Spec Racer - Spicer and Schofield Score Season-Opening Wins At VIR
ALTON, May 16, 2011: Richard Spicer, of Laurel, Md., and Brian Schofield, of Lakeland, Fla., took victories in the season-opening doubleheader for the 2011 SCCA Pro Racing Pro Spec Racer Ford series at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday. Both races featured numerous lead changes.
In the first race, Spicer started his No. 65 Spicer Racing/Spicer Race Engines SRF from the pole position and led the first two laps before Rob Stewart, of York, Pa. found his way to the head of the field for the next two circuits around the 3.7-mile, 17-turn Virginia road circuit. Spicer and Stewart would then swap the lead four times over the next for laps before Spicer made a decisive pass on Lap 9 of the 15-lap event. Spicer held off a late charge by Schofield and went on to win by just 0.251 seconds over 2010 Pro Spec Racer Ford champion Scott Rettich, of Camden, Ohio.
“I guess it went pretty well,” Spicer said. “We raced a little bit in the beginning. Then, I felt Rob Stewart and I, because we worked well together all weekend, that we might be able to pull away. But, then Brian got in the middle and we started dicing it up a bit. Then, I got some good laps while I was out in front and kind of stretched it out a bit. I expected a last lap move by Brian and he made it, but I outbraked him. It was a great race. It was a lot of fun. It was clean. It was awesome.”
Rettich finished second in the No. 17 Alliance Autosports/PDI SRF followed by Stewart in the No. 2 Apple Motorsports SRF. Schofield wound up fourth in the No. 61 PM Racing SRF and Carl Harris, of Houston, Texas, rounded out the top five in the No. 49 Four Seasons Radiator SRF.
In Race #2 on Sunday afternoon, Schofield started the No. 61 machine from the pole position and – just as Spicer did a few hours earlier – led the opening two laps before Rettich took his first turn at the head of a 2011 SRF field. Rettich led Laps 3 and 4 before Schofield found his way to the front for Laps 5-10. Rettich returned to the lead for Laps 11 and stayed there through the white flag, but Schofield would not be denied this time, taking the lead and the victory with just a few turns remaining. He crossed the stripe 0.437 seconds ahead of Rettich.
“I made an adjustment after this morning’s race,” Schofield said. “I actually readjusted the car back [to what it was before] because after running after the Trans-Am race I thought it would be very slippery. And, it was slippery. I was doing everything I could to just hold on and being patient with the throttle. I knew if I could just stay in second, I could set him up on the back straightaway and not let happen to me what happened to me in the first race with getting together with Richard. It was a good race. PM Racing gave me a great car.”
The victory helped Schofield move into the early championship lead after two of 10 Pro Spec Racer Ford rounds. Schofield leads the standings by 13 points, 242-229 over Rettich, who wound up with a pair of runner-up results from the doubleheader.
Stewart completed the podium with a third-place run in Race #2, followed by Harris in fourth place. Jean-Luc Liverato, of Alpharetta, Ga., finished fifth in the nightcap aboard the No. 8 ExpanedeTech/8-Ball Racing/PM Racing SRF. Spicer finished seventh in Race #2.
It’ll be a quick turnaround for the drivers and teams in Pro Spec Racer Ford as Rounds 3 and 4 are scheduled for next weekend, May 20-22, at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.