RACE: National Runoffs: Qualifying day two report

Slow Start, Quick Finish To Second Qualifying Day at SCCA Runoffs LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 21, 2005) -- An auspicious beginning that included three delays set the tone for a messy Wednesday qualifying session at the 2005 SCCA National...

Slow Start, Quick Finish To Second Qualifying Day at SCCA Runoffs

LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 21, 2005) -- An auspicious beginning that included three delays set the tone for a messy Wednesday qualifying session at the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by Kohler.

The less than stellar start first came in Formula Continental, the first session of the day, when the 20-minute session was cut short in order to clear a seven-car incident from the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course -- a sizable dent into the 34-car field.

The incident started when Bill Johnson, of Austin, Texas, (Athena Manufacturing Van Diemen RF-00) and Cole Morgan, of Lighthouse Point, Fla. (Morgan Homes Swift DB6) came together at Turn 11. The contact caused each car to spin on track and bring the other cars involved into the mix. At the time, Morgan was second in qualifying. Others involved in the incident included Brian Tomasi, of Elgin, Ill. (who was second-fastest in the session); Justin Pritchard, of Granville, Ohio; Mike Eakin, of Crawfordville, Fla.; Darren Brown, of Dallas, Texas; and Dave Weitzenhof, of Bath, Ohio. All drivers were treated and released on site except for Eakin, who was transported to MedCentral/Mansfield Hospital in Mansfield, Ohio, where he was later released.

Ricardo Vassmer, of Coral Springs, Fla., led the shortened FC qualifying session in his Ultralub/Comprent Motor Sports Van Diemen RF-01, with a 1:24.426 (96.288 mph). Tomasi was second in the session with a 1:24.823 in his Hoosier Race Tire/RMX/Nova Com Van Diemen RF-01, while William Jordan, of Waterford, Mich., was third fastest Wednesday, turning a 1:24.843 in his J&F Painting Contractors LLC Van Diemen RF-00.

Once clear, the course reopened for the Formula Atlantic/Formula Mazda joint session, normalcy appeared to return, but another incident at Turn 11, involving four cars, caused a red flag on the last lap of the session. This time it was FM favorite Fabio Castellani, of Streamwood, Ill., who spun, causing the three cars behind him to spin and connect with one another as they attempted to avoid Castellani's Pro-One/Hoosier/OMP Formula Mazda. The others involved were Chris Schanzle, of Damascus, Md.; Maxwell Eriksen, of Elizabethtown, Ky.; and FA driver Oliver Zitsmann, of Redding, Conn. All four drivers were evaluated and released on site.

Graham Rahal, of New Albany, Ohio, avoided the potential pitfall and continues to drop his class-leading time, running a 1:16.901 (105.617 mph) in his Bobby Rahal Automotive Group Swift 014. Mirl Swan, of Platte City, Mo., found his best time on his 12th and final lap Wednesday to take second in the session with a 1:19.300 in his WR King/Swan Racing Swift 008a. Keith Lively, of San Francisco, Calif., was third Wednesday and is fourth overall after recording a 1:19.527 in his LAL Motorsports/Hoosier Ralt RT41.

After the early morning troubles, the rest of Wednesday's focus back on the track, where some class leaders were dethroned and more records tumbled.

John Black, of Olympic Valley, Calif., wrestled the Spec Racer Ford top spot away from Joe Colasacco, of Greenwich, Conn. (Federated Kaufmann Fund SRF) by just 0.04-sec after turning a 1:38.208 (82.698 mph). Jeff Beck, of Ingleside, Ill., moved up Wednesday and is now third after running a 1:38.326 in his Lindell Motorsports/Ryan Companies ride.

D Sports Racing's Mark Jaremko's Runoffs picture is looking a whole lot brighter after he dropped nearly 3.5 seconds from his first-day qualifying time. Jaremko, of Spokane, Wash., blasted off a 1:21.881 (99.279 mph) in his Lee Stohr Cars/Goodyear/Red Line Stohr WF1 to take over the class top spot. Jaremko's time was a new class record. Steve Ott, of Brighton, Colo., had led DSR until Wednesday and actually improved his time to a 1:22.183, but it left his Racing Concepts/Hoosier Speads RS06 behind Jaremko. Rod Morley, of Provo, Utah, was third in Wednesday's session (and is fourth overall) after running a 1:23.825 in his Volo Motorsports/Consensio LLC Stohr.

Six Touring 2 drivers eclipsed last year's qualifying record, and two of those were under the new mark set Tuesday by Rob Hines, of Arlington, Va. Dave Schotz, of Simi Valley, Calif., ripped off a 1:38.294 (82.959 mph) in his SCCAForums.com/Kumho/Carbotech Chevrolet Camaro, nearly six-tenths better than Hines' 1:38.829. Chuck Hemmingson, of West Des Moines, Iowa, powered his Subaru/Rotary Lift 2005 Subaru WRX STi to a second-best lap of 1:38.359, while Don Knowles, of Pittsboro, N.C., was third with a 1:39.025 in his Phoenix Performance Goodyear Pontiac Firebird.

Wiley McMahan, of Covington, Ga., was the fastest Formula 500 entry on Wednesday afternoon, but unfortunately, times across the F500 board were slower than the day before. Driving his Dolphin Motorsports QRE Invader QC-1McMahan turned in a 1:30.128, which was slower than the 1:29.834 he ran yesterday to finish third. Doug Marsh, of Eastlake, Ohio, was second in the session with a 1:30.181 in his Hoosier/Rocketech Motorsports Rocketech R2, while overall leader Michael Brent, of Bethel, Conn., was third fastest Wednesday in his QRE/Hoosier Invader QC-1, running a 1:30.264.

The third and final day of qualifying for the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs is set to begin at 8 a.m. (EDT) on Thursday, beginning with GT Lite and then a joint session between CSR and S2000. Race grids will be set at the conclusion of the day. To watch all 23 classes via live timing and scoring, visit www.scca.com, where complete schedule information and results are also available.

-scca-

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Graham Rahal , Jeff Beck , Darren Brown , Bill Johnson , Chuck Hemmingson , Mark Jaremko , Brian Tomasi , Fabio Castellani , Chris Schanzle , John Black , Justin Pritchard , Don Knowles , Joe Colasacco , Cole Morgan , Mirl Swan , Steve Ott