WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (July 17, 2007) – The 59th running of the Glen Nationals, dating back to the original street races in 1949, attracted 320 competitors to the 2007 edition, presented by the Finger Lakes Region Sports Car Club of America. Some of the best national drivers, from Maine to Florida and parts of the Midwest, came to test their skills at one of the most famous and historic road courses in the United States.
Saturday was devoted to practice and qualifying sessions for each of the seven race groups. Following practice and qualifying, an open Town Hall meeting was held with SCCA President Jim Julow and local directors Brian Holtz and John Sheridan, and the evening concluded with a picnic supper for all participants.
The first of Sunday’s seven races was for Touring 1, 2 and 3, and Showroom Stock B and C. John Buttermore, of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., took the overall and T1 win in his Chevrolet Corvette, with a fast lap of 2:05.688. Robert Kahn, of San Diego, Calif., took second and David Pintaric, of Canfield, Ohio, driving a Dodge Viper, finished third. Other class winners were Bill Ziegler, of Stamford, Conn., who won T2 in a Mitsubishi Evo and Joe Aquilante, of Chester Springs, Pa., won T3 in a Chevrolet Cobalt. He also reset the T3 track record with a 2:15.922.
In the Showroom Stock categories, William Fenton, of Keene, N.H., drove his Acura RSX-S to victory in SSB, while Richard Cullen, of Marshfield, Mass., set a new SSB track record of 2:21.184 in his Mini Cooper. John Heinricy, of Royal Oak, Mich., took SSC honors in his Chevrolet Cobalt.
Forty-three Spec Racer Fords took the green at the start of Race Two. Lee Hill was the early leader followed by Mark Eaton. Hill took over the point on Lap six, but one lap later, Herb Sweeney, Jr., took the lead with Hill now back in fourth position. Lap nine saw a new leader, Mick Robinson, followed by Derek Defonce and Eaton. This held through four laps of full-course yellow. At the finish, it was Eaton, of Eau Gallie, Fla., Defonce, of New Preston, Conn., and Robinson, of Melbourne, Fla.
Race Three was composed of Formula Atlantic, D Sport Racing, C Sports Racing, F 1000 (FB), Formula Continental, S2000, and Formula Mazda. The start was delayed by two extra pace laps due to slippery course conditions. On Lap Five, a full-course yellow was called for four laps, and green flag racing resumed on Lap Nine. At the finish, it was two Formula Atlantics in first and second position; Paul Lecain, of Dandown, N.H, driving a Ralt Toyota in front, followed by Ahsen Yelkin, of Austintown, Ohio. Polesitter and third in FA, Hans Peter, of Overland Park, Kan., set a new FA track record of 1:45.074, after being held in the pits and starting the race from dead last.
Jean-Luc Liverato, of Alpharetta, Ga., was third overall and first in DSR driving a Stohr WF1. Liverato also set a new DSR record at The Glen, turning a 1:51.311. William Goldkind, of Holbrook, N.Y., took the CSR win in a Viking and David Dullum, of Falls Church, Va., was the S2000 victor in a Lola.
Jeremy Hill, of Toronto, Ont., won FB in a Photon VD, setting an FB track record of 1:54.621 in the process. In FM, it was Jeremy Grenier, of Point of Rocks, Md., and FC was won by Mauro Fauza, of Auburn Hills, Mich., in a Van Diemen. Justin Hoffman, of Herndon, Va., took the FE victory in a Van Diemen and set a lap record of 1:59.171.
Race Four started in rainy conditions as 34 cars spread among E, F G and H Production, as well as GT-Lite took the green. Mark Carpenter was the early race leader in his FP Acura Integra. The lead group became scrambled on the second lap when several cars were involved in an incident in the section of the course known as “the toe of the boot.” Harold Flescher’s FP Austin Healey Sprite and Don Girven’s EP Mazda RX3 were both unable to continue. When the green came out again on lap seven, the course was clear and dry. Chris Dryden, of Middletown, Del., was the new race leader in an EP Mazda RX7. On Lap 10, Kevin Leigh, of Harrisburg, Va., took over the lead in his EP Caterham 7, displacing Dryden. Leigh then pulled away and took the checkered flag by more than five seconds over Dryden. Carpenter, of Burlington, Conn., was third overall and first in FP.
Howard Gerstein, of Lancaster, Pa., took GTL honors in a Mazda Miata, while Bob Lentz II, of Chantilly, Va., won GP in a Nissan 510 and HP was won by Ron Bartell, of Madbury, N.H., in an MG Midget.
The big-bore cars of GT1, GT2, GT3 and American Sedan put on a show in Race Five. Simon Gregg, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., won GT1 and overall, in a Chevrolet Corvette, leading from start to finish. The only thing that could slow him down was three laps of full-course yellow. The Chevrolet Camaro of Michael Brockman, from Milford, Conn., was second and the Oldsmobile Cutlass of Jack Busch, from Torrington, Conn., finished third.
Making the trip from Denver, Colo., Robert Thumel was the GT2 winner in a Porsche 996. GT3 was won by Ric Bushey, of Virginia Beach, Va., in a Nissan 350Z, while defending SCCA American Sedan National Champion John Heinricy, of Royal Oak, Mich., took the class win in his Pontiac Firebird.
Race Six combined Formula Ford, Formula 500 and Formula Vee. The race had a brief caution period from laps seven through nine and after the lap 10 restart Robert Albani, of Hicksville, N.Y, was leading in an FF Van Diemen. Polesitter Stephen Oseth, of Leesburg, Va., had fallen as far back as sixth, but worked his way up after the caution period and got the better of Albani on the final lap to take the FF and overall win by a mere car length.
In F500, it was Jim Schultz, of New Market, Md., with the win and a new track record behind the wheel of his Invader. Roger Siebenaler, of Williston, Vt., took Formula Vee honors in a Mysterian.
Twenty-five Spec Miatas took the green and ended the weekend with an incident-free race. Steven Gorriaran, of Providence, R.I., Charlie Campbell, of Corry, Pa., and Ken Zainer, of Fallston, M.D., started the race in first, second and third, and held that order until lap four when Zainer made his was around Campbell fro second. On Lap 8, Zainer took and held the lead until engine failure struck on Lap 12, leaving Gorriaran, Marc Cefalo, of Pittston, Pa., and Campbell in the top positions at the finish.
The next Northeast Division Club National will be hosted by the Northern New Jersey Region at Lime Rock Park, July 28-29. For more information visit the SCCA Northeast Division Web Site at www.nescca.com-30-