Duhamel riding high in AMA Formula Xtreme
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 20, 2004) – Miguel Duhamel has won his share of races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course over the years. On Saturday, July 24, Duhamel hopes to add another prize to his overstuffed trophy case by winning round nine of the 11-race Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series in Lexington, Ohio. A victory at Mid-Ohio would make it highly unlikely that anyone could catch Duhamel in the series.
Duhamel has experienced an amazing renaissance this season. The friendly French-Canadian shows no signs of slowing despite being 36-years-old. In fact, if anything Duhamel is getting faster with age and experience. Not only is the Honda ace looking to capture the Formula Xtreme title, he’s also just a handful of points out of the lead in the AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship. However, Duhamel can’t let up just yet in Formula Xtreme. Three riders, Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke and Alex Gobert as well as Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s Vincent Haskovec still have at least a mathematical shot at catching Duhamel. Of those three it’s Zemke who is still in control of his own destiny.
If Zemke manages to earn the pole, the lap-leader point and the race win in each of the final three rounds he could still beat Duhamel for the championship, even if Duhamel scored second at every round. In that scenario Zemke would win the title by a single point, so he has to be perfect.
Things weren’t so desperate for Zemke until the most recent round in Monterey, Calif., where his bike began leaking oil. He was forced to start from the back of the grid after a red-flag restart. He charged through the field to take third, keeping his title hopes alive.
“I’ve got nothing to lose now,” Zemke said of the rest of the Formula Xtreme season. “If I don’t get the pole at Mid-Ohio the championship is pretty much out the window. Every race I have to accomplish three things – win the pole, lead the most laps and win the race. It’s a very simple strategy when you think about it.”
Momentum building for Hayden in Superstock
Tommy Hayden’s victory at the most recent round of the AMA Repsol Superstock Series moved him into second place in the standings and within five points of series leader Jamie Hacking. Momentum is certainly in Hayden’s favor as the series comes to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Kawasaki rider from Owensboro, Ky., has won two of the last three rounds, not to mention the fact that Graves Yamaha’s Hacking will ride at Mid-Ohio with a broken collarbone suffered in testing at the Lexington, Ohio circuit just two weeks ago.
Hayden edged out his younger brother Roger Lee at Laguna Seca to earn his second victory of the year in the class. Meanwhile Hacking rode bravely in pain, having just had surgery to plate the collarbone a few days before the Laguna race. The courageous strategy paid off and Hacking was able to score a solid sixth-place finish and grab some much needed points. At Mid-Ohio Hacking will have to endure racing on one of the most demanding circuits on the AMA schedule.
A victory for Tommy Hayden at Mid-Ohio could easily put him in the championship lead with just two rounds to go. “Things are definitely looking up for us,” Hayden said. “The team has made the bike better all year and I’m gaining a lot of confidence in it. Mid-Ohio is going to be a true test for us. If we can make the bike work there we can do well anywhere.”
Hayden is leading the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship as well as battling for the Superstock title so he will have a lot on his mind coming into Mid-Ohio.
Daytona winner Aaron Gobert is still very much in the battle for the Repsol title as well. The Australian has been a model of consistency in the series this year earning five podiums in the eight rounds leading up to Mid-Ohio.
The Repsol Series has proven to be perhaps the most competitive in AMA road racing this season. A dozen riders still have at least a shot at winning the championship with just three races remaining.
Both the Lockhart-Phillips Formula Xtreme and Repsol Superstock races will be shown on SPEED Channel on Aug. 3 at 1 p.m. Eastern as part of SPEED’s Two Wheel Tuesday lineup.
For additional information on the Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire contact Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at (800) MID-OHIO or check out the website www.midohio.com.