Thursday, May 5, 2011
Andrew Hobbs Scores a Top 10 Result in Skip Barber Race Series Debut
Danville, VA - Andrew Hobbs scored a sixth place result in his Skip Barber Race Series debut this past weekend. Driving from the back of the grid at the historic Virginia International Raceway (VIR); Hobbs was able to advance nine positions to place sixth in his first career formula car race. The result would highlight what was a very productive weekend for the sixteen-year-old Skip Barber rookie.
After spending the off season focusing on his education, Hobbs began his Skip Barber career in the most difficult of conditions on the weekend's opening test day. The line of storms that rocked the American South brought a morning of showers that forced Hobb's to learn the challenging 3.7 mile VIR track in wet weather conditions. Undaunted the high school junior took a very methodical approach and built up his comfort level and speed gradually in the difficult conditions. Friday's official practice sessions were clear and dry and Hobbs continued his progression, improving his pace each time on the race track.
Hobbs had high hopes for a strong result heading into the only qualifying session in the two race format of the Skip Barber race weekend. Unfortunately an off on the outside of the high speed turn-17 would relegate Hobb's to the back of the grid after posting the tenth fastest time in the fifteen car field.
An extra night would pass before Hobbs was able to make his race debut. An accident filled Skip Barber National Championship race forced the day to run long leaving Skip Barber officials no choice but to run the Andrew's race group on Sunday morning. The wait proved to be useful as Hobbs showed up to work on Sunday. Headed into turn one on the first lap Hobbs was able to overtake a few cars while avoiding a spinning car to move into the top-ten on the first lap. After the strong opening lap the M. Nelson and Associates backed driver was able to move through the field, passing cars and taking advantage of other drivers mistakes until he found himself solidly in the sixth position after the races half way point. Again Hobbs was able to improve his pace and began running the fifth place car down. Placing himself perfectly for the last lap pass, Hobbs made his move down the back straight but a missed shift stunted his run leaving him prone to attack from the seventh place driver. In the dash to the finish Hobbs was just beat at the line for sixth by .02 of a second giving the young driver seventh on the track. A post race penalty would move Hobbs up one more position resulting in a fine sixth place finish in the stout 15 car field.
Sunday afternoon's race number two held a lot of promise for Hobbs after his strong showing in race one. At the green a conservative start from the sixth position resulted in the lose of a couple of spots on lap one. Hobbs immediately gave chase to the leaders looking to make up ground. After reassuming the sixth spot Hobbs found himself in a see-saw battle for the position in the races mid stages. A pass attempt into VIR's sweeping turn three, a move that had worked earlier in the race, saw Hobbs get pinched into the curb. In order to avoid car to car contact the Bayside Wisconsin driver spun his car. The spin and resulting pit stop to check for damage relegated Hobbs to the back with just a few laps to go. Never one to stop pushing Hobbs continued to charge to the checkered flag and was awarded an 11th place finish for his efforts.
"This weekend was definitely a learning experience," Hobbs said after the weekend. "I was very happy with race one and naturally a bit disappointed in the spin during race two. I think we would have had a second top ten for sure if not a shot at a top five finish. The really good part about the weekend was a was able to find a really good comfort level with the car, which was one of my main goals going into the event. I can't wait to get back into the car at Lime Rock."
Andrew Hobbs' next Skip Barber race will come the weekend of June 11th at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. The David Hobbs Honda backed driver will not be sitting still however as "Drew" will test a 360 sprint car for the first time later in May. Hobbs will continue to training in karts as well in order to keep sharp for his return the cockpit of the Skip Barber F2000 car in June.
Taking over the family business is a rich tradition in the United States. When the family business is driving racecars at the absolute limit, that tradition takes on a whole new meaning. Andrew Hobbs aims to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and father and become a professional racecar driver. On the track Hobbs has displayed all the traits necessary to compete at the highest levels of motorsports, off track he understands the business of motorsports that will help insure high levels of success for his partners. For more information on Andrew Hobbs, please visit www.AndrewHobbsRacing.com or follow him on twitter @AHobbsRacing.
Press Contact: Steve Welk (414) 870-3926