Sunday, January 08, 2006

Dorian Foyil Takes Sebring DSR Win

Report by Wes Shelton
Photo by Robert Bowe

Cold and Florida - two words that rarely belong in the same sentence. But such was the case at the 2006 SCCA Sebring Winter Nationals. The thermometer consistently showed sub 40 degree temperatures most mornings, and even a little breeze to go with it. All frostbite aside, there was much excitement and fossil fuel in the air as the Southeast region kicked off the 2006 season. Who could think of a more fitting place to do so than the historic and wickedly fast Sebring International Raceway?

Returning for the 2006 season at this event would be SE Division champion Rodger Cook in his Johnston SRP-1, top SE division runoffs finisher Steve Shelton, and Bohemian Dorian Foyil. With 14 DSR cars registered for the weekend, it was yet another solid turnout to kick off the New Year.

After three days of testing and qualifying, it was the Stohr of Dorian Foyil sitting on the pole with a pair of Steve Sheltons (Sr. and Jr.) waiting in the wings. Last year’s winner, Rodger Cook, who would complete only a few laps due to mechanical issues, sat in 12th position on the grid.

A late decision on Saturday moved the S2000 group over to join the DSRs for Sunday's race. While there were only 5 cars in the S2000 class, things became a little more interesting at the front of the field, as S2's now occupied 2 of the top 5 spots on the grid.

Sunday morning at Sebring began pretty much like every other day did that week, cold. But sitting in the pre-grid, waiting for the morning hardship to start, another element of nature reared its ugly head, fog. While the paddock area seemed to offer fairly good visibility, other parts of the track were nearly impossible to see. Word had it that a controlled burn was being conducted nearby. Much to the dismay of nearly all of this weekend’s participants, both hardships were cancelled. This would prove to be costly for many teams.

Shortly after the morning sessions were cancelled, Group 1 was called to grid, and the first green flag was dropped for the DSR/S2000 race. The weekend’s attrition began almost immediately with the start of the DSR race, as front row starter Steve Shelton dropped back immediately with engine troubles. A dangerous spin by Juan Montalvo Jr.'s Maloy ensued and sent cars through the Turn 2 dirt. As the dust settled and cars entered Turn 3, it was the pole sitter Dorian Foyil still in the lead position that he would never relinquish. A closely watching Steve Shelton Jr. spun mid-way through the race at the entrance of famous "Safety Pin" turn, leaving Foyil a clear path to the checkered. The relentless Rodger Cook charged hard through the field before retiring once again due to a mechanical failure. The Stohr of Steve Shelton Jr. held on to 2nd, while newcomer Tom Shelton Jr. took the final podium spot. Rounding out the top 6 were Juan Montalvo Jr., Jim Aid, and Craig Stafford, all finishing on the lead lap.