October 13, 2011
Fort Collins, Colo. – Scott Anderson, Skip Barber National Champion. Skip Barber National Champion Scott Anderson. MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver Scott Anderson. USF2000 driver Scott Anderson. Take your pick; Anderson will respond to any of them. After working through some car issues earlier in the week, the Fort Collins, Colo. driver closed out the 2011 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda at Lime Rock Park in winning fashion, clinching the championship on Friday and driving from fourth place to win the final round of the season on Saturday before collecting a $200,000 scholarship from Mazda to race in USF2000 in 2012.
Coming into the weekend, Anderson had the advantage of a sizeable points lead but his closest contender in the championship, JJRD teammate Trent Hindman, had the momentum. While Anderson completed his second winless race weekend in a row last month at Autobahn Country Club, Hindman had his strongest weekend of the season with a pole, a win and a second place finish before heading to Mosport and clinching the Ontario Formula Ford Championship. The momentum continued to go Hindman’s way Friday afternoon as Hindman picked up his sixth pole of the season with a 58.208 sec. lap in single car qualifying while Anderson struggled on newer treaded BFGoodrich tires and qualified fourth.
“My car felt good, but the tires were newer than those on some of the other cars so they had more tread”, said Anderson after the session. “If the car is driven by others and the tires can get scrubbed in more I should be okay.”
Momentum began to swing Anderson’s way early Saturday morning during Qualifying for Round 16. Going into the Uphill on his sixth lap, Hindman put his car into the wall, damaging its front suspension and taking it out of the fleet for the weekend. While an earlier lap put him third on the grid ahead of Anderson, Hindman would start the race in an unfamiliar and untested car.
From the start Anderson drove a relatively uneventful race, while all around chaos reigned. Needing to win both races, Hindman led briefly before slowly fading through the field. On Lap 6, while Sebastian Ordonez and Danilo Estrella battled for the lead and while 2005 National Champion (and USF2000 driver coach) Gerardo Bonilla was working his way to the front, Anderson quietly passed Hindman for third. With three laps to go, the engine in Hindman’s car expired, and as he rolled to a stop in Big Bend, Anderson’s championship was confirmed. Bonilla took the overall win, the first by a Skip Barber Cup driver, while Danilo Estrella scored his first Skip Barber National win, followed by Sebastian Ordonez while Anderson clinched with a third place finish. Anderson was clearly relieved to have the championship settled.
“I had to change cars midway through qualifying earlier in the day. During the race I tried pushing too soon in a car I wasn’t familiar with and made a mistake that allowed the top three to pull away from me a bit. I knew something was wrong with Trent’s car almost from the beginning. It just wasn’t as quick as the car he had earlier in the day.”
“Gerardo on the other hand was flying. His quickest lap was a full second quicker than anyone else’s. Not bad for an old guy.”
By the time the green flag dropped to start Round 16, the championship battle was over, which turned Saturday morning’s race into an issue of pride for Anderson, as he looked for his first win since sweeping at Road Atlanta in July. Anderson got a jump at the start, taking the lead before the end of Lap 1 and building a gap between himself and the second place battle between Hindman and Ordonez, while Round 15 winner Gerardo Bonilla made another run from shotgun on the field to challenge for the lead.
As the laps counted down, Hindman, Ordonez and Bonilla chased down Anderson, setting up a four-car lead pack to vie for the win. Ordonez took the lead briefly before being overtaken by Anderson, while Bonilla, consistently posting the quickest times of the race, got around Hindman before threading the needle between Ordonez and Anderson to take second with a handful of laps to go.
On the next to last lap, Bonilla went for it. Running down to the front straight to Big Bend, Anderson went defensive, leaving the outside line for the Skip Barber Cup driver. Bonilla took the bait but braked for the corner a split second too late, sending him wide and off the track. He lost two positions, reentering the track behind Hindman in fourth.
From there Anderson cruised to the victory, followed by Hindman, who got around Ordonez on the last lap, with Bonilla in fourth.
Scott Anderson finishes the season with six wins, 12 podiums, four poles… and a check for $200,000 from Mazda and Skip Barber Racing School to fund a ride in next year’s Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda. Anderson also joins an elite group of drivers as Skip Barber National Champion, including IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Raphael Matos, Firestone Indy Lights driver Conor Daly and Star Mazda Championship driver Connor DePhillippi, to name a few.
“I can’t thank Phil Lombardi, Jonatan Jorge and the people at Skip Barber Racing School enough for an incredible season. And I wouldn’t be here without the support of my parents, who believed in me and quite literally made all of this possible. Finally, thanks to Mazda North American Operations andMAZDASPEED for supporting junior level drivers such as myself. I’m looking forward to working with them in 2012 and beyond.”
MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver Scott Anderson will be announcing his 2012 plans in the coming weeks.
Top 5 – 2011 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, after Round 16 of 16
- Scott Anderson, 456 points
- Trent Hindman, -22
- Brandon Newey, -31
- Sebastian Ordonez, -56
- Shelby Blackstock, -84
"Papa" knew of what he was speaking...
Anderson gets some air in The Uphill
Celebrating victory with parents Jim and Adriann and JJRD's Jonatan Jorge and Phil Lombardi
Does someone have a giant pen so I can endorse this?