Lexington, Ohio (Sept. 25, 2005) – John Saurino, of Tulsa, Okla., left little to the imagination in the Grand Touring 3 portion of the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by Kohler, taking the GT3 win by 8.478 seconds over Wolfgang Maike, of Santa Barbara, Calif. Terry Watson, of Pierrefonds, Quebec, was third.-30-
In the GT3 race, Saurino broke away early (something he wasn’t able to do earlier in the day in the F Production race, which cost him when he was spun out of that race in an incident with another car on the second lap) on the strength of a GT3 record race lap of 1:32.084 (89.136 mph) in his Red Line Oil/Goodyear/Nissan Nissan 240SX to open what proved to be an insurmountable lead.
Though Saurino was never within reach, Maike followed Saurino’s plan, powering his Toyota Motorsports/Red Line Toyota Paseo around the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and putting space between himself and the rest of the field. By the end of the 20-lap race, Maike was 19 seconds ahead of third-place Watson’s H20! Recreation Inc. Nissan 350Z.
"The car has been great from the get-go. It was fast right out of the box, and I just drove it,” Saurino Said. “I was able to sit on the pole, lead every lap, and win the race. I am very pleased. I got in front and saved the tires, just drove it. I saw Wolfgang in my mirrors and just concentrated on keeping ahead. Perhaps now I can get my crew chief to smile, as he has not all week."
Craig Allen, of Fenton, Mich., finished fourth after starting 11th, and Rob Warkocki, of Frankfort, Ill., completed the top five.
Bill McGavic, of Arcadia, Fla., was the Sunoco Hard Charger after advancing 10 positions to finish 10th after starting the race 20th on the grid.
Now in its 42nd year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs annually crown the best amateur road racers in North America as Champions. More than 750 competitors have gathered this year to battle for 23 class titles this year, with eight races being run Friday and Saturday and seven on Sunday.
Celebrating its 61st 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 rallycross.
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