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Gumout pole winner Steve Forrer, of nearby Milwaukee, earned his third SCCA National Championship with a C Sports Racing crown at the SCCA Runoffs Presented by Subway at Road America. Dudley Fleck, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and James French, of Sheboygan, Wis., completed the podium.
Although Forrer started from the pole in the No. 84 Hoosier Tire Ralt RT41/Toyota, he did not get a good start. In fact, Canadian Jacek Mucha, who started second in the No. 7 Phoenix Innotech Swift JMS 05 CP, accelerated past Forrer heading into Turn One for the lead.
Mucha led the first two laps before Forrer passed him in Turn Eight for the race lead. The timely pass came just before a full-course caution came out to remove a Sports 2000 from the Kink. The CSR race was combined with the Sports 2000 class race.
When the race went green on lap seven, Forrer had the lead and was never seriously challenged over the final six laps of the 13-lap race. He won by 13.518-seconds over Fleck.
"Jacek and James [French] went around me at the start," Forrer said. "The motor has been bogging this whole week. I don't know if it's the weather or what [it is]. But, [I] just hung on to those three. I had a good car all weekend. Once it got going, it just kept going. I got by James and then eventually I got by Mucha.
"I was worried about the start again [referring to the restart] and I did not want to be caught, again. So, this time I had a good start for the restart."
Driving the No. 74 Coors Light/Havoc Elan DP02/Mazda, Fleck drove an impressive race. He started 11th, after a crash during Monday's qualifying prevented him from posting a good qualifying time, and was in the top four by lap two. One lap later, he was third, which is where he finished. Fleck was the Sunoco Hard Charger for advancing nine positions throughout the race.
"We knew we had a fast car," Fleck said of his race start. "I guess we stayed out of trouble and used what openings we had. This is last year's National Championship car. So, obviously it's a good piece. I just wanted stay out of trouble, yet be somewhat aggressive on the start. There were some guys who were not quite as fast as the top five. I needed to plan out well ahead where I was going to pass those guys. They gave me room and we got up to the top five fairly quickly.
"I tried to be smooth to preserve that podium finish and not do anything stupid. My pit guys said, 'Jacek's [Mucha] moving back. He's backing up.' So, I got back on it [the throttle] a little bit. By the time I got to the Carousel, I went right around him. Obviously he had a motor or ignition issue or something and I was able to get around him."
From his fourth starting position, James French got a good jump at the start in the No. 46 Motorsports Enterprises Ltd Ralt RT-41/Toyota. He ran as high as second on the first lap, but as the race settled in, he dropped back to third, which is where he finished.
"What can I say, we got a great start," French said. "We started fourth and ended up second by Turn One - so that was good. Then, I saw Dudley [Fleck] and on the second lap, he was right behind us already. He started way in the back. I don't know how he pulled that off. It was pretty amazing.
"After the full course yellow, I didn't push too hard. I didn't block or anything. I tried to keep it clean. It was good battle."
Mucha, who had the early lead and ran second for the majority of the race, had to settle for a fourth-place finish due to a late-race mechanical issue. Mucha also set a new SCCA Runoffs CSR fast race lap record with a time of 2:20.635 (117.422 mph).
Jason Miller, of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., finished fifth in the No. 8 Kohler/Millenium/Goodyear WynnFurst West.
Brian French, William Goldkind, Jim Downing, David Watson, and Steven Nicklin finished sixth through 10th, respectively.
Now in its 47th year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Subway annually crowns Champions in the Sports Car Club of America's Club Racing classes. The live broadcast of all 28 National Championship races will be available throughout the weekend at www.Speedcasttv.com/scca and later available On Demand from the same site.
Follow the action on Twitter @SCCAOfficial or the SCCA, Inc. Official Facebook page at facebook.com/sccaofficial.
More information is available at www.scca.com/runoffs.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Provisional Results from Saturday's C Sports Racing National Championship Race, part of the 47th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America with finish position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (1), Steve Forrer, Milwaukee, WI, Ralt RT41/Toyota, 13.
2, (11), Dudley Fleck, Cedar Rapids, IA, Elan DP02/Mazda, 13.
3, (4), James French, Sheboygan, WI, Swift 14/Toyota, 13.
4, (2), Jacek Mucha, Laval, QC, Swift JMS 05 CP, 13.
5, (6), Jason Miller, Sheboygan Falls, WI, WynnFurst West, 13.
6, (3), Brian French, Sheboygan, WI, Ralt RT-41, 13.
7, (5), William Goldkind, Holbrook, NY, Swift CSR, 13.
8, (8), Jim R Downing, Atlanta, GA, Peach Day-01, 13.
9, (7), David M Watson, Kleinburg, ON, Stohr WF1, 13.
10, (9), Steven Nicklin, Henderson, NV, Radical SR3, 13.
11, (10), Rene Lohr, Chino Hills, CA, Radical SR3, 12.
DNF, (12), Jeffrey Miller, Elkhart Lake, WI, Lola Lola, 1.
Time of Race: 36:08.490
Winner's average speed: 86.327 mph
Fastest race lap: #7 Jacek Mucha, 2:02.635 (117.422 mph)
Lap Leaders: 1-13, #7 Jacek Mucha; 3-13, #84 Steve Forrer
Sunoco Hard Charger: #74 Dudley Fleck
Attached image: C Sports Racing National Champion Steve Forrer
Credit: Mark Weber