TOPEKA, Kan. (October 14, 2007) – Don Knowles, of Pittsboro, N.C., won his fourth SCCA National Championship by dominating the Touring 2 race at the 2007 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by AT&T. William Ziegler, of Stamford, Conn., and Edward Zabinski, of Hallandale Beach, Fla., finished second and third, respectively.
Second-starting Zabinski had a great start in his No. 79 theracingcoach.com Pontiac Solstice, but polesitter Knowles powered his No. 35 Phoenix Performance/Iracing.com/Hoosier Pontiac Solstice into the lead by Turn One. From there, it was no looking back for Knowles, who steadily pulled away from the rest of the field. He finished the 18-lap race with a 3.112-second margin of victory, after slowing down for a victory wave to his crew.
“It has been a long nine days,” Knowles said. “The weather was difficult, and then we blew the turbo in this morning’s warmup. We only had two and a half hours until the race and we had to change it. We took a turbo off a street car, replaced the race car turbo with it, performed all the checks and made sure all the hoses were on. Meanwhile, while this was going on, I was over in the corner throwing up. I really wasn’t stressed about it for the race though. I figured that on the pace lap it would either be right or it would blow up-nothing I could do about it. I got through Turn One alright and figured everything was okay, so I just focused on the race.”
It was the first Touring 2 SCCA National Championship for Knowles, who is a three-time Showroom Stock B Champion.
Zabinski held down the second spot for most of the race before traction control issues allowed him to be reeled in by Ziegler’s No. 05 Swisher/Phoenix/Hoosier Pontiac Solstice. After hounding Zabinski for several laps, Ziegler made his move into second on lap 16. Zabsinski held with him, but was unable to challenge and settled for third. It was still an impressive result for Zabinski considering his first laps in the car were on Thursday after he made the decision to switch from a Lotus to a Solstice on Tuesday.
David Schotz, of Chandler, Ariz., and Ken Dobson, of Sonoma, Calif., completed the top five. Michael Sanos, of San Lorenzo, Calif., won the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing six positions during the race in his No. 16 worksEvo.com/Hoosier Mitsubishi Evo.
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by AT&T, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions for the 44th-consecutive year in 2007. The best amateur drivers from across North America convene on Heartland Park Topeka’s 2.5-mile road course each fall in what is considered the “Olympics” of motorsports. This year’s event begins with four days of qualifying, Oct. 8-11, and concludes with three days of racing, Oct. 12-14.