Anderson survives challenging Lime Rock weekend with point lead
August 31, 2011
Fort Collins, Colo. – If you were to ask most drivers how their weekend at Lime Rock Park went if they scored a pole, a runner up and a fifth place finish, they’d tell you that they had a pretty good weekend. If you’re BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda championship leader Scott Anderson, however, you’re going home counting yourself lucky for still holding onto the points lead after an off weekend at the Lakeville, Conn. track.
Anderson got the weekend off to a strong start by scoring his series tying fourth California Scents Pole Award of the season during Friday afternoon’s single car qualifying session, a first for the Skip Barber National Series. The last car on track during the session, Anderson recorded a 59.597 sec. lap on his second lap to secure the pole over Brandon Newey by .019.
“It was nice to have qualifying be based on your speed alone instead of how you can work the draft”, noted Anderson immediately following the session. “I worked with Phil (driver coach Phil Lombardi) on hitting my marks and I grabbed the pole.”
Fast at the start, Anderson quickly built himself a three plus seconds lead over the chasing cars of Newey, Hindman and Sebastian Ordonez.
“My car was fast at the beginning of the race and I was able to get out to a big lead, but the tires were getting toward the end of their useable life and the pack behind me started working together to close the gap.”
The lead would be short-lived. After 17 laps the chasing trio was on the back of Anderson’s car. Going into Turn 1 on the 18th lap, Ordonez made his move for the lead. Passing Anderson on the outside, Ordonez turned down to the apex before completely clearing Anderson’s car, making contact and sending Anderson into a half spin.
“I was alongside Sebastian at the apex, but I was on the curbing and couldn’t get any further to the right. My options were limited to spinning to the inside or turning up into Sebastian’s car, which would have probably taken us both out. I’m just glad the radiator wasn’t damaged and I was able to finish the race.”
Anderson rejoined the field in sixth place and clawed his way back to fifth at the finish. Damage from the contact was restricted to the bodywork and the floor of the left side pod, both of which were replaced before Saturday’s race.
While the qualifying order for Round 11 was determined by season points, a random draw was used to determine the order for Friday morning’s qualifying session for Round 12. Anderson drew the next-to-last slot but was unable to repeat Thursday’s performance; his 59.919 sec. lap was only good enough for fourth on the grid.
“The only downside of the single car qualifying is that your session consists of three laps. On Thursday this was okay because our first session of the day was a 30-minute practice. On Friday our first time in the car was on the warm up for our qualifying run.”
Unlike Friday’s race, Anderson struggled at the start of Round 12; losing two positions early before collecting himself and working his way to the front. After picking off Danilo Estrela and Ordonez, Anderson cleared Shelby Blackstock and Brandon Newey then took off after pole sitter and leader Trent Hindman. Anderson made up all but .547 sec. when the checkered flag fell, with Hindman taking the victory and Newey, his closest pursuer in the championship, taking third.
“The tires I had on Saturday acted completely different from what I had during the race on Friday. Instead of starting good and then going off, the tires started off poorly but came in after four or five laps. This helped me get close enough to Trent that I was getting a tow from him at the finish. Another three laps and I would have been there. I don’t know if I would have been able to get by, but it would have been fun.”
The pole, fifth place and runner up allowed Brandon Newey, who scored second and third place finishes, to gain three points in the championship standings while third place Trent Hindman gained seven points. With four races remaining, Anderson knows that every point is going to count.
“Friday’s race was a bump in the road. The strategy of going for race wins and letting the points take care of themselves has worked for me all season. I don’t see any reason to change it now. Now it’s on to Autobahn.”
Top Five – 2011 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, after Round 12 of 16
- Scott Anderson, 376 points
- Brandon Newey, -12
- Trent Hindman, -16
- Sebastian Ordonez, -55
- Shelby Blackstock, -65
Scott Anderson and the rest of the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda field heads to Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill. the weekend of September 10-11 for the penultimate rounds of the 2011 season. Follow the action live on your smart phone with Race Monitor, available at your phone’s app store, or semi-live at www.twitter.com by following either @SkipBarberNatl or @altemus_prime.