LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 22, 2005) – Maybe Wednesday was a wake-up call. Whatever it was, the troubles that plagued many drivers yesterday at the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course dissipated Thursday, the final day of qualifying, as the entire day was virtually flawless, and each of the 23 classes discovered who would be on the pole for this weekend’s races.-30-
In all, 12 new qualifying records were set, and 753 drivers turned at least one qualifying lap set to take the green flag, which, if all make it, will be a new Runoffs record.
Warren Montague, of Manakin Sabot, Va., will be on the pole in his TRD/Toyota Motorsports-Pella V Toyota Tercel for the inaugural GT Lite race as his 1:35.804 from Tuesday held. Joe Kristensen, of London, Ont. (Can.), will start second in his Kristensen Racing Honda CRX, and Jimmy Burke, of Cumming, Ga., will start third in his Goodyear/Red Line/Moton/Motec Nissan Sentra after leading Thursday qualifying.
Scotty B. White, of Puyallup, Wash., put an end to John Heinricy’s consecutive-poles streak at three in Touring 1 when he blasted around the track with a class record 1:32.030 (88.338 mph) to Heinricy’s Wednesday 1:32.845. Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., lowered that time to a 1:32.370 Thursday morning, but it wasn’t enough to extend his streak that began in 2002, and he’ll start second on the T1 grid in his bid for a fifth-consecutive T1 Championship (he will, however, start at the front of the American Sedan field, where he is the two-time defending champion). Philip Croyle, of Boca Raton, Fla., also put forth his best qualifying effort on Thursday with a 1:33.037, which placed him third on the grid for tomorrow afternoon’s race.
John Fergus, of Powell, Ohio, held the top spot in Sports 2000 for one day, but Marc Walker, of Oldsmar, Fla., who lost the S2000 lead to Fergus Wednesday, regained the pole for Friday’s race after ripping off a 1:26.350 (94.218 mph) in his Comprent Motorsports Lola 89/90. Bart Wolf, of Elkhart Lake, Wis., will start second in his Wolf’s Motor Car Co. Carbir CS2.5, while Fergus, who held the S2000 pole from 1999-2002 and is the defending champion, will start third in his Hoosier Tires/The Fergus Company Carbir CS2.
In Showroom Stock B, BMW Z4s took the top four spots for Friday’s race, led by Toby Grahovec, of Palos Park, Ill., who will start in front in his Hoosier/Red Line/Classic BMW BMW Z4 based on his Tuesday qualifying time of 1:44.768. David Nielsen, of Galena, Ohio, was the fastest SSB car on the grid Thursday in his Nielsen Environmental Field School BMW Z4, but his 1:44.993 was a few tenths short of Grahovec. Jack Tippens, of Woodstock, Ill., will start third in his Dora/Fall Line Motorsports/Anderson BMW BMW Z4.
Tom Thrash, of Houston, Texas, stormed his way to the front of the E Production field to take the pole on the final day of qualifying. Breaking into the 1:34s for the first time this week with a 1:34.630 (85.891 mph) in his Mazda RX-7, Thrash bolted past both Buddy Norton, of Pelham, N.C., and then-leader Kim Knapp, of Avon, Colo., who will start second and third, respectively, in the GT Classics/Hoosier Caterham 7 and LaRue Motorsports Caterham 7.
Kent Prather, of Wakarusa, Kan., may have thought his 1:40.573 was going to be good enough to earn the pole for the G Production race. He would have been right except Kevin Dennis, of Rochester, N.Y., saved his best for last, becoming the first and only GP entry to break into the 1:39s with a 1:39.630 (a new qualifying record) in his Nissan/Goodyear/Red Line/CDA Nissan 510. Prather’s run, in his Prather Racing/Victoria British MGA, earned him the second starting spot on the grid, and Woody Deatherage, of Cleveland, Ohio, will start third in his Woody Service/Hoosier Suzuki Swift GT.
Michael Brent, of Bethel, Conn., has led Formula 500 since practice on Monday, and he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down as he was the only F500 driver to break into the 1:29s Thursday, with a 1:29.781 (90.540 mph) in his QRE/Hoosier Invader QC-1 on Thursday. It was not quite the 1:29.534 he ran Tuesday, but he will be on the pole nonetheless. Brian Novak, of Dearborn, Mich., will start second in his Hoosier Tire/Short-Media.com Rakavon J-10, while Wiley McMahan, of Covington, Ga., will begin in the third slot in his Dolphin Motorsports QRE Invader QC-1.
The grids for all 23 classes are now complete, and the first eight races will run Friday. The H Production race, the first race of the weekend, will start at 10:05 a.m. (EDT), following warm-up sessions scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. To watch all 23 classes via live timing and scoring, visit www.scca.com, where complete race schedule information and results are located once available.
Leaders After Three of Three Qualifying Sessions (3rd Session/ Pole Pos.) –
* - denotes new qualifying record
A Sedan – Ed Hosni, Novi, Mich., Ford Mustang – 1:37.238 / John Heinricy, Holly, Mich., Pontiac Firebird – 1:37.117
C Sports Racing – Jacek Mucha, Laval, Quebec, Ralt JMS – 1:21.782 / Same
D Sports Racing – Mark Jaremko, Spokane, Wash., Stohr WF1 – 1:21.577 / Same*
E Production – Tom Thrash, Houston, Texas, Mazda RX-7 – 1:34.630 / Same*
Formula Atlantic – Graham Rahal, New Albany, Ohio, Swift 014 – 1:16.600/ Same*
Formula Cont. – Ricardo Vassmer, Coral Springs, Fla., Van Diemen RF-01 – 1:24.309 / Vassmer –
Formula Ford – John Robinson, St. Cloud, Fla., Swift DB6 – 1:29.487 / Robinson – 1:28.876
Formula Mazda – Chris Schanzle, Damascus, Md. – 1:27.373 / David Donovan, Plantation, Fla. – 1:27.115
F Production – Steve Sargis, Frankfort, Ill., Triumph Spitfire – 1:36.931 / John Saurino, Tulsa, Okla., MG Midget – 1:36.865
Formula Vee – Brad Stout, St. Louis, Mo., Vortech – 1:40.149 / Stout - 1:39.146*
Formula 500 – Michael Brent, Bethel, Conn., Invader QC-1 – 1:29.781 / Brent – 1:29.534*
G Production – Kevin Dennis, Rochester, N.Y., Nissan 510 – 1:39.630 / Same*
Grand Touring 1 – Lew Larimer, Hayward, Calif., Oldsmobile Cutlass – 1:25.322 / Larimer – 1:24.063*
Grand Touring 2 – David Finch, Ann Arbor, Mich., Porsche 944 – 1:29.028 / Duane Davis, Camas, Wash., Toyota Celica – 1:28.973
Grand Touring 3 - John Saurino, Tulsa, Okla., Nissan 240SX – 1:32.166 / Saurino - 1:31.162
Grand Touring Lite – Jimmy Burke, Cumming, Ga., Nissan Sentra – 1:36.879 / Warren Montague, Manakin Sabot, Va., Toyota Tercel – 1:35.804*
H Production – Tom Feller, Clarkston, Mich., Triumph Spitfire – 1:39.929 / Same*
Sports 2000 – Marc Walker, Oldsmar, Fla., Lola 89/90 – 1:26.350 / Same
Spec Racer Ford – Joe Colasacco, Greenwich, Conn. – 1:38.490 / John Black, Olympic Valley, Calif. – 1:38.208
Showroom Stock B – David Nielsen, Galena, Ohio, BMW Z4 – 1:44.993 / Toby Grahovec, Palos Park, Ill., BMW Z4 – 1:44.768
Showroom Stock C – Ryan Ciechanski, Clinton Twp., Mich., Honda Civic Si – 1:48.185 / Pete Taylor, Ortonville, Mich., Mini Cooper – 1:47.599*
Touring 1 – Scotty B. White, Puyallup, Wash., Dodge Viper – 1:32.030 / Same*
Touring 2 – David Rosenblum, Feasterville Trev., Pa., Subaru WRX STi – 1:39.029 / Dave Schotz, Simi Valley, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro – 1:38.294*
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