Only two races remain in the Skip Barber presents the Mazda Winter Series and the battle for the Formula Skip Barber championship opened up as the two leaders, Jake Eidson and Danilo Estrela are only two points apart in the battle. At the conclusion of Rounds 9 & 10 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Eidson overtook the points lead from Estrela with two first place finishes. Nick Neri also had a spectacular race weekend gaining two first place finishes in each of his races. Jack Mitchell Jr. also captured two second place podiums. MAZDASPEED racers Nelson Canache and Bryan Hixon both earned one first place finish. Grand Master Steve Randall still leads the MAZDASPEED Challenge points battle. The series next heads to Sebring International Raceway on April 12-14th for the final two races of the season.
Group 1 Race 1 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, Formula Skip Barber
Jake Eidson led the field to the green flag. Early in lap 1, Eidson extends over Jack Mitchell Jr. and Leonardo Jafet. Cars are single file through turn 6. Matt McMurry spins and gets trapped in the gravel. Yellow flag comes out. Race resumes in lap three. New racer Peter Portante makes contact with Ryan Verra at the front straight. As the racers enter lap 4, Mitchell Jr. makes ground on Eidson and takes the first position. Eidson is right behind him and waits to make his move. Going into turn 10, Eidson makes a pop for first and reclaims the top spot. Danilo Estrela, who started at the back of the pack, has picked off numerous cars and has claimed fourth place. Going into lap 7, Lee Kaiser and Matt McMurry have contact. McMurry hits the wall and a yellow flag comes out. Race resumes in lap 10. Estrela takes the third spot from Jafet. Eidson and Mitchell Jr. are nose to tail in lap 11 with Estrela close behind. With two laps to go, Estrela goes four off in turn 10 and finishes in the pit. Eidson takes the win followed by Mitchell Jr. in second and Jafet in third.
Group 1 Race 2 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, Formula Skip Barber
After winning the previous day's race, Jake Eidson led the pack to the green flag. Leonardo Jafet overtakes Jack Mitchell Jr. early in lap 2 for second position. Danilo Estrela, who began in seventh, also begins maneuvering through the pack and picks up three spot as he slides into the fourth spot by lap 2. Jafet spins and makes contact with Estrela, but both manage to continue. As the racers enter lap 4, rookie Nick Neri moves to third but new driver Tristan DeGrand is right behind him waiting to make his move. DeGrand looks to make the pop for third in lap five and makes it stick. Eidson and Mitchell Jr., the top two, continue to extend their lead from the rest of the pack. There's a big battle for third as DeGrand feels pressure from Neri. Mitchell Jr. begins catching up to Eidson, but can't make the pop stick. Eidson takes the win followed by Mitchell Jr. in second and DeGrand in third.
Group 2 Race 1 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, MAZDASPEED Challenge
Bryan Hixon led the field to the green flag. Nelson Canache makes a pop for the lead and makes it stick. New driver Dean Kretschmar slides in third spot early in lap 1. Canache maneuvers through the pack and extends his lead by six car lengths from Hixon. As racers enter lap 2, the top two begin to break away from the rest of the pack. New Drivers Cal Meeker and Kretschmar are nose to tail and begin to catch up to Hixon. Canache still has a comfortable lead. Going into lap 4, Meeker takes the third spot from Kretschmar. Meeker and Kretschmar are battling it out going into lap 6 and switch back and forth for third. Going into lap 8, Kretschmar hits the right rear of Meeker and both drivers fall back. Greg Holloway slides into third. Canache takes the win followed by Hixon and Holloway in third.
Group 2 Race 2 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, MAZDASPEED Challenge
Nelson Canache started the race on pole. Bryan Hixon is right on Canache's tail as drivers enter lap 1. Hixon goes for the pop but can't make it stick. As the drivers enter lap three, Hixon overtakes the top spot. New driver Dean Kretschmar also moves into second as the field. Cal Meeker, picks up two cars early in the race and slides into third. Edward Nagao also makes good time, and moves into the fourth spot. Nagao is eyeing the third spot. Kretschmar starts to fall back and Nagao slides into third and Meeker takes the second spot. Hixon continues lengthening his lead from the field. There's a battle between Nagao and Meeker for second, but Meeker holds on. Hixon takes the win followed by Meeker in second and Nagao in third.
Group 3 Race 1 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, Formula Skip Barber
Grand Master Gus Doppes started the race on pole. Going into lap 1, Andrew Hobbes makes a pop for the top spot and makes it stick. Doppes doesn't ease up and is right behind him. Nick Neri, who started the race near the back of the pack, begins maneuvering through the field and within the first three laps , moves to the sixth position. Jose Montiel is slowly inching towards Gus Doppes. As racers enter lap 4, Montiel makes a pop for third and takes it from Doppes. Neri continues picking off drivers and moves into fourth place. Neri makes a pop for third and takes it away from Doppes. Hobbs is still in the lead. Montiel begins to feel pressure from Neri as they enter lap eight. Neri overtakes Montiel and sets his sight on Hobbs. Grand Master Doug Tuttle also manages to move from fourth to third overtaking Montiel. Hobbs plays defensively entering lap ten. Neri isn't giving up. Going into lap thirteen, Neri makes his move and overtakes the top spot from Hobbs. Nick Neri takes the win followed by Hobbs in second and Tuttle in third.
Group 3 Race 2 Skip Barber Presents the Mazda Winter Series, Formula Skip Barber
Andrew Hobbs led the field to the green flag. Nick Neri makes a move for the top spot and takes it from Hobbs early in the race, but Hobbs is right behind him. Hobbs reclaims it in lap 2, but Neri isn't folding easily. As racers enter the third lap, Neri overtakes and makes it stick. Jose Montiel also has a good start picking up three racers and moving up to sixth from ninth within the first three laps. Grand Master Doug Tuttle does a good job of holding onto his third position as racers enter lap six. The top 3 begin stretching their positions from the rest of the pack. As racers enter lap 8, Montiel begins heavily pressuring Tuttle but can't get past him. Neri and Hobbs, who are nose to tail, have garnered a significant lead from Tuttle and the rest of the field. John Schauerman spins with two laps to go, but manages to continue. Neri takes the win followed by Hobbs in second and Tuttle in third.