With points leader Victor Franzoni starting at the tail end of the 15 car field after the team held the Brazilian on pit road too long ,the second Pro Mazda race of the KOHLER Grand Prix weekend at Road America was certainly going to be exciting.
The final of three straight MRTI races began with 2016 USF2000 Champion Anthony Martin leading the field under the green flag. The first lap was clean, and Franzoni was able to gain seven spots on the first lap.
At the end of the first lap the top five were: Martin, TJ Fischer, Nikita Lastochkin, Carlos Cunha, and Sting Ray Robb.
After two laps, Franzoni had gained another three positions to begin the third lap in sixth. He passed Robb for fifth on that third lap, and was able to get by the Team Pelfrey duo of Cunha and Lastochkin, who were battling each other for the final spot on the podium on Lap 4.
The first of three yellow flags of the 30 minute race came when National Class competitor Brenden Puderbach hit the tire barrier in the tricky Turn 14 on Lap 5.
Franzoni passed Fisher on the Lap 6 restart, and immediately began to stalk Martin, but his advances were halted when Bob Kaminsky made contact with Kris Wright at the exit of Canada Corner.
The second restart came on Lap 8, and Martin was able to jump out to a small lead going into Turn 1. As the duo drove down the hill towards Turn 5, Martin took the defensive inside line. Franzoni broke deep into the ninety-degree left hand turn, but so did Martin. The two drivers went through the corner side-by-side and at corner exit the No. 8 Soul Red machine pushed the Blue, Orange and White No. 23 wide.
The third and final caution of the day came when JDC Motorsports rookie Kris Wright got stuck in the kitty litter in Turn 6. The Holmatro Safety Team was able to get him extracted and quickly restarted and the field was able to take the white and green flag at the same time.
Once again, Martin was able gap Franzoni into Turn 1 and held that lead through Turn 5. Franzoni got a better drive going up the hill to Turn 6, but Martin was able to make one move to block Franzoni’s advance.
Frazoni was able to follow Martin closely through The Carousel, The Kink, Kettle Bottoms before he popped to the outside to try and make a pass on the outside of Canada Corner. The right-hander that is named after a Commonwealth country was kind to a driver from a member of the former British Empire.
On that final lap, Lastochkin was able to get by his teammate Cunha for the final spot on the podium, and Robb was able to get by Jeff Green for fifth.
Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Road America Presented by Allied Building Products Race #2 Result
|1||8||Anthony Martin||Cape Motorsports||11 laps|
|2||23||Victor Franzoni||Juncos Racing||0.1799|
|3||80||Nikita Lastochkin||Team Pelfrey||1.8407|
|4||81||Carlos Cunha||Team Pelfrey||1.9346|
|5||14||Sting Ray Robb||World Speed Motorsports||2.2472|
|6||60||Jeff Green||Juncos Racing||2.6827|
|7||13||Bobby Eberle||World Speed Motorsports||3.9464|
|8||2||Dave Zavelson||Unfair Advantage Motorsports||8.9937|
|9||83||Charles Finelli||FatBoy Racing||10.3663|
|10||12||Kris Wright||JDC Motorsports||28.6874|
|11||5||Kevin Bury||Unfair Advantage Motorsports||30.2250|
|12||82||TJ Fischer||Team Pelfrey||-4 laps|
|13||57||Bob Kaminsky||Kaminsky Racing||-5 laps|
|14||31||Brendan Puderbach||FatBoy Racing||-8 laps|
|15||6||Max Hanratty||ArmsUp Motorsports||-9 laps|