Wet weather brought on a cold front here at Round 3 of the 2021 Sprint Series season on the Sportivo layout. The lack of grip provided a challenge to drivers but as the day would unfold, we would see a new driver sitting on the top step…
It looked like Tommy Haake was going to get his 3rd pole position but down to the last minute, it would be an excited Ivan Martinez grabbing his first career pole this time around.
Qualifying Top 5
Heat 1A provided a hot bed of action at the front. Closing in on the top position would be the pair of Vladimir Orlov and Jack McNeel. Though Orlov and McNeel would each take turns at the lead mid-race, the driver to watch would be Michael Martin, the previous round’s winner, as he blazed through the field from a 9th place start. He’d steal the lead on the final lap, going on to win heat 1A.
Heat 1A Results
Podium contender Tommy Haake started P1 with a tight pack of drivers in tow for heat 1B. He’d briefly lose the lead and drop down only as low as P3, and would be just ahead of the pair of Chris Fox and Carl Zhu. Heat 1B however would end with a black and checkered finish due to a penalty on race leader John Rice, bringing the trio up 2 spots to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Heat 1B Results
Michael Chen quickly took the reigns in heat 1C, but would have to do battle with Evan Lawrence lap after lap to try and keep the position. Meanwhile, the pair of Jeremy Aldridge and Leo Ovtcharov took to dogfighting as well while managing to stay close to the aforementioned Chen-Lawrence duo. At the checkered flag, Chen managed to stave off Lawrence’s attempts thus winning the race, and in the heat of things, Aldridge and Ovtcharov would come through as well to finish P2 and P3 respectively.
Heat 1C Results
The C-Main was filled predominantly with drivers in the new SE subcategory, but for this round, usually in the A-Main, Tony Wika would blaze through the top pack. What began as a 2/10ths lead would stretch out to over 6 seconds. Finishing behind him would be Nicholas Descamps and Edwin Rivera after doing battle with the entire front group before crossing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Denis Shakhovskii put on a dominant run for the entire B-Main. The rest of the pack behind him would take to much infighting– the two putting in the moves would be Nathaniel Small and Josh Ferrer. After one lap, both had already improved their positions with Ferrer sitting squarely P2. Small would go in for an attack on the 8th lap, maintaining the position to finished 2nd ahead of Ferrer and behind the untouched Shakovskii to wrap up the B-Main.
The A-Main this time around would be a nailbiter as we’d see position changes for the entirety of the race for the top 10 and then some. The initial top 3 wouldn’t stay there for long as Vladimir Orlov swooped in to mix things up and steal the lead by lap 3. Just a few spots back would be Leo Ovtcharov who wasted little time in making inroads to finally sit just behind Orlov, only to take the lead shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, Evan Lawrence had much more work to put in, with a P11 start, things would not be easy. By lap 9 however, he’d be just behind Orlov… With each passing lap, Ovtcharov was able to keep Orlov at bay, and by the checkered, he’d be able to add his first W at Sprint Series Round 3!
New for this year is the Sportsman Experience subcategory in the Sprint Series– as of this round, the leaders for this category are still Frank Chen and Ethan Chen…
Sprint Series 2021 Current Points Standings