ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 15, 2009) - The 26 drivers competing in Round Six of the SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup put in a long day today at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Action began bright and early with qualifying at 8 am followed by the race at 7 pm.
When the checkered flag flew, the weekend belonged to Timmy Megenbier who led each session. The Melrose Park, Ill.-native began Saturday's action by winning his second pole position of the season after suffering a tire puncture early in the session. Even though he spent a good portion of the qualifying session in the pits, he was able to post the top lap time of the weekend, a 2:38.921 (91.698 mph), just as the clock was running out.
Megenbier continued his dominance during the race which featured two full-course cautions that limited the action to nine laps. The first caution came on lap four when Devin Cates' car ventured off course dramatically in Turn 12 and ended up on top of the tire barrier. The second caution flag flew on lap seven when guest driver Levi LaVallee took an overly aggressive line into a turn and ended up in the tire barrier. Both drivers walked away from the incidents.
There also was a lot of action on the track during green conditions, which saw many of the title-contending drivers jockeying for position. Megenbier led all but one lap during the race, only once relinquishing his lead to eventual fourth-place finisher, Andy Lee. The podium also included AJ Nealey (second) and Joey Atterbury (third) who gained seven positions during the race.
The win is Megenbier's series-leading third victory of the season. However, after the race, series officials penalized him 30 points for blocking Andy Lee on the last lap of the race. Despite this penalty, Megenbier walks away from this weekend with 218 points and a 20-point lead in the Championship battle. Lee was also penalized five points for on-track actions during the race. Lee (193) and Joey Atterbury (193) are tied for second in the points standings following the race.
"Today was a really crazy day with my problems during qualifying and all of the action during the race," Megenbier said. "At the start, I got a really good jump and was able to pull away a bit, but then the caution came out and brought them up to me. Andy Lee and I had a great battle after the second caution, and he was able to get around me at one point. But thankfully, I was able to keep my head and get him back just before the final lap. Obviously, I'm disappointed with the penalty decision, but I still have the lead in the Championship and that's what's important. I'll try to make up the points I lost today when we get to Mosport."
The three guest drivers who joined the series for this weekend's race lived the full Jetta TDI Cup experience during their two days at Road America. When the checkered flag flew, it was VWvortex.com founder, Jaime Vondruska, who finished highest in the guest category at 22nd. iRacing.com online racer, John Prather finished 23rd, while professional snocross racer and freestyle snowmobile rider, Levi LaVallee came in 24th after his on-track incident.
"This is one of the coolest opportunities that I've ever had," said LaVallee who ran as high at 19th before his crash. "I have a lot of experience racing on the snow, but this is my first time racing a car on a track, so I'm really happy with how well I was able to run up until the point of my off-road adventure. The cars were awesome to drive, and all I'm thinking about now is when I can get behind the wheel again. Hopefully, it will be soon."
The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series returns to action August 29-30 at Mosport for Round 7 of the season.