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 scca runoffs


Herr Scores Redemption and STU Gold at the Runoffs

The Super Touring® Under (STU) race at the 60th running of the SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® at VIRginia International Raceway, taking place Oct. 1, 2023, as part of day three of Hagerty Race Days, was astoundingly different from a year ago.

In 2022, the STU race took place in the remnants of Hurricane Ian, and a race stoppage brought that battle to an early conclusion. This year, the race went the distance caution free, and Chip Herr – who came up one spot short in his impressive run from the back during 2022’s Runoffs – completed the feat Sunday in his No. 18 Warwick Autopark/Carbotech/Hoosier Audi A4 to earn his first SCCA National Championship title.

At the race’s start, all eyes were on Johan Schwartz, who earned the Tire Rack Pole in the No. 4 VanSteenburg Performance Porsche 944, setting a time three quarters of a second faster than second-place qualifier and past pro driver Herr in second. Schwartz’s time was also more than a second faster than Joe Moser’s, who won the Super Touring Lite National Championship race earlier in the weekend, and 2.3sec quicker than Mark Miller in fourth.

At the green, it was Schwartz in the lead with Herr and Moser embroiled in the top-spot battle. Herr’s fight seemingly came to an end in Turn 3, though, as he slid wide and stopped after making contact with the tire barrier.

Schwartz led the 14-car field, trailed by Moser and Liller – but Liller stretched his legs on the front straight, knocking Moser back to third. Liller then passed Schwartz for the lead into lap four. Moser then sent Schwartz back another spot when he sliced under in Left Hook.

Darin Treakle was holding tight in fourth, with just enough speed to keep the leaders in sight and to pressure Schwartz for a step on the podium.

Liller pulled a gap on Moser, but by lap eight, Moser was back on his bumper, pushing hard through Oak Tree – the duo nearly six seconds ahead of Schwartz and Treakle. A lap later, Moser saw an opening as Liller slid wide in Oak Tree, giving Moser the run down the Madison Avenue backstretch. Soon thereafter, Treakle forced the issue with Schwartz, passing into Turn 1 to occupy the third position.

Two laps later, it was Moser’s turn to bobble in Oak Tree, handing the lead back to Liller.

Sneaking through the field during all of this was Herr, passing Schwartz on lap 11 through Left Hook and setting his sights on Treakle.

“I went out on [Hoosier] R7s today,” Herr said. “I figured the temperatures are a little hotter and I was hoping everyone else had gone out on [Hoosier A7s] and I’d have the better car – and I threw it off myself because it wasn’t ready. I had nothing to lose, so I just figured I’d put my head down … it had a little bit of tire rub, [so] send it.”

On the penultimate lap, Moser made contact with Liller’s No. 19 AngrySheepMtrSprt/Hoosier/Carbotech Dodge Neon SRT-4, spinning both at the Oak Tree turn. Moser recovered fast, but not fast enough, as Herr – now ahead of Treakle – landed the pass for the lead on Moser into Turn 1 on the final lap.

As Herr pulled a gap through the Snake section on the last lap, Treakle made contact with Moser, spinning both himself and Moser into the grass – Moser rejoined, but now Liller was in second, Moser third, and Herr was up front, cruising to his first Runoffs gold medal.

But the last lap’s wild ride wasn’t over, as Moser pulled into the pits early, handing third to Jose Osiris Pena and his No. 199 Toyota GT86.

“This is amazing! Blessed is the only word I can come up with – blessed,” Pena said after scoring his second Runoffs podium of the weekend (his first coming on Saturday with a third-place finish in STL). “In the first lap, I lost the ABS on the car, so I didn’t have the correct braking on the car. Every time that I braked, the car did whatever it wants – it brakes back, then forward. So I kept it up, and my guy on the radio said to keep the pace and you’re going to be seventh or sixth. I kept it up and then he told me on the last lap, ‘Come on, come on, pick up the pace, they’re fighting each other up front.’ I continued the same pace, and here I am.”

Understandably disappointed, Liller was still happy with his second-place finish.

“The car felt great – it was actually a lot of fun right up until the end,” Miller said. “I made a mistake at one point [and] Moser got around me, and we were battling the rest of the way until the incident. The car’s fast in a straight line. It’s a Dodge Neon, so it doesn’t really handle that well, so I’m doing everything I can.”

Standing on the top step of the podium with a wide grin and ready to spray Mazza Sparkling Wine, was Herr. “I kind of skipped the [Runoffs] and went to pro [racing] for 20 years,” he explained. “You get married and have kids, and you just can’t stop racing, so this car popped up [for sale] and I’ve always liked it. I jumped on the roof [on pit lane and in victory circle to celebrate] because I did the same at Mid-Ohio when I won my first Touring Car race [in the same car].”

“It’s a fantastic day,” he announced. “I’m just happy to be here. This means a lot. I’ve been with SCCA 26 years, and being a National Champion means a lot to any of us.”

David Fiorelli, who ran from 10th on the grid to fourth, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger Award, with Moser in fifth.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Sunday's Super Touring Under race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (2), Chip Herr, Lititz, PA, Audi A4, 15.
2, (4), Mark Liller, Bowie, MD, Dodge Neon SRT-4, 15.
3, (6), Jose Osiris Pena, Miami, FL, Toyota GT86, 15.
4, (10), David Fiorelli, Coppell, TX, Ford Mustang, 15.
5, (3), Joe Moser, Dallas, TX, Honda CRX Si, 14.
6, (5), Darin Treakle, Marshall, VA, BMW 325, 14.
7, (11), James Slechta, Moab, UT, Nissan 300ZX, 14.
8, (14), Michal Kuna, Wells, ME, BMW M3, 14.
9, (12), Michael Reece, Brooklyn, NY, Honda S2000, 14.
10, (13), Whitfield Gregg, Bellevue, WA, Mazda Miata, 14.
11, (7), Anthony Geraci, Glen Head, NY, Lotus Exige, 12.
12, (1), Johan Schwartz, Huntersville, NC, Porsche 944, 10.
DNF, (8), Jorge Nazario, San Juan, PR, Mazda MX-5, 4.
DNF, (9), John Schmitt, Sunbury, OH, Honda Accord, 1.

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 31.10.521 (avg. 94.402mph)
Margin of Victory: 37.250 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: #19 Mark Liller, 2:02.302 (96.254 mph)
Lap Leaders: #4 laps 1-2; #19 laps 3-8, 10-13; #36 laps 9, 14; #18 lap 15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #190 David Fiorelli


Photo caption: While this was Chip Herr’s first Runoffs gold medal, it was his third time standing on the Runoffs podium.

Photo by: Jay Bonvouloir

 

Allaer Claims First Formula F Win For Ford Since 2011

Nolan Allaer doubled up on his weekend with National Championships in two of the Sports Car Club of America’s traditional open wheel classes, and brought a Ford motor back to the Formula F SCCA National Championship Runoffs® winner’s circle for the first time since 2011.

Allaer’s second of two gold medals at the 2023 SCCA® Runoffs came on the final Hagerty Race Day on Oct. 1 in a race-long battle with Jonathan Kotyk and William Ferguson.

The 15-lap race featured six official lead changes between Tire Rack Pole Award winner Allaer and Kotyk’s Honda-powered No. 08 Mygale SJ14, but official lead changes are only measured at the start finish line. In reality, the leader of the race changed no fewer than 14 times, with all three front runners sharing the point of the race.

With each driver taking the time to size up the competition, it was clear to everyone – the announcers on the broadcast call, and certainly the drivers on course – that the best placement on the final lap would be running second. Running third meant too much ground to cover, and being out front left the driver susceptible to the draft. Armed with that knowledge, the 19-year-old Ferguson made the move in advance of the final run through the Climbing Esses, but just barely miscalculated and slid off the track.

That left Kotyk and Allaer’s Ford-powered No. 11 Martini/Chandon/Evan Williams Van Diemen RF00 to settle the score, with both well aware that they were approaching a lapped car that could help or hurt depending on placement.

In an effort to keep Allaer behind, Kotyk slowed the pace slightly down the hill and behind the lapped car until both had cleared Hog Pen and were on the front straight. The pair ran down the front stretch side by side, with Allaer’s run getting the front half of his car past Kotyk at the stripe for a 0.051sec win.

“The entire race was back and forth, trying every outcome, and trying to figure out where the best place to be on the final lap was going to be,” Allaer said. “Going up into the last lap I see lapped traffic, and that threw a wrench in everyone’s plans. Chasing Jonathan, I knew he was going to try to use him as a pick, I just didn’t know where or when. I thought it would have come on the back straight, but then he held off. He was smart and tried to use him on the Roller Coaster, too, and made that big lunge on the outside. Then it was the same thing, using him all the way to the line and it ended up being the lapped car’s draft that got me to pull in front of him at the line.”

Allaer’s win represented the first for Ford in the class since 2011, with Honda taking the previous 11. Before the 21-year-old, three-time champion did it this year, the last to accomplish the feat was Lewis Cooper III – who happens to be Allaer’s uncle and did it in the exact same race car.

“It’s the same car that he won with in 2011. He’s been a big motivation of mine, and he’s been really helping me get into this position and make this possible. He was pushing me forward, and wanted to do it with a Ford, so it’s a big honor to be able to do it with that Kent engine.”

Kotyk had won four of the previous five Formula F Runoffs races and walks away with his sixth podium in seven attempts.

“I got a good run out of Oak Tree, and Nolan was able to out tow me using that big top end,” Kotyk said. “He passed me into the brake zone, but I outbraked him into the Roller Coaster and soft pedaled it into Hog Pen because I saw the lapped car. I didn’t want him to interfere with our race, and I didn’t want obviously to catch him and have to brake. I tried to stay in the draft with that lapped car, and was thinking about trying to box Nolan in, which was going to work, but it didn’t matter. That car was going to go by.”

With Ferguson’s spin, Bob Perona earned the final podium position. It was the third career podium for Perona, who faced a challenging weekend mixing his personal racing with his day job – even if his day job involves work with professional racing teams. Perona started sixth and earned the Sunoco Hard Charger for his effort.

“This was a tough week,” Perona said. “I had to miss the Tuesday session because I was coaching in Road Atlanta, and Wednesday it rained, and Thursday was a great session, I just screwed up. I think the car has a bit more pace, I just didn’t put it in the right position at the start and you have to battle through. I’m really happy with this, honestly. I’ll take it and try again next year.”

Calvin Kautz finished fourth, just ahead of Ferguson – who recovered to earn a top-five finish.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are official results for Sunday's Formula F race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Nolan Allaer, Grosse Pointe, MI, Van Diemen RF00 Ford, 15.
2, (2), Jonathan Kotyk, Atlantic Beach, FL, Mygale SJ14 Honda, 15.
3, (6), Robert Perona, Indianapolis, IN, Piper DF3D Honda, 15.
4, (5), Calvin Kautz, Geneva, IL, Piper DF3D Honda, 15.
5, (3), William Ferguson, Pacifica, CA, Piper DL7 Honda, 15.
6, (4), Zachary Rivard, Macomb, MI, Van Diemen RF99 Honda, 15.
7, (7), Matt Boian, Lumberton, TX, Piper DF2C Honda, 15.
8, (8), Robert Gross, Washington Twp, MI, Piper DL7 Honda, 14.

 

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 30:23.216 (96.851 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.051 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 2:00.583 (97.626 mph)
Lap Leaders: #11, Laps 1-9, 11, 13, 15; #08, Laps 10, 12, 14
Sunoco Hard Charger: #73 Robert Perona

 


Photo caption: Nolan Allaer celebrates his win

Photo by: Jay Bonvouloir

 


 

Vanacore Elevated to First, Wins Runoffs Gold in Prototype 1

All 15 laps in Friday’s Prototype 1 race at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs counted, but a first lap incident went a long way in determining the winner as Todd Vanacore, of Ormond Beach, Florida, was elevated to his first career National Championship in 17 tries in the final race of Friday’s Hagerty Race Day this weekend at VIRginia International Raceway.

Vanacore started the race on the Tire Rack Pole, while Jim Devenport roared from fifth on the grid to the battle for the lead at the end of the backstraight on the opening lap, where the two touched fenders. Vanacore’s No. 19 Elan DP02/Mazda spun off track and dropped out of the lead, while Devenport was able to continue moving forward.

The eventual champion dropped back to ninth after the spin, rejoining the field well in back of the race lead. A full course caution on lap six bunched the field. That meant, while Vanacore remained in sixth place, a large portion of the gap had been erased.

Using the restart as a springboard, Vanacore moved through the field and got to third behind Devenport and Chip Romer with 10 to go. When Romer’s car started to lose oil, Vanacore had a new challenge and oil on his windscreen.

At the end of 15 laps, Devenport would cross the finish line first in his No. 23 Cranbrook Group Inc Elan DP02 with Vanacore 9.106 seconds behind. But a review of the first lap incident by the stewards penalized Devenport one position and elevated Vanacore to the gold medal.

“Once I get the trophy in my hand, it will be a good moment,” Vanacore said. “I’d rather have crossed the line first, but there’s no doubt I had the car to beat. I had no problem running those guys down. When Chip started to lose his motor and put oil all over my windshield, I made the mistake of trying to wipe it off with my glove and made a real mess of it. I couldn’t see anything at that point and had to back out of it.”

Devenport didn’t get away scot-free after the first lap incident. Lee Alexander took over the lead on lap two but spun in the Oak Tree turn on lap three. When the full course caution came out, Devenport found himself in a battle with Romer, which lasted until Romer’s motor issues ended his day with two laps to go.

The eventual result was Devenport’s sixth career podium, and came after his team rebuilt his car following a crash at the Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints early in the season.

“We struggled (in qualifying), actually,” Devenport said. “The setup we’ve been running for two years didn’t work here so we’ve been scrambling trying to figure out why. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and we hoped we could get a good start. It was better than expected.”

Standing outside the drama and happy with his third place finish was Jason Miller, who ran his No. 3 Kohler/Millenium/Hoosier Wynnfurst WF1/Kohler to his fifth career podium and second in a row.

“It’s really not me, it’s my entire team collectively. I know I have the hardest working team here, and I’m so thankful to have them. Just to be here and put the car on the podium is just fantastic. We’re real happy today.”

Todd Parks and John Manfroy completed the top five as the final two cars on the lead lap, with Manfroy also claiming the Sunoco Hard Charger for improving from his 10th place on the starting grid.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Friday's Prototype 1 race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Todd Vanacore, Ormond Beach, FL, Elan DP02 Mazda, 15.
2, (5), Jim Devenport, Alamo, CA, Elan DP02 Mazda, 15.
3, (6), Jason Miller, Plymouth, WI, Wynnfurst WF1 Kohler, 15.
4, (8), Todd Parks, Winchendon, MA, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 15.
5, (10), John Manfroy, San Jose, CA, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 15.
6, (2), Chip Romer, Lake Havasu City, AZ, Elan DP02 Mazda, 13.
7, (4), John Mcaleer, Roswell, GA, Elan DP02 Mazda, 11.
8, (3), Lee Alexander, Springfield, TN, Stohr WF-Z Kawasaki, 8.
DNF, (9), Greg Case, Peoria, IL, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 3.
DNS, (7), Matthew Gendron, Monson, MA, Downing Atlanta Peach Mazda, .

 

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 30:33.367 (96.315 mph)
Fastest Race Lap: 1:44.329 (112.835 mph)
Lap Leaders: #23, Laps 1, 3-5,10-15; #48, Lap 2; #29, Laps 6-9
Sunoco Hard Charger: #22 Jon Manfroy

 


Photo caption: Todd Vanacore leads a line of P1 cars.

Photo by: Jay Bonvouloir

 


 

GT-Lite Win Earns Fuller First National Championship, Super Sweep

Defending GT-Lite (GTL) National Champion Peter Shadowen was fastest in class during qualifying at the 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, thus earning the Tire Rack Pole Award. But that advantage lasted all of one corner as Graham Fuller, of Summit Point, WV, powered past in Turn 2 for the GTL lead Sunday morning during the third and final Hagerty Race Day at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).

As the opening lap continued, Shadowen fell back to third after being passed by Michael Lewis in the No. 32 Goodyear Mazda RX-7. James Gregorius, in the No. 9 Livonia Redemption Center Mazda RX-7, slotted into the fourth position and was followed by the Mazda MX-5 of Jonathan Goodale.

Over the next several laps around VIR’s 18-turn, 3.27-mile circuit, Fuller stretched out his lead to as much as 2.4sec in the No. 22 Toyota Tercel. It’s a car he’s not overly familiar with at the moment.

“Honestly, I just bought this car,” Fuller said. “This was only the second or third time I’ve been in it.”

While Fuller and Lewis checked out from the rest of the field, the fight for the last step on the podium waged on. Lap three saw Shadowen still in third, followed by Gregorius and Goodale. Chris Kopley and his Mini Cooper, however, were closing in to join that battle, and soon got by Goodale to claim the fifth position.

A third of the way through the event, Gregorius passed by Shadowen heading down the 4,000-foot Madison Avenue backstraight. Shadowen, who had been involved in a Prototype 2 incident during qualifying, admitted after Sunday’s race that both he and his Honda CRX were a little low on power.

“I don’t think the driver had any juice today as I’m still recovering from the Prototype 2 crash,” he said. “And, honestly, the car felt flat. It just didn’t seem to have the ‘go.’ And I don’t know if the driver had the ‘go’ even if the car did.”

With laps clicking away, Lewis managed to close within a half-second of Fuller. But there just weren’t enough laps remaining to mount a serious attack. So, Fuller claimed victory, his first at the Runoffs, and also earned his first Super Sweep honor after claiming the Runoffs title, the Hoosier Racing Tire point championship, a U.S. Majors Tour point championship, and a Super Tour race win – all in the same class this season.

“Drive clean, drive smooth, and stay in front,” said Fuller about his race strategy while standing atop the victory podium preparing to celebrate with some Mazza Sparkling Wine, the Official Sparkling Wine of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs. “The track got a little slippery in places toward the end of the race, and it was really affecting my run.

“It’s been seven years of a lot of hard work,” Fuller continued. “It’s a good feeling to be on the top step.”

Indeed, Lewis closed the gap as best he could, whittling down the margin of victory to 0.316sec after the 15-lap contest. With that runner-up finish, Lewis has now appeared on the Runoffs podium a total of 23 times.

“Graham did a good job with no mistakes,” Lewis said afterwards. “We needed one more lap, but doesn’t everyone say that?”

Gregorius was never able to close in on Fuller and Lewis out front, but he was also never really challenged for the third spot. That resulted in his first visit to the Runoffs podium after five tries.

“This feels real good. I could get used to this,” Gregorius said about standing on the Runoffs podium. “I was trying to reel those front guys in, but they were just gone.”

Shadowen was able to hold on to finish fourth, and Kopley finished fifth to earn the Sunoco Hard Charger award after starting in the eighth position.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are official results for Sunday’s GT-Lite race at the 2023 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (2), Graham Fuller, Summit Point, WV, Toyota Tercel, 15.
2, (3), Michael Lewis, Poway, CA, Mazda RX-7, 15.
3, (4), James Gregorius, Livonia, NY, Mazda RX-7, 15.
4, (1), Peter Shadowen, West Palm Beach, FL, Honda CRX, 15.
5, (8), Chris Kopley, Easton, CT, Mini Cooper, 15.
6, (6), Jonathan Goodale, Conifer, CO, Mazda MX-5, 15.
7, (7), Roy Lopshire, Blue Springs, MO, Toyota Tercel, 14.
8, (9), David Blain, Trent Woods, NC, Mazda Miata, 14.
9, (10), Kenneth Berdine, Arnoldsburg, WV, MG Midget, 13.
10, (11), Roger Welling, New Milford, PA, Nissan 200SX, 7.
DNF, (5), Eric Vickerman, Howell, MI, Mazda MX-3, 0.

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 33:04.858 (avg. 88.964 mph)
Margin of Victory: 00.316 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 2:11.277 (89.673 mph)
Lap Leaders: #22, Laps 1-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #03 Chris Kopley

_______________________________________

Photo caption: Graham Fuller (No. 22) leads Michael Lewis (No. 32) on his way to a GT-Lite victory at the ’23 Runoffs, which also earned him Super Sweep honors.

Photo by Jay Bonvouloir

 


 

Stewart Hangs on in F600 for His Second Runoffs Win

Calvin Stewart led the Formula 600 (F600) race to the green from the Tire Rack Pole at the 60th running of the SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® at VIRginia International Raceway in his No. 07 SabbathTruth.com/Hoosier Novakar J10 Suzuki. Stewart’s qualifying time was fast, but it wasn’t head-and-shoulders above the nine-car field, as James Weida started in second with a qualifying time only 0.116sec off Stewart’s; third place starter Jason Martin had logged a qualifying time another 0.338sec slower. But after 15 laps and a seemingly uncountable number of lead changes, an elated Stewart clinched his second Runoffs gold medal.

The green flag flew on Sunday, Oct. 1, on the final of three Hagerty Race Days, and it showed how hooked up the front pack were as they pulled from the rest of the field. Stewart held the point with Weida on the inside and Keith Joslyn perched outside. But Martin showed how relentless he was going to be, driving to the lead by Turn 4.

Through Roller Coaster and onto the front straight, it was Martin with a slight gap on Stewart and Weida. Joslyn, meanwhile, was holding on right behind.

Come lap three, Stewart made a move for the lead into Roller Coaster, with him and Martin running side-by-side nearly through Hog Pen – that battle, which continued to VIR’s Turn 5, opened the door for Weida to reel in the leaders. Meanwhile, Joslyn, who had seemingly been sitting in the catbird seat, began to fade.

“The car was a rocket ship at the start – we had a great start,” Joslyn said of the early laps in his No. 55 ASI Signage Innovations Scorpion S1 Rotax, adding that the car’s setup didn’t stay perfect for long. “We started overheating the left rear, making me slow down for all the right turns – which is most of them. I had an off at Oak Tree, and then I had an off in the Esses, which I’ve never had any problem there before.”

George Bugg high centered in Turn 1 on lap six, forcing the race’s only full-course caution.

The green flew once more to start lap eight, with Martin leading Stewart, Weida, and Joslyn –Stewart quickly launched back into the lead followed by Martin in hot pursuit, with Weida in the mix, passing for second into Turn 6. Then by Oak Tree, Weida slipped into the lead for the first time.

Back and forth the battle went, with the front pack dicing for the top spot. Then on lap 12, Weida made the pass for the lead into Turn 3 – but that was short lived as he spun on corner exit of Oak Tree, allowing Martin and Stewart to rocket into the distance, and handing the third position to Joslyn.

Martin’s driving style in his No. 78 Novakar J10 Suzuki differed greatly from Stewart’s, with Martin tossing the car with confidence and using fast hands to keep it under him.

“That’s just how the car is – it slides everywhere,” Martin said. “It’s a lot like a go-kart, you just hang the back end out and catch it. It’s just the fast way around with the car.”

With two to go, Stewart passed on the front, with the multi-turn battle resolving by Turn 5 and with Martin up front. On the final go-round, Stewart went for the pass into Roller Coaster on the outside with the two touching. Martin held the lead, but Stewart pulled out for the pass on the front straight, taking the win and the National Championship title by 0.112sec.

“I had [Stewart] everywhere except that straightaway, and he took advantage of it and he got his elbows out,” Martin said on his way to victory circle to spray Mazza Sparkling Wine with the rest of the podium finishers. “But we tried hard and I’m just happy to finish – happy to get the podium.”

Stewart said he knew he was quicker than Martin in certain sections. “I knew there were a couple sectors that he was quicker,” Stewart said. “If I could just run down the middle and make it harder for him to get by – he would get by, and I would give him just enough room to get by, but he would get by. And I would say, ‘Well OK, good job!’ I had to hand it to [him]. We’ll try next lap and see what happens. But [Martin and Weida] put on an awesome fight – it was fun.”

Joslyn took advantage of Weida’s spin to finish third, with H. Cory McLeod and David Lapham rounding out the top five. Martin, meanwhile, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger Award with his run from third on the grid to second.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Sunday's Formula 600 race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Calvin Stewart, Novi, MI, Novakar J10 Suzuki, 15.
2, (3), Jason Martin, River Grove, IL, Novakar J10 Suzuki, 15.
3, (4), Keith Joslyn, Grand Island, NY, Scorpion S1 Rotax, 15.
4, (5), H Cory McLeod, Charlotte, NC, Red Devil Aero Rotax, 15.
5, (6), David Lapham, Commerce Twp, MI, Novakar J10 Suzuki, 15.
6, (9), Jack Walbran, Saint Louis, MO, Scorpion S1 Suzuki, 15.
7, (8), Robert Gray, Yorktown Hts, NY, Novakar J9 Suzuki, 15.
8, (2), James Weida, West Lafayette, IN, Scorpion S1 Rotax, 13.
DNF, (7), George Bugg, Toney, AL, Novakar J10 Rakavon Suzuki, 6.

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 33:13.917 (avg. 88.559 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.112 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: #07 Calvin Stewart, 1:58.816 (99.078mph)
Lap Leaders: #78 laps 1-2, 6, 9-12; #07 laps 3-5, 7, 13-15; #22 lap 8
Sunoco Hard Charger: #78 Jason Martin


Photo caption: Following an intense 15-lap battle, Calvin Stewart clinched his second SCCA National Championship title. 

Photo by: Jay Bonvouloir

 


Steve Ott Takes the Title Over Brother Jason and T3 Field

A year ago, Jason Ott drove through the remnants of Hurricane Ian to claim his first SCCA® National Championship ahead of younger brother Steve Ott in the Touring 3 class. On Saturday at the 60th running of the SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, the younger brother flipped the tables and took his turn on the top of the podium.

The Brothers Ott closed out the second of three Hagerty Race Days at VIRginia International Raceway by leading the Touring 3 field from the front row, with Steve on the Tire Rack pole and Jason on the outside of the front row. Driving nearly identical Hoosier/Alpine Motorsports BMW Z4s (Steve’s No. 26 in yellow, Jason’s No. 09 in blue), the pair lined up nose-to-tail and attempted to race ahead of the rest of the field.

That proved easier said than done, as Jason found his mirrors filled by the No. 5 fabtek Nissan 370Z driven by Chris Hart. While the Otts were still concentrating on moving forward, Hart was charging forward and turned the fastest lap of the race while trying to run them down.

That meant two things – that neither of the two leading BMWs could afford a mistake, and Jason had to be careful not to challenge Steve too forcefully, lest Hart slip past both of them.

But Hart’s challenge was keeping pace with the Otts, and when he slid off course in Oak Tree on lap 12 to bring out a full course caution, it both ended Hart’s day early and cemented an Ott brother’s one-two finish for the second year in a row.

The win was the first for Steve Ott in his 12th attempt, following three previous podium finishes.

“The plan was just to get out in front of the guys and then we could race a little bit,” the newly crowned National Champion said. “But Chris kept us honest the whole race. It was more just staying alive and keeping it out there. Jason got a good run on me one time and luckily pushed me down the straightaway instead of going around me, and that kept us out there.

“It’s so nice,” he continued. “I’ve been doing this off and on for 20-plus years now. There’s been some bad breaks over the years, but that’s the Runoffs. It all comes down to those 15 laps, and that’s what makes it special and frustrating at the same time. But to be here with my brother, one-two last year and one-two this year, I’m very happy.”

Jason Ott earned his seventh podium finish in 21 attempts, and his fourth silver medal.

“I’ve raced with Chris a couple of times, and he’s a great racer and a great shoe,” Jason said of the pressure behind him. “He’ll race you really hard and clean and he was so fast from Turn 4 through Turn 6 or 7. But we were getting out of Oak Tree better than he was.”

Though well back of the lead before the race-shortening full course caution, bronze medalist Travis Washay had a spectacular run of his own. Starting ninth on the grid, Washay worked his way through the field to earn his second career podium, and first in a decade since finishing second at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 2014. That run also clinched the Sunoco Hard Charger award in his No. 30 Indian Summer Racing/Da Gubment Volkswagen GTI.

“The biggest thing you have to work with when you’re running with such an amazing, vast group of drivers is that you have to be careful, consistent, and heads up,” Washay said. “You can’t let the adrenaline get you. You’re always working, you’re always thinking. I’ve been instructing for years, and I always teach my drivers to keep the emotion out of it, consistency is what does it.”

Jim Leithauser, a teammate of the Otts and a former National Champion himself, crossed the finish line in fourth. Shaoyi Che finished fifth in his Toyota 86.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are official results for Saturday's Touring 3 race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Steve Ott, Houston, TX, BMW Z4 M, 14.
2, (2), Jason Ott, Seminole, FL, BMW Z4 M, 14.
3, (9), Travis Washay, Milford, CT, Volkswagen GTI, 14.
4, (5), James Leithauser, Louisville, CO, BMW Z4 M, 14.
5, (6), Shaoyi Che, Washington, DC, Toyota 86, 14.
6, (4), Rob Hines, Arlington, VA, Nissan 350Z Nismo, 14.
7, (7), Francis Selldorff, Boston, MA, BMW M3, 14.
8, (8), Simon Asselin, Sammamish, WA, BMW SpecE46, 14.
9, (10), Jared Lendrum, Queensbury, NY, Subaru WRX STI, 14.
10, (12), Anthony Piselli, Maurertown, VA, subaru WRX STI, 14.
11, (14), Steve Smyczek, New Berlin, WI, Nissan 370Z Track, 14.
12, (11), J David Orem, Mercer Island, WA, BMW SpecE46, 14.
13, (13), Ben Slechta, Middletown, DE, Nissan 350Z Nismo, 14.
14, (15), Edward Karabec, Scarborough, ME, BMW SpecE46, 14.
15, (17), Randy Johnson, Tacoma, WA, Ford Mustang V6, 14.
16, (16), Frank Selldorff, Boston, MA, BMW 330i/ci, 14.
17, (18), Allen Briere, Columbia, CT, Volkswagen GTI, 14.
18, (3), Chris Hart, Yakima, WA, Nissan 370Z Nismo, 11.

 

Race Stats

Length of Race: 45.78 miles
Overall Time of Race: 32:31.526 (84.451 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.333 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 2:05.854 (93.537 mph)
Lap Leaders: #26, Laps 1-14
Sunoco Hard Charger: #30 Travis Washay

 


Photo caption: Steve Ott, Jason Ott and Chris Hart ran most of the T3 race in a line.

Photo by: Rick Corwine

 


 

Andrew Whitston Takes Third FV Runoffs Win, Claims Super Sweep

Andrew Whitston clinched the gold medal running in Formula Vee (FV) at the 60th running of the SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® at VIRginia International Raceway, and in the process locked in much more than his third SCCA National Championship title.

His road to victory began in qualifying, where he earned the Tire Rack Pole in his No. 12 RocketMotors/LOA Const/InfamousBrew Protoform P3. But while his qualifying time of 2:15.639 led the 27-car field, it didn’t do so by much – the top four qualifiers of Alex Scaler, Brian Farnham, and one of Andrew’s brother’s Steve Whitston all set times within 0.673sec of the pole.

The green flag flew a few minutes past 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, the second of three Hagerty Race days, with Andrew Whitston taking the point into Turn 1, followed by Farnham and Scaler.

A few mid-pack tangles built opening lap excitement, but there was also shuffling up front, with Farnham leading the pack into lap two; Scaler, Steve Whitston, and Andrew Whitston were in the small breakaway group. Andrew Abbott, Zachary Whitston, and a few others made up the second grouping – but the race was forced to hit pause as double yellows emerged to allow crews to clean up those opening-lap incidents.

During the caution, Abbott gave up his fifth-place position by pulling into the pits, his dad acting fast to replace a flat tire.

“I have zero idea [why the tire went flat],” Abbott said. “It was a fresh set, and on the first race lap coming down Roller Coaster, it just didn’t turn, and I was like, that’s weird. Through Hog Pen it was fine, and then in Turn 1 it locked up. I looked at it in the braking zone and I could see it and it was down.

“I was trying to get out of everybody’s way, and it was kind of a hard spot to do that,” he explained. “A full-course caution came out, and I was on the radio [with my dad, telling him] go get a tire, go get a tire, go get a tire!”

Abbott limped his No. 25 Hoosier/Autowerks/LDC Equipment Vector AM-1 around the circuit until the tire was ready, his dad changed the tire, and Abbott rejoined the field – which was still under caution – in last place.

The field restarted on lap four, with a seven pack quickly separating themselves up front. Two pairs of those Vees went for passes into Roller Coaster, with that motion shuffling Farnham back and Andrew Whitston forward. But into Turn 1, Steve Whitston locked his front tires and slid into Farnham, dropping them from contention. Zachary Whitston then had a quick spin in the Oak Tree sequence to fall out of the lead battle himself.

Up front, Andrew Whitston and Scaler had formed a two-car train several seconds ahead of the next pack of three Vees, while Abbott used the laps after the restart to climb back through the field.

“[At the restart] I got on it and passed a bunch of people on the front straightaway, luckily not getting caught in bad spots and just picking people off,” Abbott said. “And the next thing I know, I’m like holy crap, this is for the podium – we’re here, let’s go!”

With six laps remaining, Andrew Whitston and Scaler had an insurmountable lead on VIR’s 3.27-mile, 18-turn full course, to the tune of a nearly six-second advantage over Abbott in third. Abbot was running solo, as the next-fastest pack of Phelps-Barron, Jonathan Weisheit, and Jeffrey Valeo were another seven seconds back.

On lap 11 – and with nine minutes remaining – a full-course caution was called due to Zachary Whitston hitting the tire barrier into Roller Coaster while battling in a four-car pack for sixth. The barrier repair dictated the race end under yellow.

“We were trying to save enough tires and just let the draft make up the difference, that way we had enough at the end,” Scaler said after finishing in second place under caution in his No. 79 Advantage Motorsports/Autowerks Scaler Mk1. “Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. But we wouldn’t even be this far up if it weren’t for everyone who helps us out … there’s so many people. We’re just happy to be here. We’ll keep fighting.”

Andrew Whitston also would have preferred a green-flag race for the gold. “I really wanted a green flag the whole race,” he said right before spraying the Mazza Sparkling Wine on the podium. “We had the early caution, and it was OK [because] we had enough time to get going, and then that second one came out and they threw the checker. It was really disappointing, honestly, that we didn’t finish that under green. I felt horrible for Alex [Scaler] because he drove just a brilliant race the whole time and I was really looking forward to battling it out at the end.”

Andrew Whitston’s strategy was similar to Scaler’s – to a point. “I was trying to get rid of him, and it just wasn’t happening,” laughed Andrew. “Then I got behind him and I kind of fell under the same strategy as him and I was just going to sit and wait until the last lap, because if you’re leading, you’re in trouble. But then it was also going through my mind [that] if a full course caution comes out with a couple laps to go, it probably won’t go green again. So I was kind of weighing those back and forth, and I still hadn’t made a decision when the yellow flag came out. I was just in the right place at the right time.”

With this gold medal, Andrew Whitston also won the SCCA Super Sweep after claiming the Runoffs title, the Hoosier Racing Tire point championship, a U.S. Majors Tour point championship, and a Super Tour race win, all in the same class this season. This is his second Super Sweep title, his first coming in 2021.

Phelps-Barron and Weisheit rounded out the top five, with Stuart Delaney earning the Sunoco Hard Charger Award with his run from 24th on the grid to 13th.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are official results for Saturday's Formula Vee race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Andrew Whitston, Neenah, WI, Protoform P3, 13.
2, (2), Alex Scaler, Asbury, NJ, Scaler Mk1, 13.
3, (5), Andrew Abbott, Livonia, MI, Vector AM-1, 13.
4, (9), Hunter Phelps-Barron, Garland, TX, Mysterian M3, 13.
5, (10), Jonathan Weisheit, Baltimore, MD, Protoform P3, 13.
6, (13), Jeffrey Valeo, Brooklyn, NY, Mysterian M3, 13.
7, (15), Roger Siebenaler, North Hero, VT, Mysterian M3, 13.
8, (3), Brian Farnham, Medina, OH, Silver Bullet FR-S, 13.
9, (8), Brandon Abbott, Farmington Hills, MI, Vector AM-1, 13.
10, (11), Trevor Carmody, Horseheads, NY, Volkswagen Protoform, 13.
11, (19), Stevan Davis, Danielsville, GA, Vortech , 13.
12, (17), Chris Jennerjahn, Hartford City, IN, Vortech , 13.
13, (24), Stuart Delaney, Plymouth, MI, Caracal C, 13.
14, (22), Michael Hinkle, Suncook, NH, Protoform P3, 13.
15, (21), Devin Boucher, Terrell, TX, Caracal Caracal D, 13.
16, (26), Ray Qualls, Reisterstown, MD, Protoform P3, 13.
17, (23), Chase Johnson, Quakertown, PA, Mysterian M3, 13.
18, (25), Smith Jackson Ragsdale, Easley, SC, Vortech , 13.
19, (6), Zachary Whitston, Austin, TX, Protoform P3, 10.
DNF, (4), Steve Whitston, Georgetown, TX, Protoform P3, 5.
DNF, (7), Mitchell Ferguson, Moore, SC, Vortech FV, 5.
DNF, (14), Jeff Filipkowski, Mount Bethel, PA, Vorscha GB5, 2.
DNF, (18), Donnie Isley, Fletcher, NC, Vortech , 1.
DNF, (12), Gerard Owen Callaghan, Bedford, MA, Problem Child SM 01, 0.
DNF, (16), Rick Shields, Bridgeville, PA, VDF , 0.
DNF, (20), Ron Whitston, Neenah, WI, Protoform P3, 0.
DNF, (27), William Duke Ragsdale, Easley, SC, Vortech , 0.

Race Stats

Length of Race: 42.51 miles
Overall Time of Race: 37:21.127 (avg. 68.285 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.560 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: ##25 Andrew Abbott, 2:16.611 (86.172 mph)
Lap Leaders: #15 laps 1-5; #12 laps 6-8, 10-13; #79 lap 9
Sunoco Hard Charger: #74 Stuart Delaney


Photo caption: Andrew Whitston claimed not only his third Runoffs National Championship but also his second Super Sweep.

Photo by: Jay Bonvouloir

 


Allaers Finish 1-2 in Formula Continental Runoffs Race

The Formula Continental® (FC) race Saturday afternoon at VIRginia International Raceway during the 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs® ended up being a family affair featuring Nolan Allaer and his father, Robert Allaer, who are both from Grosse Pointe, MI.

Nolan, the reigning FC National Champion and 2023 Tire Rack Pole Award winner in the No. 11 Martini/Chandon/LTD Motorsports Van Diemen RF02, got a great start during the second of three Runoffs Hagerty Race Days. He immediately scurried away from the field, and managed to develop a nearly 10-second lead after 10 laps around VIR’s 18-turn, 3.27-mile circuit. During that run he completed a lap in 1:51.169, which reset the SCCA® race record for FC around the course.

Things behind Nolan were interesting as multi-time National Champion Michael Varacins, driving a Van Diemen F2000, slotted into second with Tim Minor following third in the No. 88 Hoosier/Quicksilver/Carbotech Citation US2000 car. Then Robert Allaer, wielding the No. 52 Martini/Chandon/LTD Motorsports Van Diemen RF02, was fourth.

Varacins was unable to keep Minor behind him for more than one lap, and fell further back to fourth after Robert got by on the third lap. Pushing hard, Robert also demoted Minor to third by the seventh lap. But all three looked to have no shot at leader Nolan, until a full-course yellow came out on the 10th of what was a 15-lap race.

While his massive lead had vanished, Nolan was not at all fazed. When the race started again for what would be a three-lap sprint, Nolan sped away once again to ultimately stand atop the Runoffs podium and spray Mazza Sparkling Wine, the Official Sparkling Wine of SCCA’s Runoffs, as a two-time FC National Champion.

“That is incredible,” said Nolan, who is also on pole for Sunday’s Hagerty Race Day Formula F contest. “The SCCA Runoffs is so important to our family. The Club has just been so good to us over the years. It means everything to have a result like this.”

Behind Nolan, his father was able to maintain his runner-up position for a sixth Runoffs podium appearance.

“This is better than I could’ve ever expected. It’s unbelievable,” a beaming Robert said. “This is the happiest I’ve ever been to finish second. My son is the real deal. He’s so fast. And Tim Minor, he’s the class of our Formula Continental class. For me to finish in front of him, I never thought it would happen.”

Minor never quit, and made things interesting for Robert throughout the race. However, he had to settle for a third-place finish, which earned him a fourth trip to the Runoffs victory podium.

“My race was good,” Minor said. “I thought I had pace in the beginning … but I got caught up in some lapped traffic. Then I couldn’t keep my pace. But I’m pretty happy with my week. I just had shoulder replacement surgery in July. So, it’s like god was smiling on me today.”

At the restart, Varacins was holding tight to the fourth spot. But then he spun off at South Bend and was out of the hunt. That shifted Glenn Cordova, in a Van Diemen RF04, up to fourth. But because the field was bunched up after the full-course yellow, Dean Kiriluk and his Van Diemen RF01 had eyes set on fourth, as did Hunter Tatman in a Van Diemen RF06.

The final laps were intense to see who would finish just off the podium. In the end, the spot went to Sunoco Hard Charger Cordova – who was actually starting to breath down Minor’s neck for third. Tatman also got around Kiriluk to earn a fifth-place finish.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are official results for Saturday’s Formula Continental® race at the 2023 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Nolan Allaer, Grosse Pointe, MI, Van Diemen RF02, 15.
2, (4), Robert Allaer, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, Van Diemen RF02, 15.
3, (2), Tim Minor, Fredericksburg, VA, Citation US2000, 15.
4, (8), Glenn Cordova, Effort, PA, Van Diemen RF04, 15.
5, (7), Hunter Tatman, Fort Collins, CO, Van Diemen RF06, 15.
6, (5), Dean Kiriluk, Orchard Lake, MI, Van Diemen RF01, 15.
7, (6), Chris Scharnow, Saint Petersburg, FL, Van Diemen RF01, 15.
8, (3), Michael Varacins, Burlington, WI, Van Diemen F2000, 15.
9, (10), Kevin Fandozzi, St Joseph, MI, Mygale SJ2012H, 15.
10, (9), Rick Silver, Derwood, MD, Van Diemen RF98, 8.
DNF, (11), John Mirro, Bath, PA, Van Diemen DP08, 6.

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 33:08.525 (avg. 88.799 mph)
Margin of Victory: 05.389 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:51.169 (105.893 mph)
Lap Leaders: #11, Laps 1-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #41 Glenn Cordova

_______________________________________

Photo caption: Nolan Allaer defended his Formula Continental National Championship with a race win Saturday at VIR during the SCCA Runoffs.

Photo by Jay Bonvouloir

 


 

Futrelle Fends Off Teammates for SRF3 Victory

Franklin Futrelle ran a perfectly executed Spec Racer® Ford Gen3 race on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, during Hagerty Race Days at the SCCA® National Championship Runoffs®, holding back a pair of challengers on the final lap to capture his third career gold medal and second consecutive in the class.

Futrelle, David Ogburn, and Russell Turner, along with Tire Rack Polesitter Morgan Burkhard, broke away from the field and built a 10-second gap running nose to tail. Burkhard fell off on lap 12 with a cut tire, and all that was left to decide was who would occupy which step on the podium.

Each took a turn at the front of the field throughout the 15-lap race, with Turner leading Futrelle’s No. 97 Comprent Motorsports/Meco Inc SRF and Ogburn’s No. 108 Salt Stick/Sim Seats Spec Racer at the white flag – but everyone knew the race wasn’t over. Futrelle got the run out of Oak Tree and down the backstraight they call Madison Avenue to pull into the lead with the help of the draft. Turner kept his No. 23 Spec Racer Ford glued to the rear of Futrelle into the Roller Coaster portion of the track, but had to check up into the right hander and float wide, opening the door for Ogburn to take a shot Futrelle.

Ogburn chased Futrelle down the hill, through Hog Pen and onto the front straight to the checkered flag, but Futrelle kept his car in front to take his second class win in as many years.

“I tend to do good on cold tires, so I wanted to get out front and try to turn the race into three, four, or five cars instead of maybe 10 cars,” Futrelle said. “We managed that, and about a quarter of the way through, I started to notice I was good out of Hog Pen compared to the other guys. Come the end of the race, I saw an opportunity to take the lead at the end of the back stretch, which put me in the lead going into Hog Pen. That’s not always where you want to be in a Spec Racer on the last lap – but today it was where I wanted to be, and it worked out.”

Ogburn, a second-generation member and two-time SCCA autocross champion, turned the fastest lap of the race at 2:04.911 while running in the draft on his way to his first SCCA Runoffs podium. Ogburn officially led two laps across the stripe and was just 0.359sec behind at the end of the lap that counted most.

“I just wanted to be in the top three right there at the end,” Ogburn said. “I kept trying to get between Franklin and Russ so we could work together. I had a run on the back straight, but it was a bit too late – I’m not going to dive under [Turner] for second because that would just let Franklin walk away. We locked up, rolled inside, and he checked me up a little bit, and then Franklin had a bit of a gap. You want to be second, and I was third, on the white.

“It feels very good,” Ogburn concluded. “I started watching [the Runoffs] in high school. It feels great. It’s mixed, because I could taste it. But it was a hell of a race.”

Turner, who claimed the National Championship in Formula Enterprises® 2 earlier in the weekend in a battle with Futrelle, just missed getting the better of him for the second time.

“We had it,” Turner said. “We had a teammate out there and that gives you a huge advantage. I made a few minor mistakes, and Franklin was just superb driving, and unfortunately we just didn’t get the timing just right to take him down. It is what it is, but I’m happy to come home third, and happy for Dave to podium too.”

A similar three car battle was playing out on track, but 10 seconds behind the lead group. Caleb Shrader separated himself from Justin Claucherty late in the race, and the two crossed the stripe alone in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Jase Petty, just behind them in sixth, started the race in 21st and was named the Sunoco Hard Charger.

The race’s green flag was waved by honorary starter Bill King in celebration of the Spec Racer’s 40th anniversary season. King was the first Program Manager as an SCCA Staff member when the program launched in 1983, then called Formula Renault, and has evolved through three generations to remain one of the strongest classes in the Summit Racing Equipment SCCA Road Racing program.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Saturday's Spec Racer Ford Gen3 race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (4), Franklin Futrelle, Augusta, GA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
2, (3), David Ogburn, San Angelo, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
3, (2), Charles Russell Turner, Montpelier, VA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
4, (8), Caleb Shrader, Tigard, OR, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
5, (11), Justin Claucherty, Jackson, MI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
6, (21), Jase Petty, Oakland, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
7, (13), Robeson Clay Russell, Spartanburg, SC, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
8, (12), Todd Vanacore, Ormond Beach, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
9, (17), Sam Schechter, Boyds, MD, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
10, (18), Scott Monroe, Kemah, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
11, (22), Sal Webber, Spring Branch, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
12, (15), James Goughary, Jupiter, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
13, (19), Chris Jennerjahn, Hartford City, IN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
14, (27), Matt Gray, Chaska, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
15, (20), Brian Cates, Gainesville, VA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
16, (26), William Hendrix, Brighton, MA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
17, (29), Tom Burt, Woodway, WA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
18, (25), Andre Perra, Government Camp, OR, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
19, (31), Russell King, Minneapolis, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
20, (16), Gianclaudio Angelini, New Haven, CT, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
21, (33), Craig Chase, Darien, CT, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
22, (24), Lee Hill, Reidsville, NC, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
23, (28), Ben Jacobs, Oshkosh, WI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
24, (30), Steven Greenhill, Libertyville, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
25, (34), Jeff Beck, Ingleside, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
26, (32), Scott Ross, Nashville, TN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
27, (35), Steven Spano, Dryden, NY, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
28, (23), Charlie Rogers, Pittsboro, NC, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
29, (38), Jeff Futrelle, North Augusta, SC, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
30, (36), Keith Fraser, Annapolis, MD, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
31, (39), Craig Wheatley, Sanibel, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
32, (14), Mac Harrison, Washington, DC, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 14.
33, (37), Kenneth Reilly, New Canaan, CT, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 14.
34, (40), Andrea King, Minneapolis, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 14.
35, (1), Morgan Burkhard, Charles Town, WV, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 11.
36, (10), Denny Stripling, McKinney, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 9.
DNF, (6), Bobby Sak, Bloomfield Hills, MI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 4.
DNF, (9), John Black, Olympic Valley, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 3.
DNF, (7), S Sandy Satullo III, Hillsboro Beach, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 1.
DNF, (5), Brian Schofield, Lakeland, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 0.

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 31:23.702 (avg. 93.741 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.359 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: #108 David Ogburn, 2:04.911 (94.203mph)
Lap Leaders: #97 laps 1-3, 5-10, 13, 15; #23 laps 4, 14; #108 laps 11-12
Sunoco Hard Charger: #106 Jase Petty


Photo caption: Franklin Futrelle had a full Runoffs weekend, with his SRF3 race concluding with him earning a third National Championship title.

Photo by: Jay Bonvouloir

 


Aquilante Bags 14th Career Championship in T1 in Flag to Flag Victory

Andrew Aquilante, of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, solidified his hold on third all-time in SCCA road racing National Championships with a flag-to-flag win in Touring 1 on Saturday at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.

The now 14-time Champion launched from the Tire Rack pole at the Virginia International Raceway green flag with a singular goal to put as large of a gap between his No. 33 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Hawk Ford Mustang and the rest of the field as possible. Aquilante successfully executed that plan, opening up a gap and marching to a 13.359-second win. He turned the quickest lap of the race in 1:55.488 on lap five, which gave him the gap to Mark Boden – himself a four-time Champion and 20-time podium finisher – he needed to get to the end.

“I pounded out a qualifying lap that was in the lead, but that car is bigger and heavier than everyone else comparatively,” Aquilante said. “Race pace is always a concern in that regard. You have to hit your marks on every lap. The first few laps were ok, but I was looking back and he was still there. About lap five, all of a sudden I think the tire pressure came in… and I kept cranking them out.”

Boden knew Aquilante was going to do his best to “run away and hide,” as Aquilante said on the podium. He cleared second-starting James Candelaria’s No. 134 Candelaria Racing Products Chevrolet Corvette on the opening lap and could see the rear of Aquilante’s Mustang. While Boden was able to get his No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 clear of Candelaria, he couldn’t close the gap to Aquilante and finished in second.

“Andrew is so good, and he’s got that car dialed,” Boden said. “It puts the power down so well, and it gets later in the race and you see him put the power down and it’s just lifting the tire and going and it’s really pretty cool. It’s just great to be here, and I think this Runoffs showed everybody not to be afraid of the GT4 cars and that they’re a good addition to the class. I’m looking forward to next year and seeing some new, fun cars in the class and being able to retire this poor car after about 18 years.”

Candelaria earned his second career podium, and first since 2020 at Road America. While hoping for more, he left pleased with the company he had kept.

“It was a great opportunity,” Candelaria said. “This is always an amazing event. We got in a position where we out qualified Mark by the slimmest of margins and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I managed to keep him behind me up until I made a small error on the back straight, and he was able to capitalize like the pro that he is. I’ve been battling Mark and Andrew for years, and you have to be perfect. Today I wasn’t perfect. I still managed to drive a clean race, bring it home on third, and I’m super happy with that. You can’t be too disappointed when you’re standing on the podium, can you?”

Behind the podium battle was one of those GT4 cars referenced by Boden, battling with the traditional T1 BMW M3 of Hugh Stewart. Tony Ave, running his fourth race of the weekend, went back and forth for all 15 laps in his Mercedes-AMG GT4, eventually getting the best of Stewart’s BMW for fourth and fifth respectively. Dustin Cornell improved from 10th on the grid to seventh to earn the Sunoco Hard Charger award.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Saturday's Touring 1race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, PA, Ford Mustang, 15.
2, (3), Mark Boden, Winnetka, IL, BMW E92 M3, 15.
3, (2), James Candelaria, Boca Raton, FL, Chevrolet Corvette, 15.
4, (4), Tony Ave, Maiden, NC, Mercedes Benz AMG GT4, 15.
5, (5), Hugh Stewart, Milford, CT, BMW E46 M3, 15.
6, (8), Scotty B White, Auburn, WA, Dodge Viper SRT RT-10, 15.
7, (10), Dustin Cornell, Powhatan, VA, Ford Mustang GT, 15.
8, (11), Paolo Salvatore, San Antonio, TX, Ford Mustang FP350S, 15.
9, (7), Thad Berger, Redmond, WA, Porsche Cayman, 15.
10, (12), Robert Korzen, Fredericksburg, VA, Ford Mustang, 15.
11, (9), Brian Goodman, Fairfield, CT, BMW E46 M3, 14.
12, (6), Ann Doherty, Daniel Island, SC, Porsche Cayman, 9. 

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 29:05.593 (101.158 mph)
Margin of Victory: 13.359 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:55.488 (101.933 mph)
Lap Leaders: #33, Laps 1-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #07 Dustin Cornell

 


Photo caption: Contrary to this, Aquilante used all four tires on his way to a win. 

Photo by: Jeff Loewe

 

 


Ira Victorious in Shortened E Production Race

Late Saturday morning during a Hagerty Race Day at the 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, E Production racer Greg Ira stood atop the victory podium and gleefully sprayed a bottle of Mazza Sparkling Wine, the Official Sparkling Wine of SCCA’s Runoffs. It was his third gold medal at the Runoffs, this one behind the wheel of the No. 2 Blue Oceans Yachting BMW Z3 2.5L.

Starting second to the Mazda RX-7 of Tire Rack Pole Award winner John Hainsworth, Ira settled in behind the polesitter after the green flag waved. Further back in third was Peter Norton driving the No. 5 Wilson Motor Company/Omer Norton 2000 Lotus/Caterham 7 America.

After the first lap around VIRginia International Raceway’s (VIR) 18-turn, 3.27-mile circuit, the front three racers had created a gap of 3.6 seconds on Jon Brakke and his No. 89 BMW Z3 2.5L back in fourth. Further back in fifth was Doug Piner driving another BMW Z3 2.5L, Heikki Silegren was sixth in a Nissan 240Z, and the Triumph TR8 of Jeff Young seventh.

On the second lap, a multi-car incident at the Snake portion of the circuit brought out a full-course yellow, which was quickly followed by a red flag as the circuit was fully blocked with debris. Cleanup took some time, so the race had to be shortened to only eight of the scheduled 15 laps.

At the restart, Hainsworth assumed the lead once again with Ira following. Norton was still solidly there in third, and Brakke had managed to keep connected to the lead pack. Behind the top four were Piner, Silegren, and now the Mazda RX-7 of Austin Bradshaw seventh.

It was lap six when Ira made his move to the front. He lined up on the outside of Turn 1 at corner entry, then moved beneath Hainsworth at corner exit to take the lead. An error by Ira in the Oak Tree Curve gave Hainsworth hope of reclaiming the lead, but Ira held tough down the long 4,000-foot Madison Avenue straight to fend off his challenger.

“I made the over-under move, which I’ve worked on for a long time,“ said Ira, of Fort Lauderdale, FL. “Hainsworth gave it everything. It was an awesome race.”

Hainsworth took one more shot at Ira on the last lap, but had a problem at South Bend and spun into the grass and out of contention. Meanwhile, Brakke had gotten by Norton’s bright yellow car for what ultimately became the runner-up position. That earned Brakke his fifth appearance on the Runoffs podium.

“It was a good race. Peter (Norton) is incredibly fast,” Brakke said. “I got a good run on him in the Esses. Once I got ahead of him, it’s hard to beat a BMW. But I saw a lot of yellow in my rearview mirror afterwards.”

Norton made one last valiant run on Brakke on the last lap, but ultimately had to settle for a third-place finish. From the giant grin on his face afterwards, the result didn’t bother him at all.

“I have such a great time racing with these guys,” Norton said. “It’s good, clean, fun racing. You couldn’t ask for better.”

Piner ended up finishing fourth, and Silegren held on to fifth after a great battle with Bradshaw. The Sunoco Hard Charger award went to Steve Eckerich, who started 20th and finished in the 11th position.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Saturday’s E Production race at the 2023 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (2), Greg Ira, Fort Lauderdale, FL, BMW Z3 2.5L, 8.
2, (4), Jon Brakke, Milwaukee, WI, BMW Z3 2.5L, 8.
3, (3), Peter Norton, Pelham, NC, Lotus/Caterham 7 America, 8.
4, (5), Doug Piner, Hampstead, NC, BMW Z3 2.5L, 8.
5, (8), Heikki Silegren, Stouffville, ON, Nissan 240Z, 8.
6, (6), Austin Bradshaw, Dundee, OR, Mazda RX-7, 8.
7, (9), Don Tucker, Memphis, TN, Mazda Miata, 8.
8, (12), Steve Rose, Mebane, NC, Mazda RX-7, 8.
9, (13), Sean Saggese, Jacksonville, FL, Mazda RX-7, 8.
10, (16), Matthew Fritz, Orlando, FL, BMW 325i/is (E36), 8.
11, (20), Steve Eckerich, Fletcher, NC, Mazda RX-8, 8.
12, (18), Ron Earp, Cary, NC, Ford Mustang, 8.
13, (21), Anthony Parker, New Ipswich, NH, Triumph GT6, 8.
14, (17), Michael Cooke, Burgaw, NC, Mazda RX-7, 8.
15, (19), Mark Bradley, Wake Forest, NC, BMW Z3 2.8L, 8.
16, (22), John Bell, Lake Mary, FL, Mazda RX-7, 8.
17, (15), Mark Weber, Saint Louis, MO, Mazda Miata, 8.
18, (1), John Hainsworth, Vineland, NJ, Mazda RX-7, 7.
19, (10), Lance Loughman, Bath, MI, Nissan 240Z, 7.
DNF, (7), Jeff Young, Raleigh, NC, Triumph TR8, 1.
DNF, (11), David Spillman, Forest City, NC, BMW 325i/is, 1.
DNF, (14), Greg Amy, Middletown, CT, Honda Civic Si, 1.
DNF, (23), Yuri Collazos, Homestead, FL, Mazda RX-7, 0.
DNS, (24), Steve Shelton, Estero, FL, BMW 325i/is (E36),  .

Race Stats

Length of Race: 26.16 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 50:28.473 (avg. 31.097 mph)
Margin of Victory: 02.588 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 2:04.050 (94.897 mph)
Lap Leaders: #95, Laps 1-5; #2, Laps 6-8
Sunoco Hard Charger: #18 Steve Eckerich

_______________________________________

Photo caption: On Saturday, Greg Ira drove his E Production BMW to a third National Championship at VIR.

Photo by Jay Bonvouloir

 


Moser Makes it Five with an Intense STL Runoffs Battle

Moser Makes it Five with an Intense STL Runoffs Battle

You could sum up this year’s Super Touring® Lite (STL) race at the 60th running of the SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® at VIRginia International Raceway by saying Joe Moser earned the gold medal driving his No. 36 Hoosier/King Motorsports/Carbotech Honda CRX Si, but that wouldn’t even begin to capture the spectacular nose-to-tail, flag-to-flag battle that went into the accomplishment.

This race began in qualifying, where Danny Steyn put his No. 9 Ocean Machinery/OPM/Nelson/G-Loc Mazda MX-5 on the Tire Rack Pole. Steyn, a three-time STL Runoffs gold medalist, set an untouchable qualifying time of 2:05.779. Second-place qualifier (and now five-time Runoffs Champ) Joe Moser laid down a qualifying time 1.436sec slower than Steyn’s. Mike Taylor (sporting his best Runoffs qualifying position ever), past Runoffs Champ Max Gee, and Chuck Hines made up the top five on the grid.

Into Turn 1 at the green on the second of three Hagerty Race Days on Sept. 30, 2023, Moser went deep on the outside, passing Steyn for the lead, with Taylor tucking in behind. Steyn poked a nose in through South Bend, but Moser held the point. Steyn wasn’t one to stay in line, though, showing a fender into Roller Coaster, then rocketing out of Hog Pen and running side-by-side with Moser through Turns 1-4. Steyn locked in the pass by VIR’s Snake section that leads to the Climbing Esses.

By lap three, Steyn and Moser controlled the race, with Taylor an increasingly distant 1.6sec back. Hines was sitting fourth, with sixth-place qualifier Jose Osiris Pena looking strong in fifth. This was also the same lap where Moser pushed the braking into Roller Coaster to regain the lead. Steyn then fired back into Turn 1, regaining the top spot by Turn 2.

It was a lap-by-lap rinse and repeat for the top two, with Moser often grabbing the lead into Roller Coaster, then Steyn countering with a pass in the opening corners of VIR’s 3.27-mile, 18-turn full course.

Meanwhile, Taylor was feeling the pressure in third from Pena, with those two embroiled in their own tight battle.

“My [crew] guy told me I was a second faster [than Taylor], and I told him, don’t tell me nothing on the radio,” Pena said. “But I knew I was faster than [Taylor] because when I was fighting Max Gee, I saw [Taylor] locking up the tires. And I said, I’m coming for him.”

On the penultimate lap, Pena made the move that put him and his No. 199 Mas Race Team Honda CRX on the third step of the podium. “I committed to that lap,” Pena said. “I didn’t go to the inside in Turn 1, I went to the outside and I had a better run going into Turn 3. Yeah, that was super fun – super fun.”

The white flag flew with Moser leading Steyn by mere tenths. Steyn pushed hard through the Snake section, kicking dust as he eked out speed. Then Moser dropped tires at Oak Tree, setting the stage for a drag race finish.

“The problem is, Joe [Moser] knew my plan,” said a very happy Steyn. “The only way I can win is to break his back in the first few laps before the front-wheel-drive rear tires come in, and he just put his car exactly where he had to. He held me off for two laps, and his tires came in, and then I was hanging on for dear life. My tires went off very early, as they would with a [several hundred pound] difference in weight. So then I was just in his draft trying to hang on, hoping I could force him into an error.”

Moser did appear to go deep into Roller Coaster on the final lap, but whatever mistakes might have been made, they weren’t enough, and Moser claimed the checker 0.130sec ahead of Steyn.

“Danny Steyn is one of the best in the business,” Moser said moments after collecting his fifth Runoffs title (his second in STL), right before heading to victory circle to spray Mazza Sparkling Wine. “Anytime you beat him, that’s a hell of a race. And I can’t tell you how relieved I am to be sitting here right now … and racing against a guy like that just makes it all worth it. That’s what you come to the Runoffs for.”

Taylor crossed the line in fourth, followed by Max Gee. Starting 20th and finishing 16th, Brad Williams earned the Sunoco Hard Charger Award.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Saturday's Super Touring Lite race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (2), Joe Moser, Dallas, TX, Honda CRX Si, 15.
2, (1), Danny Steyn, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Mazda MX-5, 15.
3, (6), Jose Osiris Pena, Miami, FL, Honda CRX, 15.
4, (3), Mike Taylor, Cumming, GA, Acura Integra, 15.
5, (4), Max Gee, Bellville, OH, Honda Prelude, 15.
6, (5), Chuck Hines, Cameron, NC, Mazda MX-5, 15.
7, (9), Jon Sewell, Tallahassee, FL, Acura Integra Type R, 15.
8, (11), Zsolt Ferenczy, Alpharetta, GA, Acura Integra GSR, 15.
9, (10), Nathan Pring, Pittsboro, NC, Ford Mustang, 15.
10, (8), Amy Mills, Manson, WA, Mazda Miata, 15.
11, (14), Brian Hooper, Greensboro, NC, Honda Civic Si, 15.
12, (13), Theodore Cahall, Christiansburg, VA, Mazda Miata, 15.
13, (12), Austin Hilliard, Greenville, SC, Honda S2000, 14.
14, (16), Robert McManus, Monroe, NC, Mazda RX-8, 14.
15, (18), Neil Gueldner, Charlotte, NC, Mazda RX-7, 14.
16, (20), Brad Williams, Harrisonburg, VA, Mazda Miata, 14.
17, (21), Dan Harding, Dover, OH, Mazda Miata, 14.
18, (22), Whitfield Gregg, Manson, WA, Mazda Miata, 14.
19, (17), Steve Hunt, King George, VA, Mazda Miata, 8.
DNF, (7), David Palfenier, Miami, FL, Mazda MX-5, 1.
DNS, (15), Michael Sperber, Asheboro, NC, Ford Focus zx3,  .
DNS, (19), Chris Clarke, Fort Myers, FL, Mazda MX-5,  . 

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 31.55.016 (avg. 92.208 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.130 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: #36 Joe Moser, 2:06.682 (92.926mph)
Lap Leaders: #9 laps 1-2, 4, 7; #36 laps 3, 5-6, 8-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #71 Brad Williams


Photo caption: Joe Moser earned his fifth Runoffs title, his second in STL.

Photo by Rick Corwine

 

 


Kannard Breaks Through With His First Runoffs Gold in FP

Cliff Ira’s been fast in his No. 36 Cliff Ira Motorsports/JPM Honda Civic Del Sol Si, winning F Prod in 2021 – the first year he brought the car to the Runoffs. He’s also started the SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® in second and third, but this year was the first time he’d earned the Tire Rack Pole. But to his left for the green flag was Bill Hingston, whose qualifying time was less than half a second off Ira’s – and like Ira, this was the best he’d ever qualified at the Runoffs. These two were followed by Ken Kannard, who was two decades deep into his hunt for Runoffs gold, and two-time Runoffs champ Kevin Ruck, who was undoubtedly looking to better the silver medals he’d earned at the last two Runoffs.

The 20-car field neared the start line as the second race of the weekend on Friday, Sept. 29, as one of 23 races taking place on Hagerty Race Days at the 2023 SCCA Runoffs at VIRginia International Raceway.

Ira timed the start perfectly, jumping into the lead, followed by Hingston with Ruck on the outside – Ruck made the pass stick for second place through Left Hook. Exiting Oak Tree on the opening lap, the field was single file but stacked up as the front-wheel-drive race cars of Ira and Ruck pulled from the group into Roller Coaster.

At lap one’s conclusion, the top five were Ira, Ruck, Hingston, Campbell, and Kannard, but through Turns 9 and 10, Ira and Hingston came together, dropping both back. Up front, Ruck capitalized, putting a gap on the field. Kannard also gained from the melee, placing him second followed by Campbell, Mason Workman, and Ira.

It didn’t take long for Workman and Ira to pass Campbell, but by lap four of 15 – and turning laps a full second faster than Ruck – Ira worked his way up to challenge Kannard for second.

Ira’s speed on the front straight was impressive, allowing him to pull alongside Kannard multiple times by start/finish, but was unable to make the pass stick – then working lap seven, a full-course caution flew when Hingston impacted the tire wall on VIR’s fast west side. That caution grouped the field, completely erasing the near three-second advantage Ruck had built over Kannard and Ira, followed by Workman and Campbell.

The green reemerged for the start of lap eight, with Ruck, Kannard, and Ira going three wide exiting Turn 1 – but that move only opened the door for Workman and Campbell, as Ira dropped to fifth. Workman took full advantage through South Bend, clinching second from Kannard, although the power of Kannard’s No. 51 Northwest Cable/Hoosier/G-Loc/OPM/JPM 1995 Acura Integra GSR had him back in second place by Roller Coaster.

That excitement offered Ruck clean track, as he pulled away in his No. 73 Hoosier/Wilwood/AEM 1990 Acura Integra GSR once more.

“The restart couldn’t have gone a whole lot better,” Ruck said. “The car was hooked up in a groove running [fast] times – the car was great. I was able to not get a draft effect – those guys have to draft and I can run on my own. I knew in sector one and sector three I had the best car out here, but I knew once we got into some drafting, it was going to be hard.”

Working lap 10, Ira had battled back into third, but he had his work cut out for him as Kannard made the pass for the lead through Roller Coaster and Hog Pen.

This dicing opened up an opportunity for Ira, who was now on Ruck’s bumper, challenging for second. Then on lap 11, Ira passed Ruck, then challenged Kannard for the lead on the front straight. Ruck put his nose in the action too, but the three settled back into a tight Kannard-Ira-Ruck train exiting Left Hook.

The battle for the lead raged, with Ira finally making the pass while working lap 13 into NASCAR Bend – but Kannard wouldn’t have it, staying side-by-side and reclaiming the top spot one turn later.

Ira was glued to Kannard’s bumper on the final lap, with Ruck just over a second behind in third. Onto the front straight, Ira tried the draft once more, popping out for the checker.

“I thought I could totally beat him to the line,” Ira said of the final run out of Hog Pen. “My gearing was really killer right there, and I faked inside to make him come over to go outside, but I did it a tick too early, so I lost the draft.”

At the stripe, it was Kannard over Ira by 0.123sec, and Ruck in third. Workman and Campbell rounded out the top five.

“I had a better gap coming out of Oak Tree [on the final lap], but I saw [Ira] coming because he had a really good run through Roller Coaster and Hog Pen, so I knew he was going to be there,” Kannard said after spraying the Mazza Sparkling Wine in victory circle. “And sure enough, I look at my mirrors coming out of Hog Pen, and he’s there. But he just didn’t have enough to get it done.”

This win marked Kannard’s first SCCA National Championship – something he’d been racing for since his first Runoffs appearance in 2001.

“I’ve chased [a National Championship] for over 20 years, and I’ve won a lot of races, but this one has eluded me,” said Kannard. “It’s a relief to get one done.”

The Sunoco Hard Charger Award went to Richard Gallup, who ran from 16th on the grid to finish eighth.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Friday's F Production race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (3), Ken Kannard, Sebring, FL, Acura Integra GSR, 15.
2, (1), Cliff Ira, Kansas City, MO, Honda Civic Del Sol Si VTEC, 15.
3, (4), Kevin Ruck, Marysville, OH, Acura Integra, 15.
4, (5), Mason Workman, Canal Winchester, OH, Mazda Miata, 15.
5, (6), Charlie Campbell, Corry, PA, Mazda Miata, 15.
6, (7), Doug Weaver, Chatham, ON, Mazda Miata, 15.
7, (13), Les Chaney, Eden, NC, Acura Integra, 15.
8, (16), Richard Gallup, Clermont, FL, Mazda Miata, 15.
9, (12), Steffen Clark, Salem, VA, Mazda Miata, 15.
10, (18), Steven Layfield, Abingdon, VA, Mazda Miata, 15.
11, (15), David Colbey, Utica, NY, Acura Integra LS, 15.
12, (11), David Strittmatter, Akron, OH, Acura Integra, 15.
13, (19), George (Spike) Behning, Vienna, VA, Mazda Miata, 15.
14, (20), Gregg Seigart, Bristol, TN, Mazda Miata, 15.
15, (14), Mark Weber, Saint Louis, MO, Mazda Miata, 12.
16, (17), Ben Glowka, Greensboro, NC, Acura Integra, 11.
17, (8), Stephen Simonds, Rosharon, TX, Mazda Miata, 10.
18, (10), Perry Simonds, Winnsboro, TX, Mazda Miata, 8.
DNF, (9), Michael Kamalian, Marietta, GA, Mazda Miata, 5.
DNF, (2), Bill Hingston, Parker, CO, Mazda Miata, 3.

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 35:34.489 (avg. 82.727 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.123 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: #36 Cliff Ira, 2:07.787 (92.122 mph)
Lap Leaders: #36 laps 1, 11-12; #73 laps 2-9; #51 laps 10,13-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #5 Richard Gallup

Photo by Jeff Loewe

 


Through Smoke, Richardson Claims 1st in American Sedan

Through Smoke, Richardson Claims 1st in American Sedan

After claiming his first-ever Tire Rack Pole Award on Thursday, Daniel Richardson and his No. 22 Hoosier/AutoGear/GentiumTech Chevrolet Camaro opened Hagerty Race Days — leading the American Sedan® field to the green flag Friday morning — for the first National Championship race at the 60th running of SCCA’s Runoffs® at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).

Three-time National Champion Gregory Eaton, in a Ford Mustang, was alongside Richardson at the start, and the two racers went side-by-side through the first couple turns on the first lap. To make things even more interesting, James Jost was trying to insert himself in the mix driving a Ford Mustang GT.

Before the cars made it to the Snake portion of VIR’s 18-turn, 3.27-mile circuit, Eaton had managed to secure the lead with Richardson, of Derwood, MD, right on his tail. Meanwhile, Jost’s car began emitting heavy smoke while making its way up the Climbing Esses, and he pulled his car out of the race.

On the third lap, it was Eaton leading Richardson, with a small gap back to Thomas West in third, in a Cadillac CTS-V, and the No. 78 Wesley Motorsports/Bilstein Dodge Challenger of Clark Cambern in fourth. But in the Climbing Esses once again, Eaton’s car began emitting a massive amount of smoke, and he spun into the grass and out of the race.

Richardson had the lead from that point, and maintained a gap on everyone for the rest of the 15-lap race. The result: His very first Runoffs win in 14 starts.

“We finally got it,” Richardson said with tears in his eyes. “Every time I go to the racetrack, I don’t really care about where I finish. I just want to go faster than I did last year. I want to get better as a driver. I want to work on myself, and learn more.”

Behind Richardson, Cambern was able to get by West for second, and tried to close in on the first-place driver, but he had lost too much time early in the race. A last-lap slide off in Turn 1 could have cost him, but he was able to get back on track without losing a position and settled for the second step on the podium for his second runner-up finish at the Runoffs.

“I knew if we lost too much time early, we’d be in trouble because we are a long-run car,” Cambern said afterwards. “We had just a messy start, and were in the wrong places at the wrong time over and over and over again.”

Further back, West tried to hold on to the final step on the victory podium. But just beyond the race’s halfway point, Amy Aquilante moved by in the No. 51 TAR/DBA Rotors/Hoosier/Hawk Pontiac Firebird after starting seventh. She quickly pulled away from West, and finished a comfortable third, earning her a third appearance on a Runoffs podium.

“My car just kept coming in better and better,” Aquilante said. “We went out on track a little blind, but I felt it out. After that, I was ready to go.”

West finished fourth, and Beth Aquilante earned the Sunoco Hard Charger honor after starting ninth and finishing fifth.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Friday’s American Sedan® race at the 2023 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Daniel Richardson, Derwood, MD, Chevrolet Camaro, 15
2, (3), Clark Cambern, Dewitt, MI, Dodge Challenger, 15
3, (7), Amy Aquilante, Phoenixville, PA, Pontiac Firebird, 15
4, (6), Thomas West, Standish, ME, Cadillac CTS-V, 15
5, (9), Beth Aquilante, Collingswood, NJ, Pontiac Firebird, 15
6, (8), Kyle Jones, Milford, MI, Pontiac Firebird, 15
7, (10), Sam Daniels, Northlake, TX, Chevrolet Camaro, 14
8, (11), Kelly Lubash, Stamford, CT, Chevrolet Camaro, 13
DNF, (2), Gregory Eaton, Woodbridge, VA, Ford Mustang, 2
DNF, (4), James Jost, New Ringgold, PA, Ford Mustang GT, 0
DNF, (5), Andrew McDermid, Howell, MI, Ford Mustang, 0

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 31:25.221 (avg. 93.665 mph)
Margin of Victory: 32.896 seconds
Fastest Race Lap:
Lap Leaders: #21, Laps 1-2; #22, Laps 3-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #51 Amy Aquilante

________________________________________

Photo caption: Daniel Richardson is indeed number one after winning the Runoffs American Sedan race Friday.

Photo by: Jay Bonvouloir

 

 


Turner Tilts To First Formula Enterprises 2 National Championship

Turner Tilts To First Formula Enterprises 2 National Championship

An auspicious start to the Formula Enterprises® 2 race at the 60th running of the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® came back to Tire Rack Pole Award winner Russell Turner, of Montpelier, VA, who claimed his first gold medal on Friday during the Hagerty Race Days at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).

Turner’s No. 32 Formula Enterprises/Mazda and Franklin Futrelle’s No. 97 Comprent Motorsports/Meco Inc Formula Enterprises/Mazda had a gap on the field of nearly a second in the spec class following qualifying, and the duo were set to battle from the drop of the green flag.

Running side-by-side through the opening three corners on cold tires, Turner slid wide in the right-handed Turn 4 and dropped back to fourth. A spin from a driver in the middle of the field caused a chain reaction incident that involved eight cars in the second half of the 26-car field, bringing out the opening lap full course caution. That caution period became a 14-minute stop in pit lane for a black flag to clear the track.

Now a 40-minute timed race, Futrelle led Adam Jennerjahn, Caleb Shrader, and Turner to the green flag, in order, for the restart. But Turner, admittedly angry from a belief in the moment that he was forced off the track, had the famed “red mist” turned up and immediately moved forward. A good run out of the Oak Tree turn saw Turner in front of Futrelle and back in the lead by the end of that first lap.

“I laid off Caleb a little bit to give myself a little bit of a run, and timed it just perfect,” Turner said. “It could not have worked out better for me. That’s how I was able to get a monster run past him and Adam into Turn 1. The next three or four corners I was able to reel in Franklin. I was worried if he got out I wouldn’t be able to get back to him so I was intent on catching him. I got around him on the restart lap.”

When a second full course caution came out on lap 10 with three minutes remaining in the race, Turner had his first National Championship in hand. Even better, he had earned the SCCA Super Sweep after claiming the Runoffs title, the Hoosier Racing Tire point championship, a U.S. Majors Tour point championship, and a Super Tour race win, all in the same class this season.

“It feels awesome,” Turner said. “At the end, everything worked out. I’ve calmed down now and feel much better. After that first lap, I was on tilt, let’s put it that way. I just paced myself from there.”

Futrelle, a two-time National Champion in his own right, knew he had his work cut out of him to keep Turner in his mirrors. Instead, he earned his third career podium, and the first that wasn’t a win.

“All week, Russ has had a little bit of pace on us,” Futrelle said. “I knew it was going to be important to get the lead on the start, and I talked to my team and I had a feeling whoever could lead out of Turn 5 and into the Esses might could win the race that way. We tried to do it, drove Russ hard, and he dropped two off. I raced him hard and he was able to make an amazing come back.

“I’m really proud of Russ. He’s been trying really hard for this win for a while, and he deserves it.”

Just behind the lead battle was Shrader, who spent the early stage of the restart battling with Jennerjahn. He got his No. 99 Liquid Death Formula Enterprises/Mazda clear and into the bronze medal position on lap 10, with seven minutes remaining, and when the final caution came out he had earned his first podium finish.

“Once I got past Jennerjahn, I just wanted to have a nice, calm race,” Shrader said. “I just wanted to keep third place, because if it stayed green the whole time the front two might have got a little dicey and I could grab the win. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but I had a phenomenal race and a good end to the year.”

Jennerjahn finished fourth, while Paul Schneider – one of the cars who got caught up in the opening lap incident – came back to complete the top five. Craig Haltom, who started the race 25th and climbed to 17th at the finish, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger for most positions gained in the race.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com, along with an audio-only feed from the Super Tour Radio presented by Hoosier Racing Tire broadcast team.


Below are provisional results for Friday's Formula Enterprises 2 race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Charles Russell Turner, Montpelier, VA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
2, (2), Franklin Futrelle, Augusta, GA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
3, (3), Caleb Shrader, Tigard, OR, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
4, (4), Adam Jennerjahn, Valencia, CA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
5, (6), Paul Schneider, Charlotte, NC, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
6, (5), Justin Huffman, Herndon, VA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
7, (10), John Yeatman, Cave Creek, AZ, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
8, (13), Bryan Yates, Kernersville, NC, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
9, (12), Sam Harrington, Finksburg, MD, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
10, (8), Bailey Monette, Milton, GA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
11, (15), Steve Whitston, Georgetown, TX, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
12, (9), Darryl Wills, League City, TX, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
13, (19), Thomas Green, Sorrento, FL, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
14, (20), James Regan, Longmeadow, MA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
15, (22), Alastair McEwan, Miami, FL, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
16, (21), Tom Burt, Woodway, WA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
17, (25), Craig Haltom, Blountville, TN, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
18, (26), Marc Stern, Hilton Head Island, SC, SCCA Mazda FE2, 11.
19, (23), James Brookshire, Saluda, NC, SCCA Mazda FE2, 8.
DNF, (7), Jamison Huffman, Herndon, VA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 0.
DNF, (11), Kelton Jago, Midland, MI, SCCA Mazda FE2, 0.
DNF, (14), Matthew Romer, Lake Havasu City, AZ, SCCA Mazda FE2, 0.
DNF, (16), Eric Cruz, Williamsburg, VA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 0.
DNF, (17), Todd Vanacore, Ormond Beach, FL, SCCA Mazda FE2, 0.
DNF, (18), Dean Oppermann, Minooka, IL, SCCA Mazda FE2, 0.
DNF, (24), Jonathan Weisheit, Baltimore, MD, SCCA Mazda FE2, 0. 

Race Stats

Length of Race: 35.97 miles
Overall Time of Race: 42:40.543 (50.572 mph)
Margin of Victory: 00.434 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:51.098 (105.961 mph)
Lap Leaders: #97, Laps 1-3; #32, Laps 4-11
Sunoco Hard Charger: #43 Craig Haltom

 


Photo caption: Russell Turner earned his first SCCA National Championship in Formula Enterprises 2

Photo by: Jeff Loewe

 


Odrick Tackles GT-2, Scores a Championship

Odrick Tackles GT-2, Scores a Championship

 

“This is really cool.”

Those were the few, meek words Jared Odrick, of Lebanon, PA, could muster while choking back tears in pitlane immediately after winning his first SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® race in only his second attempt.

Odrick, a former NFL player, started third in Friday’s GT-2 race at VIRginia International Raceway driving the No. 01 Black Underwear Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup car. In front of him was three-time Runoffs winner Tony Ave, in a Nissan 350Z, and Tire Rack Pole Award winner Barry Boes in the No. 32 Accio Data/Data Facts Ford Mustang.

Boes held the lead in the opening laps, but Ave slipped by in Turn 4 on lap three. For the first third of the 15-lap race around VIR’s 18-turn, 3.27-mile circuit, the lead group consisted of Ave, Boes, Odrick, Daniel Bender in the No. 36 Bravo Trailers Chevrolet Camaro, and Tom Patton in the crowd-favorite Sunbeam Tiger.

As the race progressed, Patton fell back from the lead group. On lap five, Odrick was able to drop Boes back to third, and began to focus on Ave. Then on lap 11, a puff of smoke bloomed from Ave’s car, and a few corners later he was off the pace and out of the race. By that point, Bender had also lost contact with the leaders, which meant the battle for GT-2 supremacy was down to just Odrick and Boes.

For the next four laps, Boes plotted and planned on ways to make a pass for the lead, but just couldn’t quite get it done cleanly.

“I had a good bit on him up the Esses, but I just couldn’t capitalize on it,” Boes said. “What I really tried to do is just stick to him coming out of Oak Tree and get him coming into the next corner. But I could never quite just get it right.”

While Boes ended up on the runner-up step of victory podium in his inaugural Runoffs race, he certainly won the gold medal as far as earning respect in Odrick’s eyes.

“Barry Boes is cool as hell. He’s the coolest guy in the world,“ Odrick said while standing upon the victory podium. “Racing has taught me a lot. There have been a lot of men who have taught me a lot here, lessons I didn’t learn in football.”

Bender finished comfortably in the third spot for his fourth Runoffs podium appearance Friday during the Hagerty Race Day.

“The car was sort of a handful all week,” Bender admitted afterwards. “I was really hoping to fight for a win this week, but we couldn’t quite get the car the way we wanted it. Coming out of corners, I just couldn’t get the power down. But in the end, it’s so fun to be on the podium at the Runoffs.”

In his 36th Runoffs start, Patton finished fourth. Simon Asselin finished fifth in a Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup car. The Sunoco Hard Charger award went to Al Rowland, who started 11th and finished seventh.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Friday’s GT-2 race at the 2023 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (3), Jared Odrick, Lebanon, PA, Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup, 15.
2, (1), Barry Boes, Austin, TX, Ford Mustang, 15.
3, (4), Daniel Bender, Northbrook, IL, Chevrolet Camaro, 15.
4, (5), Tom Patton, Fairfield Twp, OH, Sunbeam Tiger, 15.
5, (6), Simon Asselin, Sammamish, WA, Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup, 15.
6, (8), Michael Quattlebaum, Houston, TX, Chevrolet Corvette, 15.
7, (11), Al Rowland, Mebane, NC, Chevrolet Camaro, 15.
8, (7), Jorge Nazario, San Juan, PR, Chevrolet Corvette, 15.
9, (10), Scotty B White, Auburn, WA, Dodge Viper Comp Coupe, 15.
10, (9), Jack Stanford, Commerce, GA, Chevrolet SS, 15.
11, (13), William Moore, Chagrin Falls, OH, Chevrolet Camaro, 15.
12, (15), Dan Harding, Dover, OH, Porsche 996, 13.
13, (2), Tony Ave, Maiden, NC, Nissan 350Z, 10.
DNF, (14), Paul Ruth, Parker, TX, Pontiac Grand Prix, 3.
DNF, (16), Paolo Salvatore, San Antonio, TX, Ford Mustang, 1.
DNS, (12), Pete Peterson, Lumberton, NC, Toyota Celica,  .

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 28:39.125 (avg. 102.715 mph)
Margin of Victory: 00.348 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:52.865 (104.302 mph)
Lap Leaders: #32, Laps 1-2; #44, Laps 3-10; #01, Laps 11-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #7 Al Rowland

________________________________________

Photo caption: Jared Odrick claimed a GT-2 National Championship after winning his Friday race at the SCCA Runoffs.

Photo by Jay Bonvouloir

 

 


Ave Goes Wire To Wire For GT-3 Championship

Ave Goes Wire To Wire For GT-3 Championship

Tony Ave, of Maiden, NC, earned his fourth SCCA road racing National Championship on Friday after leading the GT-3 field wire to wire at the SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® at VIRginia International Raceway.

It was a redemption of an up-and-down day for Ave, who was leading the GT-2 race earlier in the first of three Hagerty Race Days at the Runoffs when his car pulled off with a mechanical failure. He had no such issues in GT-3, driving his No. 44 Acura RSX from the Tire Rack Pole and leading all 15 laps on the way to a 20.725sec win.

“GT-3 is my favorite class,” Ave said. “I just love the little cars, it’s a mini Trans Am car, really. The harder you drive them, the faster they go, and I’ve never been Mr. Finesse, so it fits my style. I really enjoy it. I enjoy racing with the guys. This track is like my home track anymore, and with the Runoffs being here for the last time for a while I wanted to win one. I was disappointed this morning, and I really can’t believe how good that car handled today. It really made it easy. That car was just on rails.”

Behind Ave was a pair of former champions in a battle of their own. Jeff Dernehl used the advantages in his No. 63 ROARacing/Hoosier/Luckys Mazda RX-7 to power away from Warren Montague each lap, only to see that gap close through the twisty parts of the road course. But Dernehl held the silver medal position throughout the race to earn an emotional seventh career podium finish.

“That was great,” Dernehl said. “Tony is just an animal, and [when] you’re dealing with someone that’s a complete professional, you don’t feel too bad. We had a tremendously tough week. My wife was admitted to the emergency room a week before I left, and it was a nightmare. I have a horrendous chest cold and I didn’t even know if I could get in the car. Everyone did a fantastic job.”

Montague was making just his second appearance at the Runoffs since 2003, making back-to-back appearances at VIR for the first time in the GT-3 class. Montague raced the former GT-4 class in the 1990s, winning the 1996 National Championship at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

“It is great to be on the podium with those guys. Tony is a phenomenal driver, and anytime I can be on the podium with him it’s a real honor. Jeff is an incredible driver too, both of them have years of experience. This is my second year in GT-3. I had gotten out of racing and my beautiful wife talked me into getting back into it.”

Zachary Hollingshead and Ray Stephenson completed the top five in the race. Hollingshead, who started the race in sixth place, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger for most positions gained during the race.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com, along with an audio-only feed from the Super Tour Radio presented by Hoosier Racing Tire broadcast team.


Below are provisional results for Friday's GT-3 race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Tony Ave, Maiden, NC, Acura RSX, 15.

2, (2), Jeff Dernehl, Roswell, GA, Mazda RX-7, 15.

3, (3), Warren Montague, Midlothian, VA, Toyota Celica, 15.

4, (6), Zachary Hollingshead, Lake City, FL., Mazda Miata, 15.

5, (9), Ray Stephenson, Miami, FL, Mazda RX-7, 14.

6, (8), Timothy Proctor, Columbus, NJ, Nissan 240SX, 14.

7, (7), Chris Edens, Sherwood, AR, Mazda Miata, 7.

8, (4), Michael Lewis, Poway, CA, Mazda RX-7, 7.

DNS, (5), Joe Kristensen, London, ON, Honda Civic,  .

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 30:18.730 (97.090 mph)
Margin of Victory: 20.725 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:59.872 (98.205 mph)
Lap Leaders: #44, Laps 1-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #56 Zachary Hollingshead

 


Photo caption: Tony Ave sailed away from the GT-3 field on the way to his fourth win.

Photo by: Jay Bonvouloir

 

 


 

Anderson Starts On Pole, Then Gets More in Touring 4

 

Anderson Starts On Pole, Then Gets More in Touring 4

The first of three Hagerty Race Days continued at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) Friday afternoon during the 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs® with a Touring 4 (T4) race — a field of 23 competitors facing sunny and warming conditions.

At the front of the bunch was Tire Rack Pole Award winner Devin Anderson, of Mooresville, NC, in the No. 11 TechSport Racing/Red Line Oil Subaru BRZ. Beside him was a Toyota 86 driven by four-time Runoffs winner and reigning T4 National Champion Marshall Mast.

On the first of what was a 15-lap contest around VIR’s 18-turn, 3.27-mile circuit, Mast assumed the lead before the field curled through the track’s Snake curves. Anderson, however, didn’t give up. Going down the 4,000-foot back straight — nicknamed Madison Avenue — Anderson managed to get back around for the lead, and another Subaru BRZ wheeled by Nick Leverone dropped Mast back to third.

Mast looked to be serious about getting back to the front, but then dipped a wheel off the track in South Bend, spinning him off circuit and out of the race — and bringing out a full-course yellow and a shuffle in the pack.

The race restart on lap seven saw Anderson being chased by Jonathan Neudorf in the No. 95 Neuterra Mazda Miata. Then there was Jaden Lander in a Mazda MX-5, the Mazda RX-8 of Raymond Blethen, Leverone, the No. 83 Eckerich Race Engr/Hoosier Mazda RX-8 with Christian Braunlich in it, and a few other drivers very much in the hunt.

Working lap eight, Anderson and Neudorf managed to form a small breakaway couple. And recognizing an opportunity, Neudorf nosed by Anderson in Turn 4, only to see Anderson power back by at the end of Madison Avenue.

With a handful of laps remaining, Neudorf and Anderson were running side-by-side through some corners. Not far behind, six other drivers were squabbling to see who would claim the third and final T4 step on the podium. But out of that group emerged Braunlich, who started seventh but was closing in on the lead two cars all by himself.

The penultimate lap saw Neudorf and Anderson swap the lead again. On the last lap, however, Braunlich managed to get by Neudorf and onto hunt Anderson with a purpose. Braunlich got a great run out of Hog Pen — the final corner — and pulled out from behind Anderson to take a shot at the victory. The winning margin was only 0.075sec, and the triumph went to Anderson for his first National Championship in just two Runoffs appearances.

“It was scary watching that RX-8 barreling down on me at the end,” Anderson said. “It was an amazing race by all my competitors. That was a really tough race to win. It took a lot of consistency, and really diving deep to try and stay ahead of those guys.”

Perhaps no surprise, Braunlich was a bit frustrated — but not angry. Certainly, he wished the race was one or two laps longer, which could’ve made all the difference.

“They probably had a good 10- or 15-car gap on me … and the next thing you know I’m catching them down the back straightaway,” Braunlich said. “Then I was on Anderson’s bumper coming down the front straight. I can’t ask for anything better from my first Runoffs. I’m happy with second.” 

Neudorf, too, couldn’t be all that disappointed. Making his first appearance on the Runoffs victory podium, and getting to spray Mazza Sparkling Wine — the Official Sparkling Wine of SCCA’s National Championship — on only his second trip to the Runoffs is pretty special.

“It was more mentally demanding than physically demanding today,” Neudorf said. “I was sitting behind, just planning what my next move would be. I was bumper to bumper with Anderson the whole time. Obviously, there’s some stress, but it’s a good time.”

Behind the podium finishers was Blethen in fourth after a hard-fought race. Kevin Fryer finished fifth and Sergio Zlobin was sixth, with both men driving Mazda MX-5s. John McLendon, who started 24th and finished 18th, received the Sunoco Hard Charger award.

The 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Friday’s Touring 4 race at the 2023 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Devin Anderson, Mooresville, NC, Subaru BRZ, 15.
2, (7), Christian Braunlich, Fort Mill, SC, Mazda RX-8, 15.
3, (6), Jonathan Neudorf, Scottsdale, AZ, Mazda Miata, 15.
4, (4), Raymond Blethen, Londonderry, NH, Mazda RX-8, 15.
5, (9), Kevin Fryer, Durham, NC, Mazda MX-5, 15.
6, (11), Sergio Zlobin, Houston, TX, Mazda MX-5, 15.
7, (3), Nick Leverone, Mendon, MA, Subaru BRZ, 15.
8, (5), Jaden Lander, New York, NY, Mazda MX-5, 15.
9, (14), Richard Astacio, Wilton, CT, Mazda MX-5, 15.
10, (10), Stephen Blethen, Bow, NH, Mazda RX-8, 15.
11, (15), Owen Schefer, Warrenton, VA, Mazda RX-8, 15.
12, (8), Christopher Windsor, Thurmont, MD, Mazda MX-5, 15.
13, (16), Jeff Giordano, Cary, NC, Mazda MX-5, 15.
14, (12), Paolo Salvatore, San Antonio, TX, Ford Mustang V6, 15.
15, (18), Ayden Rose, Staatsburg, NY, Mazda MX-5, 15.
16, (17), Brent Simonson, Millersville, MD, Mazda RX-8, 15.
17, (20), Ron Munnerlyn, Bennettsville, SC, Mazda MX-5, 15.
18, (24), John McLendon, Southport, NC, Mazda MX-5, 15.
19, (21), Morgan Mehler, Belville, NC, Mazda MX-5, 15.
20, (19), Ken Lendrum, Queensbury, NY, Subaru BRZ, 13.
21, (13), Jeremy Butz, Darnestown, MD, Mazda MX-5, 8.
DNF, (22), Christopher Deen, Wilmington, NC, Scion FR-S, 5.
DNF, (2), Marshall Mast, Denver, PA, Toyota 86, 2.
DNS, (23), Mathew Milford, New Bern, NC, Honda Civic SI,  .

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 40:13.776 (avg. 73.155 mph)
Margin of Victory: 00.075 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 2:11.962 (89.207 mph)
Lap Leaders: #11, Laps 1-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #29 John McLendon

________________________________________

Photo caption: Devin Anderson fought off several challengers to earn the 2023 Runoffs Touring 4 National Championship.

Photo by Jay Bonvouloir

 

 


Pancea Sets P2 Pace To Earn First Runoffs Title

The Prototype 2 (P2) field at the 60th running of the SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® at VIRginia International Raceway saw a field of 11 – largely made up of Stohr WF1s – take the Hagerty Race Days green flag on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, led by Tire Rack Polesitter and defending P2 National Champion Greg Gyann in his No. 83 Gycor International Stohr WF1 Suzuki. But while Gyann was fast, he wasn’t first to the checkered flag – that honor went to Lucian Pancea.

Gyann wasted no time locking in the first position at the green, with second-place qualifier Tim Day Jr. tucking in behind. Day challenged Gyann into Roller Coaster, clinching the spot. Sherman Chao was in third, but already a full second behind the leaders. On Chao’s heels was Tony Ave, who was fresh off two races earlier in the same day – one of which produced a GT-3 win –  followed by Pancea in fourth.

Working lap four, Gyann attempted an outside pass on Day into Turn 1, but the speed took him into the dirt, handing a multi-second lead to Day and advancing Chao to second with Ave now in third, and Pancea fractions of a second behind.

“It’s just not been a great turn for me all week – usually it is,” Gyann said of the bobble. “I just took it a little too close to the end there, and I was almost there, but almost doesn’t count.”

Day’s lead was not written in stone, and by lap seven, Chao was a half-second off and closing. Then Pancea dropped the hammer, clicking off lap times some two seconds faster than the competition. On lap eight, Pancea charged through and made the pass for the lead. Almost at the same time, Chao spun through Hog Pen.

Day was not about to give up, passing Pancea for the lead into Roller Coaster the next go-round. Day and Pancea set to rocketing around the course, followed by a slightly distant Ave and Gyann, who was working his way back from as low as sixth. At that point, Gyann was turning the fastest laps of the race, and that put him past Ave and into third by the eleventh lap.

“I didn’t know if there was a little damage from the start – I felt it, but I didn’t know,” Gyann said. “The car seemed OK. It was good but not great. It was charging there at the end, but just not enough time, I guess.”

Starting lap 13, Day attempted an inside pass on Pancea, with the pair touching on the front straight. Both continued, but that action surely got the attention of both drivers. For Pancea, he took the opportunity to light the wick even more, sliding through Oak Tree and putting a full second gap on Day by start/finish.

The last lap set the stage for a shootout, with Day 0.301sec off Pancea’s wing as the two began their final trek around VIR’s 3.27-mile full course. The pair pushed hard, with Pancea keeping a narrower line exiting Oak Tree. Day’s speed was plentiful, but Pancea covered the challenge by just enough, taking the win by 0.063sec and claiming his first SCCA National Championship title.

Gyann finished third, some 2.8sec back, with Ave and Chao rounding out the top five.

“I started off racing my good friend Greg [Gyann], and for the first lap both of us were on the edge the whole time,” Day said of his run to the silver in his No. 8 Goodyear/GDRE/Summit/Hawk Stohr WF1 Suzuki. “Then after that, I had Sherman [Chao] chasing me down, and then he started evaporating in the mirrors a little bit. And then [Pancea and I] traded positions a couple times and went toe to toe. [It was] some really good, hard racing.”

Pancea’s victory in his No. 99 Young Racing/Newport Villa/LuckorL Stohr WF1 Kawasaki comes after three consecutive second-place Runoffs finishes in P2, breaking a tradition of him finishing up front, but a little short of the gold.

“It was tough, but we’re here – I’m happy,” Pancea said before spraying Mazza Sparking Wine from the top step of the podium, adding that while he won, he wasn’t sure how his race was going to go until several laps in. “After our last qualifying [session], the car was pretty undrivable, so my team made changes, so I had no idea. I just told myself, hey, I need a clean start, and if the car’s OK then I’ll start driving hard. But I didn’t know probably until the third or fourth lap that I had actually a good car.”

The top five drivers all had good cars, with each of them racing faster than the track record. Pancea, however, was the class of the field, setting the bar with fastest lap of 1:48.829, some 0.562sec faster than the second-fastest driver.

A.J. Snyder was presented with the Sunoco Hard Charger award for his run from 12th to eighth.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com.


Below are provisional results for Friday’s Prototype 2 race at the 60th SCCA National Championship Runoffs from VIRginia International Raceway, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps completed.

1, (4), Lucian Pancea, San Antonio, TX, Stohr WF1 Kawasaki, 15.
2, (2), Tim Day Jr, Scottsdale, AZ, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 15.
3, (1), Greg Gyann, Western Springs, IL, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 15.
4, (5), Tony Ave, Maiden, NC, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 15.
5, (3), Sherman Chao, Palm Beach, FL, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 15.
6, (7), Bart Wolf, Elkhart Lake, WI, Ligier JS49 Honda, 15.
7, (9), Thomas Kaufman, Riviera Beach, FL, Stohr 01D Suzuki, 15.
8, (12), AJ Snyder, Gastonia, NC, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 15.
9, (6), Mike Reupert, Hubertus, WI, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 8.
10, (11), Richard Colburn, Northbrook, IL, Nostendo 1 Suzuki, 7.
DNF, (10), Michael Moulton, Wilmington, NC, Stohr WF1, 6.
DNS, (8), Peter Shadowen, West Palm Beach, FL, West WX10 Suzuki,  .

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 27:40.802 (avg. 106.322 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.063 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: #99 Lucian Pancea, 1:48.829 (108.170 mph)
Lap Leaders: #8 laps 1-7, 9; #99 laps 8, 10-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #89 AJ Snyder

Photo caption: Lucian Pancea pounded out fast laps on his way to a P2 National Championship at the 2023 Runoffs.

Photo by Jay Bonvouloir

 

 


 

2023 Runoffs Tire Rack Pole Award Winners from VIR

2023 Runoffs Tire Rack Pole Award Winners from VIR

Three days of qualifying have come to a close at the 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs® taking place Sept. 23-Oct. 1, 2023, along the central border of Virginia and North Carolina at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).

Thursday was Tire Rack Pole Award day, which means 24 drivers have now been identified as the competitors who will lead their respective classes to the green flag over the next three Hagerty Race Days.

Each Tire Rack Pole Award winner receives some nifty swag and $500 to spend at Tire Rack. Equally important is the competitive and psychological advantage they gain by starting out front, and perhaps reaching the checkered flag first on their way to victory podium celebrations and a bottle from Mazza Vineyards, the Runoffs’ “Official Sparkling Wine” supplier for eight years running.

Some items of note include Nolan Allaer, who last year earned the fastest qualifier and turned the fastest lap on his way to his first Formula Continental National Championship. One year later, Allaer has built on that success with a pair of Tire Rack Pole Awards in both Formula Continental and Formula F. His Tuesday lap of 1:50.281 in the No. 11 Martini/Chandon/LTD Motorsports Van Diemen RF02/Ford held for his second consecutive top spot in Formula Continental by more than a second, while his No. 11 Martini/Chandon/Evan Williams Van Diemen RF00/Ford topped Formula F with a Tuesday time of 1:59.249. He’ll lead the FC field to the green on Saturday afternoon, and repeat the process in FF on Sunday.

Speaking of doubling up, Danny Steyn earned two Tire Rack Pole Awards Thursday by being fastest in both Spec Miata and Super Touring Lite (STL). In the No. 9 Ocean Machinery/OPM/Nelson Mazda MX-5, Steyn earned his sixth top qualifier in STL and seventh in his career when his Tuesday lap of 2:05.779 held through the week. Then in the No. 39 OPM/Rossini/G-Loc/Planet Miata Mazda Miata, Steyn was fastest in Spec Miata, which made for his second Runoffs pole in SM, and his eighth Tire Rack Pole Award overall.

A couple Runoffs qualifying lap records have now also been reset. For instance, Thursday was the quick day in Formula Enterprises 2, as the top four drivers posted their best times. At the end, Charles Russell Turner earned his second consecutive pole in the class with a time of 1:50.665 in the No. 32 Formula Enterprises/Mazda. Turner’s lap fell under the previous Runoffs track record on his way to the Tire Rack Pole Award.

Andrew Aquilante earned his 21st Tire Rack Pole Award, second all-time and just four behind Jerry Hansen’s record of 25, with a lap of 1:54.540 in the No. 33 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Hawk Ford Mustang in Touring 1, which was a new qualifying lap record. It’s the seventh consecutive year that Aquilante has led the T1 field to the green flag at the Runoffs.

GTs Ready to Go

GT-3 saw a change for the top spot over three days of qualifying. It was Jeff Dernehl who led the pack as of Tuesday evening. Then on Wednesday, reigning GT-3 champ Tony Ave came out in his No. 44 Acura RSX and stole the pole. Ave didn’t post a qualifying time on Thursday, but what he produced the day before was good enough for his first Tire Rack Pole Award in the class, and third Runoffs pole overall.

Peter Shadowen, driving the No. 72 Road N Race/Goodyear Honda CRX in GT-Lite (GTL), was quickest in class all three days of qualifying. The defending GTL National Champion also managed to get faster each day on his way to a fourth Tire Rack Pole Award. GT-2 driver Barry Boes, in the No. 32 Accio Data/Data Facts Ford Mustang, did the same – except this was his very first Tire Rack Pole Award.

Touring on to Pole

Devin Anderson started his rookie Runoffs race second a year ago on his way to a podium finish, but this year he’ll start one step further up in the Touring 4 field after putting his No. 11 TechSport Racing/Red Line Oil Subaru BRZ on the Tire Rack pole with a lap of 2:10.514.

For the eighth time in his career, Kurt Rezzetano will start a Runoffs race from the Tire Rack Pole. His lap of 1:59.504 in the No. 37 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Hawk Ford Mustang GT marks the sixth overall, and third consecutive time at the front of the Touring 2 field.

The brothers Ott led the Touring 3 field and will start alongside each other on the front row, with Steve and his No. 26 Hoosier/Alpine Motorsports BMW Z4 just 0.01-second ahead of older brother and defending champion Jason at the end of qualifying. It is the first career Tire Rack Pole Award for Steve Ott.

For the second consecutive year, Johan Schwartz earned the Tire Rack Pole Award for Super Touring Under. Schwartz drove the No. 4 VanSteenburg Performance Porsche 944 to a best lap of 2:00.389 on Wednesday, which held through Thursday afternoon’s session.

Production Notes

John Hainsworth has come close to earning the Tire Rack Pole before, starting second, third, and fourth in the last four years. But this year, Hainsworth placed his No. 95 Turf Trade/Hoosier/Carbotech Mazda RX-7 in the coveted E Production top qualifying position, edging out Greg Ira by 0.128sec. This was no small feat, as Ira is piloting the same BMW Z3 that has won E Production every year since 2020. Hainsworth is gunning for his first Runoffs win in eight attempts.

In F Production, Cliff Ira’s history with his No. 36 Cliff Ira Motorsports/JPM Honda Civic Del Sol Si might be short, but it’s been spectacular. His first year in the car (in 2021) netted him a second-place starting position and the win, with 2022 seeing him take the green in third. This year, Ira set a time in the first of three qualifying days that nobody could touch, putting him on his first Runoffs Tire Rack Pole. But with barely one second covering the top five qualifying positions, Ira won’t have it easy while trying to earn his third Runoffs gold.

The H Production (HP) Tire Rack Pole has been a back-and-forth battle all week, with defending HP champ Chris Schaafsma on top in Q1 in his No. 1 Hoosier/Race-Keeper/G-Loc/NGP Volkswagen Golf with a time of 2:14.844. Q2 saw nine-time Runoffs champ Steve Sargis raise the bar by 0.279sec when he laid down a lap time of 2:14.565. But Schaafsma wasn’t to be outdone, using the third and final qualifying session to earn his first Runoffs pole with an impressive qualifying time of 2:14.029.

Formula Polesitters

For the third time, Calvin Stewart will start the Formula 600 race from the Tire Rack Pole after a lap of 1:57.437 in the No. 07 SabbathTruth.com/Hoosier Novakar J10. Stewart posted his lap on the opening day of qualifying, and watched it hold despite James Weida closing the gap on Thursday to just 0.116 to start on the outside of row one.

In bad news for the rest of the Formula Vee field, Andrew Whitston is on the Tire Rack pole for Saturday’s race. In each of the other two times Whitston led qualifying in his No. 12 Rocket Motors/LOA Construction Protoform P3/Volkswagen, he went on to win the race – and his lap of 2:15.639 led the 27-car field at the conclusion of qualifying.

And Let’s Not Forget …

B-Spec saw a new class leader each day during qualifying. On Tuesday, Conner Kelleher was fastest of the 25-car field. Then Richard Hromin took the reigns Wednesday. However, Riley Salyer was ultimately the fastest after all three days, and now has his first Tire Rack Pole Award.

The second-largest field at this year’s Runoffs is Spec Racer Ford Gen3 (SRF3), where 40 drivers posted qualifying times. Charles Russell Turner was at the top of the charts the first two days of qualifying, but Thursday saw 17-year-old Morgan Burkhard go even faster in the No. 02 Dog Gone Racing/Kids Sea Camp/OG car. That earned Burkhard his first Tire Rack Pole Award.

Both Tire Rack Pole Awards in the Prototype category were claimed with Thursday runs, and both Todd Vanacore in Prototype 1 and Greg Gyann in Prototype 2 will lead their respective classes on the grid for the first time each. Vanacore turned a lap of 1:42.602 in the No. 19 Elan DP02 Mazda, while Gyann in the same session completed a lap at VIR in 1:48.590 in his No. 83 Gycor International Stohr WF1 Suzuki.

Tire Rack Pole Award Rundown

Below are provisional polesitters across the 24 different classes with driver name, hometown, SCCA Region, car, and fastest lap time. Entries with an asterisk (*) indicate a new Runoffs qualifying track record at VIR.

- American Sedan®: Daniel Richardson; Derwood, MD; Washington DC Region, Chevrolet Camaro, 2:03.082
- B-Spec: Riley Salyer; Longview, TX; Houston Region, Mazda 2, 2:22.707
- E Production: John Hainsworth; Vineland, NJ; South Jersey Region, Mazda RX-7, 2:03.215
- F Production: Cliff Ira; Kansas City, MO, Kansas City Region, Honda Civic Del Sol VTEC, 2:08.248
- H Production: Chris Schaafsma; Wheaton, IL; Chicago Region, Volkswagen Golf, 2:14.029
- Formula 600: Calvin Stewart; Novi, MI; Detroit Region, Novakar J10, 1:57.437
- Formula Continental®: Nolan Allaer; Grosse Pointe, MI; Detroit Region, Van Diemen RF02, 1:50.281
- *Formula Enterprises® 2: Charles Russell Turner; Montpelier, VA; Washington DC Region, SCCA Mazda FE2, 1:50.665
- Formula F: Nolan Allaer; Grosse Pointe, MI; Detroit Region, Van Diemen RF00 Ford, 1:59.249
- Formula Vee®: Andrew Whitston; Neenah, WI; Milwaukee Region, Protoform P3, 2:15.639
- GT-1: David Pintaric; Canfield, OH; Mahoning Valley Region, Ford Mustang, 1:48.203
- GT-2: Barry Boes; Austin, TX; Lone Star Region, Ford Mustang, 1:52.004
- GT-3: Tony Ave; Maiden, NC; Central Carolinas Region, Acura RSX, 1:58.065
- GT-Lite: Peter Shadowen; West Palm Beach, FL; Florida Region, Honda CRX, 2:09.564
- Prototype 1: Todd Vanacore; Ormond Beach, FL; Central Florida Region, Elan DP02 Mazda, 1:42.602
- Prototype 2: Greg Gyann; Western Springs, IL; Chicago Region, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 1:48.590
- Spec Miata: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Florida Region, Mazda Miata, 2:14.986
- Spec Racer® Ford Gen3: Morgan Burkhard; Charles Town, WV; Washington DC Region, SCCA SRF Gen 3, 2:03.842
- Super Touring® Lite: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Florida Region, Mazda MX-5, 2:05.779
- Super Touring® Under: Johan Schwartz; Huntersville, NC; North Carolina Region, Porsche 944, 2:00.389
- *Touring 1: Andrew Aquilante; Chester Springs, PA; Philadelphia Region, Ford Mustang, 1:54.520
- Touring 2: Kurt Rezzetano; Phoenixville, PA; Philadelphia Region, Ford Mustang GT, 1:59.504
- Touring 3: Steve Ott; Houston, TX; Houston Region, BMW Z4 M, 2:04.520
- Touring 4: Devin Anderson; Mooresville, NC; North Carolina Region, Subaru BRZ, 2:10.514

Watch the ’23 Runoffs from VIR Online

All 23 Runoffs contests plus two Spec MX-5 Challenge Series championship events, all taking place over three Hagerty Race Days, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, will again include a multi-camera video broadcast, presented by Mazda. The presentation will be delivered directly to smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, or desktops and laptops around the globe. Catch all the Runoffs racing action anywhere with internet access as it happens live. Find the live race action Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in real time at SCCA.com, or at the SCCA Inc. Facebook page and the SCCA Official YouTube channel – links for which you’ll find below.

A four-man team familiar to fans will again anchor the video broadcast, and split duties across Hagerty Race Days. Greg Creamer and John Fippin will share play-by-play responsibilities, and color commentary will be added by Larry “Lefty” MacLeod and Tom O’Gorman. Heyward Wagner will add insight from grid and pit lane, as well as capture the emotion from competitors immediately after races. For those attending the VIR Runoffs in person, audio from the broadcast will air live around the circuit via the public address system.

Fans can also follow along online at the Runoffs Live Timing/Scoring webpage where current and archived Timing/Scoring data from all on-track sessions can be found.

In addition to live race coverage, Brian Bielanski and Gregg Ginsberg will be joined in 2023 by driver Laurin Brallier for a return of the Runoffs “Inside the SCCA" video podcast presented by Goodyear. On Hagerty Race Days, the trio will get things cranking with a live “Breakfast at the Runoffs” video presentation starting around 7 a.m. Eastern Time before cars head on course. Their coverage then picks up again during daily lunch breaks with the “Halftime Show.” Those presentations will later be archived at The Racing Network YouTube page.


2023 Runoffs Tire Rack Pole Award Winners from VIR

Three days of qualifying have come to a close at the 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs® taking place Sept. 23-Oct. 1, 2023, along the central border of Virginia and North Carolina at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).

Thursday was Tire Rack Pole Award day, which means 24 drivers have now been identified as the competitors who will lead their respective classes to the green flag over the next three Hagerty Race Days.

Each Tire Rack Pole Award winner receives some nifty swag and $500 to spend at Tire Rack. Equally important is the competitive and psychological advantage they gain by starting out front, and perhaps reaching the checkered flag first on their way to victory podium celebrations and a bottle from Mazza Vineyards, the Runoffs’ “Official Sparkling Wine” supplier for eight years running.

Some items of note include Nolan Allaer, who last year earned the fastest qualifier and turned the fastest lap on his way to his first Formula Continental National Championship. One year later, Allaer has built on that success with a pair of Tire Rack Pole Awards in both Formula Continental and Formula F. His Tuesday lap of 1:50.281 in the No. 11 Martini/Chandon/LTD Motorsports Van Diemen RF02/Ford held for his second consecutive top spot in Formula Continental by more than a second, while his No. 11 Martini/Chandon/Evan Williams Van Diemen RF00/Ford topped Formula F with a Tuesday time of 1:59.249. He’ll lead the FC field to the green on Saturday afternoon, and repeat the process in FF on Sunday.

Speaking of doubling up, Danny Steyn earned two Tire Rack Pole Awards Thursday by being fastest in both Spec Miata and Super Touring Lite (STL). In the No. 9 Ocean Machinery/OPM/Nelson Mazda MX-5, Steyn earned his sixth top qualifier in STL and seventh in his career when his Tuesday lap of 2:05.779 held through the week. Then in the No. 39 OPM/Rossini/G-Loc/Planet Miata Mazda Miata, Steyn was fastest in Spec Miata, which made for his second Runoffs pole in SM, and his eighth Tire Rack Pole Award overall.

A couple Runoffs qualifying lap records have now also been reset. For instance, Thursday was the quick day in Formula Enterprises 2, as the top four drivers posted their best times. At the end, Charles Russell Turner earned his second consecutive pole in the class with a time of 1:50.665 in the No. 32 Formula Enterprises/Mazda. Turner’s lap fell under the previous Runoffs track record on his way to the Tire Rack Pole Award.

Andrew Aquilante earned his 21st Tire Rack Pole Award, second all-time and just four behind Jerry Hansen’s record of 25, with a lap of 1:54.540 in the No. 33 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Hawk Ford Mustang in Touring 1, which was a new qualifying lap record. It’s the seventh consecutive year that Aquilante has led the T1 field to the green flag at the Runoffs.

GTs Ready to Go

GT-3 saw a change for the top spot over three days of qualifying. It was Jeff Dernehl who led the pack as of Tuesday evening. Then on Wednesday, reigning GT-3 champ Tony Ave came out in his No. 44 Acura RSX and stole the pole. Ave didn’t post a qualifying time on Thursday, but what he produced the day before was good enough for his first Tire Rack Pole Award in the class, and third Runoffs pole overall.

Peter Shadowen, driving the No. 72 Road N Race/Goodyear Honda CRX in GT-Lite (GTL), was quickest in class all three days of qualifying. The defending GTL National Champion also managed to get faster each day on his way to a fourth Tire Rack Pole Award. GT-2 driver Barry Boes, in the No. 32 Accio Data/Data Facts Ford Mustang, did the same – except this was his very first Tire Rack Pole Award.

Touring on to Pole

Devin Anderson started his rookie Runoffs race second a year ago on his way to a podium finish, but this year he’ll start one step further up in the Touring 4 field after putting his No. 11 TechSport Racing/Red Line Oil Subaru BRZ on the Tire Rack pole with a lap of 2:10.514.

For the eighth time in his career, Kurt Rezzetano will start a Runoffs race from the Tire Rack Pole. His lap of 1:59.504 in the No. 37 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Hawk Ford Mustang GT marks the sixth overall, and third consecutive time at the front of the Touring 2 field.

The brothers Ott led the Touring 3 field and will start alongside each other on the front row, with Steve and his No. 26 Hoosier/Alpine Motorsports BMW Z4 just 0.01-second ahead of older brother and defending champion Jason at the end of qualifying. It is the first career Tire Rack Pole Award for Steve Ott.

For the second consecutive year, Johan Schwartz earned the Tire Rack Pole Award for Super Touring Under. Schwartz drove the No. 4 VanSteenburg Performance Porsche 944 to a best lap of 2:00.389 on Wednesday, which held through Thursday afternoon’s session.

Production Notes

John Hainsworth has come close to earning the Tire Rack Pole before, starting second, third, and fourth in the last four years. But this year, Hainsworth placed his No. 95 Turf Trade/Hoosier/Carbotech Mazda RX-7 in the coveted E Production top qualifying position, edging out Greg Ira by 0.128sec. This was no small feat, as Ira is piloting the same BMW Z3 that has won E Production every year since 2020. Hainsworth is gunning for his first Runoffs win in eight attempts.

In F Production, Cliff Ira’s history with his No. 36 Cliff Ira Motorsports/JPM Honda Civic Del Sol Si might be short, but it’s been spectacular. His first year in the car (in 2021) netted him a second-place starting position and the win, with 2022 seeing him take the green in third. This year, Ira set a time in the first of three qualifying days that nobody could touch, putting him on his first Runoffs Tire Rack Pole. But with barely one second covering the top five qualifying positions, Ira won’t have it easy while trying to earn his third Runoffs gold.

The H Production (HP) Tire Rack Pole has been a back-and-forth battle all week, with defending HP champ Chris Schaafsma on top in Q1 in his No. 1 Hoosier/Race-Keeper/G-Loc/NGP Volkswagen Golf with a time of 2:14.844. Q2 saw nine-time Runoffs champ Steve Sargis raise the bar by 0.279sec when he laid down a lap time of 2:14.565. But Schaafsma wasn’t to be outdone, using the third and final qualifying session to earn his first Runoffs pole with an impressive qualifying time of 2:14.029.

Formula Polesitters

For the third time, Calvin Stewart will start the Formula 600 race from the Tire Rack Pole after a lap of 1:57.437 in the No. 07 SabbathTruth.com/Hoosier Novakar J10. Stewart posted his lap on the opening day of qualifying, and watched it hold despite James Weida closing the gap on Thursday to just 0.116 to start on the outside of row one.

In bad news for the rest of the Formula Vee field, Andrew Whitston is on the Tire Rack pole for Saturday’s race. In each of the other two times Whitston led qualifying in his No. 12 Rocket Motors/LOA Construction Protoform P3/Volkswagen, he went on to win the race – and his lap of 2:15.639 led the 27-car field at the conclusion of qualifying.

And Let’s Not Forget …

B-Spec saw a new class leader each day during qualifying. On Tuesday, Conner Kelleher was fastest of the 25-car field. Then Richard Hromin took the reigns Wednesday. However, Riley Salyer was ultimately the fastest after all three days, and now has his first Tire Rack Pole Award.

The second-largest field at this year’s Runoffs is Spec Racer Ford Gen3 (SRF3), where 40 drivers posted qualifying times. Charles Russell Turner was at the top of the charts the first two days of qualifying, but Thursday saw 17-year-old Morgan Burkhard go even faster in the No. 02 Dog Gone Racing/Kids Sea Camp/OG car. That earned Burkhard his first Tire Rack Pole Award.

Both Tire Rack Pole Awards in the Prototype category were claimed with Thursday runs, and both Todd Vanacore in Prototype 1 and Greg Gyann in Prototype 2 will lead their respective classes on the grid for the first time each. Vanacore turned a lap of 1:42.602 in the No. 19 Elan DP02 Mazda, while Gyann in the same session completed a lap at VIR in 1:48.590 in his No. 83 Gycor International Stohr WF1 Suzuki.

Tire Rack Pole Award Rundown

Below are provisional polesitters across the 24 different classes with driver name, hometown, SCCA Region, car, and fastest lap time. Entries with an asterisk (*) indicate a new Runoffs qualifying track record at VIR.

- American Sedan®: Daniel Richardson; Derwood, MD; Washington DC Region, Chevrolet Camaro, 2:03.082
- B-Spec: Riley Salyer; Longview, TX; Houston Region, Mazda 2, 2:22.707
- E Production: John Hainsworth; Vineland, NJ; South Jersey Region, Mazda RX-7, 2:03.215
- F Production: Cliff Ira; Kansas City, MO, Kansas City Region, Honda Civic Del Sol VTEC, 2:08.248
- H Production: Chris Schaafsma; Wheaton, IL; Chicago Region, Volkswagen Golf, 2:14.029
- Formula 600: Calvin Stewart; Novi, MI; Detroit Region, Novakar J10, 1:57.437
- Formula Continental®: Nolan Allaer; Grosse Pointe, MI; Detroit Region, Van Diemen RF02, 1:50.281
- *Formula Enterprises® 2: Charles Russell Turner; Montpelier, VA; Washington DC Region, SCCA Mazda FE2, 1:50.665
- Formula F: Nolan Allaer; Grosse Pointe, MI; Detroit Region, Van Diemen RF00 Ford, 1:59.249
- Formula Vee®: Andrew Whitston; Neenah, WI; Milwaukee Region, Protoform P3, 2:15.639
- GT-1: David Pintaric; Canfield, OH; Mahoning Valley Region, Ford Mustang, 1:48.203
- GT-2: Barry Boes; Austin, TX; Lone Star Region, Ford Mustang, 1:52.004
- GT-3: Tony Ave; Maiden, NC; Central Carolinas Region, Acura RSX, 1:58.065
- GT-Lite: Peter Shadowen; West Palm Beach, FL; Florida Region, Honda CRX, 2:09.564
- Prototype 1: Todd Vanacore; Ormond Beach, FL; Central Florida Region, Elan DP02 Mazda, 1:42.602
- Prototype 2: Greg Gyann; Western Springs, IL; Chicago Region, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 1:48.590
- Spec Miata: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Florida Region, Mazda Miata, 2:14.986
- Spec Racer® Ford Gen3: Morgan Burkhard; Charles Town, WV; Washington DC Region, SCCA SRF Gen 3, 2:03.842
- Super Touring® Lite: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Florida Region, Mazda MX-5, 2:05.779
- Super Touring® Under: Johan Schwartz; Huntersville, NC; North Carolina Region, Porsche 944, 2:00.389
- *Touring 1: Andrew Aquilante; Chester Springs, PA; Philadelphia Region, Ford Mustang, 1:54.520
- Touring 2: Kurt Rezzetano; Phoenixville, PA; Philadelphia Region, Ford Mustang GT, 1:59.504
- Touring 3: Steve Ott; Houston, TX; Houston Region, BMW Z4 M, 2:04.520
- Touring 4: Devin Anderson; Mooresville, NC; North Carolina Region, Subaru BRZ, 2:10.514

Watch the ’23 Runoffs from VIR Online

All 23 Runoffs contests plus two Spec MX-5 Challenge Series championship events, all taking place over three Hagerty Race Days, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, will again include a multi-camera video broadcast, presented by Mazda. The presentation will be delivered directly to smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, or desktops and laptops around the globe. Catch all the Runoffs racing action anywhere with internet access as it happens live. Find the live race action Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in real time at SCCA.com, or at the SCCA Inc. Facebook page and the SCCA Official YouTube channel – links for which you’ll find below.

A four-man team familiar to fans will again anchor the video broadcast, and split duties across Hagerty Race Days. Greg Creamer and John Fippin will share play-by-play responsibilities, and color commentary will be added by Larry “Lefty” MacLeod and Tom O’Gorman. Heyward Wagner will add insight from grid and pit lane, as well as capture the emotion from competitors immediately after races. For those attending the VIR Runoffs in person, audio from the broadcast will air live around the circuit via the public address system.

Fans can also follow along online at the Runoffs Live Timing/Scoring webpage where current and archived Timing/Scoring data from all on-track sessions can be found.

In addition to live race coverage, Brian Bielanski and Gregg Ginsberg will be joined in 2023 by driver Laurin Brallier for a return of the Runoffs “Inside the SCCA" video podcast presented by Goodyear. On Hagerty Race Days, the trio will get things cranking with a live “Breakfast at the Runoffs” video presentation starting around 7 a.m. Eastern Time before cars head on course. Their coverage then picks up again during daily lunch breaks with the “Halftime Show.” Those presentations will later be archived at The Racing Network YouTube page.

  SCCA Inc. Facebook SCCA Official YouTube

Photo: Tire Rack Pole Award winners for the 2023 Runoffs at VIRginia International Raceway.

Photo by Kristen Poole/SCCA Staff

 

 

 

 

     

 

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