RACE: National Runoffs: Toyota Motorsports event report

TOYOTA-POWERED CLUB RACERS SWEEP PODIUM AND CLAIM THREE TITLES AT THE 47TH EDITION OF THE SCCA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RUNOFFS Elkhart Lake, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2010) -- After an action-packed weekend of road course competition at Elkhart Lake's ...

TOYOTA-POWERED CLUB RACERS SWEEP PODIUM AND CLAIM THREE TITLES AT THE 47TH EDITION OF THE SCCA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RUNOFFS

Elkhart Lake, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2010) -- After an action-packed weekend of road course competition at Elkhart Lake's historic Road America circuit in the 'Super Bowl of Club Racing', Toyota-powered competitors Mark McCaughey, Dave Wilcox and Steve Forrer earned the prestigious title of "National Champion' at the 2010 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Runoffs, September 24-26, in each of their respective classes. The annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs was hosted at Road America on the 14-turn, four mile circuit. Close to 700 competitors from various (SCCA) regions across the country earned a spot and traveled to Wisconsin to qualify and compete in 29 different classes of amateur road racing, including 27 Toyota- powered racers.

Mark McCaughey started 2nd on the grid and drafted his way to the head of the pack taking the lead on lap 2. McCaughey dominated the race from that point forward in his No. 18 Toyota Celica, with a lead of more than 11 seconds en route to capture the checkered flag. In addition to posting the fastest lap time of 2:49.415, this marks his first Showroom Stock C (SSC) National Championship title.

"It's really just indescribable," says McCaughey regarding his first championship and a dominating win. "We've been here the last couple of years and qualified really well, but didn't have the distance in the race. This car was perfect and we had great tires that allowed me to run my race. "

After a hard charging effort and several attempts to lead the field to the checkered flag, David Wilcox zoomed by Keith Grant on the final lap of the race for an amazing photo finish and his first Formula Atlantic (FA) National Championship. Wilcox and Grant finished first and second, while fellow Toyota-powered racer Michael Mallinen rounded out the top-three.

"It's just phenomenal," exclaimed Wilcox when asked about his first Runoffs championship.  "I've waited
ten years for this.  Mirl Swan is the best.  He won last year, and I'm in his car this year.  I knew I had an
opportunity to do it.  It was a pretty big learning curve from the DB4, but here we are."

Grant who dominated the majority of the FA race was not happy to see the full course caution on lap 11. "I had gotten a good start at the beginning of the race and built a pretty good lead and was able to maintain that," stated Grant. "When we restarted, Wilcox was able to close right up on me. We went side-by-side into (turn) five and I came out a little bit ahead of him. When we got to turn 14, I just blew it and set two tires off the track coming back on the front straight and Wilcox drafted by me."

Wilcox, Grant and Mallinen earned Toyota its sole podium sweep of the weekend. Wilcox recorded a fastest lap of 2:02.400 with an average speed of 117.647 mph in his No. 70 Toyota-powered Swift. Grant started on the pole and finished second in his No. 40 Swift .014 with a fastest lap time of 2:02.921. Mallinen started and finished third and posted a fastest lap time of 2:04.494 in his No. 71 Swift 014. Toyota-powered entrants claimed the top 5 positions in the FA class.

Triple Crown winner Steve Forrer who started on the pole and led by as much as 8.467 seconds, crossed the finish line first winning the C Sports Racing (CSR) National Championship. His battle began soon after the green flagged dropped where he lost position in Turn 1. Forrer pushed his way back to the lead by lap 3 when a full course caution came. Once the green flag was dropped on lap 7, Forrer maintained the lead for the rest of the race. He posted a fastest lap time of 2:02.674 with an average speed of 117.422 mph in his Toyota-powered No. 84 Ralt RT41.

"Jacek and French went around me at the start," says Forrer. "The motor has been bogging this whole week, but I just hung on. I had a good car all weekend. Once it got going, it just kept going. I was worried about the start again [referring to the restart] and did not want to be caught, again."

Other notable finishes during the weekend include Sheboygan, WI-native James French, who started 4th and earned a 3rd place podium finish in the CSR class and racing veteran Michael Cyphert who finished 3rd in the GT-3 class.

-source: toyota motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Keith Grant , David Wilcox , Michael Cyphert , Michael Mallinen , Mirl Swan , James French