LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 20, 2005) – It was common belief after Monday’s practice at the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by Kohler that no record would be safe. On Tuesday, the first qualifying day of three at the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, several competitors backed up that thought.-30-
Ryan Ciechanski, of Clinton Twp., Mich., got the record-breaking day started off in Showroom Stock C, the first session of the day, when he smoked the previous record of 1:47.984 (set by Roger Schorer in 2004) with a 1:47.513 (75.607 mph) in his Hoosier Tire/DPR Racing 2000 Honda Civic Si. Pete Taylor also qualified under the record with a 1:47.599 in his Hankook Tire/Sky-Tek Engineering 2005 Mini Cooper. Rene Marinus, of Folsom, Calif., put three marquees in the top three, as he was third with a 1:48.170 in his Kumho Tires/Tri-point Engineering 2004 Mazda 3.
Three drivers set times faster than the previous qualifying mark of 1:30.176 in Formula 500, led by Michael Brent, of Bethel, Conn. Brent, in his QRE Hoosier Invader QC-1, was two seconds faster in qualifying than in Monday’s practice, running a 1:29.534 (90.792 mph). F500 practice leader Brian Novak, of Dearborn, Mich., came in just behind Brent with a 1:29.603 in his Hoosier Tire/Short-Media.com Rakavon J-10. Wiley McMahan, of Covington, Ga., was much more impressive Tuesday, finishing third (1:29.834) in his Dolphin Motorsports QRE Invader QC-1 after winding up seventh in practice. Doug Marsh, of Eastlake, Ohio, was the previous record holder and is fourth after the first day of qualifying with a 1:30.485 in his Hoosier/Rocketech Motorsports Rocketech R2.
Another trio of drivers trumped an old qualifying record, this time in Grand Touring 1. Lew Larimer, of Hayward, Calif., broke his own record of 1:24.598 from a year ago, turning a fast lap of 1:24.063 (96.698 mph) in his American Port Weld/Red Line Oil Oldsmobile Cutlass. Trevor Hopwood, of Lee, N.H., emerged from his 15th practice position to qualify second in his Hoosier/Wild Bill’s Sports Bar Chevrolet Corvette (1:24.337); while Amy Ruman, of Kent, Ohio, put her McNichols Co./Cenweld Corp. Chevrolet Corvette in third with a 1:24.364.
As fast as he was Monday, Graham Rahal, of New Albany, Ohio, was even better Tuesday, posting a 1:16.996 (105.574 mph) in his Bobby Rahal Automotive Group Swift 014 – a time nearly almost two seconds faster than the old mark of 1:18.772 set by Dan Cobb in 2004. Dan Selznick, of Phoenix, Ariz., was far behind Rahal but also faster than the previous class record, as he ran a 1:18.098 in his The Roomstore Swift 014. Mirl Swan, of Platte City, Mo., is third after the first day of qualifying, turning a 1:19.700 in his WR King/Swan Racing Swift 008a.
Steve Ott, of Brighton, Colo., wasn’t quite as quick Tuesday in D Sports Racing as he was Monday, but he piloted his Racing Concepts/Hoosier Speads RS06 to a fast lap of 1:22.981 (97.957 mph), good enough for the class lead and a new qualifying record by more than 0.6-second; beating out the old mark of 1:23.503 in 2004 by Mark Jaremko. Jason Miller, of Elkhart Lake, Wis., was second with a 1:23.766 in his Sterling/Kohler Millenium WynnFurst DSR, while Matthew DiRenzo, of Medford, N.J., is third in his Goodyear/TTO Stohr DSR after posting a time of 1:23.967.
A pair of Touring 2 drivers, led by Rob Hines, of Arlington, Va., smoked the Mid-Ohio course Tuesday, as Hines, in his Kumho Tires/Nismo/Red Line Oil 2003 Nissan 350Z blitzed the T2 qualifying record of 1:39.286 (set in 2004 by Don Knowles) with a 1:38.829 (82.251 mph). Chuck Hemmingson, of West Des Moines, Ia., was a solid second in his Subaru/Rotary Lift 2005 Subaru WRX STi, nailing down a 1:39.164, and Mark Boden, of Winnetka, Ill., was behind him with a 1:39.391 in his Fall-Line Motorsports 2004 BMW M3.
Yesterday, Brad Stout was leading the Formula Vee headlines as he posted what would have been a new record for the class. On Tuesday, however, it was the Bob Neumeister show. Neumeister, of Pueblo, Colo., broke Stout’s qualifying record time of 1:39.691 with a 1:39.510 (81.701 mph) in his Red Line Oil Vortech. Michael Varacins, of Burlington, Wis., was second behind Neumeister with a 1:40.071 in his Speed Sport Engineering/Veetec Speed Sport AM -5. Jeff Loughead, of Darien, Ill., won the FV Runoffs Championship in 2004 and is third after turning in a 1:40.110 in his Hoosier/J.Loughead MD SC Vortech CR-04.
Qualifying for the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kohler continues Wednesday, beginning at 8 a.m. (EDT). For a complete schedule, and to watch live timing and scoring for all 23 classes, visit www.scca.com.
Other First Day Qualifying Leaders –
A Sedan – John Heinricy, Holly, Mich., Pointiac Firebird – 1:37.441
C Sports Racing – Jacke Mucha, Laval, Quebec (Can.), Ralt JMS – 1:22.443
Formula Cont. – Ricardo Vassmer, Coral Sprints, Fla., Van Diemen RF-01 – 1:23.989
Formula Ford – John Robinson II, St. Cloud, Fla., Swift DB6 – 1:28.876
Formula Mazda – David Donovan, Plantation, Fla., Formula Mazda – 1:27.115
E Production – Tom Thrash, Houston, Texas, Mazda RX-7 – 1:35.064
F Production – Steve Sargis, Frankfort, Ill., Triumph Spitfire – 1:36.882
G Production – Kent Prather, Wakarusa, Kan., MGA – 1:40.573
Grand Touring 2 – Duane Davis, Camas, Wash., Toyota Celica – 1:29.699
Grand Touring 3 – Mike Henderson, El Cajon, Calif., Mazda RX-7 – 1:31.886
Grand Touring Lite – Warren Montague, Manakin Sabot, Va., Toyota Tercel – 1:35.804
H Production – Tom Feller, Clarkston, Mich., Triumph Spitfire – 1:40.676
Spec Racer Ford – Joe Colasacco, Greenwich, Conn., Spec Racer Ford – 1:38.421
Showroom Stock B – Toby Grahovec, Palos Park, Ill., BMW Z4 – 1:44.768
Sports 2000 – Marc Walker, Oldsmar, Fla., Lola 89/90 – 1:27.486
Touring 1 – Scotty B. White, Puyallup, Wash., Dodge Viper – 1:32.939
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