NA: Odyssey's perfect Portland weekend

Odyssey Motorsports has "Perfect Weekend" at Portland By Travis Braun Odyssey Motorsports's Seth Ingham and Carl Skerlong had their first "perfect weekend" during the 11th and 12th rounds of the Formula TR Pro Series on the 27th and 28th of ...

NA: Odyssey's perfect Portland weekend

Odyssey Motorsports has "Perfect Weekend" at Portland
By Travis Braun

Odyssey Motorsports's Seth Ingham and Carl Skerlong had their first "perfect weekend" during the 11th and 12th rounds of the Formula TR Pro Series on the 27th and 28th of August at Portland International Raceway. Ingham took both 2 liter class victories, poles, and fast times while his teammate, Skerlong, did the same in the 1600 class. In total, the team collected all of the 144 points given out during the course of the weekend. However, they didn't go unchallenged from the other Formula TR front runners who kept the pressure on all weekend.

Saturday's 2 liter race began with pole sitter Seth Ingham leading the field into turn one. Just before the ten lap mark, a full course caution came out, bunching up the field and bringing John Knudsen up to Ingham's rear wing. On the restart, Knudsen tried to hang onto the back of Ingham but another full course caution would end the race under yellow, giving the victory to Ingham. Knudsen settled for second and 2 liter newcomer Brett Van Blankers of Welch Racing claimed his first Formula TR podium.

Ingham recalled, "We are still working on the car setup for the weekend. We've been struggling a little so it made me a little more comfortable that I could pull a gap right away. . . . The restart was a little hairy because Knudsen was so smooth but we ended up pulling a nice gap before the end of the race."

"I didn't have anything for Seth," Knudsen commented. "He had the class of the field. I think Blankers is going to be another hard one to beat. Other than that I just held on for all I had and took home another second place finish."

Blankers remarked, "Overall, everyone raced really good. No blocking happened at all. It was a really clean race. . . . This is my first race with Welch Racing and they've done really good."

Third place starter, John Knudsen, jumped into the lead in Sunday's 2 liter event when he streamed past pole sitter Ingham and second place starter Derek Sabol going into the Festival Chicane. After Ingham and Sabol worked their way back past Knudsen, the field was bunched up by a full course caution. This time, Ingham got passed by Knudsen and Sabol on the restart, but quickly recovered the lead three laps later. Ingham cruised to the finish of the race, which once again ended under caution, with Sabol driving his Team Bucknum machine to claim second and Knudsen rounding out the podium.

After the race, Ingham commented, "The track was pretty greasy out so we were a little off the pace, but everybody was, so it was O.K. . . . I was kind of sleeping on the restart and both Sabol and Knudsen got me. It took me about three laps to get back up to the front. . . . Then we just cruised to the full course caution again and it ended under caution."

"It was a great race from start to finish," Sabol said. "Good restarts and great battles with everybody. . . . I was starting to get a little scared because I thought it was going to rain but it ended up holding off for us."

The first 1600 race of the weekend began with pole sitter Carl Skerlong leading second place starter Adam Davis of Welch Racing into turn one. Fewer than ten laps into the race, a full course caution put the pressure of the field back onto Skerlong. On the restart, Davis snatched the lead from Skerlong and held him off until a lap later when the two went side-by-side through the tight Festival Chicane. Skerlong came out on top in turn three and drove his Odyssey Motorsports machine to the next full course caution which finished the race. Davis came in second with 13 year old Alexander Rossi of Knudsen Racing scoring his first Formula TR podium. George Latus drove his Latus Motorsports machine to take the masters' race victory.

Skerlong had this to say about his race with Davis, "We were side-by- side all the way through the Festival Chicane, which was close but definitely clean, and I got the position. It was a close race to the finish but I pulled it off."

Davis smiled, "The race went pretty well from my point of view. . . . [Skerlong and I] went side-by-side into turn one and two where he finally got me up into three. Then another yellow flag came out and that's pretty much how it finished."

At the green flag of the final 1600 race, pole sitter Skerlong once again led Davis to the first full course caution. Looking like an exact copy of the previous race, Davis nipped Skerlong on the restart and Skerlong once again took the lead the following lap. This dropped Davis back to third behind Alexander Rossi. Davis quickly recovered second spot, but by that time it was all Skerlong who took the win with CT Motorsport's Auston Harris just making the podium after a great battle with Rossi for third. Latus once again grabbed the masters' race win.

Skerlong commented, "On the restart I once again got passed by Davis but I got him back the next lap. It was just a close race the whole race. . . . I just got to thank everybody at Odyssey Motorsports. This is the first perfect weekend we've had. . . . It was a really good weekend for the team and I can't complain. Everything went as planned."

Harris remarked after the race, "You got to give it to Alexander [Rossi]. He's a good driver; a good clean driver. . . . It was a good day because we are third in the championship right now. We'll take this to Thunderhill and have great momentum there to go after Carl [Skerlong]."

Rounds 13 and 14 of the Formula TR series will be held at Thunderhill Raceway Park on the 10th and 11th of September.

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