RACE: ArmsUp Motorsports June Sprints summary
"ArmsUp Motorsports Scores Podium Finish at the June Sprints" ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- ArmsUp Motorsports scored a podium finish with driver Kirk Kindsfater last weekend in Formula Continental at the 51st annual June Sprints. The June Sprints ...
"ArmsUp Motorsports Scores Podium Finish at the June Sprints"
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- ArmsUp Motorsports scored a podium finish with driver Kirk Kindsfater last weekend in Formula Continental at the 51st annual June Sprints. The June Sprints weekend highlighted the strength of ArmsUp with the team scoring a top four finish on top of its FC podium in the Formula Atlantic class with Chris Menninga. In total the ArmsUp team scored three top fives and a top 10 in the event last weekend as Jim Victor was fifth in FC and Mike Biangardi came home eighth in FA.
The Thursday and Friday test days were spent by ArmsUp Motorsports testing various setups on their fleet of four Formula Continentals and three Formula Atlantics. In Formula Continental the team was looking good with drivers Kirk Kindsfater, Jim Victor and Brian Shepherd all setting competitive times. Formula Continental driver Walter Vollrath, who was competing in his first national of his SCCA career, spent the test days getting comfortable in his car with the massive amounts of traffic on the circuit.
In Formula Atlantic, Mike Biangardi was solidly in the top 10 on the time sheets going into qualifying. Defending FA champion Chris Menninga was sidelined for most of testing and the first qualifying with a persistent gearbox problem. The ArmsUp crew worked hard to diagnose the problem and got the car ready to go for Saturday afternoon's qualifying. J.M. Paredes worked on setup on his number 57 swift .014 throughout the test and made good progress with his car.
In qualifying, the ArmsUp Motorsports cars showed their speed with Kirk Kindsfater and Chris Menninga both putting their cars on the outside of the front row in FC and FA respectively. Mike Biangardi and Jim Victor also had strong qualifying with both cars solidly in the top 10 in FA and FC respectively.
The start of the Formula Continental race Kirk Kindsfater was caught on the outside going into turn one and dropped back to fourth after lap one. Keeping his head down Kinsfater kept pushing until what appeared to be a full course caution. As the lead cars came to the start finish line, the double yellow was displayed. However the pace car never came out on track and without warning the full course yellow was lifted. During this process, Kindsfater's number 32 car was held up by the third place competitor. Once he was able to take over third spot the Fort Collins, CO native gave chase to multi-time national Champion Dave Wietzenhof. Unfortunately Kindsfater would get close but run out of time and be forced to settle for third, still a fine result for the team and his first career June Sprints podium.
Jim Victor drove a steady race; the Smith Barney backed driver was able to move around several competitors to claim a fifth place finish. Victor, who has been extremely consistent this season, continued his string of solid runs with his best sprints finish ever and his fifth top five of the season. Brian Shepherd got a great start in FC which saw the Livermore, CO resident gain four spots on the first lap. Unfortunately Shepherd was driven off the racing surface after avoiding a spinning car and lost all he just gained. Shepherd recovered from the off course excursion and was still able to manage a 15th place run. Walter Vollrath enjoyed a fine outing in his first FC national. Vollrath came across the stripe in 20th capping off a weekend that saw him continue to improve each time he got in the car.
"This was a real strong weekend for our continental team," stated ArmsUp Motorsports owner Gregg Borland. "Kirk has been so quick all year but has just had the worst luck so its good to see him reach the podium which is where he should have been all season. Jim has just been so consistent all year and kept right on track this weekend. Brian just got caught out by a competitor, so he was not able to show his true speed in the race. Walter did what he needed to this weekend and just kept getting faster. I want to thank all the guys on the crew for working as hard as they had the last week."
The Formula Atlantic race did not go quite as the ArmsUp Motorsports team had planned. Defending race champion Chris Menninga started from the outside pole but dropped back to fifth early in the race. Once the car came in Stanly, as he is known by the ArmsUp team, made his way back to fourth. In the closing laps the number 55 car was within striking distance of the podium but was unable to draft by down Road America's long straights and finished just three tenths of a second back. Mike Biangardi scored an eighth place finish in his maiden outing with the ArmsUp Motorsports team. After starting fifth on the grid, the former FA National champion was unable to hang onto the lead group. It's just a matter of time though before Biangardi will return to the top step of the podium. J.M. Paredes had a strong run going until an engine problem sidelined the number 57 car just past the halfway point of the event.
"This weekend was a bit disappointing for us on the Atlantic side," said Atlantic team manager Brent Borland. "After winning last year to come back and finish fourth is not what we were hoping for. The cool weather gave the Hoosier cars a bit of an advantage, so there was not much we could do about that. I think when we come back for the Cat National we will have both Mike (Biangardi) and Chris (Menninga) back up at the front where they should be."
ArmsUp Motorsports would really like to thank all their mechanics for their hard work and all the friends and family that came out to support the team. ArmsUp Motorsports will return to the Road America a months time with both the Formula Atlantic and Formula Continental cars in for the SCCA Milwaukee Region Cat National July 21- 23.
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