RACE: Runoffs 97-JPMD #19: Notes for EP, GT2, CSR, HP races

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VR-JPMD #19: Notes for EP, GT2, CSR, HP races

RACE 4 - E Production

SportsCar picks: John Baucom, Fiat Spider Tom Robertson, Lotus Super 7 Pratt Cole, Mazda Miata

Grid Top 3: John Baucom, Pratt Cole, Bob Boig

Before the start, Lee Feineigle pulls off at turn 3 on the first parade lap. There is fluid dumped through turn one and oil dry is being applied. The field is given the green flag at the start line on the back straight while the corner crews continue to work on turn 1. LAP 1: John Baucom leads the first lap followed by Pratt Cole and Bob Boig LAP 2: Baucom spins coming out of turn 1, sideways in the middle of the track. The field gets by, but Baucom rejoins at the back. Hinkle comes by in the lead followed by Cole and Rodger Cook. LAP 3: Hinkle spins in almost the same place Baucom did on the previous lap and loses the lead. Cole takes over at the front. LAP 4: Cole begins to extend his lead over second place. Cook, Tom Robertson, Sam Halkias and Bob Boig are all battling for second. LAP 5: Halkias takes second place with Cook in third and Boig now in fourth. LAP 6: Boig goes by Cook into third and closes quickly on Halkias. LAP 8: The three-way battle for second place among Halkias, Boig, and Robertson is closing the gap on Cole. LAP 10: Boig makes his move on Halkias at the end of the straight and gets by into second. LAP 11: Second place Boig widens the gap over Halkias in third and as he sets his sights on Cole. Cole still has a six second lead over Boig. LAP 15: Cole continues to lead and, despite some difficulties getting around lapped traffic, maintains his lead over Boig. Mark Brannon, running in fourth, pulls off at turn nine LAP 19: A number of cars went off at turn two, but after the leaders go by.

Pratt Cole takes the National Championship, Bob Boig takes second and Sam Halkias is third. Rodger Cook takes fourth with Baucom coming back to take fifth.

John Baucom was selected for the Stack, Inc. "Drive of the Race" award and Jerome Hinkle was selected for the "Outstanding Drive" award, also sponsored by Stack, Inc.

Top Three Driver Quotes Race #4 EP

Pratt Cole, 1st: "I tried to stay under the oil. I couldn't get underneath Baucom, I knew he was gonna go backwards. I was surprised they threw the green. I saw two yellow flags and thought it meant the pace car was coming out. I don't think I could've won the race without that oil." " I was very happy to know I had 6 or 7 seconds, I really backed off." "I'd like to thank Sam (Halkias) for saying the Miatas are very well prepared. We might have an abnormal number in the top 3 or five. It's important to point out that they are the very most recently built cars, built to the letter of the rules. They are very expensive to prepare. There's only 3 running."

Bob Boig, 2nd: "I did a little excavating. It happens, you gotta live with it." "I was in the same position (as Cole), I backed off. Second place is much better than the grass. I'd already been in the grass." "Miatas are some of the latest cars. It doesn't have the best power/weight ratio, but being well-prepared makes the difference."

Sam Halkias, 3rd: "I saw Pratt gettin' away, and decided I'd better get going. I got a good shot in Turn 1." "I didn't expect them to start the race - there was oil everywhere." "Bobby (Boig) made a good pass on the straight. He snookered me. I got a little squirrelly." "Towards the end it was really bad, oil everywhere." "Pratt really deserved this one. Luck had to come his way, and skill was a factor too." "It's nice to have a nice clean race, bring 'em on, let's get more cars in EP."

Miatas finished 1-2 in EP this year. Oil was at T.1 right into right hand line going into the chicane at start of race.

Boig: You were a LOT squirrelly.

Halkias: Pratt really deserved this one. Luck had to come his way, and skill was a factor too.

Greg: We had new cars brought into class this year, not competitive, but what about the future?

Halkias: We welcome more cars, bring 'em on.

Pratt Cole: Thank Sam for saying the Miatas are very well prepared; We might have an abnormal number in top 3 or five, it's important to point that there are very most recently built cars, built to letter of rules. Very expensive to prepare, there's only 3 running.

Sam: How you prepare it.

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RACE 5 - GT2

SportsCar picks: Duane Davis, Toyota Celica Tom Patton, Sunbeam Tiger Rick Clay, Nissan 200ZX

Grid Top 3: Duane Davis, Tom Patton, Jim Goughary

LAP 1: Tom Patton gets the jump at the start and the Sunbeam Tiger leads into the first corner. Patton extends the lead to six car lengths by the end of the first lap. Duane Davis falls into second and Jim Goughary holds third. Jim Blakewell and Rick Clay follow in fourth and fifth. LAP 4: The top five continue to pull away from the rest of the field. No challenges for position among any of the top five. LAP 5: Davis begins to close up on Patton. LAP 7: Patton slows suddenly at turn nine and pulls off. Davis takes over the lead. LAP 8: Goughary pulls off at turn 11 with flames coming from under the car, yielding second place to Blakewell. LAP 9: Davis leads at the half-way mark, followed by Blakewell, with a huge gap back to Clay in third. Gus Rosenberg and Chick Misura are even farther back in fourth and fifth. LAP 11: Blakewell is closing up on Davis. Clay pulls his car into the pits in a cloud of smoke, possibly coolant. LAP 12: Davis and Blakewell have a large lead over the third place car of Rosenberg. LAP 14: Rick Mancuso gets by Misura for fourth place. LAP 15: Davis still holds a two second advantage over Blakewell while Rosenberg is over a minute back in third. LAP 19: Davis is maintaining his lead over Blakewell. Davis gets held up in traffic and Blakewell closes up on the main straight. Blakewell tries to make a move on the outside at the end of the straight, but Davis holds him off.

Duane Davis takes the National Championship. Jim Blakewell takes second with Gus Rosenberg third.

Jim Blakewell was selected for the Stack, Inc. "Drive of the Race" award and Jim Goughary,Sr. was selected for the "Outstanding Drive" award, also sponsored by Stack, Inc.

Top Three Driver Quotes Race #5 GT2

Duane Davis, 1st: "The whole track was really slippery from previous session." "This was my fifth championship in GT2, 10th overall." "First of all our radios quit at the very beginning, we didn't have any communication. I started loafing, I didn't know Blakewell was catching me until one of my guys on pit wall was giving me a 'get going' sign! I was giving it all I've got, he was coming on strong." "About a lap and a half before Tom's (Patton) car quit, I started gaining on him. Then in Turn 9 his engine just quit. I learned later it was a broken coil wire." "The start was exactly what I expected. I went as fast as I thought I could, and Tom just rocketed away. It's the 'big motor - little motor' deal."

Jim Blakewell, 2nd: "It was a tight battle at the end with Davis. Would I have taken him? Oh yeah, my car was slower in some places, faster in others. I like to race, whether 4th, or 15th, or whatever." "The more laps I get, the better I run. I gotta learn to start faster, even start faster on Monday." "It was a tough year at work. I was lucky to get invited."

Gus Rosenberg, 3rd: " I was pretty much running by myself, but spun in oil in Turn 14 and worried about the Ferrari and 914 catching me." " I also lost the radio on the grid, but we had pit board signals. I lost the battery."

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CSR 1st: Chuck Billington 2nd: Jeff Miller 3rd: Don Doyle

DD: Knew Ben was catching up with me at the end, but it was steady feet kept us going.

JM: Couldn't catch Chuck today. Initially couldn't quite get by Ben, Chuck picked up 14 seconds on me by then. It was one of these races where the track got a little bit greasy.

CB: I can only say my car was great. I didn't have any problems. It just ran flawlessly. THis morning I had my doubts, car stopped running on the back straight in the warm-up; CV joint broke. Really surprised I made up 3 or 4 seconds by Turn 11 of first lap.

Eric: You've not had the best of luck at MO, now you've won one here. The Tracer team has had 13 victories in 20 years of Runoffs participation.

CB: About maybe coming back. Foster made some comment, so maybe, but we weren't planning on it. We're talking about a five week five race trip across the country instead. People are what make this thing work, the workers are great. That's what we come here for, not one of us will be a professional race car driver, it's just to have fun.

JPMD: What about the hot tub?

CB: We'll take the hot tub home, put it on coasters and fix it so we can throw it in the trailer, take it to regionals and nationals. Our local guys at Sears Point and Laguna Seca haven't seen it.

Jeff Miller: We'll be back next year, but we need to put a little more power in it.

DD: I'll bring a chain! Hook up to the guy ahead of me.

CB: Mazdas are great engines. Tom [Foster, teammate] ran one engine the whole season, no rebuilds, no work. Very reliable engine. Last year was a really good show, if we just had a half dozen more cars it'd make a better show.

DD: Mid-Ohio: It's a great place, people are nice, visit friends, and a good vacation. We moved to Florida, it's nice to come up and visit old friends from CenDiv.

All three drivers enjoyed the idea of inverting the grid next year.

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HP 1st: Adam Malley 2nd: Brian Linn 3rd: Ron Bartel

RB: Noticed a little smoke but it didn't matter. Once you get past halfway all you care about is catching the guy in front of you. We were fooling around with suspension all week long, and just before the race, so I had to relearn how to drive it. The car seemed to have plenty of power.

BL: Held the lead for five laps, what'd you do after getting passed. Just wanted to hold on, when Adam got by, not much I could do about it.

AM: No, I didn't feel the car get dialed in. I thought Steve and Brian had more power. Ran the same car in Solo II National in '93 and won DP, first Honda to win Nat'l championship. This was my buddy, my high school car. Changed from Hoosier to Goodyear tires, car started to come around to me.

RB: Track was good today, not like EP.

BL: Something happened to brakes midway through, they went real soft, had to pump them, at the end of the straight. They came back after 4 laps. With 4 or 5 laps to go, I thought I had enough distance, but Ron caught me after just one lap.

AM: Would have been happy to see second.

JPMD: How many competitors do you usually face in HP?

RB: We have small, but great fields in HP. If everyone's running right it's like mini-Runoffs, keeps you on your toes.

BL: Hussey and I try to plan our schedules so we can race each other.

AM: Changing this car to GT5 next year.

AM: Hardest thing once getting in front? I kept my head down, talking to myself saying "I know he's gonna catch me, I know he's gonna catch me." Started hearing things, the motor rattled. I don't think I started losing focus until lap 16. I wasn't watching mirrors for a long time!

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Gus Rosenberg , Duane Davis , Jim Blakewell , John Baucom , Sam Halkias , Pratt Cole , Tom Patton , Jeff Miller , Jim Goughary , Lee Feineigle , Mark Brannon