Rainfall Slows SCCA Runoffs Qualifying
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Rainfall kept any SafeRacer provisional pole positions from changing hands on Wednesday at the 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America, though the sun shone through by the completion of the second day of qualifying.
Early morning rains inundated the 14-turn, four-mile race track, and only 13 of the 58 E Production and GT-Lite moved onto the track. All morning long, each time the track began to dry, another shower soaked the asphalt. After a picture perfect qualifying day on Monday, none of the 14 classes on track before lunch saw significant traffic.
By the early afternoon, the sun had poked through the clouds and the track started to dry. Rick Harris, of Longmont, Colo., was the first to make a major gain in his F Production No. 8 Jesse Prather Motorsports/Hoosier Mazda Miata. Harris, after rear suspension issues on Monday, turned a lap of 2:36.161 to move from 27th to seventh on the grid.
Jeff Loughead, of Darien, Ill., moved from 14th to the second row of the grid in Formula Vee, knocking three seconds off of his Monday time in the No. 8 Hoosier Tire/L.L. Loughead, DDS Vortech CR04/Volkswagen. Loughead’s time of 2:42.071 moves him to third on the grid with one more day of qualifying remaining.
Formula Atlantic, the final group of the day, saw the top of its time charts rearranged. Sedat Yelkin, of Canfield, Ohio, improved his provisional SafeRacer pole time to a 2:01.836 (118. 192 mph) in the No. 75 Everclear Swift 014a/Toyota. Keith Grant, of Germantown, Tenn., and Michael Mallinen, of Liberty Lake, Wash., moved from 16th and 18th place to second and third, respectively during the session. Grant’s No. 40 Polestar/Hoosier Swift 014a/Toyota turned a lap of 2:02.672, while Mallinen’s No. 71 Swan Racing/MAZDASPEED Motorsports Swift 016a/Mazda posted a 2:02.977 on his final lap of the session.
All 28 classes will get one more 30-minute qualifying session on Thursday for the final chances at a SafeRacer Pole Award and to set the grids for National Championship races on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.