Rettich sweeps SCCA Pro Spec Racer Ford weekend at New Jersey
Scott Rettich swept the SCCA Pro Racing Spec Racer Ford doubleheader weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Rounds Three and Four on the eight-race season. And while the Oxford, Ohio-driver claimed victory in both races, it wasn't without effort - his total margin of victory for both races was less than 0.7-second on the May 8-9 weekend.
Rettich, driving the No. 17 PDICommunSys/Springboro Car Wash SRF, captured Saturday's round three over runner-up Tray Ayres, of Woodstock, Ga., by 0.398-second in the time-shortened 13-lap, 29.25-mile race.
Starting from the second row after qualifying third earlier in the morning, Rettich, polesitter Richard Spicer, of Laurel, Md., and Ayres led the field through turn one at the green flag. A good start proved important, as just behind the leaders a first-turn crash collected fourth and fifth place starters Dakota Donovan and Rick Bellew, along with Chris Current, Robert Reed and Viren Kapadia.
The five-car incident brought out the red flag for clean-up and to clear the track. When the race resumed, Spicer, driving the No. 65 Spicer Eng/Hagerman Race Eng SRF, again led Rettich and Ayres as the three began to pull away from the field.
Rettich snuck past Spicer on lap six, with Ayres driving the No. 7 Ayres Racing machine into second place two laps later. The three-car battle became just two on lap 10, when mechanical difficulties ended the day for Spicer. Rettich was able to hold off Ayers to the stripe for the win after officially leading the final eight laps.
Bruce Myers, of Greenland, N.H., started sixth and claimed the final spot on the podium. Matthew Polk, of Gibson Island, Md., and Tom Riley, of New Fairfield, Conn., completed the top five.
Saturday's race ended with the same winner, but Rettich's path to the lead came much more methodically. The early battle for the lead was a four car fight, with Donovan's No. 77 Air Flight Inc SRF joining the fray. Ayres started on pole, but by the first time past the stripe, both Spicer and Rettich had snuck past.
The two worked in tandem to stretch a gap on Ayres and the field, with Spicer leading the first 17 laps of the race. With eight laps remaining on the 2.25-mile New Jersey Motorsports Park circuit, Rettich pulled into the lead for the first time. Rettich led for three laps, then handed the lead back to Spicer. Rettich reclaimed the top spot for the final two circuits, crossing the finish line just 0.298-second ahead of Spicer.
By the finish, Ayres had been left behind the front pair, coming in 15.287-seconds in arrears of the leaders for third place. Rick Bellew, of Mobile, Ala., finished fourth in the No. 10 B&W Supply machine, followed by Chris Current of Silver Spring, Md.
Ayres' two podium finishes at New Jersey were enough to propel him to the championship lead at the midway point of the season, with 469 points. Rettich's big weekend leaves him second (451 points), followed by Spicer (352) and Brian Schofield (269), who swept the opening weekend at Road Atlanta.