2006 Lime Rock Park 2 - "The Mosquito Comes Alive!"
Andy Bettencourt was not going to be denied today. He was hooked up and rarin' to go. His best race lap was listed in the final results as a new LRP race lap record.
On the start Greg got bottled up behind Doug Case; he gave him the gift of love and an additional 25hp at the start (for which he got his hand slapped by the stewards...) Joe DiMinno came rocketing up between Doug and Team Kakashi's Jeff Lawton and almost got the position; Greg slotted in behind the three of them, with Jeff Lawton leading the pack. Within the group, Jeff led those first 7 laps or so, doing a fantastic job keeping Doug behind him, with a drooling Crazy Joe waiting for an opening. Greg stayed behind the three of them keeping them close at hand, knowing full well there was NO damn way he was getting by. Doug made a VERY good pass on Jeff going into Big Bend, but Jeff continued to hound and Doug didn't go softly into that good night...
It just wasn't Greg's day; as "in the zone" as he was at the Glen, it was completely the opposite at LRP. They were fighting handling and brake system problems on the Nissan both days (in comparison to Jeff Lawton finally not having to constantly work on his car), and he was just way off his game. As the race progressed Greg was able to reel in the Tres Amigos (it wasn't easy) but each time he got close to Joe he blew the braking into Big Bend; twice he ended up almost taking the escape road as the tires locked up. Third time's not quite the charm as he made a run down the hill, got inside Joe, and blew the braking big time, locking all four wheels sliding way past Joe and into the grass (and ripping off his nice nifty new airdam...) By that time The Boys were well on their way and Greg settled into protecting 7th for the last two or so laps. However, second to last lap Joe got pinched off the road by slow traffic and lost momentum, so Greg was able to grab 6th on the final lap and finished with Joe right on his quarter panel.
Super kudos go to, of course, Andy Bettencourt. He drove a superb race and deserved many pats on the back. We can't describe to you what a great job Rick and Ray did, as we never saw 'em after the start! Secondary, but certainly not lesser, kudos go to Jeff Lawton; that boy drove the race of his "career" and showed that the Saturn SC2 is a force to be reckoned with. Joe should be given hearty congrats for getting that pig of a car into the one-oh-threes!
The only really bad thing to happen is that Chip VanSlyke ended up against the pit berm wall after the Downhill. Damage looks terminal, the car is pretty beaten up. We've got no details as to what happened, but we're am glad to hear second-hand that he is OK.
Beautiful day, great racing, another weekend to remember.
At this point, the NARRC and NERRC champioships are in sight: all we need is a win and probably a third at our best track, NHIS. See ya there!
ITA final results:
1 - Andy Bettencourt, 1:02.195, 13.9s margin of victory!
2 - Rick Benazic, 1:02.798
3 - Mr LRP, Ray Lee Chee, 1:02.908 (first race back since the ARRC!)
4 - Doug Case, 1:03.234
5 - Jeff Lawton, 1:03.750
6 - Greg Amy, 1:03.280
7 - Joe DiMinno, 1:03.666
8 - Ed Rodier, 1:03.992
9 - Louis Schlemmer, 1:03.969
10 - Roger Daskam, 1:04.463
NARRC Points, as of 08/19/06:
Greg Amy - 107
Andy Bettencourt - 84
Richie Hunter - 74
Tim Klavana - 62
Victor Gangi - 58