TOPEKA, Kan. (April 27, 2006) – It was just over a year ago that Sports Car Club of America Club Racers who ventured up to Michigan’s GingerMan Raceway for a weekend of racing fun in the sun were instead forced to burrow, scrape, dig and shovel their way out of the gargantuan spring snow storm that dumped loads of the white stuff at the track.-30-
One year later, the story was much different when folks arrived last weekend for 2006’s event to find that Mother Nature would not be once again giving a cold shoulder to participants and fans.
In fact, occasional Sunday showers were the weather concern of the weekend; a far cry from the downright horrible 2005 conditions. Despite the improved weather, however, the precipitation that did fall managed to play a meaningful role in several of the eight groups that took to the 1.88-mile road course.
With the off-and-on wet weather, tire choice became extremely important as Group 6 competitors soon discovered. Touring 2 pilot William Moore, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, shod his Chevrolet Camaro with Goodyear Eagle street tires, ran the race fast lap of 1:48.301 (62.492 mph) and walked away from the rest of the Group 6 field over the 22-lap race.
Steve Sargis, of Frankfort, Ill., was runner-up at the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® in F Production, but no one came between his Triumph Spitfire and the checkered flag on Sunday. Sargis overtook the Triumph TR6 driver by the group’s overall polesitter, E Production driver Sam Halkias, of Westerville, Ohio, as the track moved from dry at the beginning of the 24-lap race to slightly damp at the end. Halkias did win the E Prod portion of the race, powered by his fast race lap of 1:32.356 (73.282 mph).
Where wet tires were the way to go in other classes, that wasn’t the case in the Group 8 race. Phil Lasco, of Fenton, Mich., who looked to be a favorite in his GT-1 Ford Mustang, chose to start the race on rain tires, but that decision backfired when the track dried almost completely just prior to the start. Lasco’s tires held up for the first few laps of the 24-lap race, but eventually they gave way, opening the door for GT-2 pilots Tom Patton, of Hamilton, Ohio (Sunbeam Tiger), and Wayland Joe, of South Barrington, Ill. (Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) to both move by him. The overall win was decided when Joe spun and Patton took over the point.
As is the case in April each year, the SCCA Club Racing National event calendar is fully underway, and this weekend it is the “BHV April National” at the 1.95-mile Blackhawk Farms road course, located five minutes outside of Beloit, Wis.
For more information, check the “Events” button on www.scca.com.
2006 INR at GingerMan Raceway Class Winners
(class – name, hometown, car)
* - denotes overall group winner
Spec Racer Ford – Scott Goolsbey, Columbus, Ohio
Formula Atlantic – Dan Cobb, Libertyville, Ill., Swift 01 014*
Formula Continental – Dave Weitznehof, Bath, Ohio, Citation 95SF
Formula Mazda – Scott Rettich, Camden, Ohio
Spec Miata – Harry Manning, Racine, Wis., 1999 Mazda Miata
E Production – Sam Halkias, Westerville, Ohio, Triumph TR6
F Production – Steve Sargis, Frankfort, Ohio, Triumph Spitfire*
G Production – Michael Murry, Rockford, Mich., Volkswagen Golf
H Production – Tom Feller, Clarkson, Mich., Triumph Spitfire
GT Lite – Bruce Kroll, Grand Haven, Mich., Datsun 1200
Formula Ford – Matrc Blanc, New Glarus, Wis., Swift DB16*
Formula Vee – Michael Varacins, Burlington, Wis., Speed Sport AM5
Formula 500 – Kenny Price, Dewey, Ill., Scorpion
American Sedan – Fred Hetherwick, Jackson, Mich., Ford Mustang
Showroom Stock B – David Bednarz, Ann Arbor, Mich., Mazda Miata
Showroom Stock C – Pete Taylor, Ortonville, Mich., Mini Cooper S
Touring 1 – Lance Knupp, Fenton, Mich., Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Touring 2 – William Moore, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Chevrolet Camaro*
Touring 3 – Rob Piekarczyk, Parma, Ohio, Mazda RX-8
C Sports Racing – Michael Tracy, Morton Grove, Ill., Radical SR3
D Sports Racing – Joel Weinberger, Hinsdale, Ill., Stohr WF-1*
S2000 – John Fergus, Powell, Ohio, Carbir CS2
GT-1 – Bob Hofmann, St. Clair Shores, Mich., Ford Mustang
GT-2 – Tom Patton, Hamilton, Ohio, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup*
GT-3 – Paul Young, Jr., Commerce Twp., Mich., Ford Probe
Photo Credit: 2006 image (Dennis Wood © 2006) / 2005 image (Dayle Frame/Wounded Turtle Photography © 2005)
Photo Caption: Scott Goolsbey (#79) leads a crowd on his way to victory in Spec Racer Ford at a sunny GingerMan Raceway, where heavy snow blanketed the event in 2005 (inset).