C Sports Racing Title Goes To Alexander
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Lee Alexander captured his first Sports Car Club of America National Championship Sunday, winning the C Sports Racing class at the 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
Jason Miller and James French completed the podium at Road America.
Alexander started his No. 48 Factory 48/APE Raceparts Stohr WF1/Suzuki from the SafeRacer Pole Position, but saw second-starting Miller move to the lead in turn five on the first lap. One lap later, Alexander returned the favor, and he sped away to a 6.903-second victory, averaging 116.957 mph over the 13-lap, 52-mile race.
“My girlfriend lives out here, so I spent the summer out here and had a chance to race with these guys at all the local events,” Alexander said. “I really learned a lot from these guys. They have so much experience here and I learn something every time.
“I had a weird shudder in the car and I thought it was the slipstream behind Jason initially, but when I did get by him it didn’t go away. My crew got on the radio with me and told me that I’d lost an endplate on the front of the car. It made for an interesting race. I thought the mirrors were going to vibrate off the fenders!
“Jeff Shaffer did some testing in our car and he set a benchmark for me to try to get to, which I didn’t quite get to, but that was very helpful. I knew the car could do a 1:58.5 because Jeff did that, and I didn’t know if I could do it. It was fun to break two minutes (in qualifying). I really, really wanted to try to do it in the race, but it just wasn’t going to happen today.”
Miller chose a low-downforce setup on his No. 8 Kohler/Millenium WynnFurst/Kohler, a move that may have allowed him to move to the lead early, but ultimately made the racing difficult in the high-speed sections of the track. The runner-up finish was a career-best for the hometown driver.
“We knew we needed to create a low-downforce car to see if I could get Lee,” Miller said. “We were able to get the lead, but Lee returned the favor and pulled away. At that point, I wanted to make sure I was maintaining the gap and see if I could catch up.
“I saw James coming and diving to the inside in turn 14 and I tried to maintain the outside line. Luckily we both got through the corner and it all worked out. I’m really happy that the car performed so well and I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to race with.”
French started sixth in his No. 46 Motorsports Enterprises Ltd. Swift 014/Toyota after only turning a qualifying time on Thursday due to being in school all week. He worked his way around three-time Champion Steve Forrer, Dudley Fleck and Kirk Kindsfater en route to challenging Miller for the runner-up spot in the closing laps.
“I didn’t qualify as well as I would have liked to because I only had one session, so I started from P6,” French said. “I just had to fight my way through it and get up as high as I could. The battle with Jason at the end was very intense.”
Forrer finished fourth in the No. 84 K-Hill Motorsports/Forrer Supply Ralt RT-41/Toyota, followed by Fleck in his No. 74 Mazda/Hoosier/Coors Light Van Diemen DP02/Mazda.
1, (1), Lee Alexander, Las Vegas, NV, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 13.
2, (2), Jason Miller, Sheboygan Falls, WI, WynnFurst Kohler, 13.
3, (6), James French, Sheboygan, WI, Swift 14, 13.
4, (5), Steve Forrer, Milwaukee, WI, Ralt RT41, 13.
5, (3), Dudley Fleck, Cedar Rapids, IA, Van Dieman DP02 Mazda, 13.
6, (7), Kirk Kindsfater, Eaton, CO, Speads RS011A, 13.
7, (9), Miles Jackson, Maple Valley, WA, Stohr OD1, 13.
8, (8), Brian French, Sheboygan, WI, Ralt RT 41, 13.
9, (4), Jacek Mucha, Laval, QC, Swift JMS 016a CP Mazda, 13.
10, (11), Bob Wheless, Reidsville, NC, Stohr WF1, 13.
11, (10), Jim Downing, Atlanta, GA, Peach Day-02 Mazda, 13.
12, (12), David Watson, Kleinburg, ON, Stohr WF1, 13.
13, (13), Joseph Schifini