Barrett Takes Wins Eight and
Nine in Formula Russell Championship
Four consecutive wins puts
championship within reach.
Patrick Barrett raised the bar in
the 2006 SCCA Formula Russell Championship Presented
by Yokohama Tires by capturing his eighth and ninth
wins of the season in last weekend’s Rounds 11
With temperatures in the mid to high 90s, summer had
officially arrived at the 2.5 mile Infineon Raceway
road course located near Sonoma, California. In Saturday’s
race Tyler Dueck started on pole with a hot lap of 1:36.218,
a new qualifying record for the special Formula Drift
weekend one day track configuration. Kayman Benetti
started along side, only .031 off of Dueck’s time.
Barrett managed to secure the third position, sharing
the second row with fourth fastest qualifier Chuck Hulse.
With the wave of the green flag, Barrett maintained
third position going into the tricky Turns One and Two
complex staying ahead of Hulse as Benetti took the lead
from Dueck. Thanks to a good run out of Turn Four, Barrett
was able to pass Dueck for second as they approached
the Turn Six Carousel. Benetti maintained the lead until
lap seven when he slid out of the Turn 9a chicane which
caused him to loose momentum and allowed Barrett to
slip by going into the Turn Eleven hairpin. Once in
the lead, Barrett never looked back and claimed victory
for the eighth time this season, with fast lap of the
race and took the checkers five seconds ahead of second
place finisher Dueck who crossed the line just ahead
Hulse. Benetti dropped out with mechanical problems
with three laps to go.
“This race was extremely challenging because of
the heat.” said Barrett with a happy but dazed
look. “Once or twice a lap I slipped my hands
out of the cockpit to give them a breath of fresh air.
I feel very confident about winning tomorrow so hopefully
I can keep up my momentum and come away with another
Barrett once again was the man to
beat on Sunday after posting a blistering lap time of
1.44.949 on the normal length track, a new track qualifying
record and seven tenths faster than off pole qualifier
Benetti. Hulse started third with Jeff Westphal along
side in fourth.
Barrett paced the field to the green flag and held on
to the lead as they charged up the hill into Turn Two
with Benetti following close behind and Hulse trailing
in third. Benetti applied pressure throughout the race,
making sure that if Barrett slipped, he would be able
to pounce and take the lead. Benetti made a last lap,
last turn attempt for the lead going into the Turn Eleven
hairpin. But it was Barrett who came out on top, edging
Benetti by four tenths of a second, and leading all
laps to take his ninth win of the season. Hulse rounded
out the podium which helped him maintain second in the
points for the championship.
“I almost didn’t think I was going to win
this one. I was fighting with the transmission for the
last half of the race and couldn’t see out of
my dangling right mirror. On one lap I almost lost the
car under braking and downshifting. I really had to
stand my ground and just hope that all would turn out
the way I wanted, and sure enough it did.”
With five rounds left in the season, the 16 year old
from Los Osos, California has a 71 point lead over second
place Chuck Hulse who leads Tyler Dueck by 48 and Jeff
Westphal by 49 points. The battle for the championship
will continue on August 19 and 20 with Rounds 13 and
14 of the seventeen race series.
Information about the SCCA Formula Russell Racing Series
can be found at http://www.jimrussellusa.com.