TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 6, 2008) – The first day of qualifying for the 45th Annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs® began like a late summer day, but ended like a bitter fall one. While the classes lucky enough to qualify in the morning ran under warm, sunny conditions, a thunderstorm, which moved in over the lunch hour, discouraged many drivers from taking to Heartland Park Topeka in the afternoon.
In the first session of the day, defending Touring 2 National Champion Don Knowles, of Pittsboro, N.C., put his No. 35 Phoenix/Hoosier/Hawk/iRacing.com Pontiac Solstice GXP on the provisional Touring 2 pole. Knowles’ lap of 1:44.957 (85.831 mph) is under the existing Runoffs lap record.
Another defending National Champion, Mike Miserendino, of Los Angeles, Calif., started his quest for a three-peat Spec Racer Ford title, by placing his No. 11 MBI Racing SRF on the provisional pole. Miserendino entered a time of 1:47.754 (83.524 mph).
In the 38-car strong Formula Vee field, Bob Neumeister, of Pueblo, Colo., currently sits atop the grid. Driving the No. 94 Hoosier Tire/RedLine Oil VW, Neumeister turned a 1:47.811 (83.479 mph).
Currently leading the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup standings, Eric Foss, of Fort Worth, Texas, is the provisional polesitter for Spec Miata with a lap of 1:52.670 (79.879 mph) in the No. 28 Team Saferacer Mazda Miata.
The rain came down particularly hard on the GT-3 qualifying session, but Michael Cyphert, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and Jim Valdez, of Denver, Colo., weren’t afraid to brave the conditions. Cyphart entered the faster time in his No. 76 Red Line Oil/Toyota/TRD Toyota Celica, a 2:58.382 (50.453 mph).
Qualifying continues tomorrow, Oct. 9, at 8 a.m. (CDT). The Runoffs schedule, entry lists, full results and live timing are all available on the Runoffs event page.