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 and 12.

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 victory.”

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.



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