Family Ties might be a good nickname for Formula Motor Racing,
an event which routinely draws family members with surnames of
Gutermuth, Flawd and Freeman year after year. But make no mistake,
as our Final proved, when it comes to going for the wood, family
goes right out the window!
During heat play this year, the only noteable event occurred
in the second round when Peter Stein may have broken a record
by having six cars eliminated; two of which were self-inflicted.
I know in the Atlantic Storm event there is a play called "The
Stein Flush" in (dubious) honor of Pete, but it seems Pete's
hard luck is not limited to the high seas. It may be time to
add to the WBC lexicon with a Steinism for the tarmac.
This year, 16 heats were run, producing 15 qualifiers (one
person qualified twice) of which12 elected to continue so the
semifinals were set with two tables of six. At Table 1, Debbie
Gutermuth ran away with a victory, outscoring her runner-up,
Scott Nerney by 10 points, and third place opponent, former champion
Steve Cameron, by 21. Chad Gormly, John Shaheen and Bob Stribula
rounded out the pack in that order.
Table 2 was a bit closer, with defending champion Lisa Gutermuth
winning by six points over Josh Ostrander, and nine over James
Kendrick in third. Sarah Vasilakos, Katie McCorry and Devin
Flawd finished out of the money in that order..
The Final was thus set with the two semifinalist winners and
the top four losers by total points. Seeded in order, the finalists
and their racing team's were:
Debbie Gutermuth - Sauber
Lisa Gutermuth - Jordan
Scott Neerney - Ferrari
Josh Ostrander - Jaguar
James Kendrick - Toyota
Sarah Vasilakos - Minardi
So the stage was set, for drama in the Gutermuth family.
Lisa, the returning champ was looking to be the first person
to successfully defend their championship, while scoring big
in her team game at the same time. But after the first race,
things are looking bleak for the Gutermuth's as Debbie's Saubers
are both lost, one to a blown engine, and the other to a crash,
tangling with none other than one of Lisa's Jordans. So much
for family loyalties. With the Gutermuths out of the way, newcomer
Sarah takes the early lead, placing first and fifth with her
Jaguars, followed by Josh's Toyota's placing 2nd and 3rd. Scott
has a Minardi place fourth while losing the other to a spin out,
totaling four lost cars to this race. Lisa must settle for sixth
with her other Jordan.
The second race also saw a player lose both cars, as Scott's
Minardis fall victim to a spin out and a crash, that also speared
one of Sarah's Jaguars. Josh lost a Ferrari bringing the casualty
toll to another four cars down for the count. Seems a trend
has started. James who avoided any trouble in the previous race,
but also avoided scoring, charged back into the thick of things
with a 1st place finish for his Toyota's. Followed by Lisa's
Jordans making a statement with a second place finish. Sarah's
Jaguars kept in the hunt placing 3rd, Josh's remaining Ferrari
placed 4th and Debbie gets on board in a small way with her Saubers
finishing 5th and 6th.
In the third race, yet again four cars head for an early exit,
keeping up the trend. This time however, the pain is more equitably
distributed and no one loses both cars. While Debbie suffers
a blown engine on one of her Saubers, the other racks up a first
place finish. Lisa loses a Jordan to a spin out but her remaining
car places second. James has a Toyota place 3rd to keep him
in the hunt, Scott places 4th and 6th with his Minardis and Sarah's
Jaguars claim 5th but lose a car in a crash with Josh's Ferraris
who are shut out of scoring this round.
The fourth race only claims two casualties. One of which
belonged to Toyota in a dramatic spin out, but James other car
did place1st to claim the overall lead. Debbie had a Sauber
place 2nd while Lisa had a Jordan place 3rd. Fourth place belonged
to Sarah who lost her three-ound lead as her other Jaguar blew
an engine. Scott's Minardi and Josh's Ferrari rounded out the
placing in 5th and 6th respectively.
In the fifth race, a resurgent Lisa finally makes her move
and coaxes her floundering Jordans into a 1st place finish, claiming
the overall point lead, while losing her other to a crash with
one of Sarah's Jaguars. Josh, who had been relatively quiet
since the first round ends strong with a 2nd place finish for
his Ferrari team. Sarah places her other Jaguar third, with
Debbie Gutermuth's Saubers 4th, James's Toyotas 5th and Scott's
Entering the final race, the stage is set for returning champ
Lisa. Her Jordans enjoy a slim one point lead over James's Toyotas,
and 2 points over Sarah's' Jaguars. Debbie's Saubers are in
fourth only five points off the lead, and Josh's Ferraris in
fifth, are only seven points out. Only Scott's Minardis are
out of contention.
Debbie pulls out a first place finish for Sauber, with Josh's
Ferrari's in second, Lisa's Jordan's in 3rd, James' Toyota's
in 4th, Scott''s Minardi in 5th and Sarah's Jaguarssettling for
6th. Overall, the first place finish for Debbi, eeks out a 1
point victory over teammate Lisa.
bested a field of 19 underage drivers in the Juniors version
of Formula Motor Racing. The other finalists were:
2nd: Thomas Strock
3rd: Andrew Wilson
4th: Evan Boone
5th: Mark Evich
6th: Mary Beth Mitchell