Intensity rises as some leaders replaced during day two of Valvoline Runoffs
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 17, 2003) -- Several competitors took advantage of absolutely perfect weather conditions on the second day of qualifying at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the site of the 2003 SCCA National Championship Valvoline Runoffs®.
Formula Continental was the first class on the track Wednesday, and Mike Andersen, of Green Pond, N.J., posted the quickest class time on the course for the second day in a row. While his Wednesday time of 1:24.523 in his Van Diemen RF-00 was a bit off from the 1:24.410 he had Tuesday, he still is the only driver in the class to nail down a time under 1:25. Dave Weitzenhof, of Bath, Ohio maintained his second qualifying spot in his Citation 95-SF even though he was slower as well. Philip Lombardi, of Nashua, N.H., did move up however, from. His 1:25.194 was a great improvement from the 1:25.896 he ran Tuesday in his Van Diemen RF-01. His time bumped him up to third position after he started the day sixth.
After being paired with the FC class on day one of qualifying, the Formula Mazda class got a chance to run solo on Wednesday. Doug Peterson, of Bonita Springs, Fla., remains on top of the 23 car field after being a touch slower (1:26.187) Wednesday than his class leading lap of 1:26.121 yesterday. Kyle Kelley, of Huntington Beach, Calif., made the huge jump of the day, coming all the way from 13th (1:29.599) to second (1:26.494) after he cut over three seconds from his Tuesday effort. James Goughary,, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was bumped to third position as a result of Kelley's improvement.
GT3 saw several of its drivers improve their times during their second runs. Collin Jackson, of Langley, British Columbia, Canada, was not one of those who did improve Wednesday, but still holds the top spot with his Tuesday effort (1:32.049). Pete Peterson, of Lumberton, N.C., was one of a couple drivers who broke into the 1:32 range with a time of 1:32.416. That time was good enough to bump him into the second slot and move Wolfgang Maike, of Santa Barbara, Calif., down to third (1:32.647). Paul Young, of Commerce Township, Mich., was the other competitor to break into the 1:32's, with a 1:32.729, good enough for fourth currently.
John Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., took advantage of his second session, dropping his already leading fast lap from 1:34.959 to 1:33.606, while Richard Gilhart, of Cincinnati, Ohio, also put together a good run and moved his position from fifth to second when he posted a 1:34.785, down from his 1:36.278 Tuesday mark. Scotty White, of Puyallup, Wash., remains in the top three after dropping a spot as a result of White's run, even though he lowered his time from 1:35.733 to 1:35.033.
In Spec Racer Ford, Joe Colasacco, of Greenwich, Conn., made a second-day leap into the top three after he managed to shave off almost a complete second off of his best lap time going from 1:40.092 to 1:39.265. His time puts him behind John Black, of Olympic Valley, Calif., who improved on Wednesday as well. Black knocked his class-leading time down to 1:39.173 from Tuesday's 1:39.234. Richard Spicer, of Laurel, Md., moved up a spot to second, improving from 1:39.570 to 1:39.182.
The top qualifiers in D Sport Racing recorded much slower times on qualifying day two, which meant there were no changes from the Mark Jaremko, of Spokane, Wash, Matthew Direnzo, of Medford, N.J., and Jay Lovett, of Deerfield, Ill., top three. After running the second fastest lap time of any class yesterday (1:23.914), Jaremko hardly pushed at all in running a 1:29.605.
Times in Sports 2000 were also slower on the whole Wednesday. Steve Johnson, of Deerfield, N.H., ran about two-tenths of a second behind his class-topping 1:27.733. John Fergus, of Powell, Ohio, did improve enough to slide into the second position ahead of Marc Walker, of Oldsmar, Florida. Fergus lowered his best time to 1:28.059, ahead of Walker's 1:28.127.
Monte Cowles, of Dumfries, Va., kept the heat on in American Sedan, as he became the first and only driver to break into the 1:37's. His 1:37.736 was a large improvement from his already leading 1:38.574 and it kept him in front of John Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., who improved as well, turning in a 1:38.043 after a 1:38.633 showing on Tuesday. Andrew McDermid, of Grand Ledge, Mich., was the 39 car field's biggest mover Wednesday after he blasted his first day time of 1:40.972 with a 1:38.629. The time shoved McDermid into the third slot after he began the day in 15th.
Current C Sports Racing qualifying leader Jacek Mucha, of Laval, Quebec, Canada, did not run Wednesday. Even so, his Tuesday lap time of 1:22.171 remains almost four full seconds ahead of the second fastest mark (1:25.812) which belongs to Jeffrey Miller, of Plymouth, Wisconsin. With his improvement, Miller is about three and a half seconds ahead of third qualifier Jack Ruscilli, of Columbus, Ohio.
Keith Lively, of San Francisco, Calif., posted the fastest time of any class so far this week in his second session run. Lively's Ralt RT-41 zoomed around the 2.258 mile course in 1:19.953 and remains on top of the Formula Atlantic field. Ben Beasley, of Painesville, Ohio, was quick as well (1:20.821) and is in the second spot, barely holding that position in his Ralt RT-40 as Daniel Selznick, of Phoenix, Ariz., ran a 1:20.837 in his Swift 014.
In the morning's last qualifier, E Production's Jon Brakke, of Fargo, N.D., raced his Mazda Miata around the Mid-Ohio course in 1:35.070, tops in the class and an improvement on his Tuesday 1:36.049 mark. Grayson Upchurch, of Alpharetta, Ga., pushed just enough to move into the second spot with a run of 1:35.545, and Dave Lemon, a favorite for Sunday's race, moved up a spot as well, from fourth to third, improving his time from 1:36.294 to 1:35.840.
The introduction of the 2003 BMW Z4 into Showroom Stock B has proven so far to be very good for Z4 drivers and not so much for the rest of the field. Jim Leithauser, of Westminster, Colo., remains on top of the 46 car class even though he was not as quick as he was on Tuesday as he posted a lap time of 1:44.970, down from the 1:44.656 he ran yesterday. David Nielsen, of Galena, Ohio, and T.C. Kline, of Hilliard, Ohio, remained in the second and third positions, respectively, as neither improved over their initial best runs. Toby Grahovec, of Palos Park, Ill., was second fastest on the road Wednesday in his Acura Integra, running a 1:45.591.
There were no changes in GT4's top three on Wednesday, with each of the first five drivers recording slower fast lap times than those seen on Tuesday. Keith Grant, of Cordova, Tenn., drove his Nissan 200SX to a time of 1:36.939, about a second and a half off of his best lap overall, 1:35.595. Michael Mazziotti, of Wexford, Penn., sits second still after running a 1:37.592, which was almost two seconds slower than his best time, 1:35.980. Wilson Wright, Jr., of Stockbridge, Mass., stayed pat in the third position after running a 1:38.871, down from his earlier 1:36.985.
Unlike GT4, GT5 saw a complete reshuffling of the top three after qualifying day two. Joe Huffaker, of Petaluma, Calif., guided his Huffaker Mini Cooper to a slight improvement from 1:38.600 to 1:38.580, but that was all he needed to edge ahead of Doug Peterson, of Rescue, Calif., whose 1:38.596 time on Tuesday had been the time to beat. Peterson fell to second position after he was only able to muster a 1:40.321 on Wednesday. Kirk Olson, of Littleton, Colo., made up major ground after some opening day trouble. After posting a 2:21.610 Tuesday, Olson jumped up to third quickest after he punched out a 1:38.625 in his Honda CRX.
Steve Sargis, of Frankfort, Ill., and his Triumph Spitfire lead the F Production class after day two as no one was able to beat his fast lap time of 1:37.470 from Tuesday. Mike Pinney, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Harold Flescher, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., flip-flopped second and third as Pinney shaved off almost a full second his best time down to a 1:38.345, just ahead of Flescher's day two improvement to 1:38.788.
In H Production, the top two spots remained unchanged as both Robert Weber, of Kingwood, Texas, and Daniel Collishaw, of East Orleans ran nearly identical times in their AH Sprites on Wednesday. Weber's top time of 1:41.728, which he ran Tuesday, wasn't in danger as no one in the class was able to break the 1:41 barrier during the second HP qualifying session. Collishaw inched closer, improving his time from 1:42.541 to 1:42.241. Adam Malley, of Conyers, Ga., overtook Tom Feller, of Clarkston, Mich., and moved into the third fastest spot by running a 1:42.467 in his Honda Civic. Feller's Triumph Spitfire mustered a small improvement from 1:42.668 to 1:42.618, but it wasn't enough to retain the third spot.
John Phillips III, of Sealy, Texas, took advantage of a large non-improvement by many of Showroom Stock C's competitors on Wednesday and moved to second quickest behind John Fernandez, of Rochester, Michigan. Phillips improved his Honda Civic's time to 1:48.483, just 0.330-second behind leader Fernandez. Phillips' jump bumped Mike Kramer, of Franklin, Tenn., to third position and moved T.C. Kline down to fourth as neither Kramer nor Kline were able to improve upon their day one times.
The Formula 500 top three got a facelift Wednesday. Brian Novak maintained his Novakar J9's top spot, but only by a scant 0.008-second, as Wesley Wilfong, of Charlotte, N.C., ran a sparkling 1:31.621 in his first qualifying run in his Sidewinder F500 after not taking part in the session on Tuesday. Douglas Marsh, of Eastlake, Ohio, slid his Rocketech R2 into third by cutting his time to 1:31.745 from 1:33.113. His surge meant one driver dropped out of the top three and that driver was Calvin Stewart, of Novi, Mich., who was unable to improve his Tuesday time of 1:31.796.
Justin Pritchard, of Granville, Ohio, holds the top Formula Ford spot after day two. His Piper DF-5 was a bit slower on Wednesday (1:29.746 to 1:28.816 Tuesday), but the same was true for many others in the class meaning Pritchard maintained the top spot. John Larue, of Muncie, Ind. kept his Citation in the mix, holding on to the second qualifier spot with his Tuesday 1:29.485 effort. Thomas Schwietz, of Winchester, Va., moved up to third quickest in his Van Diemen RF-99 after knocking off better than half a second and posting a time of 1:29.709. Jason Byers, of Livonia, Mich., slid to fourth quickest.
Cliff Ebben snatched up the top spot in GT1 Wednesday in his Chevrolet Corvette when he shook off almost a full second from his Tuesday time. His 1:25.676 knocked off Philip Simms, of St. Cloud, Fla., whose Corvette dropped all the way to third as Lew Larimer, of Hayward, Calif., passed him up in his Oldsmobile Cutlass. Larimer improved nearly two seconds from yesterday, running a 1:26.311 compared to 1:28.252 on day one.
A new leaderboard emerged in GT2 as well as the top three spots all changed. David Finch, of Ann Arbor, Mich., came out as the quickest car on Wednesday, running a 1:29.552 in his Porsche 944. William Reid, of Knoxville, Tenn., ran the only other sub-1:30 time in his Toyota Celica (1:29.830) and grabbed the second spot. Duane Davis, of Camas, Wash., who held the top spot prior to the second day, moved down to third even though he cut his top time from 1:32.806 to 1:30.265.
As much movement as there was in the qualifying session prior to, G Production saw no movement in the top three. Kevin Dennis, of Rochester, N.Y., Kent Prather, of Wakarusa, Kan., and Karl McColl, of Arvada, Colo. All three ran slightly slower times Wednesday, but no one behind them ran significantly faster either, meaning that Dennis' 1:40.873 remains as the top qualifying time.
Stevan Davis, of Powder Springs, Ga., powered his Racers Wage Formula Vee to the class' only sub-1:39 time (1:39.619) over the first two qualifying sessions and earned the top spot after day two, pushing Steve Oseth, of Leesburg, Va., and his Vortech ride down to second (1:40.051). Brad Stout, of St. Louis, Mo., remained in third in his own Vortech (1:40.244).
In the day two's final qualifying session, Frederick Baker, of Bedford, Ohio, kept his Porsche Boxter on top of the Touring 2 class as no one was able to top his day one run of 1:39.903. Jordan Sandridge, of Westfield Center, Ohio maintained his second spot, while Stan Wilson, of Mount Juliet, Tenn., overtook Sandridge's father, Mark, for the third spot, running a 1:40.264 compared to Mark Sandridge's 1:40.268.
The third and final day of qualifying for the 2003 SCCA National Championship Valvoline Runoffs® starts tomorrow with SSB at 8:00 a.m. For complete results for all classes and live timing and scoring, visit www.scca.com.