RAIN RACING FOR RUMAN RACING TEAM AT WATKINS GLEN SCCA NATIONAL Munroe Falls, OH - Amy Ruman and Niki Ruman both drove last weekend in the SCCA National at Watkins Glen International, NY - but rain plagued both races. Amy Ruman tried to...
RAIN RACING FOR RUMAN RACING TEAM AT WATKINS GLEN SCCA NATIONAL
Munroe Falls, OH - Amy Ruman and Niki Ruman both drove last weekend in the SCCA National at Watkins Glen International, NY - but rain plagued both races.
Amy Ruman tried to score her fourth win of the season, but drove the #23 McNichols/Goodyear Corvette to a second place finish. She qualified with her 4th pole of the season by over a second on the rest of the field and under her existing track record.
Rain started early Sunday morning and tried to clear for the 14 car GT-1 field in race group 5, which created chaos for the race. Most of the field waited till the last minute to make a tire decision as rain was threatening on the horizon with an almost dry track. With 10 minutes till race time, Ruman and most of the field rolled up on dry tires, hoping for no more rain. At the one-minute warning on the grid, it started to sprinkle. As the cars were released from the grid, Ruman made the decision to start on dry tires, but as the field lined up behind the pace car, the skies opened up and it started pouring! Some GT-1's had the chance to duck into the pit lane for a tire change as they were exiting the grid. Luckily, the officials decided to declare it a "rain race" which allowed all the teams 15 minutes to exit the course and change to rain tires. Everyone did, and regrouped on the grid.
The field exited the grid for the second time to take the green flag in the rain. Ruman had a good start, staying out in front, but got passed by Jack Busch and Peter Mumford on lap one. Ruman settled in behind them, as fogging on the inside of the windshield proved to be a big problem. The fog started to clear a few laps into the race, and Ruman passed Mumford back for 2nd place. After a number of double yellow course conditions, Ruman and Busch were back to green flag racing and were running neck and neck. Ruman tried for a pass exiting turn 8 and the two were side by side heading into turn 9, the entrance to the famous "boot" portion of the track. Ruman backed out a bit in the corner, concerned that Busch would slide out into her on the exit of the turn due to the slippery conditions. It turned out that was the last chance to try for 1st place - the checkered flag flew early, on lap10 instead of lap 14 - prompted by the rain and a car stuck in the gravel trap.
"Unfortunately, rain was the great equalizer today," stated Ruman. "We had the fastest car for dry conditions, but my windshield fogged at the beginning of the race and that hurt me. Jack (Busch) has been around for a long time and has a lot of rain experience and he is good in the rain. A few more laps would have helped me for sure, and who knows, I may have gotten it done in the end. What a crazy race!!"
Niki Ruman qualified 22nd in the #23 McNichols/Dynasty Motorsports Spec Racer. The Spec Racers were in race group 7, the last of the day. There was no doubt it would rain for most of the race, and indeed it rained the entire time. Ruman had a fairly good start, moving up to 17th after a few laps. She held this position until lap 9, when she had trouble under breaking in turn 12, "the heel of the boot" and nearly crashed into the guardrail on the left side of the track. There was no contact, but she did spin and lost several positions. She made up a few positions and finished in 22nd.
"It has been a while since I've raced in the rain, so I was probably a bit overcautious. I was right behind an S-2000 when I started sliding under breaking. I couldn't see very well through the spray and missed my break point. It was a wild ride, but I'm glad not to have made contact with the guardrail," said Niki.
Amy Ruman was also featured in the local Watkins Glen newspaper, the Star-Gazette. You can view and read the two articles in the attached document. Amy Ruman is currently leading the GT-1 Northeast Division in the points chase.
August 14-17 - Amy Ruman in GT-1 and Niki Ruman in SRF
SCCA Double National at Pocono, PA