Randy Pobst Returns to the Runoffs
To celebrate the 50th annual National Championship Runoffs, SCCA invited all previous champions back to compete. Any previous champion who could find a car and get a National racing license was welcome. Among those who have answered the call is Randy Pobst. In addition to two SCCA Club Racing national championships, Pobst is a four-time champion in SCCA World Challenge GT, the 1996 North American Touring Car Championship title winner, and two-time class winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona.
“My last SCCA Club championship was in 1995 in a Showroom Stock A in a T.C. Kline BMW M3. I also won in 1992 in a Showroom Stock C Miata,” Pobst says.
Pobst planned his return to Club Racing in a rented Acura to run in Super Touring Light, but the car wasn't ready in time for the Runoffs.
“I showed up and rooted around a little and found Nick Leverone of Flatout Motorsports was willing to lend me his Spec Miata. It's just 120 horsepower, compared to 520 in my K-PAX Volvo in World Challenge, but it got my race juices flowing,” Pobst said.
Even with all his pro racing wins, the Runoffs still hold special significance for Pobst.
“This is a total roots experience. I grew up in this club – It's so much fun to be back here among guys who are building their own cars. I have a lot of friends here. We're doing this for the passion and the love of it. The word amateur means ‘for the love of it' – it doesn't mean less good.”
Pobst and the rest of the STL field will race on Sunday at 10:45 a.m.
Record Breaking Spec Miata Race
From the first running of Spec Miata at the SCCA Runoffs in 2006, there has never been a repeat champion – until today. Jim Drago of Memphis, Tenn., has repeated his victory from last year after a tumultuous race.
“I was fortunate enough to win, but there's 15 guys who could have won this race. Like Bill France said, you wouldn't have to tell anyone to try,” Drago said.
The race also broke an SCCA record for the number of cars taking the green flag, as 69 competitors started the race. That shattered the previous record of 60 cars set by Spec Miata in 2010.
From the start in 2006, SCCA's Spec Miata champions have been Andrew Caddell, Brad Rampelberg, Eric Foss, Steven Gorriaran, Andrew Charbonneau, Elivan Goulart, and Jim Drago. With this win, Drago is once again eligible for the Mazda Shootout, which offers a chance to win a fully-funded ride in the 2014 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup series.
Overnight Car Fire Destroys H Production Honda
A freak car fire destroyed the H Production Honda Civic of William Banner in the Road America paddock overnight at approximately 2 a.m. The fire was thought to be caused by an electrical short resulting from the heavy rains soaking the track this week. Local fire departments responded to the scene, as well as neighboring competitors.
The fire consumed the car and spread to the canopy covering the vehicle before it was extinguished. By mid-morning the car had been loaded and removed, leaving only a burned mark on the pavement and a gaping hole in the canopy. With almost 700 cars in the paddock for the Runoffs, the best news is that the fire did not spread to neighboring paddock spaces.
• Follow all the Runoffs action live via online Timing & Scoring here: http://www.sccahost.com/sccalive/
• For detailed coverage of the 50th SCCA National Runoffs, go to scca.com/runoffs. The races can also be seen live Sept. 20-22, on www.SpeedcastTV.com.