Steve Sargis, of Frankfort, Ill., captured his fifth-career National Championship Saturday during the H Production race at the SCCA Runoffs Presented by Subway at Road America in dominating fashion. Michael Moser, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Chris Albin, of Maryland Heights, Mo., completed the podium.
Starting from the Gumout Pole in his No. 18 SBS Batteries/Goodyear Tire Triumph Spitfire, Sargis watched second-starting Moser get the jump at the green flag in his No. 64 ETE Reman/Core/Goodyear/M. Meller Honda CRX and lead through Turn Five. In the run up to Turn Six, however, Sargis got the run and took the lead. Moser dove to the inside of Turn Eight to retake the lead, but only momentarily, as Sargis did the over/under move to retake the point. From there, he was never challenged, gradually pulling away to a 40.197-second win in the 13-lap, 52-mile race, averaging 89.727 mph.
"The carousel and the kink are the strong places for the Spitfire," Sargis said. "I wasn't getting splits to the car behind me, so I just tried to be consistently fast. I have bad luck when I try to slow the pace. I just tried to maintain what I was doing the first few laps."
Sargis consistently ran laps in the 2:39 range, with his best lap of 2:39.076 (90.523 mph) breaking the previous race lap record by a second and a half. Nobody else ran faster than a 2:41.6.
"I was a little surprised at the times," Sargis said. "Back in 1998, I Ran a 2:38.8 in a G car which is the same car only a lot heavier. I think the track has gotten faster and I've learned a lot more. I had a clear track and weather is really good so I guess I did go faster. The car felt like it was on rails. It was handling so well."
With his focus on F Production, Sargis only made the decision to pull his red Triumph Spitfire out for H Production just prior to the June Sprints.
"The plan to get into H was combination of thoughts that other cars can be fast and the fact that Tom [Feller] wasn't running this year," Sargis said. "There really wasn't a good roadster benchmark for the class, so my son and I decided to get the old G [Production] motor out. I always told Tom Feller that anytime he didn't want to run, I would get my G car out. It was a nice way to win my fifth [Championship]."
Moser, who beat Sargis at the June Sprints earlier this year en route to winning the Central Division and the National Point Championships, actually fell back to fourth after running wide in Turn Eight on the opening lap. Moser had to work back around Dan Meller's No. 61 CORE Consulting Datsun 510 and Albin's No. 3 Hoosier/24-7Parts.com/AMT Engines Volkswagen GTI to regain second, a position he would hold for the remainder of the race.
Moser's car was the runaway winner in 2009 with Dan Meller driving, a race that did not include Sargis.
"At the start, I went in a little to hot - the tires were a little cool," Moser said of his slide in Turn One. "Thank goodness for ice racing techniques. I just stayed on it and I had Steve a little worried but we made it through. In [turn] three, it popped out of gear and Steve went by and never looked back. I had some air/ fuel ratio problems adjusting the fuel pressure and a lot of things going on inside the car."
Albin started fifth and had a spirited battle with Meller until the Datsun retired with a mechanical issue on lap 11.
"It's great to be up here, especially with Steve—the master," Albin said. "After the first couple of laps the race settled in, I just drove as hard as I could. I knew I needed to stay with Dan [Meller]. His tires seemed to be going away before I got by. My tires really stayed great throughout the race.
"That first lap was pretty close. We just know that you can lose the race on the first lap but you can also make up a lot of positions as well. You just need to be cautious."
Greg Gauper, of Hubertus, Wis., started third in his No. 15 King Motorsports/Rana Mort Racing Honda Civic Si and finished fourth, followed by William Trainer, of Lake in the Hills, Ill., an his No. 7 Volkswagen Scirocco after starting ninth.
Gordon Jones (BMW 1600), James Rogerson (Honda Civic), Jason Isley (Toyota Yaris), Jack Schulz (MG Midget) and Jerry Oleson (Austin-Healey Sprite) completed the top 10.
Tom Broring, of Derwood, Md., finished 11th and earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award for advancing nine positions during the race.
Now in its 47th year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Subway 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/runoffs.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Provisional Results from Saturday's Showroom Stock B National Championship Race, part of the 47th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America with finish position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (1), Steve Sargis, Frankfort, IL, Triumph Spitfire, 13.
2, (2), Michael Moser, Milwaukee, WI, Honda CRX, 13.
3, (5), Chris Albin, Maryland Heights, MO, Volkswagen GTI, 13.
4, (3), Greg Gauper, Hubertus, WI, Honda Civic Si, 13.
5, (9), William C Trainer, Lake In The Hills, IL, Volkswagen Scirocco, 13.
6, (11), Gordon L Jones, Tualatin, OR, BMW 1600, 13.
7, (12), James Rogerson, Pearland, TX, Honda Civic, 13.
8, (13), Jason Isley, Coto De Caza, CA, Toyota Yaris, 13.
9, (15), Jack A Schulz, Monett, MO, MG Midget, 13.
10, (14), Jerry L Oleson, Aurora, CO, Austin-Healey Sprite, 13.
11, (20), Thomas Broring, Derwood, MD, Volkswagen GTI, 12.
12, (16), Martin P Burk, Summit Point, WV, Honda CRX Si, 12.
13, (22), Mark Weber, Saint Louis, MO, Austin-Healey Sprite, 12.
14, (21), Robert E Horrell Jr, Memphis, TN, Austin-Healey Sprite, 12.
15, (19), Bob Eichelberger, Imperial, MO, Austin-Healey Sprite, 12.
16, (18), Dayle Frame, DeWitt, MI, Austin-Healey Sprite, 12.
17, (10), Keith Church, Greensboro, NC, Toyota Corolla, 12.
18, (24), James Norlin, Damascus, OR, Triumph Spitfire, 12.
19, (25), John Hafkenschiel, Sacramento, CA, Fiat X-1/9, 12.
20, (4), Dan Meller, Milwaukee, WI, Datsun 510, 10.
21, (8), Terry Boylan, Lakeland, FL, Honda Civic, 10.
22, (7), James Blust, Castle Rock, CO, Triumph Spitfire, 8.
DNF, (23), Andrew Aldred, East Troy, WI, Volkswagen Golf, 3.
DNF, (17), Andrew M Wright, Murfreesboro, TN, Austin-Healey Sprite, 2.
DNF, (6), Ron Bartell, Madbury, NH, MG Midget, 0.
Time of Race: 34:46.334
Winner's average speed: 89.727 mph
Fastest race lap: #18 Steve Sargis, 2:39.076 (90.523 mph)
Lap Leaders: 1-13, #18 Steve Sargis
Sunoco Hard Charger: #9 Thomas Broring
Attached: Image of Steve Sargis, 2010 H Production National Champion
Credit: John Steflik