ArmsUp Motorsports and Jerry Szykulski each claimed their first SCCA June Sprints victory in the Formula Continental (FC) class last weekend. Having
come heartbreakingly close to victory on several occasions over the past seven years the ArmsUp team left nothing to chance for the 2012 edition of
the summer classic. Szykulski put in a dominating performance all weekend. The Minnesota driver won the pole, and set the fastest race lap en route
to the victory. Szykulski was joined on the podium by ArmsUp new comer Brian Belardi who drove to third in his debut with the team. Jim Victor
scored his third career fifth place result in FC. In the Formula Atlantic category, Jose Paredes scored a fifth place result in his first race start
of the 2012 season.
After topping the practice sheets Szykulski looked primed to claim the June Sprints pole when the field rolled out for
Saturday's qualifying session. Szykulski did not disappoint and stormed to the pole, lapping over one second clear of the second place car of former
SCCA National Champion Niki Coello. Belardi went on to secure the third place grid slot with Jim Victor seventh and John Dickmann tenth in his 2012
race debut. In the Atlantic category Dan Bruggeman put his Ralt RT-41 fifth and Jose Paredes was seventh in his Swift 0.14.
The original race
distance for the Formula Atlantic/Formula Continental race was scheduled to be 13-laps. That was cut short when a massive opening lap accident
brought the field to a stop for a lengthy clean-up. Dan Bruggeman unfortunately got the brunt of the damage after missing a shift coming to green
when he was turned into the front stretch wall after being hit from behind. The accident collected three other cars and the field was stopped to
allow for the cleanup.
Once the race went green Szykulski picked up right where he had left off all weekend taking an early lead. Coello was
able to keep pace as the FC field navigated slower traffic. Coello was able to wrest the lead away from Szykulski at the midway point. Szykulski,
un-waivered, would then move his ArmsUp prepped Van Diemen around the RFR of Coello and never look back, driving to his and ArmsUp Motorsports first
FC June Sprints Victory.
Brian Belardi drove a very smart and controlled race to claim the final step on the podium in the third position. Jim
Victor equaled his best career June Sprints result for the third time in his career. The Iowa resident moved forward from seventh to fifth in the
seven lap sprint. John Dickmann scored his first career June Sprints top-ten when he brought his Van Diemen home in the ninth position which put all
four ArmsUp FC cars in the top-ten. Jose Paredes was able to avoid the early race carnage in the Atlantic class and brought home a fifth place
result, also a career best for the Chicago resident.
"Jerry just picked up from where he left off at Blackhawk last month. He was fast right off
the trailer and didn't look back," Gregg Borland, ArmsUp Motorsports owner, commented from victory lane. "We have been so close here on a few
occasions to this win, so it feels really good to get this one. It was a great to have Brian (Belardi) on board this weekend to help add to our
podium results. Jim, John, and Jose all did really well. I feel bad for Dan, podium car for today but it just didn't work out. I want to thank all
our friends and family who were out to support us at our home race as well."
ArmsUp Motorsports will return to the 4-mile Elkhart Lake circuit
on Monday with Luigi Biangardi joining the rest of the USF2000 National Championship Series for a two day official test. The ArmsUp Motorsports SCCA
squad will be back in action at Road America again in July for the SCCA Cat National.
Formed in 1995, ArmsUp Motorsports is one of the premier
SCCA Formula Continental race teams, winning the SCCA National Championship in 2011. Based in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin ArmsUp Motorsports is a full
service prep shop for USF2000, Formula Continental, Formula Atlantic, and Vintage racing cars. For more information please visit the official ArmsUp
website at www.ArmsUpMotorsports.com.
Jerry Szykulski swept the June Sprints in Formula Continental
(Photo Courtesy Shawn Mueller Photography)