Marchand Goes Back-To-Back in Wild SCCA Formula Mazda Ending
By: SCCA PR staff
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2010) -- Juan Marchand, of South Haven, Mich., raced through the Formula Mazda field and ended up with his second-consecutive National Championship at the SCCA Runoffs Presented by Subway. Darryl Wills, of Deer Park, Texas, and Mike Anderson, of Anza, Calif., completed the podium at Road America.
Marchand started from the back of the field in his No. 1 JRM at Gingerman/Goodyear/ MAZDASPEED Star Formula Mazda after showing up late to the grid, and had to work his way through the full field. That included tracking down a lead group of Doug Peterson, who moved from third on the grid to the lead at the green flag, Gumout Polesitter Jason Vinkemulder, Wills and Anderson.
The lead group had separated themselves from the field and were in a four-way battle for the point through the early stages of the race, with Peterson, of Bonita Springs, Fla., opening up a small gap in his No. 87 3Dimensional.com Star Formula Mazda.
The field was bunched again on Lap Four after a red-flag period temporarily stopped the race for clean-up of a three-car incident in Turn Five that sent the No. 0 Dunes Marketing Group Formula Mazda of W. Baldwin, of Hilton Head, S.C., upside down. Baldwin was examined and released from the track medical center.
With the field bunched again, Marchand was able to close onto the rear of that lead battle and wasted no time joining the fight. Marchand crossed the finish line on lap seven in third, and with one lap to go in the shortened race, moved to second past Vinkemulder.
When Peterson's No.87 Formula Mazda lost power suddenly on the ninth and final lap, Marchand was in the lead and cruising toward the checkered flag.
It was the second-consecutive National Championship for Marchand, who completed the time-shortened nine-lap, 36-mile race in 40:25.945 (including the red flag), for an average of 53.422 mph. Marchand beat Wills' No. 02 Hillenburg Motorsports Star Formula Mazda to the checkered flag by 1.247 seconds.
"I started dead last because I didn't make it to the grid in time so I started from the back," Marchand said. "I wanted to go to the tech building to double check the rev limiter on my car and I was under the assumption that my race would have been after lunch [due to previous race delays]. It was a disappointment to start from the back.
"When the red came out, I could see the leaders on the start and that is all it took. We took the green and went three-wide and from there, it was all about going deep into the corners and holding it on the carousel to get a lot of speed in the Kink. When I was in second position coming around Turn Six and saw Petersen give off a little smoke, and I just kept on."
Wills and Anderson, in the No. 42 HASA Pool Products, battled to the checkered flag. Wills' day almost ended when Peterson's did, as he had to take evasive action to miss the slowing car and ran wide and into the grass. Wills turned the race's fast lap with a time of 2:17.020 (105.094 mph) to set a new SCCA Runoffs Formula Mazda race record.
"I started fourth had Jason right in front of me," Wills recalled. "He was driving a good line and had good tires. After the red we went down front straightaway three-wide. It was a good, clean race. There are no tire marks on my car - not a one. I can't believe it."
Anderson finished a half-second behind Wills for his third Runoffs podium.
"I've done a lot of Formula Mazda races and this was by far the best race," Anderson said. "You could have thrown a blanket over top five guys and it was like one little mistake and you're in fifth. Or you will get some guys drafting by. It really shows the competitiveness of the class.
"The best race was with Darryl. Several corners, we were side-by-side."
Vinkemulder finished fourth in the No. 10 Vinkemulder Financial/Lake Effect Star Formula Mazda. Jamie Sloan, of Tucson, Arizona, inherited fifth in the No. 6 GoPro/Inside Track Star Formula Mazda after Peterson's difficulties sent him to 12th.
James Harrelson, Samuel Ryan, Kenneth De Nault, Russell Hillenburg and Mark Greb all finished in the top 10.
Now in its 47th year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Subway annually crowns Champions in the Sports Car Club of America's Club Racing classes. The live broadcast of all 28 National Championship races will be available throughout the weekend at www.Speedcasttv.com/scca and later available On Demand from the same site.
Follow the action on Twitter @SCCAOfficial or the SCCA, Inc. Official Facebook page at facebook.com/sccaofficial.
source: sports car club of america