SCCA National Championships Finals Thursday Notebook


Three days of qualifying have come to an end, and although all grids are not yet official, the polesitters for each of the 26 laps of the national championship have been tentatively determined.

If there’s a prize for the least likely poleman, it’s Troy Ermish in GT-3. In fact, it’s impressive that the driver isn’t on his way back to Tracy, Calif. After a pre-test practice crash that could have easily ended his hopes for the week.

On Sunday, Ermish’s Nissan 350Z made tire-to-tire contact with another car, tossing Ermish’s car into the air, upside down on the other car, and finally rolled into the grass. Surprisingly, the car was almost intact except for a broken A-pillar bar from the tubular chassis. He went to a local store to have that bar replaced, and he was back on the track Monday afternoon. Ermish then set the quick time for Tuesday’s session before dropping it nearly two seconds on Wednesday with a time that represented pole for Sunday’s opening race.

Eighteen new records were set in qualifying, including Formula X, which didn’t exist the last time the Runoffs visited IMS. Andrew Aquilante will start from pole in two races, GT-2 on Saturday and Touring 1 on Sunday.

Here are the provisional polesitters, in running order:

Friday races

Tour 4: Stephen Blethen; Arc, NH; RST Performance Racing / KONI Shock Mazda RX-8; 1m54.397s

HProduction: Steve Sargis; Frankfurt, Illinois; BVR Carbotech / Hoosier Triumph Spitfire; 1m54.417s

Business Formula 2: Max Grau; Indianapolis, Indiana; Rennkraft Motorworks SCCA Mazda FE2; 1m36.395s

Miata specification: Brian Henderson; Fredericksburg, Virginia; BDL Motorsports Mazda Miata; 1m57.695s

Formula V: Andrew Whitston; Neenah, Wisconsin; Hoosier / Metro Protoform P2 1m57.479s

Tour 2: Kurt Rezzetano; Phoenixville Pennsylvania; Phoenix Performance / Hoosier / Hawk Ford Mustang GT; 1m47.509s

GT-Lite: Christophe Bovis; Overland Park, Kan .; Consultants Hart Marx / Schroth / Goodyear Honda CRX; 1m51.819s

Specification B: John Phillips; Sealy, Texas; Mini Cooper PRP / G-Loc / CARS; 2m03.121s

Prototype 1: Lee Alexander; Springfield, Tennessee; A Motorsports / Factory48 Stohr WF1 Suzuki; 1m29.011s

Saturday races

Super Touring Under: Joe Moser; Wilmette, Illinois; DET King Motorsports / Hoosier / Carbotech Honda CRX Si; 1m47.078s

American sedan: Drew Cattell; Ferndale, Michigan; SpaceMonkeyRacing / Engines by JB Cadillac CTS-V; 1m50.427s

Atlantic Formula: Jacques French; Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Ralt RT41 Toyota; 1m29.701s

GT-2: André Aquilante; Chester Springs, Pennsylvania; Phoenix Performance / Hoosier / Hawk Chevrolet Corvette; 1m39.665s

Super Touring Lite: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Mazda MX-5; 1m51.665s

Formula F: Jonathan Kotyk; Oviedo Florida; Mygale SJ14 Honda; 1m44.359s

F Manufacturing: Craig Chima; Akron, Ohio; MidwestMtrsprts / Hoosier / Carbotech Lotus Super Seven; 1m51.082s

Prototype 2: Tim Day Jr.; Scottsdale, Arizona; GDRE / Summit / Avon Stohr WF1 Suzuki; 1m33.835s

Continental Formula: Trent Walko; Trafford, Pennsylvania; Van Diemen RF08 World Racing Team; 1m36.787s

Sunday races

GT-3: Troy Ermish; Tracy, California; Rebello / Nissan Goodyear 350Z racing engines; 1m44.758s

Tour 1: André Aquilante; Chester Springs, Pennsylvania; 2014 Ford Mustang of PHL Phoenix Performance / Hoosier / Hawk; 1m42.292s

Electronic production: Jesse Prather; Topeka, Kan .; JPM / Hoosier / Carbotech / Sunoco / Amsoil BMW Z3; 1m48.181s

GT-1: Michael Lewis; Poway, California; Goodyear Jaguar XKR; 1m35.279s

Spec Racer Ford 3: Franklin Futrelle; Evans, Georgia; MecoInc d’Augusta / ComprentMtrsprts SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3; 1m49.520s

Formula 500: Ryan Mayfield; Orlando, Florida; VRS / Satellite Racing Scorpion S1 Suzuki; 1m42.619s

Tour 3: Marshall mast; Denver, Pennsylvania; Phoenix Performance 2019 Ford Mustang EcoBoost; 1m51.591s

Formula X: Vaughn Ice Cream; Pittsburgh Pennsylvania; Pantera Motorsports / Wright Racing USF2000 Mazda MZR; 1m38.596s

No no this Boris says

There is no shortage of second and third generation runners at the SCCA National Championships Finals, and several families have National Champions from different generations. However, few third-generation runners carry the name and hair recognition of Boris Said Jr.

Image by Richard James

His father himself is a second generation driver who won three consecutive Showroom Stock GT National Championships in 1989-’91. Boris Said then continued to run… well, everything. He made a name for himself in Trans-Am races against Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder, raced sports cars including a 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series GT Championship with Bill Auberlen, and had a long career in various levels of NASCAR, finding particular success as a road course ringtone. Now his son is in his first racing car season, in the Spec Miata category.

“It’s the most competitive, funniest class. It’s the best class here in my opinion, ”says Said Jr. His father adds an appreciation for the old-school nature of the cars – no ABS, no traction control and no manual transmission.

Said Jr. expresses that he has learned a lot in a short time about Spec Miata. He qualified well in the top 60, so he didn’t have to worry about the last-ditch qualifying race to determine the final 12 starters. The next goal is a top 30.

“I told him that if he could finish in the top 30 it’s a bonus of a hundred dollars, because it’s like winning for the first time with this kind of peloton, this level of driving,” said dad. “When I watched these guys at Road America I didn’t think I could run with the best guys. The way they run, people like Jim Drago and Preston Pardus… there’s a bunch of guys who are really good runners.

Despite Boris Said having raced the IMS (and Oval) road circuit, Jr. does not turn to him for advice on the circuit.

“The best advice I really got is from other people in the class because they know more about these cars on this track than he does,” he says.

Returning to the Runoffs after 30 years since his last competition, Boris says the more things change, the more they stay the same. The expenses may have increased, but the attitude and the atmosphere have not changed.

“It’s always the same, all the people who love cars love racing,” he explains. “I’ve driven everything from the Daytona 500 to karts to sports cars, and for me it’s the same. It’s no less exciting whether you’re racing at the Runoffs, at an SCCA Regional or at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It is the same feeling when you are driving. So to come here and see 900 people who eat, sleep, breathe, live and love to run, that’s cool.

Playing can be equal pay

SCCA Road Racing is an amateur motorsport; no one is paid to drive to the SCCA National Championships finals. But some people are paid to win or to finish.

The unexpected is a big part of club racing. Companies ranging from OEMs to tire manufacturers to suppliers of any type of racing necessity will reward podiums, and sometimes up to 10th, with money or product for product use and wearing. appropriate stickers. A winning driver with the right tire could race with new tires every weekend of next season and not pay for one.

“There are enough contingencies to pay your entry fee and minimum consumables if you are able to climb to the top step of the podium,” said reigning STL champion Joe Moser, citing the tires. Hoosier and Carbotech brake pads specifically as products that it uses that provide contingencies. And although he also competes in STU this year, his entry into the STL was free thanks to his victory in the Super Sweep – the United States Majors’ Conference title, the Hoosier Super Tour points championship and the Runoffs – in 2020.

However, even when an OEM such as Mazda pays up to $ 4,000 for a win and adding other contingencies and towing funds, it is unlikely that a winner can break even during the runoff; again, the money and the proceeds certainly help.

“When you stack up transportation, trackside assistance costs, tires and fuel, even if you win and get the towing fund, you’ll be a little short,” says Danny Steyn, who participates in Spec Miata. and STL and has two STL championships. “It all depends on what you spend. If you factor in 10 days on a runway, flights, runway assistance, meals and everything, it will be a waste. But we always calculate smiles per dollar, so if you’re here to spend your money and enjoy it, it’s worth it.

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