TOPEKA, Kan. – With the start of the professional racing season just around the corner, SCCA is well-represented both on and off-track at this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
This weekend’s Daytona race has special significance for SCCA racers after the announcement last fall that the 2015 SCCA National Championship Runoffs will take place on the same 12-turn, 3.56-mile circuit that hosts this weekend’s event.
Over 100 corner marshals and other officials organized by the Central Florida Region SCCA will be up-close and personal to the on-track action. Like the drivers, crews and fans, they too will brave the elements and ward off the fatigue brought on by the twice around-the-clock challenge.
In total, more than 50 drivers that are slated to take to the track’s high banks have spent significant time with the Club. Household names like Randy Pobst and Graham Rahal look to add one more win at Daytona to an already impressive resume, which include gold medals at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs and, for Pobst, multiple Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships and SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge titles.
Finding the SCCA connections takes little effort. Starting at the top of the qualifying sheets, former west coast Club racer Jon Fogarty shares a car with overall polesitter Alex Gurney – the son of 2014 SCCA Hall of Fame Inductee, Dan Gurney – for the full-day race. Continental Tire Challenge ST class polesitter Jeff Mosing got his professional racing start as a full time driver in the SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup, and is paired with Spec Miata National Champion and Mazda MX-5 Cup champion Eric Foss in his efforts for a race win.
Scott Sharp, Boris Said and teammate Eric Curran, Anthony Lazzaro and Scott Pruett are past SCCA Champions with a shot at the overall crown and a new watch in this weekend’s showcase event, while Brandon Davis, Andy Lally and Patrick Long fit the bill in the GT classes. If those names don’t capture your rooting favor, there are plenty of other drivers with SCCA ties to choose from.
Tomi Drissi, Kuno Wittmer, James Sofronas and Ken Wilden are all SCCA Pro Racing winners hunting for class wins.
The defending Touring 1 and GT-2 National Champion, Andrew Aquilante, will drive toward the front of Continental Tire pack in his Ford Mustang. Also in the field will be teenage sensations Trent Hindman and Dillon Machavern, both of whom are 2013 US Majors Tour Conference Champions.
Stevan McAleer, the 2012 SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion, will be taking to the track with other SCCA Pro veterans like Bill Auberlen, who raced in Pirelli World Challenge, and Terry Borcheller, who raced in select World Challenge and Club events.
Curren and three-time World Challenge champion Lawson Aschenbach share a car in the GS class of Friday’s race, as do current U.S. Majors Tour competitors Kurt Rezzetano and Preston Calvert. 2012 Sports 2000 National Champion and defending Touring 3 Champion Chad Gilsinger is just another of the potential front-runners in ST.
While this list of drivers is not all-inclusive, it shows the impact that SCCA has had on the development of motorsports talent. Those skills are not limited to driving, but include the support staff required to safely run an event such at the Rolex 24.