RACE: National Runoffs: Toyota Motorsports summary

TOYOTA-POWERED COMPETITORS WIN FOUR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, SWEEP TWO PODIUMS AT THE SUPER-BOWL OF CLUB ROAD RACING TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct.14, 2007) After an action-packed weekend of racing on a newly reconfigured track at Heartland Park, Hans Peter...


TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct.14, 2007) After an action-packed weekend of racing on a newly reconfigured track at Heartland Park, Hans Peter took the checkered flag in two classes and earned the prestigious title of national champion at the 2007 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Runoffs® presented by AT&T, Oct.12-14. Runoffs rookie competitor Jay Marlowe and race veteran Pete Peterson were also crowned as national champions in each of their respective classes.

This year marked the 44th running of the annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs® and the second year hosted at Heartland Park Topeka. Of the 700 competitors who showed up to qualify and compete in 25 different classes of amateur road racing, 28 were Toyota-powered racers competing in eight different classes.

Overland Park native and back-to-back Triple Crown Winner Peter, earned his second consecutive C Sports Racing (CSR) National Championship in his No.66 Swift 014 Viking (Toyota) and his first Formula Atlantic (FA) National Championship. In addition to starting both races on the pole, he led all 18 laps of the CSR race, and recorded the fastest lap time of 1:25.443, while averaging speeds of 102.597 mph.

"I was really surprised at the start because I had a great start and I looked into my mirrors to see where Clayton was because I got a good jump on him," said Peter. "I thought to myself that this was going to be easy and then, RRRRR I was passed in turn one."

Before taking the checkered flag in the rain delayed FA race, Peter led laps 4-17 of the race and registered the fastest race lap of 1:44.747 mph.

"At the start I went as good as I could expect," said Peter. "It was a drag race to turn one and I had played it about 100 times in my mind last night...This was my first rain race in an open-wheel car, and my first in five or six years."

After starting second on the grid, Marlowe of Hendersonville, N.C. went on to win his first G-Production (GP) National Championship in his No.21 Toyota Corolla and led all 11 laps of the race. After an impressive season with eight GP wins, two second-place finishes in 11 races and the 2007 Southeast Divisional Championship, Marlowe made his first appearance at the Runoffs this year with impressive results. He recorded the fastest race lap of 1:50.531, with an average speed of 53.047 mph.

"We had some troubles in qualifying, I actually broke the engine and we had to put it back together again," commented Marlowe. "I didn't know how it would run today but I made the correct call on tires...we went on slicks."

Racing veteran Peterson, a Toyota dealer in Lumberton, N.C. crossed the finish line first and earned his sixth GT-3 National Championship. He made contact on lap two and dropped back in the field, but quickly charged ahead of the pack leading laps 7- 18 in his white Toyota Celica. Peterson, driving car No.98 had the fastest race lap of 1:40.946, while averaging speeds of 86.664 mph on the 14-tun, 2.5-mile road course.

"I got a good start, got [John] Black at the start" said Peterson. "We went up the hill side-by-side and touched. It was a pretty wild ride. I was only down a few seconds and the fellows ahead were sliding around so I decided that I would give it a whirl."

Jacek Mucha of Laval, QC finished second in his No.07 Swift and Ken Davis of Escondido, Calif. finished third in his No.64 Ralt Viking, giving Toyota a podium sweep in the CSR class. Toyota-powered cars claimed the top four positions in this class (Note: Mucha also competed in FA class and finished sixth).

Tonis Kasemets of Mundelein, Ill and John "Patrick" Witherspoon of Omaha, Neb. completed the top-three in the FA class, giving Toyota its second podium sweep of the weekend. Kasemets qualified and finished second, led the first three laps of the race in his No.09 Toyota-powered Swift 014 and recorded a fastest lap of 1:46.282. Witherspoon qualified 13th, finished third and registered his fastest lap at 1:46.851. Toyota-powered cars claimed the top nine positions in the FA class.

This year marks the first time that four Toyota-powered competitors have competed in multiple classes at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs (Jacek Mucha FA and CSR; Bill Goldkind CSR and FA; Milton Grant GT-2 and GT-3; and Hans Peter CSR and FA).

Each of the 25 races including interviews will be produced by Mullin Production Group and re-broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED, in hour length segments, beginning Wednesday, November 7.

-credit: toyota motorsports

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Series SCCA
Drivers Jacek Mucha , Milton Grant , Hans Peter , Pete Peterson , Tonis Kasemets , Ken Davis