Lexington, Ohio (Sept. 24, 2005) – Lew Larimer, of Hayward, Calif., took home top honors in Grand Touring 1 at the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by Kohler Saturday, winning the 20-lap race by 8.925 seconds in his American Port Weld/Red Line Oil Oldsmobile Cutlass. Trevor Hopwood, of Lee, N.H., and Bryan Long, Peoria, Ill., completed the podium.-30-
Saturday’s win was the second-consecutive Runoffs T1 win for Larimer, and the second of his career.
After a bobble at the beginning of the race left a wheel off the 2.258-mile course and him down a spot from his starting pole position, Larimer rebounded a couple of laps later, overtaking Hopwood’s Hoosier/Wild Bill’s Sports Bar Chevrolet Corvette and never looking back. Soon after retaking the lead, Larimer put the hammer down, breaking his own GT1 race lap record from a year ago by nailing a 1:24.582 (97.042 mph), which stretched his lead over the rest of the field.
Larimer backed that lap up with a mixed bag of high 1:24s and low 1:25s, effectively ending any other drivers’ hopes of taking the GT1 lead. Larimer’s run also was the 125th win for a General Motors-powered car.
“I went into turn one too deep and lost some grip. Trevor got past. I settled into a rhythm, and got relaxed. After a few laps I was able to catch up and finally got past. I built a lead so that I could relax a bit. But I was concerned about Michael Lewis coming up from behind, but he never got close enough to us.”
Michael Lewis, of Poway, Calif., finished fourth and earned the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing 17 positions after starting the race 21st. Brian Kunbinski, of Plainfield, Ill., completed the top five, moving up from his starting ninth-starting position.
Now in its 42nd year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs annually crown the best amateur road racers in North America as Champions. More than 750 competitors have gathered this year to battle for 23 class titles this year, with eight races being run Friday and Saturday and seven on Sunday.
Celebrating its 61st anniversary, Sports Car Club of America is a 60,000 member motorsports organization that sanctions and promotes grassroots and professional motorsports events of a variety of disciplines, including road racing, autocrossing, road rally and rallycross.
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