TOPEKA, Kan. (October 8, 2007) - Ladies and gentlemen start your engines; the 2007 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by AT&T has arrived at Heartland Park Topeka.
After a week of testing on the newly configured 2.5-mile road course, more than 650 drivers are entering the first of four qualifying times today. New Runoffs lap records will be set across the board this week. Changes in Turns One, Two, Eight and Nine, are expected to drop lap times anywhere from six to 10 seconds.
Although the damp weather on Monday won’t show the true qualifying potential of several classes just yet, the weather in Topeka is expected to be perfect for the remainder of the event, with clear skies and temperatures in the mid to high 70s.
Nineteen National Champions have returned to defend their titles, including Andrew Caddell (Spec Miata), Niki Coello (Formula Continental), Jim Dentici (GT-Lite), Tom Feller (H Production), Rick Gilhart (Touring 3), Bryan Golay (Formula 500), James Goughary (Formula Mazda)John Heinricy (American Sedan), Mark Jaremko (D Sports Racing), Wayland Joe (GT-2), Lance Knupp (Touring 1), Lawrence Loshak (E Production), Chuck Mathis (G Production), Marc Mercer (S2000), Mike Miserendino (Spec Racer Ford), Stephen Oseth (Formula Vee), Hans Peter (C Sports Racing), Jesse Prather (F Production) and Phillip Simms (GT-1). Defending Showroom Stock B Champion Don Knowles makes the move to Touring 2 this year.
Twenty drivers are chasing a possible SCCA Chicago Region Triple Crown®. Michael Bautz (S2), Bobby Caldwell (FC), Jim Drago (SM), James Goughary Jr. (FM ), Cliff Johnson (FF), Tonis Kasemets (FA), Lance Knupp (T1), Jean-Luc Liverato (DSR), Lawrence Loshak (EP), Chuck Mathis (GP), Joseph McClughan (SSC), Rusty Mitchell (FE), Lee Niffenegger (SSB), Brian Novak (F500), Tom Patton (GT2), Hans Peter (CSR), Steve Sargis (FP), Brian Schofield (SRF), Brad Stout (FV), Rob Warkocki (GT3) and William Ziegler (T2) are all June Sprints® winners and Division Champions searching for the third jewel in the crown.
In addition to the title of SCCA National Champion, Club Racers are also in the hunt for more than $1 million in contingency prizes this week. The contest for a new Pace Pursuit® trailer has already begun. The Pace Hot Pursuit Award will take the driver from each class with the least varience between their top three qualifying times and enter them in a drawing with 28 Soloists selected earlier this year, to win the trailer. The drawing will be held on Friday during the lunch break.
The new www.scca.com offers a variety of features that will allow you to follow the 2007 SCCA National Championship Runoffs from the comfort of your home. Live timing and scoring will be available all week. Live lap notes and streaming audio will accompany timing for all races. Daily recaps, results and event photos will also be updated throughout the week. Just click on the SCCA Runoffs logo on the homepage to access the event page.
Qualifying continues through Thursday, October 11. Sports 2000 kicks off racing action on Friday, October 12 at 9:30 a.m. (CDT).