Mt. Olive native Bobby Krug recently claimed a pair of wins in the 2022 Skip Barber Formula and Ignite Race Series over the past couple of weeks.
Krug’s first win came June 18 at Virginia International Raceway and he followed up that effort with another awarding performance last weekend at the Gateway Kartplex in Madison.
June 18 at Virginia
Although they were sharing the track with SRO America, the Skip Barber Formula racers came out and put on a show on the 3.27-mile natural terrain road course at Virginia International Raceway June 18.
In addition to the technical track to be learned, the drivers also faced the warmest and most humid weekend conditions on the June 17 practice day. Six different drivers took to the top three spots in both practice sessions but were dominated by sim racing scholarship winners. 2020 Skip Barber eRace Series Champion and 2-Time Skip Barber Formula Race Series Champion Johnny Guindi proved his pace early by setting the fastest lap in Practice 1 with a 2:03.841. Joining Guindi in the top three was last year’s Vice-Champion Jeshua Alianell and this year’s Skip Barber
Formula iRacing Champion Mikkel Gade.
As the drivers began to learn the track, the lap times began to decrease as the points leader, Elvis Rankin, put down the fastest lap in the second practice at 2:02.930. Will Lambros and Krug finished second and third, respectively, running lap times in the 2:04 frame.
Next morning’s qualifying competition was tightly contested as the top three placed within four tenths of each other, but it would be Alianell who bested Guindi for the pole position.
The weekend’s first race started with a three-wide lunge into the first turn, which saw polesitter Alianell maintain his position and lead the field. Due to VIR’s long straightaways, drafting became a big part of the race as drivers would make two-wide and even three-wide moves at the end of the front and back straightaways. After a threewide move in the first turn, Guindi and Rankin made contact, which ended both of their races.
Alianell led the restart with Lambros and Gade in tow but held off second-place finisher Lambros to claim his first win of the 2022 season. The final step on the podium went to Krug as he passed Gade in the final laps. Rocco Orlando picked up his first win in the Master’s division, while debut racer Edgar White finished runner-up.
The starting order for the second race was determined by the fastest lap time set in race one, placing Alianell back on the pole position again with Krug to his outside.
Like a repeat of the first race, Alianell was able to hold the advantage over the field and began to pull away. Meanwhile, Rankin began to carve his way from fifth to second in a matter of laps. Within the closing laps, Rankin had reeled in Alianell and tried finding a way around but couldn’t complete the pass, allowing the rest of the field to gain on the top two. On the final lap, Alianell and Rankin slid wide in turn 14, putting Rankin off-track and slowing Alianell down. Krug made his way around Rankin and drag-raced Alianell to the line. Krug went on to beat Alianell by 0.038, and earned his first-ever win in the Skip Barber Formula Race Series.
“Thanks to everyone who has made this moment possible,” Krug said in a Facebook post. “I can’t believe it.”
Orlando would sweep the Master’s division, with White finishing in the second-place spot again.
After the first two rounds of the Skip Barber Race Series, Alianell took over the top spot from Rankin with 129 points. Krug also moved up, trailing Alianell by only nine points. Rankin, Gade, and Will Lambros round out the top five in the points standings. In the Master’s division, Orlando takes over the top spot from Jimmy Dai. Orlando leads White by 51 points. Dai and Bob Perlmutter round out the points in the Master’s division.
Victory at Madison
Last weekend, Krug’s Global Force Kartsport team braved a five-hour rain delay and showed up in a big way.
Ignite Series rookie Matt Zigaitis, earned both pole positions in Heavy Class, while teammate and tech advisor Krug equaled that effort in the Senior Class.
On the anniversary of his iDrive Spring 2021 Championship, Zigaitis earned his first ever Ignite victory after leading wire to wire. Never to be outdone, the phenom Krug checked out and lead all the way to a dominating race win himself.
After showing their cards, everyone gunned for the GFK pilots in the next race. It was a fierce dogfight for Zigaitis, leap-frogging about the podium before wrestling P2 back in the final few corners.
Krug’s efforts remained steadfast and steely throughout the 15-lap feature, but he had to settle for P4 at the line following contact that was made by another driver.
Another winning race weekend in the books! I scored my second win this year in another kart, thanks to Steven Kot for trusting me to get his kart dialed in; it was quick! P1 in both practices, qualified pole for both races.
“Congratulations to Matt,” Krug said. “You’ve come a long way in a very short time, more greatness awaits. One of my proudest moments as a driver coach.”