Scott Rettich, of Camden, Ohio, captured his second-consecutive Formula Enterprises Championship at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs held at Road America. Rettich also earned his second-straight SCCA Super Sweep award, signifying his outstanding 2011 season.
Driving the No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash/PDI SCCA Formula Enterprises/Mazda from the Gumout Pole Position, Rettich took the lead at the start, but saw second-starting Jason Wolfe, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, move ahead before the completion of the first lap.
Wolfe kept his No. 23 Jay Motorsports entry on point for the first three laps, before Rettich made his move heading into Turn Five. Wolfe protected the inside, so Rettich used the preferred line to get a run out and take the lead in turn six.
From there, Rettich slowly pulled away to score a 5.494-second victory.
“It feels great to win another Championship,” Rettich said. “My team, Alliance Autosport gave me a great car. We came here with a solid setup and didn't really make a lot of changes. We were pretty much on top from the beginning. Jason [Wolfe] certainly gave me a run at the beginning. We had set up the car to be better from the middle-on. I figured if I was in contention early I'd be in good shape.
“I planned to pass him into turn five, and then set up and over-under move in five and got underneath him in turn six. I cleared him, and was able to open up a little bit. A few laps later I was able to start to stretch it out.”
Rettich's National Championship added to an already stellar season, in which he won the Central Division points title, the National points title and a key qualifying event in the regular season. The sum of his season's work resulted in his second-straight Formula Enterprises Super Sweep. Rettich became the first driver to win back-to-back Super Sweeps.
“It certainly means a lot to win the Super Sweep,” Rettich said. “It's a great thing to have on the racing resume. It's a great honor for the team too.”
Wolfe led the Runoffs for the first time, and he earned a silver medal in his second Runoffs appearance.
“Going down into five, I got a good draft and got in deep on the brakes and I was able to get past Scott there,” he said. “Coming out of turn five, he did an over-under on me. He got by me in turn six, and I just couldn't hang on to him after that. From there, I just tried to keep the car in one piece and in a podium position.”
Tyler Walsh, of Excelsior, Minn., started fifth in his No. 3 Global Emergency Products entry and was able to move up to finish a career-best third. Walsh was able to make the podium after both Matthew Inge and Matthew Mair encountered separate issues, ending their races prematurely.
“It feels fantastic, really,” Walsh said. “We had some problems throughout the week. Not necessarily car-related issues. Just some bad luck, as always. It sounds easy to say that, but it's true—it's been a difficult week. The race was just about attrition. We did not have to push the car a single lap. It was just luck falling into place. You can see that in the lap times. It wasn't a push.
“I went out on some fairly used tires. That was a budget thing. I wanted to make sure I was there at the end, and didn't have to push to get there. It was a good race. Not necessarily as rewarding as pushing the whole time and working your way through the field, but I'm not one to complain about a podium finish. Especially at a race like the Runoffs.”
Patrick Gallagher, of Thornville, Ohio, finished fourth in his No. 98 Jay Motorsports/CTL Engineering entry after starting eighth. Brian Novak, of Dearborn, Mich., completed the top five finishers in his No. 70 Jay Motorsports/Hoosier/AiM Data entry.
Rettich's 10th lap around the four mile circuit was the race's Hawk Fastest Race Lap and set a new record for the class at 2:13.081 (108.205 mph).
Jeff Beck, of Ingleside, Ill., earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award, advancing five positions in his No. 2 One Formula entry to finish ninth.
Now in its 48th year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs annually crowns Champions in the Sports Car Club of America's Club Racing classes. The live broadcast of all 28 National Championship races will be available throughout the weekend at www.SpeedcastTV.com/scca and later available On Demand from the same site.
Follow the action on Twitter @SCCAOfficial or the SCCA, Inc. Official Facebook page at facebook.com/sccaofficial. More information is available at www.scca.com.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Results from Friday's Formula Vee SCCA National Championship race from Road America, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (1), Scott Rettich, Camden, OH, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
2, (2), Jason Wolfe, Mount Vernon, OH, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
3, (5), Tyler Walsh, Excelsior, MN, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
4, (8), Patrick Gallagher, Thornville, OH, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
5, (7), Brian Novak, Dearborn, MI, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
6, (9), Sam Beasley, Painesville, OH, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
7, (6), Scott McQueen, Huffman, TX, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
8, (11), Dennis Marklein, Dodgeville, WI, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
9, (14), Jeff Beck, Ingleside, IL, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
10, (13), Patrick Linn, Pittsburgh, PA, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
11, (12), Steve Stadel, Scales Mound, IL, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
12, (15), Joseph Sturm, Neenah, WI, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
13, (16), Keith McDonald, Ranson, WV, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 13.
14, (3), Matthew Inge, Fort Myers, FL, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 8.
15, (4), Matthew Mair, Miami, FL, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 7.
DNF, (10), Ethan Ringel, Windermere, FL, SCCA Formula Enterprises, 4.
Time of Race: 29:07.292
Winner's average speed: 107.137 mph
Hawk Fastest race lap: #17 Scott Rettich, 2:13.081 (108.205 mph)
Lap Leaders: 1-13, Scott Rettich