Runoffs Kick Off With 12 Provisional Poles
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Twelve drivers will go to sleep Tuesday night as provisional polesitters following the opening day of the 49th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America.
It was a cool, yet sunny day built for speed, with seven different drivers setting event qualifying records. Ten classes ran two of the three qualifying sessions used to set the grid for this week’s National Championship-deciding races, with GT-1 and GT-2 on track just once on opening day.
Three different drivers sit at the top of the charts after the first day in an effort to extend consecutive Gumout Pole streaks to four. Corey Fergus, of Lewis Center, Ohio, is on his way to stretching his Sports 2000 streak, lowering his own track record on Tuesday to 2:15.826 (106.018 mph) in his No. 00 Hoosier Tires/Carbotech Brakes Carbir CS2/Ford. Cliff Ebben, an Appleton, Wis. native, topped the GT-1 standings in the No. 36 McMahhon Group/Stumpf Ford/Hoosier Ford Mustang, running a 2:04.743 (115.437 mph) in his lone session of the day at his home track. Three-time defending Formula Enterprises Champion Scott Rettich once again leads the class, posting a 2:14.007 (107.457 mph) in the No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash Formula Enterprises/Mazda.
Doug Peterson had quite a day in the two classes in which he’s participating. Peterson set a new Formula Mazda track record in the No. 87 3Dimensional.com Star Formula Mazda with a lap time of 2:14.877 (106.764 mph), and also sits second in GT-1. Peterson turned a lap of 2:05.390 (114.842 mph) in the No. 87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette and, with two sessions to go in GT-1, sits just 0.647-second behind Ebben for the pole.
Four of the classes that posted times on Tuesday saw a gap of just two-tenths of less at the top, with two of those coming in the Showroom Stock category. Luke Wilwert drove his No. 79 HPD/BFGoodrich Tires/Alpinestars Honda Civic Si to a lap of 2:42.252 (88.751 mph), just 0.207-second ahead of Ralph Porter’s No. 32 Dryer & Reinbold BMW/Hoosier Tire BMW Z4 for the provisional pole in Showroom Stock B. Charlie James leads Showroom Stock C by just 0.068-second in the No. 0 SafeRacer/Alpine Stars/BFGoodrich Tires Hyundai Tiburon after Brian Husting lowered the No. 65 BFGoodrich Tires/Team Associated Chevrolet Cobalt’s fast lap in the day’s second session.
On his last flying lap of the class’s second session, Scott Tucker just grabbed the Super Touring® Over pole with a 2:15.751 (106.077 mph) in the No. 55 Hoosier Porsche 996. Tucker swiped the lead from David Pintaric’s No. 40 Kryderacing/Carbotech/Hoosier Dodge Viper ACR by 0.011-second after Pintaric had posted a 2:15.762 (106.068 mph). Both times were under the existing record.
Defending Touring 1 champ John Buttermore is on the provisional Gumout Pole after two sessions on Tuesday, though the No. 52 Hoosier/Carbotech/Stoptech Chevrolet Corvette sat out the second of the 30-minute qualifying runs. Buttermore’s time of 2:21.824 (101.534 mph) was only 0.188-second ahead of the 2:22.012 (101.400 mph) that Andrew Aquilante turned in the No. 36 Phoenix/Hoosier/Hawk Ford Mustang Cobra SVT.
The three classes running in the final two groups of the day also set track records. Gerald Szykulski drove the No. 31 Rotary Systems Inc./Arms Up Motorsports Van Diemen DP08 Ford to a 2:10.218 (110.584 mph) in Formula Continental, while Tim Kautz placed his No. 88 Braeburn/Two Dogg/Hoosier/Euroquipe Piper DF3D Honda at the top in Formula F, with a 2:20.563 (102.445 mph).
Andy McDermid ended the day with his No. 24 WeatherTech/Felice Performance Eng/T&A Shocks Ford Mustang on the American Sedan pole after a 2:26.361 (98.387 mph).