Pat Barrett takes Formula Championship lead with Sunday Win.
Pat Barrett took the lead in the SCCA Formula Russell Championship with a win in round 4 at a very rainy Infineon Raceway on Sunday March 12th. After jumping out of a misfiring car during a heavy downpour on the first warm up lap, he joined the field in a backup Formula Mazda in time to start the race in his fourth qualifying position. A crash brought out the safety car just after the half way point. Barrett was able to stay close to leader Lorenzo Mandarino on the restart and passed him later in the lap. Mandarino dropped out two laps later and Barrett took the checkered with a fourteen second lead over second place finished Stephen Hill. Barrett got the win and had fast lap of the race.

Saturday’s event was also run in challenging conditions that saw waves of cold rain and snow move into Northern California. Barrett was on top near the end of the wet qualifying session but was bumped down to fourth on the last lap as times dropped on a quickly drying track. At race start, Barrett and third on the grid Hill split off pole starter Daniel Palma in the first turn. Barrett moved into second when he out braked Hill as they went up into turn 2. Barrett held station in second for much of the race but eventually gave it up to Chuck Hulse who finished behind winner Mandarino.

SCCA Formula Russell Championship race winner Pat Barrett (Photo by Steve Snyder)

“This weekend went really well despite the weather. Being able to take home two more podiums was a great feeling and was good for the championship. I think now it’s just a matter of maintaining consistency and finishing all of the races in the points, of course with some more wins.”

Barrett, the sixteen year old karting champion from Los Osos, California, and Hulse were tied for the championship lead going into the weekend. By virtue of his first and third place finishes, Barrett is five points ahead of Hulse. They continue their pursuit of the championship at rounds 5 and 6 on the weekend of April 8-9 at the 12 turn, 2.22 mile road course.

The SCCA Formula Russell Championship is a seventeen race series that runs monthly at Infineon Raceway through October. Information about the series and the Russell Racing School can be found at http://www.jimrussellusa.com



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