FMRRA Double Header Weekend sees Multiple Race Records Shattered

By February 20, 2019 Race Recap

FMRRA Double Header Weekend sees Multiple Race Records Shattered
FMRRA: Florida Motorcycle Road Racing Association
Round 3 & 4: Palm Beach International Raceway
February 9-10, 2019

Photo: “Armando Ferrer takes the top spot in the Sunoco Superbike 1000 Grande Corsa with Todd Wagner in second and Sean Dwyer in third”

Series Amateur Overall Championship Leader Dustin Richards Impresses With 18 Race Entries, 12 1st Place, 4 2nd Place, and 2 3rd Place Results

After Round 3 getting rained out two weeks ago, the Florida Motorcycle Road Racing Association returned to Palm Beach International Raceway for a double header weekend. The event ran the Round 3 races on Saturday with the qualifying from two weeks ago, and Round 4 on Sunday using the Round 3 fastest Sprint laps for grid qualification. Adding to the excitement of the weekend, there were epic photo finishes in multiple races, new class track lap records abound, and a mind boggling entry from Series Overall Amateur Championship points leader, Dustin Richards, entering eighteen of the thirty-two races over the weekend.

In the first race of the weekend, Christian Miranda started from the pole in the SuperStock 600 Grande Corsa and led the race to a definitive victory. After twelve laps of changing positions, Jamie Starace seized second place by 0.7 seconds over Daryan Martin in third. There was a great battle directly behind the leaders from expert Brad Gordon and amateur Dustin Richards for fourth overall. Gordon ultimately took the spot and Richards secured the Amateur win with Gordon in fourth behind Daryan Martin. William Wend and Adrian Mitchell rounded out the Amateur podium in second and third respectively.

The SuperStreet 300 and Moto 3 Grande Corsa demonstrated the upcoming talent of multiple young riders in the series. Fabian Alvarez started from the pole. Alex Ferreira set a class track record with a 1:31.472. Ferreira and Gabriel DaSilva spent the first half of the race chasing each other and putting pressure on Alvarez, all within less than a second of each other. In lap five, DaSilva pushes into second place over Ferreira, and then into first on the next lap (all within two tenths of a second). Not far behind, Belladona Brittani made a strong performance leading the Moto3 amateur contingent. Ultimately, the race ended under a red flag (over half complete) due to a mechanical in the middle of the track. Overall top three were all crossed the line together with Gabriel DaSilva in the lead followed by Fabian Alvarez (.18 seconds), and Alex Ferreira (.06 seconds).

SuperStock 1000 Grande Corsa, Todd Wagner on the pole followed by teammate Sean Dwyer. Armando Ferrer had a fantastic start and moved into second, but Dwyer quickly took back the position in lap two. On the next lap Alejandro Nieves made a strong pass over Gabriel Figueroa to move into the first position leading the amateurs. At the halfway point, Sean Dwyer ran wide in 9 leaving a gap that Ferrer quickly grabbed and the two came out of turn 10 onto the front with Ferrer in the lead. Turn nine was a hot point for passes, with Dwyer taking back the position from Ferrer three laps later taking advantage of the braking zone. Unfortunately, on the next lap Ferrer had a mechanical and pulled off to the side of the back straight. Alban Bonilla worked his way past Figueroa and secured the third amateur position in the esses. With two laps left, race leader Todd Wagner tucked the front end in turn six, giving the lead to Dwyer. Sean Dwyer, Alex Irzyk, Shannon Andrus formed the Expert podium. Alejandro Nieves took the amateur win over Romulo Ruiz by .021 seconds, followed by Gabriel Figueroa taking the position back on the last lap.

Wayne Reyne started from the pole and fought off Alejandro Rei over the twelve laps of the Superbike 600 Grande Corsa. Rei passed Reyne in lap one, but could not hold the lead, with Reyne taking it back the next lap. Dustin Richards lead the amateur race and never looked back while Richard Falcone, Adrian Mitchell, and Andrea Diotallevi changed positions all throughout the race. Andrea Diotallevi passes Mitchell for second in lap 8 and Richard Falcone put in a strong pace at the end to secure the third position. The expert podium saw Wayne Reyne on top followed by Rei, and Daryan Martin. Dustin Richards, Andrea Diotallevi, and Richard Falcone celebrated their amateur top three finish.

In the Twins Grande Corsa, Jonathan Pellnitz started from the pole; however, Carl Cohen had the best start moving through the middle of the field and up into third before Turn 1. On the next lap, Pellnitz set a new Production Twin track record with a 1:26.273. During lap 3, William Wend made a daring move past Sam Purkis moving into amateur second place in the process behind Gabriel Figueroa, who set an amateur class record on the next lap. Coming back strong after a two-race hiatus, Wend passed Figueroa on lap six (besting his previous lap record). The final Production Twin Expert finish saw Jonathan Pellnitz, Alex Arango, and Carl Cohen. Wend took the Production Twin Amateur finish followed by Figueroa and Purkis. The Formula Twin Amateur top three were Brandon Gindlesperger, Yvette Lamar, and Don Dufresne.

Sean Dwyer started from the pole in the Sunoco SuperBike 1000 Grande Corsa, but Armando Ferrer put on the pressure right from the start, lap after lap right on his back tire before Dwyer opened up a gap halfway through. The race was restarted with three laps to go. This put Ferrer back into the contention for the victory. Ferrer had a better launch and took the lead on the first lap. The two went wheel to wheel for two more laps with Dwyer trying his best to get an advantage. Coming onto the final straight for the finish Ferrer came out of turn 10 with a power wheelie and Dwyer dug down to try to take back the lead. Ferrer crossed the line .034 seconds before Dwyer followed by Wayne Reyne. Alejandro Nieves took the Amateur victory, followed by Alban Bonilla and Romulo Ruiz.

Starting Saturday’s Sprint races, Christian Miranda led a 27-bike grid in the SuperStock 600 class. Gabriel Figueroa impressed with a hole shot moving up over 6 spots from the launch mid pack. Jamie Starace put the pressure on Miranda early on in the race with Brad Gordon chasing the two at the front. Starace pulled out from the slipstream on the back straight and passed Miranda for the lead in lap two, while Doug Ford barreled down on Dustin Richards’ rear tire in the amateur division. Daryan Martin only .06 seconds behind Gordon lap for lap battling for the third position in the expert class, before finally working past Gordon on lap four. Starace made the pass on the same lap and began to open up a lead over Miranda, ultimately taking the win followed by Miranda and Martin. Amateur Dustin Richards lead Doug Ford and Zane Lefko through the checkered flag.

Gabriel DaSilva started from the pole in the Lightweight Sprint race and for six laps battled back and forth with Fabian Alvarez for the Moto3 lead. Halfway through the race, Anthony Poulos passed Jerry Pellegrino to take the third SS300 amateur spot. In lap 4, Jack Caraballo moved into third position in Moto3 amateur passing Joseph Shallow. Entering the last lap DaSilva held the lead by only .091 seconds over Alvarez while Alex Ferreira chases directly behind trying to get an opportunity to pass the two young riders. Ultimately, DaSilva took the win by .091 seconds over Fabian Alvarez and Alexis Olivera in the Moto3 Expert division, all three under sixteen years old.

The hotly contested SuperStock 1000 sprint saw Todd Wagner start from the pole. After their earlier battle, Sean Dwyer does not wait and makes an aggressive pass over Wagner in the first lap. Gabriel Figueroa led the amateurs with Daniel Gourley and Jarrod Wilson close behind after passing through the field. Expert Dwyer clinched the victory over Wagner and Jason Campbell, while Figueroa took a dominate win over Alban Bonilla and Gourley.

Carl Cohen had a great launch in the Euro Cup race moving through the field in the early part of the race. Val Lavrik showed great skill cutting through the large field up into third position in the Euro Max Amateur field. Wayne Reyne secured the overall and Euro Light expert victory over Seth Starnes, and Carl Cohen. Brandon Gindlesperger decimated the Euro Light amateur field followed by Alfie Luzzi and Ricardo DiMitri.

The Formula40-1000 Sprint saw Alejandro Rei starting from the pole. Gabriel Figueroa moved up into first Amateur with a number of riders in tow whilst setting a class track record (1:22.265). Val Lavrik again worked his way through the amateur riders and coming up within shouting distance of Figueroa. Rei, Jason Campbell and Robert Fellman secured the Expert Podium, followed by Figueroa, Lavrik, and John Sackett after he passed Mark Guttman on the last lap.

The Bridgestone Cup race saw Shannon Andrus start from the pole and lead the race to victory. German Vacca set a BC600 class record with a 1:23.932. Romulo Ruiz and Gabriel Zolczer made up the 1000 podium behind Andrus. German Vacca and Paul Vance took home the hardware in the 600 class.

The Formula/Production Twins sprint saw Jonathan Pellnitz start from the pole, but quickly passed by Seth Starnes thanks to a great start. After a restart, Pellnitz and Starnes continued to battle out for the overall victory. Ultimately Starnes took the overall over Pellnitz with a 0.02 seconds and Scott Billings and Carl Cohen with .2 seconds behind them. Dustin Richards secured the Production Twin Amateur victory along with Sam Purkis and Kevin Greimel in tow. Pellnitz, Cohen, and Alexis Olivera joined each other on the Production Expert podium. Philip Mirgliotta, Yvette Lamar, and Don Dufresne made up the Formula Twin Amateur top three.

The Formula50-1000 Sprint saw Alejandro Rei on pole, but German Vacca had the best start moving up through the field on launch. Ricardo Sune passed Robert Fellman during lap three with a daring move in the esses to come into third expert. Rei dominated the field with a 10 second victory over Sune and Fellman, while John Sackett led Stuart Zuckerman and Mike Banner to the amateur podium.

Wayne Reyne again started from the pole in the Sunoco SuperBike 600 Sprint; however, Daryan Martin got the best of him on the launch and took the lead going into turn one. Battling back and forth with Matt Neuberger throughout the race after getting passed by Reyne, Martin ultimately took second place in the Expert field followed by Neuberger. Amateur Dustin Richards took the victory over Andrea Diotallevi and Zane Lefko.

The Sidecar exhibition race on Saturday got off to an exciting start with three of the four rigs going three-wide into turn one right off the launch. On the last lap, the 69 and 7 rigs were neck and neck going into Turn nine, 69 used 8NZ as a block to pass 7 in turn ten. Coming down the front straight it was a drag race down the front straight with the #7 rig of Seth Starnes and Dustin Richards taking the photo finish over Peter Essaff and John Bailey.

The Sunoco SuperBike 1000 Sprint was the last race of the day on Saturday with Todd Wagner starting from the pole. Patrick Plowman made a great early race showing moving up into first in the amateur ranks, but was not able to make it stick with Dustin Richards working back past him in the second lap. Alejandro Nieves dug deep and worked his way past Plowman and then Richards moving up into first (amateur). In the end, Josh Marino passed Alejandro Rei moving into third for the experts. Dwyer and Wagner took first and second followed by Marino in the Expert Podium. Nieves, Richards, and Plowman formed the amateur top three.

Sunday started with the SuperStock 600 and Jamie Starace on the pole. Alex Arango and Daryan Martin worked through the sixteen-bike field early on in the race moving up into the top three. A great battle ensued between the two for Expert third place. On lap five, William Wend passed teammate, Frank Custureri, for Amateur third. In lap ten, Martin moved passed Starace for second place while Wend passed Adrian Mitchell for amateur second. In the end Christian Miranda took the Expert and Overall victory followed by Daryan Martin over Jamie Starace by only .049 seconds. Dustin Richards took the win in front of Wend and Stuart Zuckerman.

The Lightweight Grande Corsa was another great battle with Gabriel DaSilva and Fabian Alvarez trading positions for twelve laps with Alex Ferreira in tow looking for an advantage. This time Alvarez took the checker over DaSilva and followed by Alexis Olivera in the Moto3 Expert class making for a full podium sweep by the under sixteen racers.

Sean Dwyer started from the pole in the SuperStock 1000, but Armando Ferrer quickly took the lead and the two went wheel to wheel lap after lap. After trading the lead nearly every lap, Ferrer took the win followed by Expert Dwyer and Todd Wagner. The Amateur field was won by Alejandro Nieves towing Romulo Ruiz and Gabriel Figueroa across the checker.

The Sunoco SuperBike 600 Grande Corsa saw Wayne Reyne starting from pole and Alejandro Rei getting the hole shot for the lead in turn one. Rei could not hold Reyne back after he regained the lead the next lap. Adrian Mitchell led the Amateur field in the early parts of the race, but was passed by Dustin Richards in lap three. Halfway through the race, Daryan Martin passed Rei and the two put the pressure on each other for the second position over the next few laps in a tight battle. On the last lap, Rei got the position back and crossed the line behind Reyne, with Martin taking third. Dustin Richards won the amateur class followed by Andrea Diotallevi (with an impressive move through the field midway through the race), and Adrian Mitchell in third.

Carl Cohen impressed right from the launch in the Twins Grande Corsa, moving up over six positions into an early lead at the drop of the starting lights. Jonathan Pellnitz closed in after the first few laps, and began trading positions. Pellnitz set a new Production Twin Expert record, with Cohen then breaking that record twice (ultimately with a 1:25.434). The times were an allusion to the podium with Cohen taking the win over Pellnitz and followed by Alex Arango in Production Twin Expert. Brandon Gindlesperger, Yvette Lamar, and Don Dufresne made the Formula Twin Amateur podium. Gabriel Figueroa, Kevin Greimel and Sam Purkis were the Production Twin Amateur top three.

The feature Sunoco SuperBike 1000 Grande Race, saw Sean Dwyer back on the pole. Armando Ferrer got around Dwyer and Todd Wagner in lap one but ran wide in Turn 9 giving up the lead to Dwyer. On Lap 4, Romulo Ruiz passed Alban Bonilla for second amateur behind Alejandro Nieves. Ferrer took the lead for a few laps and began going back and forth with Dwyer for the middle portion of the twelve-lap race. Dwyer made a small mistake on lap 10 and lost his position to Ferrer who took the ultimate checker followed by Dwyer and Todd Wagner. Of notable mention was an incredible lap to lap battle for fourth between Christian Miranda and Wayne Reyne, with Reyne ultimately getting the position by a tire. Alejandro Nieves, Romulo Ruiz and Alban Bonilla joined each other on the podium representing the amateur top three in that order.

Jamie Starace started from the pole in the SuperStock 600 Sprint after the lunch break. Christian Miranda had a great launch from the start, while Brad Gordon moved passed Daryan Martin under the launch. Zane Lefko and Adrian Mitchell battled hard for the second amateur position with Lefko taking the place in the end. Christian Miranda took the Expert win over Starace and Martin. Dustin Richards lead Lefko and Andrea Diotallevi in the Amateur class.

Sean Dwyer started from the pole and took the Expert victory in the SuperStock 1000 over Todd Wagner and Corey Heflin. Alban Bonilla, Alejandro Nieves, and Gabriel Figueroa formed the amateur podium.

Armando Ferrer got the hole shot and overall victory in the Euro Cup race, quickly working past Wayne Reyne from the pole. Romulo Ruiz made a great pass over Val Lavrik in lap two working his way up the amateur field in a great battle for third in Euro Max Amateur. Alfie Luzzi took the Euro Light Amateur victory over Eric Ausen and Gabriel Figueroa. Reyne, Seth Starnes and Carl Cohen were the top three in Euro Light Expert. Romulo Ruiz led a tight victory over Eduardo Aguayo and George Vazeos Jr. in Euro Max Amateur.

The Formula 40-1000 Sprint was a very exciting race with Alejandro Rei starting from the pole, while Ricardo Sune moved up lap after lap in amateur. Gabriel Figueroa systematically worked his way through the large field into the amateur lead and held the spot until the end. Rei, Jason Campbell, and Ricardo Sune took the top expert three spots. Right behind the experts was amateur victor Figueroa, Christopher Dooley, and John Sackett.

The sidecar Sprint exhibition race on Sunday was a great close to the weekend with Starnes/Richards battling again with Essaff/Bailey. Veterans Essaff/Bailey took advantage of their sidecar experience to put the pressure on Starnes/Richards powerful rig. In the final laps of the race, they constantly stayed in their slipstream peeking out and bumping fenders in multiple turns. Reversing the prior day’s results in the end there was a drag race side by side coming out of turn ten. Essaff/Bailey stuck out their nose and slingshot past Starnes/Richards to take the checkered flag by only .059 seconds.

Florida Motorcycle Road Racing Association travels north to Jennings GP for Round 5 on April 13-14 and looks forward to bringing competitive road racing back to the circuit for their fourth season. The fields have been growing at the track each year and 2019 is shaping up to be the biggest yet based on early racer feedback and inquiries from outside the region.

FMRRA thanks all of our 2019 sponsors for their support of our passionate racers and the sport. Our Sponsors, Racers, and Fans make it possible to continue to deliver professional, safe, and fun race weekends to the South Eastern motorcycle community
Sunoco Racing Fuels
Southern Racing Fuels
Palm Beach Sports Commission
Dunlop Racing Tires
Bridgestone Tires
Continental Tires
Vanson Leathers
MYLAPS Sports Timing
Florida Track Days

Full Season Championship Results and Individual Race Results are conveniently available online at:
https://www.fmrra.com/championships/
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