Skeer Wins In The Rain At Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio – Elliott Skeer did what it took to win Round Six of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda Playboy MX-5 Cup in the rain at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday.
Christian Szymczak and George Jackson finish second and third, respectively.
Skeer, driving the No. 17 Pelican Replacement Windows/ZoomZoomNation.com/Alpinestars MX-5, started on the outside of row one, taking the fight to polesitter Szymczak in Turn One. As the field came around for lap two, Jeff Mosing, in the No. 9 ALARA Racing machine, had jumped to the lead. One lap later, Dean Copeland (No. 7 Sync Speed Inc. MX-5) got around Szymczak for third and closed to Skeer for second.
On lap three, Copeland leap-frogged Skeer and Mosing to take the top spot. As the light rain that was present at the beginning of the race became heavier, Skeer got back around Copeland for the lead in Turn Two of lap six. During lap seven, many of the drivers elected for a set of BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDWS treaded tires, diving down pit road to make the change as the skies opened up. Meanwhile, the two lead cars, Skeer followed by Szymczak, stayed out to keep their track position. Skeer brought his car down pit lane, leaving Szymczak to inherit the lead in the deteriorating conditions on lap eight.
The sole caution period of the weekend came out on lap nine, lasting two laps, slowing the average speed of the 21-lap race to 59.035 mph around the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course. The yellow allowed the remainder of the field to change tires, including the race leader, Szymczak.
Following the lap 11 restart, Skeer, who restarted third, made up two positions in one lap as he moved toward the front of the field. On lap 15, Skeer reclaimed the lead from Daniel Bender (No. 18 Bravo Trailers MX-5), and never looked back, running consistent laps in the treacherous conditions to take the win.
“Earlier in the day, Patrick [Gallagher] and I were in the golf cart thinking it might rain,” Skeer said. “We talked to a couple locals and they said dry tires were the way to go. We went out there and it was nice and dry, then seven laps in, it starts pouring. We knew we had to pit soon, but we weren’t sure if a yellow was coming out. As soon as we pitted, the yellow comes out, but I had confidence in our team. I knew our team was going to have an awesome pit stop, and they didn’t disappoint.
“As the very last car in line, I knew I had a lot of work to do to get back up front, but [after the researt] started picking my way through. I didn’t make any major mistakes, and it seemed to work out in the end.”