaft. After limping the car back to the paddock and getting it up in the air, the problem was found. The stock shock bracket, where we attach the Trak-Loc bracket, had broken off the axle tube. The only fix for this was to find a welder. Having no luck finding a welder at the track, one was located a short distance away complete with a professional welder to complete the repair.

Gregg and Greg had just arrived at the track and before they unhooked their trailers Brian’s car was loaded into Greg’s and off they went to the shop. A mere hour and half and everyone is back at the track with one repaired race car. With a couple test sessions left, Brian is joined on the track by the Wellinghoff’s to make sure the cars are good to go. This was also a competition school weekend administered by the Mid-Ohio School. They had a small number of students and asked some racers to join them for drills, practice and the comp school race. Brian, Gregg, Greg, and even Mike went out to pick on the “newbies.”


Saturday’s qualifying session was without incident as Lyle claimed the pole over Brian by less than two tenths. Everyone else was significantly off the pace but this was not going to last long as each improved their times every time out. Greg, Gregg, and Mike rounded out the starting grid.

As the green flag waved to start Saturday’s race, everyone jockeyed for position trying to find any available space in the jumble of cars ahead. Up and over “madness,” Brian was able to use another car as a pick and trap Lyle to assume the lead. Gregg was also able to take advantage of this, following Brian through. As things sorted themselves out, the first lap ended with Brian in the lead followed closely by Lyle, Gregg, Greg, and Mike. This pretty much set up the pairings for the battles to be fought in this race. 

It started on lap 2 when Greg picked off his Dad to take over the third position. On lap 4, Lyle pulled off a brilliant pass, late braking into the “keyhole,” to take over the lead.  A minor mishap on lap 6 caused Greg to loose touch with the leaders. Over the next six laps, Brian patiently sat in second while he and Lyle worked through lap traffic, both drivers aware and waiting for the other to give the least little advantage. Further back Greg and Gregg were having their own battle.

Ironically, lap 13 presented the opportunity for Brian to use a faster overtaking car to pull along side Lyle and take the preferred line through turn one and the lead. But Lyle never gave up and kept the pressure on for the next three laps. At the checkers it was Brian over Lyle by a mere 0.239 seconds, followed by Greg Gregg, and Mike.

Sunday morning was again hot and muggy. A post qualifying impound altered the starting grid for the race. Gregg and Lyle both had their times disallowed due to a fuel pressure infraction. Their measured fuel pressure differed by more than the 2 psi tolerance allowed by rule. With that, the grid was set; Brian on pole, followed by Greg, Mike, Lyle, and Gregg.


At the start of the race Lyle got a good jump and pulled along side Brian as they headed into the first turn. However, Brian held him off and assumed the lead followed by Lyle Greg, Gregg, and Mike. Once again, on lap three, Lyle took the lead through the keyhole. On lap six, Greg got a good run onto the back straight and used some overtaking cars to assume the second position.

To start lap seven, the three front runners crossed start/finish nose to tail and entered turn one the same. Suddenly, Greg lost the rear of the car. Unfortunately this was not to end well as he left the surface and introduced the front of his car to the tire barrier. He tried to drive away but found the fiberglass damage to be too much to continue.

Greg’s spin and that of Porsche, a couple laps later, in front of Brian gave Lyle a comfortable lead. But not too comfortable as Brian mounted a charge and turned the fastest lap times of the weekend to catch Lyle and set up a last lap shootout. Having a good run off turn one Brian was set up for the pass going into the keyhole. However, there was a yellow flag for a car off the track so Brian got on the binders, went for the downshift and missed the blip, locking the rear-end. Somehow, Lyle managed to avoid contact and exiting the keyhole, Brian gave the position back to Lyle.

How far is it from the nose of your car to the middle of the door? Answer: 0.170 seconds. This was the margin of victory for Lyle as he held off Brian for the win. Gregg was third, Mike fourth, and Greg with the DNF.


Great Lakes FFR will take a month off due to Nationals and return with the season finale at Putnam Park, the first weekend in October.

Brian Sanders

Great Lakes FFR Challenge Series Director

Photos courtesy of Julie Riggen

Page last updated: 08/20/2009

© 2005-2008, Factory Five Racing. All rights reserved

E-mail the Webmaster with questions or comments about this Web site.