World Challenge: Two in a Row for Corvette
Rounds five and six of the Pirelli World Challenge series were fought at Mosport International Raceway this past weekend, with Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, North Carolina, taking both wins in the #2 CRP Racing/Cragar Wheels Chevrolet Corvette.
Skeen showed his colors early with a fastest time of 1:19.705 (111.064 MPH average) during practice at the 10-turn, 2.459-mile circuit. Skeen’s Corvette is the same one that Ron Fellows drove to a win at Mosport last season. In Saturday qualifying, his best lap of 1:19.310 put him at the front of the starting grid, while shattering existing GT lap record of 1:22.256, set in 2005.
When the green flag fell, Skeen pulled away from the field gaining a 2.5-second lead at the end, for his first win of the season and second of his Pirelli World Challenge career. The 30-lap, 73.77-mile race was shortened to a time-limited 51:04 minutes, after being slowed for a five-lap full-course caution period.
Skeen’s teammate Patrick Lindsey, who started from P2 on the grid, was running just behind Skeen for most of the race. However, on lap 20, Lindsey suffered a mechanical failure on the front straight, ending his day early. With Lindsey’s retirement, Cadillac Racing’s Johnny O’Connell took over second place, while Jason Daskalos would take the final podium spot in the #7 Dalsin Developments Dodge Viper.
“Obviously, this was an ideal day to start P1, lead the whole way and get the win. We’ll try to do that again tomorrow,” commented Skeen, whose words would turn out to be prophetic.
On Sunday, Skeen started on pole and led start to finish in the #2 CRP Racing Corvette. At the green, Skeen got a jump on Patrick Long, who was starting in P2, and began to pull away from the #45 Privacy Star Porsche 911 GT3.
“The Corvettes were in a league of their own this weekend, and quite honestly, I think the Cadillacs were pretty darn good as well,” acknowledged Long.
Johnny O’Connell earned his second podium finish in as many days with a third-place finish in the #3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V Coupe. The 29-lap race was slowed to an average of 83.129 MPH after running the final seven laps under a full course caution, due to oil on the track.
The Pirelli World Challenge series now enters a summer break period, returning to action with a doubleheader at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, August 5-7.