2008-09 Round 11

Lia Sophia Grand Prix - Rapids International

Round 11 of 16

February 5, 2009



2008 CHAMPION: Mark Walczak

2008 POLESITTER: Mike Fitzlaff

TRACK LAYOUT: City Road Course

RACE LENGTH: 20 Minutes

TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying –2008, Mike Fitzlaff, 60.367

Race –2008, Mark Walczak, 233 Laps

Fast Lap – 2008, Mark Walczak, 4.219

RACE ROUND: 11 of 16 in the 2008-2009 HO Champ Car World Series


Mark Walczak tackled another tough course at Rapids International Raceway Thursday night, zipping through the blind corners on the tight street circuit to score his fourth win of the season in the Rapids Grand Prix. After an adventurous qualifying session left him eighth on the grid, the PKVHO driver turned in some fast laps to conquer his heat race before easily outdistancing Tom Spehert and Mike Fitzlaff for the victory. Spehert also made an impressive march forward from the tenth starting position, coming home in second to secure the Hard Charger accolades on the night while RJ Foyt Racing's Fitzlaff started from the pole and paced Walczak early before handling issues left him in third. John Shea rounded out the final four

drivers, starting from the outside of row one before eventually bringing his Team Australia HO machine in fourth.

The surprise of the night came from HO Champ Car rookie Mike Lack, who made his series debut memorable by finishing a strong fifth, just two car lengths short of making the final. Hometown driver, Ev Kamikawa struggled with the lane choices and had to settle for watching his Team Australia HO teammate, wound up sixth; defending series champion Jim Iverson who has become PKVHO's number two car was seventh after missing the cut by a lap. Dean Strom followed in eighth place after the blind corners and limited sight lines due to the city's skyscrapers proved to be too difficult to maneuver. At Hindsight Championship Racing the world remain upside down with Mike Kristof racing hard at the start before fading to ninth, but finishing ahead of teammate Dan Margetta who never had any grip finished eleventh. Chris Spehert drove steady and wound up with an average finish of tenth while John Wiedemann whose series debut in twelfth was strongly overshadowed by Lack. RuSport rookie Matt Hayek continued to gain seat time and while he finished thirteenth, he was only six laps out of the top ten and Andy Spehert rounded out the large field in fourteenth driving a car that at least has a snazzy paint job

THE Lia Sophia Grand Prix HISTORY (8 events, 1995 - Present)

Year Race Winner

1995 Dave Austin Config 1

1996 Dave Austin Config 2

1998 Dan Margetta Config 3

1999 Ev Kamikawa Config 4

2000 John Shea Config 5

2001 Phil Cianciola Config 6

2007 Ev Kamikawa Config 7

2008 Mark Walczak

2009 ????????????????

Top Stories

Dan Margetta finally collected his first win of the season that had eluded him for the last four races. He overcame a 24 lap lead by Chris Spehert at the half way point to get the win. Chris would wind up finishing fourth on the night as he went from the high speed outer lane to the tighter inner lane. Ev Kamikawa had a semi smooth run to eventually finish second on the night. Amy Butler finished third on the night, after posting 300 laps in the outer lane. BMW teammate and current points leader Mark Walczak increased his points lead after finishing ahead of closest rivals Larry Rotter, and Mike Fitzlaff. He did however miss the finals for only the second time this year.

Stats Watch

Dan Margetta is now tied with Ev Kamikawa for 2nd all time with 27 career wins

Chris Spehert is now tied for 14th all time with 12 career heat wins

Chris Spehert moved to 15th all time with his 15th career finals appearance

-Amy Butler moved to 18th all time with her 8th career finals appearance

Chris Spehert has moved into 10th place all time on the laps completed list

-Mike Lack has moved into 27th all time on the laps completed list

Mike Lack has moved into 30th all time on the career starts list with 10 career starts

Who’s Hot

Dan Margetta has made the finals in the last 5 events

Ev Kamikawa has made the finals in the last 3 events he’s entered

BMW Racing has won 6 of the 10 events this year

Mark Walczak has made the finals in 8 of 10 events this year