ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (September 3, 2004) - The 2004 Formula SCCA Championship, part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series, featured both highs and lows. While the season ended prematurely, fans witnessed some great racing action and the...
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (September 3, 2004) - The 2004 Formula SCCA Championship, part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series, featured both highs and lows. While the season ended prematurely, fans witnessed some great racing action and the emergence of young motorsports star.
As part of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, the Formula SCCA Championship season got under at Sebring International Raceway in early March. Competing on the 3.7-mile road course, some of the best up-and-coming North America drivers battled for supremacy in the new championship. With the top-six being separated by less than a second in qualifying, it came as little surprise that both rounds of the doubleheader were exciting affairs. In what would be a preview of the upcoming season, both races featured some great battles for position, particularly at the front between Franklin Futrelle, David Jurca and Elivan Goulart. While all three drivers would lead both races, Goulart, of Huntington, Conn., became the early man to beat, winning both races in commanding fashion.
Following a month long break, the battle for the Formula SCCA Championship resumed at Road Atlanta. Building on the success he had in Florida, Goulart, in the No. 70 www.dolphin-motorsports.com/Bob Berman Dolphin Motorsports Formula SCCA, captured his first pole position of the year. While starting at the front was definite advantage, the other drivers were not going to give-up without a fight. As was the case at Sebring, race one at Road Atlanta featured a great battle at the front of the field. Holding off challenges from Chris Meredith, of Potomac, Md. and Jonathan Klein, of Long Grove, Ill., who both briefly led the race, Goulart won his third consecutive race. In race two, the win streak came to an end. Having threatened to win in all three of the previous races, Futrelle, of Augusta, Ga., finally made the breakthrough he'd desired in Round Four. Taking the lead at the start, Futrelle led every lap, to capture his first Formula SCCA win.
Traveling to Mosport International Raceway in late May, all eyes were on Goulart. With his three wins in four races, was he on his was to dominating the series, or would Futrelle's win in Round Four open the door to a season-long fight for the title? Following qualifying it appeared the title was still up for grabs, as Futrelle captured the pole position ahead of Goulart. While Futrelle, in the No. 97 Meco Inc. of Augusta Comprent Motorsports Formula SCCA, appeared to have gained the upper hand, Goulart reasserted himself in race one. Taking the lead at the start, Goulart led every lap to capture his fourth win of the season. Once again as the man to beat, Goulart's run of good results came to an abrupt end in race two. Battling tricky conditions, Goulart not only relinquished the lead at the start, but also suffered his first incident of the season, finishing last. Leading from start to finish, Futrelle captured his second win of the season and gained valuable points in the championship fight.
Featuring a tight two-man battle for the title, the Formula SCCA Championship headed to Lime Rock Park for a doubleheader over the Independence Day weekend. Continuing their role as series leaders, Goulart and Futrelle shared top honors in the two qualifying session, with Goulart taking the pole position for race one and Futrelle for race two. As had happened at the past three races, the polesitter lost the lead at the start of the first race. However, this time the outcome was different. Pushing his car to the limit, Futrelle spun off course in the closing stages of the opening lap, allowing Goulart to take control of the race. Once in front, Goulart made no mistakes, winning his fifth race, in front of friends and family. For the first time since the opening race of the season, the start of race two featured an incident. While it appeared Futrelle had maintained the lead, he was judged to have passed under the full-course caution. Serving a drive-through penalty, Futrelle relinquished the lead to Robbie Pecorari. Making his only start of the season, Pecorari, of Aston, Pa., held off several challenges from David Jurca, of Federal Way, Wash., to capture the win.
Originally scheduled for 12 Rounds, the Formula SCCA Championship was to have traveled to Mid-Ohio in August and Puerto Rico in October following the two rounds at Lime Rock. Unfortunately, soon after Lime Rock several logistic and competition problems arose, forcing the cancellation of the two events. With the removal of the events from the schedule and no suitable replacements available, the Formula SCCA Championship season was prematurely concluded. Capturing the 2004 Formula SCCA Championship with 182 points was Elivan Goulart. Displaying the talents of a future star in racing, Goulart won a series-high five races, captured six podium finishes and led a series-high 69 laps.