LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 25, 2004) – Pete Peterson, of Lumberton, N.C., captured his fifth National Championship Saturday, taking the GT-3 class at the 2004 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by Kohler at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Michael Cyphert, of Burton, Ohio, and David Rugh, of Portland, Ore., completed the top-three.
Driving the No. 98 Toyota Motorsports/Valvoline Toyota Celica, Peterson worked his way through the field to capture the win. Maintaining his starting position in the opening laps, Peterson capitalized on incidents to move forward as the race progressed. Following a full-course caution, Peterson attacked Mike Henderson for the lead on lap nine. Running nose-to-tail, the duo made contact on lap 12, with Peterson taking the lead. Once in front, Peterson never relinquished the lead, winning by 6.434 seconds and an average speed of 78.758 mph.
“The first three laps, my car had a miss in it,” said Peterson. “Fortunately, everybody was going slow because they were on cold tires. After about three laps, the miss went away and I was able to start getting through. I thought it was going to be tough from where I was starting, and it was.
[On the lap 12 incident with Henderson] Henderson was all over the place. We went down the hill and he moved way over to the left, and I was passing him and he clobbered me. It broke the front wheel and the front end of the car came off when I stopped.”
Richard Bushley, of Va., finished fourth, and Craig Allen, of Fenton, Mich., completed the top five.
Now in its 41st year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs annually crown the best amateur road racers in North America Champions. More than 700 competitors have gathered this year to battle for 24 class titles this year, with eight races being run each day from Friday through Sunday.
Celebrating its 60th 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 performance rally.