TOPEKA, Kan. (October 14, 2007) – J.R. Osborne, of Castle Rock, Colo., led flag-to-flag at Heartland Park Topeka to capture the D Sports Racing National Championship at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by AT&T. Mark Jaremko, of Spokane, Wash., and Jean-Luc Liverato, of Alpharetta, Ga., finished second and third, respectively, after an exciting late-race shootout.
Starting from the pole, Osborne was untouchable in his No. 83 Equinox Land/Rilltech/GodSped Inc. Stohr WF-1, holding off his competitors in Turn One and never looking back. At the conclusion of the caution-free, 18-lap race, Osborne had built an 11.726-second lead to claim his first SCCA National Championship.
“It’s just a relief to finish,” Osborne said. “I’ve always run into issues my whole racing career. The only luck I have is bad luck, so to finally put one together that means something significant and have everything come together means the world to me right now. This is affirmation that this is what I need to keep doing.
“The race was perfect. It probably wasn’t fun to watch, but it was a perfect race for me. I got a good jump, put my head down and tried to go as hard as I could for about five or six laps to build that gap up. Then, I just ran consistent times and I was hoping the guys behind me were doing just what they were doing, battling and slowing each other down. That allowed me to save my tires, save my brakes and make sure the car was going to make it to the end. It was the perfect race for a racer – uneventful. I’m thrilled to finally get a National Championship.”
All the action was unfolding behind Osborne, where the No. 2 Loynings/Goodyear/Redline Stohr WF-1 WSL of Jaremko and the No. 8 Expanded Tech/KWS/Hoosier Stohr WF-1 of Liverato were dueling for the runner-up spot. Liverato got a great start, going from fourth to second by Turn One, while defending Champion Jaremko slotted into third.
Jaremko cranked up the pressure on Lap 12, then made his move a lap later through Turn Six. Liverato hung with Jaremko through the closing laps and when Jaremko hit lapped traffic in the chicane, Liverato shot by to take the runner-up spot. Jaremko was unphased, retaking the position into Turn 10 and holding the position to the checkered flag. Liverato’s chase for the SCCA Chicago Region Triple Crown ended with a third-place finish.
Joshua Held, of San Carlos, Calif., and Dorian Foyil, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Roy Maxwell, of Arlinton, Texas, was the Sunoco Hard Charger, advancing seven positions during the race in his No. 55 Racing Engine Service Mystery III.
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.