Apr 26, 2002
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<BR>Copyright 2002 Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Team America Grand Prix Racing's Jason DiSalvo took a dramatic, come-from-behind victory in the 30-minute Expert GTO race Friday in a CCS regional event at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin Friday. <BR><BR>Rick Breuer got the early lead in the solo endurance contest on his Honda RC51, but AMA regular J.J. Roetlin took charge of the race by the time the 38-entry field reached turn five. Roetlin led lap one on his GSX-R750, but Embry Motorsports' Geoff May rode around Roetlin in the carousel on lap two to take the lead. Roetlin slipped back to an eventual fourth, as May was joined at the front by Yamaha YZF-R1 rider Dan Nygaard, from row eight, and DiSalvo, from row six of the grid.<BR><BR>After May dropped out of contention for the win with brake troubles, Nygaard and DiSalvo pushed ahead, dropping into 2:21 lap times on the green track and reaching over 170 mph on Road America's long front straight, according to a radar gun belonging to DiSalvo's team. Competing in the CCS event to learn the Road America track before the AMA National in June, DiSalvo looked in control and set for the win, but Nygaard was able to stay close with the draft until the two encountered lapped traffic late in the race. <BR><BR>Electing to go around the outside of a backmarker in turn five on the last lap, DiSalvo got pushed wide, and Nygaard snatched the lead. However, 18-year-old DiSalvo caught back up to Nygaard in time to watch the Minnesota racer push slightly wide exiting the final corner. DiSalvo nailed the last turn and drove past Nygaard to win by a bikelength.<BR><BR>"I wasn't worried," said DiSalvo. "I knew I could draft him to the line, but when he ran wide in that last corner, I just thought, ‘Sucker!'" <BR><BR>Nygaard finished second, well clear of third-place Monte Nichols on his Citgo-sponsored Yamaha YZF-R6. Nichols, winner of the 1999 AMA Pro Thunder race at Road America, also won Friday's Expert GTU race on his Pirelli DOT-equipped R6.<BR><BR>In 2001, the April CCS event at Road America set a new record for race entries with 2024. According to CCS boss Kevin Elliott, the attendance of the 2002 event is only slightly behind last year's race weekend, despite high temperatures in the 40s and a weekend forecast that calls for rain and/or snow. The success of the 2002 weekend is due, in part, to a twin-sprint format (two races per class during the weekend, one each day) with some manufacturer contingency programs paying on both days. The event is also a round of the Aprilia Cup and USGPRU 125cc Grand Prix series.<BR><BR>Road America's staff has worked to promote the event locally and has attracted television news crews on both days, Thursday and Friday, of the weekend thus far. Thursday featured a Team Hammer Advanced Riding School & Track Ride, including practice sessions for competitors attended by DiSalvo, May and GTO Amateur winner Leonard Santangelo.<BR><BR>Friday's CCS Results From Road America:<BR><BR>GTO Expert: 1. Jason DiSalvo (Suz GSX-R750); 2. Dan Nygaard (Yam YZF-R1); 3. Monte Nichols (Yam YZF-R6); 4. J.J. Roetlin (Suz GSX-R750); 5. Montez Stewart (Suz GSX-R750); 6. Kevin Gordon (Suz GSX-R750).<BR><BR>GTO Amateur: 1. Leonard Santangelo (Suz GSX-R600); 2. David Didier (Suz GSX-R600); 3. Robert Borowicz (Yam YZF-R6); 4. Chris Lossie (Hon CBR600); 5. Michael Chachere (Suz GSX-R600); 6. Carl Kozeniewski (Suz GSX-R750).<BR><BR>Akrapovic GTU Expert: 1. Monte Nichols (Yam YZF-R6); 2. Kevin Gordon (Yam YZF-R6); 3. Brian Salazar (Suz GSX-R600); 4. Dave Rosno (Suz GSX-R600); 5. Chris Weeden (Yam YZF-R6); 6. David Wappler (Hon CBR600).<BR><BR>Akrapovic GTU Amateur: 1. David Didier (Suz GSX-R600); 2 Leonard Santangelo (Suz GSX-R600); 3. Andy Feuersthaler (Suz GSX-R600); 4. Robert Borowicz (Yam YZF-R6); 5. Michael Chachere (Suz GSX-R600); 6. Ross Coleman (Hon CBR600).<BR><BR>GT Lights Expert: 1. Charles Buse (Suz SV650); 2. Bryan Bemisderfer (Buell X-1); 3. Matt Carr (Duc 750 SS); 4. Jeff Chen (Hon RS125); 5. Steve Romel (Suz SV650); 6. Matt Gerard (Suz SV650).<BR><BR>GT Lights Amateur: 1. Mike Wemmer (Suz SV650); 2. Mark Sorensen (Suz SV650); 3. Dirk Schumann (Suz SV650); 4. Mike Gantz (Yam FZR400); 5. Christopher Onwiler (Yam FZR560); 6. Jim Holmen (Suz SV650).<BR><BR>