By Patrick Stephan (TSO_Patrick)
Well, we’ve made it to the final event of the 2017 St. Petersburg Grand Prix and its ProMazda Race #2.
Today’s race got off to a clean start, with Anthony Martin beating Victor Franzoni to the corner in Turn 1. A lead he would continue to hold through the early portion of the race.
Unlike yesterday – where Martin was able to pretty quickly get out to a comfortable lead, today, he was just 0.2740 seconds ahead by lap 4. And Carlos Cunha in P3 was also close, only a couple tenths further back in third position.
By Lap 5, the order was Martin, Franzoni, Cunha, Fischer, Lastochkin, Ray, Denes, Hanratty, Eberle and Davis was 10th. Machiko had a problem a couple laps later and had to come through the pits and wound up coming out in the middle of the field, who had to do some dodging to clear his machine. Finelli and Puderback rounded out the field.
On Lap 10, Martin’s lead was just 0.93, with Cunha 1.4 seconds behind the leader as Cunha is clearly quicker than yesterday where he and teammate TJ Fischer from Team Pelfrey were unable to match the pace of Martin (Cape) and Franzoni (Juncos). Today though the Pelfrey cars are staying with the leaders and on Lap 13, Cunha was .27 out of the second spot – just a couple car lengths.
On Lap 12, Sting Ray Robb made the pass on Lastochkin Turn 1 to take over the 5th position. Fischer is still fourth.
Up front, we’re watching Martin hold just a 0.9 lead over second and third in Franzoni and Cunha.
Lap 17 and down in to Turn 1, Franzoni has to move inside to defend, while Cunha pins him down there and then at the exit of the corner, he’s got position heading to Turn 2 and he takes over the 2nd spot.
Unfortunately, that wouldn’t last as the next time down the front straight, Cunha’s gearbox lets go and he slows, then pulls to the infield at the exit of Turn 1. Bad break for Cunha who seemed to be on his way forward and who was really making a race of this one.
Bobby Eberle would be the next to have trouble as his car coasts all the way to the end of the front straight, and he stops in the Turn 1 run-off on the far left side. He then re-fires the car and rejoins the race.
On Lap 20 Martin’s lead is again over Franzoni but with Cunha out, the gap from first to second is now 2.3680 seconds. TJ Fischer is again back in third (just like yesterday), a couple more second back.
We get our first yellow of the race as Kevin Davis is being reported as stopped on the track on lap 22, with about 11 minutes remaining in the 40 minute race. The Top 5 at this point are Martin, Franzoni, Fischer, Robb and Lastochkin.
Back to green to start Lap 26 with a little under five minutes remaining. Martin is able to get away clean and keeps the top spot, followed by Franzoni and Fischer. With the lapped car of Jeff Green mixed in, we see Denes and Hanratty get by Lastochkin.
There is then trouble down in Turn 10 as Denes and Green get together and both wind up spun out.
Green is able to limp the car around, as does Denes.
The leaders are able to complete that final lap, with Martin taking his second victory of the weekend as we get the same podium two days in a row. Sting Ray Robb makes it to fourth after starting seventh. A better race than yesterday, but really wish Cunha’s car had stayed together – he seemed like he might have something for the lead duo.
Final results are below. This will take conclude our coverage for the weekend. Thanks for reading – gonna head to the airport in a few minutes – though I just got a notice that my flight is delayed. Going to be a late night/morning getting back to Denver.
|4||14||Sting Ray||Robb||30||4.7211||Active||World Speed Motorsports|
|7||15||Phillippe||Denes||30||50.0309||Active||World Speed Motorsports|
|8||13||Bobby||Eberle||29||1L||Active||world Speed Motorsports|
|9||60||Jeff||Green||28||2L||In Pit||Juncos Racing|
|11||44||Kevin||Davis||19||10L||Contact||Kevin Davis Racing|