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RESULTS: Monday Mixed League Championship Round 5 - Champcar Series @ Long Beach

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Round 5 and the mixed league took on the challenges of Indycar racing. The Champcar, like last round’s Sprintcar, took the philosophy of loads of power in a light - aero package. However, the bumpy Long-Beach streets would add the challenge of threading tricky, turbo-power between slow hairpins and narrow walls.


Even before practice, drivers knew of the steep learning curve they were about to climb. Michael Palladino led the closest competitor of Iain Salteri by 0.385 at the end of qualifying. The rest of the field was spread by over 8 seconds, many struggling for a clean lap.

Race One – 15 laps

As the sun set down a palm tree lined straight, the drivers set upon their formation lap. Scott Durham proved these cars are a handful especially at a slow speed by spinning. The rest of the field shot towards turn one off the rolling start - into an instant traffic jam. A stern warning and a race restart netted similar results but drivers had to simply race on this time. Palladino benefited from the chaos and held an early lead. Jason Brooks turned the wrong way around the round-about and dangerously re-joined backwards. David Lord had nowhere to go was launched over his car into the fountain’s flower-bed, ending his race. Salteri, perhaps unaware of how to reduce his pace after qualifying, fought hard past Palladino and Francarlo Rizzo to take the first win.

Race Two – 20 Laps

The reverse grid created havoc even before the flag dropped, therefore, a few starting modifications were made to improve proceedings (cutting the formation lap). Lord, after last race was back to fine form, cutting and weaving through the field – not just once, but twice after another restart! Durham managed to hold off Lord up until lap 3 and Palladino slipped through one lap later. Lap 6, Lord loses his places to Palladino and Salteri, the latter setting fastest laps again. At the halfway point, Brooks and Salteri elect to pit for fresh tyres. Palladino, who inherited the relinquished lead, crossed the finish line in front of Lord, neither pitting. Salteri later admitted to the safer strategy in order to have a chance for the final race.

Race Three – 25 laps

Restarts dramas do not deter Salteri from taking an early lead. Durham showed he was a lot more confident in the car and grabbed 3 spots on the first lap. Most drivers would believe that the extra laps in this race would require at least one stop this time. Palladino and Lord are not like most drivers. Salteri put it all on the line, lap after lap, and picked off Lord. Like Sebastien Bourdais overcoming Paul Tracy’s pure speed, Palladino drove the smart race to be victorious. Palladino -“Feelin’ great!” met to exchange commendations for a fun race against Salteri. Lord just snatched enough points from a consistent Ross Rizzo for the final podium spot.


      2013 Mixed League
Drivers Race 1  Race 2  Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Race 8 Total Points Current Place
Iain Salteri 17 17 17 15 17       83 1st
Michael Palladino 20 9 13 20 20       82 2nd
David Lord 15 20 15 12 15       77 3rd
Ross Rizzo 10 13 20 17 13       73 4th
Jeremy Pernesz 13 15 12 13 11       64 5th
Jason Brooks 7 13 8 11 9       48 6th
Scott Durham 12 0 9 9 12       42 7th
Francarlo Rizzo 8 10 11 0 10       39 8th
Sam Owen 11 0 7 10 8       36 9th
Nathan Trentgarthen 9 11 0 8 0       28 10th
Shane Gilfeather 0 0 10 0 0       10 11th
Josh Hunter 0 8 0 0 0       8 12th
Enda Murphy 0 7 0 0 0       7 13th
Andre Heimgartner 0 6 0 0 0       6 14th

By Matt Anderson


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