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GPNY Mt.Kisco, NY Ironman Final
Racing NewsTuesday, December 6th Grand Prix NY held its final 2011 Ironman.

With 23 competitors on track in three separate classes this evening was sure to have plenty of overtaking and other action. The classes this evening were LMP1 (9hp Sodis), LMP2 (9hp Stratos) and GT1 (6.5hp Sodis). Qualifying was a 10 minute affair and it was very hard to get more than one clean lap. In LMP1, Cory Rossi was able to grab pole in a commanding fashion over runner up Tom Casper with a time of 47.799 versus Casper’s 48.158. Just behind Casper were Gary Megennis and Ennis Bragg. In LMP2, rookie Dan Carrido took honors with a time of 50.371. This was good enough for 15th overall on the grid. In second was returning league veteran, Bill Strachan who posted a time of 50.756, while another league vet, Dave Harmon was right behind him with a time of 51.782. GT1 pole was won by Donald Chen with a time of 52.585 and less than two tenths behind him was Clifford Kim.

At the drop of the green, Rossi led things off with Casper in tow. On lap twelve, Rossi ducked into the pits for the first of his 4 mandatory stops. This let Casper into point which he held until his first stop on lap 19. Patiently waiting behind them was Gary Megennis, who tends to favor later pit stops in these events. On the other side of the spectrum was Bragg who stopped early and often and was done with his required stops by lap 21 (of an eventual 72 laps). This strategy would play out well as he was able to come home second, just 2 tenths shy of the winner Rossi! Casper would round out the podium while another returning league veteran, Jeff Castellano grabbed a solid fourth place. Further back in the pack in LMP2, the drivers were having quite a battle of their own. Pole sitter Carrido was able to get past a couple of guys at the start while behind him, Strachan, Harmon and Sergio Silva fought each other. By lap 4 all four drivers were nose to tail and it was just a matter of who pitted first to break up this train. Carrido was in first on lap 7 but had to return a few laps later when his ballast shifted in his kart. Strachan and Harmon pitted together and continued battling until Harmon jumped back into the pits for his second stop. Silva was having some problems of his own as his kart was having a hard time turning – so much so that his hands were severely blistered by the end of the race. At the end, Harmon was able to get past Strachan, who looped it a few laps from the end, and take the win with Strachan recovering for second. Carrido, despite carrying over 100lbs of ballast (and a seat insert!) was able to come home in the final podium spot. In GT1, Chen, Kim, Tom Morsanutto and David Ermert were nose to tail at the start. With these karts running very similar times they were having quite a few battles between them, but within 10 laps the LMP1 guys were starting to catch them and it took awhile for everyone to figure out how let the faster guys past while not losing any of their momentum. At the drop of the chequered flag, Kim was able to get the victory over Chen and Morsanutto.

At the awards ceremony in addition to recognizing the winners, there was a nice recognition to Rauert Peters, a multi-time champion who is moving back overseas but who had stayed just long enough to run this last event of the season. This was a great way to end the 2011 Ironman season and everyone is looking forward to the 2012 kickoff event in January.

For further info on Grand Prix NY visit www.gpny.com
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