"Revere Greist and ArmsUp Motorsports Suffer Heart Break at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs" ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- ArmsUp Motorsports driver Revere Greist suffered a difficult defeat last week at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs...
"Revere Greist and ArmsUp Motorsports Suffer Heart Break at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs"
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- ArmsUp Motorsports driver Revere Greist suffered a difficult defeat last week at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in Formula Continental (FC). In the biggest race of the season Greist led the most laps of the race after vaulting to the lead from his third place starting position on the first lap. With three laps to go a slow puncture on the right front cost the Madison, Wisconsin driver his chance at Runoffs Gold. Ultimately Greist finished a Runoffs best second position but he and the team were left to reflect on what could have been. Pat Mc Ginnis followed his teammate home in the eighth position with Rick Balsley coming home 11th in what was another strong showing for the Elkhart Lake based team.
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs is a race unlike any other. During the weeklong event each race class receives three qualifying sessions spread out over three days leading into the main events. Each session is 18 minutes in duration which put track time at a premium. The quickest session of the week turned out to be the second session which set the grid for the FC field. Revere Greist led the ArmsUp charge placing his number 56 car third on the grid. Pat Mc Ginnis posted the seventh quickest time with Rick Balsley 11th, Jeff Pietz 16th and Jim Victor 17th.
After a two day break between qualifying and the race which included the First Annual ArmsUp Motorsports Golf Outing, the team arrived to a cool and clear Road America. The Green Flag for the Formula Continental final flew at 2:30 and Revere Greist wasted no time and charged to the lead by turn five on the race's opening lap. Pat Mc Ginnis and Rick Balsley held station while Jeff Pietz had a great start picking up two positions to move into 14th.
As the race reached its middle stages Greist maintained a one-second gap over the second place car of Brian Tomasi with the two leaders stretching out a significant gap over Niki Coello in third. Pat Mc Ginnis continued to run seventh but started to feel a little bit of pressure from the eighth place car. Rick Balsley started to make progress through the field as he had climbed back to the 11th position after falling to 13th early on. Jeff Pietz who had been running a strong race retired just past the half way mark.
With three laps to go a slow tire leak began to develop on Greist's left front tire which allowed Tomasi to close the gap to the leader. Tomasi got close enough to work his way past the ArmsUp driver in the hard braking turn 5 on lap ten. Greist was unfazed and kept pressure on the former National Champion as the race reached its closing chapter. Mc Ginnis lost the seventh place spot briefly on lap nine but took it right back on the following lap. Balsley had a firm grip on the 11th position and was pushing to close the gap to the ninth and tenth place battle as the laps wound down.
With two laps to go Greist retook the lead with a fantastic outside braking maneuver going into turn five. Greist was working as hard as he could to keep Tomasi behind as they crossed the line to get the white flag. Greist was not able to get a good out of 14 and as the lead duo crested the hill of the front straight Tomasi was able to get past for the lead in turn one. Not giving up Greist kept the pressure up but was not able to get the run on the final lap and had to settle for second after having the dominant car of the race. Mc Ginnis would lose his battle for the seventh spot on the final lap coming home in the eighth position. Richard Balsley, who had been fighting the flu the entire week of the Runoffs, drove a solid race and came crossed the stripe in the 11th position.
Jim Victor was running in the 15th position before an engine problem put him out of the event a few laps from the finish. This might not sound impressive for the Iowa resident who has two top-ten finishes at the runoffs, but the car he was driving arrived in a crate from England nine days prior to the races green flag. The ArmsUp Motorsports driver made the North American debut of the Ralph Firman Racing RF001 Formula Continental car. After taking delivery of the car the ArmsUp Motorsports team built the car from the ground up in two days. Victor then shook down the new machine Monday at Blackhawk Farms before the team brought it to Road America for the first qualifying session. Like any brand new car Victor experienced some teething problems but the entire ArmsUp Motorsports team is excited about the potential of the RFR 001.
"I am a disappointed to say the least," commented Revere Greist after the race. "We had such a good car and to have a win taken from us by a tire going down hurts a bit. I drove the car as hard as I could with what I had. Brian (Tomasi) raced me clean and it was a really good battle between the two of us so my congratulations go out to him. I really want to thank the entire ArmsUp team, we have had a great year and a lot of fun and I am already looking forward to next season."
ArmsUp Motorsports will now turn its attention to the 2011 season. The team will continue to run its SCCA and Vintage programs but should also be announcing some exciting new programs for the 2011 season in the near future.