TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 8, 2008) – A dozen provisional poles changed hands on the first full day of dry-weather qualifying at the 45th SCCA National Championship Runoffs, held at Heartland Park Topeka.
Defending Touring 1 Champion Andrew Aquilante, of Chester Springs, Pa., was the first to take away a provisional pole time. Driving a Hoosier/Phoenix Pref./Hawk Chevrolet Corvette C6, Aquilante even went as far as to turn a lap under the current record, entering a 1:40.218 (89.804 mph).
Another defending Champion, Tom Feller, of Atlanta, Ga., got one step closer to his fifth-consecutive H Production crown, putting his Goodyear/RedLine/DJRace/ WMI/Brinks Machine Triumph Spitfire on the provisional HP pole. Feller turned a fast lap of 1:49.463 (82.220 mph).
In Formula Ford, Chris Keller, of Green Brook, N.J., took over the provisional pole with a lap of 1:35.547 (94.194 mph). A Runoffs rookie, Keller is already making quite the impression in his Goodyear/LoyningsEngineService/FastForward Swift DB6 by clocking a qualifying lap under the previous Runoffs record.
Last year’s S2000 winner John Fergus went to the front of the grid in his Hoosier Tires/Fergus Companies Carbir CS2 Ford. Entering a lap of 1:33.200 (96.567 mph), Fergus’ pole time is better than the existing Runoffs record.
Lee Niffenegger, of Delaware, Ohio, is now on the provisional Showroom Stock B pole. Driving a Honda/BFG/Cobalt/Traqmate Honda Civic Si, Niffenegger earned provisional pole with a lap of 1:52.345 (80.110).
With one more qualifying session remaining, Jason Knuteson, of Danville, Ind., is the new provisional Formula 500 polesitter. Knuteson clocked a 1:39.152 (90.770 mph) in his Hoosier Tire/Mitchell Racing Scorpion S1/Rotax.
Father and son, Bill and Shawn Gray both ended the day at the front of their respective grids. Shawn tops the A Sedan field in a BGR Inc. Pontiac Firebird with a qualifying lap of 1:45.908 (84.979 mph), while Bill qualified his BGR Inc. Chevrolet Corvette at the front of the GT-1 field with a 1:31.080 (98.814 mph).
Nick Evans, of Dublin, Ohio, is the new Formula Enterprises polesitter. Driving a Jay Motorsports/Buckholz Wall Sys Formula Enterprises, Evans turned a 1:32.767 (97.017 mph).
Posting a 1:25.325 (106.123 mph) in the Hoosier/Toyota/Don Preston Racing Swift DB4/Toyota, David Wilcox, of Derby, Kan., is the new Formula Atlantic provisional polesitter.
Another Kansan, Eric Prill, of Topeka, is on the F Production provisional pole. Prill posted a 1:45.392 (85.395 mph) in the FIGHT-MS/Hoosier/Prather Racing/ESCP Lotus Super 7.
Defending C Sports Racing Champion J.R. Osborne, of Castle Rock, Colo., holds the new provisional pole in his Rilltech/Goodyear/RedLine Oil Stohr WF-1/Suzuki. Osborne turned a lap under the existing Runoffs record, a 1:24.489 (106.523 mph).
In the final session of the day, Brad Stout, of Webster Groves, Mo., claimed the Formula Vee pole with a lap of 1:47.055 (84.069 mph) in a Vortech Formula Vee.
The final day of qualifying for the 45th Annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs begins tomorrow at 8 a.m. (EDT). Live timing, results, an event schedule, photos and more are available at the Runoffs event page.