Smrz Extends Jim Russell Championship Series Win Streak
American Brett Smrz continued his dazzling return to the Jim Russell Championship Series this past weekend (August 15-16), winning Rounds Nine and Ten from the pole position. The up-and-coming racing talent has now won all four races he has contested since rejoining the series.
A month after making a return to the Jim Russell Championship Series, Smrz was back behind the wheel of the Formula 3 equivalent FJR-50 car at Infineon Raceway in Northern California. The defending champion, despite missing Friday testing/practice, was immediately up to speed in qualifying on Saturday morning. Working on posting a fast lap on cold tires, Smrz turned the quickest lap of the session early on, eventually earning the pole position by seventh tenths of a second.
When the green flag waved for Round Nine of the 16-race series later in the day, Smrz proved to be a dominating force. The Idaho-based driver led every lap, routinely posting the fastest race laps, upwards of 1.5 seconds quicker than his nearest rival, en route to a comfortable eight second win.
Returning to the well liked undulating road course north of San Francisco on Sunday, day two commenced in the same fashion as day one, with Smrz at the top of the time charts. The In Touch Physical Therapy/Jim Russell Championship backed driver turned the fastest time in morning practice, before securing his second pole position of the weekend by a full second.
In what would be the lone blemish on a perfect weekend, Smrz relinquished the lead when the green flag flew for Round 10 after the lunch break. The 18 year-old was not to be denied however, as by lap three he was back in the lead and building an advantage on second place. When the checkered flag waved, Smrz had secured his fourth Jim Russell Championship Series win in a row by eight seconds.
“It was a good weekend for me in the Jim Russell Championship Series,” stated Smrz. “Sweeping the weekend added to my win streak, which gives me four wins in a row. I will attempt to beat Patrick Barrett's Jim Russell win streak record of five wins in a row at the next race weekend. Jim Russell is doing a fantastic job coaching all of the other drivers. The drivers times are drastically dropping each weekend. Keep an eye out for me at the IRL race this weekend at the Infineon Raceway circuit, where I will be racing the Jim Russell car on Sunday.”
Smrz returns to the cockpit of the Jim Russell Championship Series car this coming Sunday (August 23) at Infineon Raceway, taking part in an exhibition race as part of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma event. Official series competition resumes on September 12-13, with Rounds 11 and 12. Between events, the talented American race pilot will continue his search for sponsorship and funding to resume his BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National and Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup race campaigns.