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Apr 7, 2009

Lynn, Stokes, Puerta Star In CCS Florida Event At JenningsGP

Tomas Puerta broke the CCS lap record at JenningsGP, in Jennings, Florida, April 5 during the Middleweight Grand Prix race on a Ducati 848. Puerta, age 16, was gridded on the back row and ran the fast lap while chasing early race leader, Matthew Lynn. Lynn won the race, but it was Puerta who set the new track record with a lap time of 1:15.991 around the two mile road course. Puerta's time broke the three year long standing record previously held by Darren Luck at 1:16.02. Earlier in the day, Puerta rode the 848 to victory in the GTU and SuperTwins classes.

Lynn was one of the winningest Experts of the weekend with four first-place finishes. He also won the Unlimited Supersport, Unlimited Superbike, and Middleweight Superbike classes in a run for Kawasaki contingencies.

Chris Sullivan dominated the Lightweight classes with four first-place finishes, taking home trophies for the GT Lights, Lightweight Formula 40, Lightweight Superbike, and Lightweight Supersport classes.

Brian Stokes, also racing for Kawasaki contingency monies, also won four races, including the grand finale of the day, the Unlimited Grand Prix. As that race started, the clouds that had been hovering around the track all day, finally opened up and started to rain. The front runners had decided to call for a 10-minute rain delay to allow for tire changes, as discussed and agreed upon during the rider's meeting in the event of rainfall during the race. With one lap down and following the allotted delay, the race was restarted in the rain with Stokes taking an early lead and holding on for six wet laps to take the checkered flag.

On the podium, Stokes stated, "It feels real good to be out here racing. The competition this weekend was just unbelievable." Stokes had won the Middleweight Supersport, Heavyweight Supersport, and Heavyweight Superbike classes earlier in the day, on a dry course.

UNLIMITED GRAND PRIX RESULTS: 1. Brian Stokes (Kaw ZX-10R); 2. Jeff Lampe (Kaw ZX-10R); 3. Sean Dwyer (Suz GSX-R1000); 4. Brad Graham (Yam YZF-R6); 5. Gene McKay (Kaw ZX-6R); 6. Rafael Ferrer (Kaw ZX-6R); 7. Charlie Mavros (Suz GSX-R1000); 8. Greg Gorman (Kaw ZX-10R); 9. Tomas Puerta (Duc 848).

More, from a press release issued by The Way to Happiness Racing Team:

The Way to Happiness Racing Team finished in the top ten in the four races it entered with three sixths and a seventh. Greg Gorman, riding a 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R prepared by Corsa Motorworks continued to close the gap to leader with his best laptime being only 1.5 seconds slower than the race winner's.

The day started off with the GTO race Greg, starting from row 4, was 9th at turn 1 and seventh at the end of lap 1. He then closed to within a second of the lead pack of 6 over the next 2 laps but couldn't get any closer. He inherited 6th place when Seth Starnes crashed in turn 13.

"Oh that was good. I started going faster and started making classic mistakes from going faster. I had to back it down a bit and correct that or I was going to crash. When I did the lead pack was gone. There's a lot of really fast guys here so I can't feel bad about how I finished. I just have to get faster."

In his next race, Unlimited SuperSport, Greg did just that. He set his fastest laptime of the event, a 1:18.5 which was just 1.5 seconds slower than the race winner. Greg was 10th at turn 1, 7th at turn 2 and in 6th at the end of the first lap. Again he closed on the lead group but they just gradually pulled away.

"I get faster, they get faster. It was easier turning those laptimes than in the GTO race and I fixed many of the mistakes I was making but obviously I have more to fix. I'm improving and that's the goal."

Greg also finished 6th and 7th in Unlimited Superbike and Unlimited GP respectively.

"There was no money in Superbike so once I got into 6th and the lead five were two seconds ahead I just cruised and brought it home. Unlimited GP was interesting - it started raining just as the race started. I was on DOT tires and everyone else was on slicks. I got a good start and was 5th going into turn 1 but by turn 6 the race was red flagged due to the increasing rain. On the restart, everyone was on rain tires except me. That might have worked out had it stopped raining right then but it didn't. It started to rain harder and I was alone in 7th sliding around the track."

The team will race again at Palm Beach International Raceway, May 2nd and 3rd.
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