Loshak Wins Twice, Joins Elite Group of Champions
Lawrence Loshak had a fantastic weekend at the 50th anniversary SCCA Runoffs. The versatile driver from Grafton, Wis., won both the Formula B and H Production national championships on the same day. In so doing, he became one of just 17 drivers to win multiple championships in the same year at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
But it turns out that these victories also earned Loshak membership in a more exclusive club. With his prior wins in the 2006 E Production and 2009 D Sports Racing championships, he has become one of just four drivers in the history of SCCA to win championships in four different classes. Loshak now joins the legendary Jerry Hansen, John Heinricy, and Tom Schweitz in that exclusive club.
“It's amazing. Winning never gets old. This Runoffs, it's an emotional one. It's special, it was a tough road to get here, I don't know what the future holds. I love racing,” Loshak says.
Racing, it seems, loves him back.
Fogg and Tipton coming through. (Jeff Zurchsmeide photo)
Fogg, Tipton Deliver Epic Run in Spec Racer Ford
Steve Fogg of West Linn, Ore., and Johnny Tipton of Lake Oswego, Ore., made a long tow to be at the Runoffs this year, and both had high hopes for Runoffs success. But a series of unfortunate events left both drivers without a qualifying time representative of their abilities. The Oregonians started the race in 51st and 52nd positions in a 54-car field.
What happened next was nothing short of amazing – Spec Racer Ford is a class in which qualifying is critical. Because each car is identical to every other and the engines and transmissions are sealed, a Spec Racer contest relies almost solely on driver skill to succeed.
Beginning from the back of the field, Tipton and Fogg worked together to pick off the competition. Fogg advanced 37 positions to finish in the 14th spot. No other driver improved his position more in the race. Tipton crossed the line in 17th position, leaving 35 cars in his rear view mirror.
“Of course I'm disappointed about having to start from the back, but we had a good race and I'm pleased with my performance. Next year, I plan to start from a better grid position and get my shot at the front,” Fogg said.
This vintage Mazda RX-3 showed its stuff in E Production. (Jeff Zurchsmeide photo)
Downey Puts Vintage Mazda on the Podium
Saturday's notebook included the fact that Aaron Downey of Rossmoor, Calif., had placed his vintage-eligible Mazda RX-3 in the pole position for today's E Production race. When the checkered flag flew, Downey had proven that the venerable RX-3 still has what it takes to lead by earning a third-place finish after a hard-fought battle. It got even better later Sunday night when the stewards DQed on-track winner Matt Reynolds' Miata, making Greg Ira (Datsun 260Z) the EP champion and moving Downey up to second.
“A lot of people have challenged us, saying that this car can no longer sit on a podium. I don't know how we can compete with the Miatas – there's no way I can get the RX-3 to handle with the Miatas, but we've got the rotary engine making good power. It's a handful, but it's a ball to drive. And it gets a lot of attention in the pits,” Downey says.
2013 Runoffs Participation Numbers
The official SCCA tally shows 701 cars turned a wheel on track at the 50th running of the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. The 701 cars were divided into 28 competition classes, and 24 race groups.
Closest Finish in the Modern Era
The final race of the 2013 Runoffs was one for the history books, as Christopher Bovis nipped Bobby Lentz by about six inches at the flag to claim the GT-Lite victory. Timing confirmed the margin of victory at 0.007 second – the closest Runoffs finish in the transponder era. Prior to that, the SCCA was not able to measure finishing times to the thousandth of a second, so close finishes from that era were determined by visual judgment.
• For detailed coverage of the 50th SCCA National Runoffs, go to scca.com/runoffs. The races can also be seen on demand at www.SpeedcastTV.com.