From Elkhart Lake,Wi. June 17th, 2017- The Gpfour Series continues to set milestones as a great field raced at the historical June Sprints weekend at Road America this weekend. Many of the top drivers attended this event which is a regular scheduled race on the GPfour North Central series. The GPfour series continues to increase the depth of talent each time they hit the track. The racing also continues to impress as each driver is running an identical Formula Enterprise Van Diemen Chassis with Mazda engines and American Racer tires.
The field was really stacked up for the first race of the weekend and it was anyone’s guess who would take the win. One of the favorites was the Alliance Autosports entry Quinten Nelson. He showed up to the event in a new car that he had purchased recently and this was his first big event in the car. He and the team had quickly dialed the machine in as he grabbed the pole for Saturdays race. Right behind him was newcomer to the series One Formula Motorsports driver Dale Vandenbush. Dale had just jumped in the car with no previous experience driving the FE chassis and qualified just behind Nelson. Dale has little experience in this car but loads of experience in other types of racing cars including USF2000 and Star Mazda. Dale is surrounded by talent so he will really need to be on the gas to keep pace with speedster Elliot Finlayson and Dean Opperman starting right behind him.
The start was intense with Dean Opperman and another One Formula Motorsport driver Rhett Barku taking the outside line out of turn 3 into the lead going into heavy braking zone at turn 5. Finlayson and Barku briefly passed Opperman for a turn but both drivers overshot the turn which allowed Opperman to regain the lead before coming around to the front strait. This was a tremendous break For Dean Opperman as he was slightly separated from the rest of the field as the battled behind him became intense. In all of the passing someone ran into the back of Quinten Nelsons car which partially damaged something so he would slowly drop back as the race continued. Meanwhile Southern GPfour points leader Justin Gordon closed in for the kill as he has done consistently throughout the year. Gordon, with his cool calculating driving each time out has found himself on the podium nearly every race of the 2017 season. Lee Rackley in the Castrol oil entry was the Souths other high hope, but qualifying problems reduced him to a mid pack starting position. He was turning very fast laps in the race equal to the leaders but he was involved in an incident which sidelined him for the day. Lee is always a favorite in the big races so I know he was disappointed not finishing today. Rhett Barku was shuffled down to 5th in the little mishap at the start but he really showed some determination by making his way back right behind Gordon and Finlayson. Elliot showed real skill as he went off the track twice during the race but managed to keep the car in 2nd place. He is a threat to win every time out but he was separated from the leader and they were both doing similar lap times. Finlayson also needs to keep the championship in mind as he currently is the North central GPfour points leader.
The race continued at a rapid pace as Nelson and Vandenbush were retired from running with mechanical woes. Gordon was closing in on Finlayson for 2nd but he encountered brake problems and he exited the track briefly but ended up salvaging 6th. Its all about pride for Gordon as he came to Road America looking for bragging right that the South is better then the North. Rhett Barkau moved into 3rd and Finlayson settled for 2nd today as Dean Opperman drove a flawless race for a gigantic win. The anticipation of this race was really very intense with everyone guessing who was going to pull off the win. Dennis Marklein did a fine job picking up the Masters class win and also a fine 4th place. Believe you me finishing in the top 5 in this series is quite a feat ,which made his race very special. Rounding out the top 5 was Keith Carter in the Apex speed /Carter design entry. Keith has had a couple of nice results so far this year and this is another great job. Gordon was 6th , Sabre’ Cook was 7th Daniel Smith 8th, Eric Cruz 9th and James Dziewior from Illinois was 10th.
Sunday looks to be another great race for the GPfour series. Its truly amazing all of the different story lines and we are just waiting to see which driver can pull off the win in this very close competition. Each week we seem to pull in another driver who tries and put there name in the win column . We look on to Sundays race with Quinton Nelson again on the pole. You cant keep him down for long so I expect he will be a threat tomorrow. In fact there is a whole list of people who will have a chance at victory tomorrow so everyone anticipates what will happen in Sundays race. Thanks to a great job from Steve Stadel promoting the Gpfour north series, the field is really nice this weekend with 18 cars taking the green flag. I would like to thank everyone for attending Road America this weekend because it really sends out a solid message that this class is growing in leaps and bounds.