RACE: Runoffs 97-JPMD #29: GT1, GT3, GT4, FC Notes

VR-JPMD ...

VR-JPMD #29: GT1, GT3, GT4, FC Notes

Dee Duncan was 100% accurate and correct in her "SportsCar was Right" competition. She picked two for two. SR and SSA were her winning slots.

RACE 19 - GT3

SportsCar picks: Mike Lewis, Mazda RX-7 Pete Peterson, Toyota Paseo Sal Versaggi, Nissan 240SX

Grid Top 3: Mike Lewis, Wolfgang Maike, Bill Thumel

LAP 1: An early green flag gives the two front row cars an edge and Michael Lewis leads Wolfgang Maike into the first turn. Lewis starts to pull away from Maike. Pete Peterson, who started at the back, passed eight cars by the first corner. LAP 3: The lead cars are strung out with Lewis in the lead, Maike in second, Michael Cyphert in third, Fletcher Williams and Salvador Versaggi rounding out the top five. Peterson continues to charge. LAP 5: Cyphert is closing on Maike to battle for third. Peterson has moved up to eighth. LAP 6: Cyphert has slowed and is dropping back. Cyphert pulls off at turn nine. LAP 7: Lewis has a four second lead over Maike in third, but Williams is about to take over the challenge from Cyphert. Versaggi is right in the battle as well. LAP 9: Lewis is still well ahead of the battle for second. Maike, Williams and Versaggi are going at it fiercely, but no one is able to make a pass stick. Mike Pinegar is six seconds back in fifth and Peterson is up to sixth, 15 seconds behind the leader Lewis. LAP 11: Robert Weaver comes down the front straight in a cloud of smoke and spins it in turn 1 pulling off at the exit from the pits. LAP 12: Lewis continues to hold his lead over Maike who has pulled a little clear of Williams and Versaggi. Peterson has gotten around Pinegar into fifth place. Peterson is six seconds back of Versaggi and 12 seconds off of Lewis. LAP 14: Versaggi outbrakes Williams at the end of the straight and takes over third place. LAP 15: Versaggi quickly reels in Maike and makes a move for second at the end of the straight. He locks up his brakes and struggles with the car, but makes the pass on Maike to take second place. LAP 17: Versaggi still trails Lewis by three seconds. Williams bobbles and gets passed by Pinegar and Peterson. Peterson also gets by Pinegar for fourth. LAP 18: Versaggi is slowing and Peterson is closing on him. Peterson overtakes Versaggi at turn nine for third. LAP 19: Lewis still leads comfortably over Maike, but Peterson is closing on Maike. Peterson closes to within six car lengths of Maike through the esses. Peterson pulls alongside Maike going into the carousel, but Maike keeps position on him. Maike loses it coming out of the carousel and Peterson goes by to take second. Maike recovers, but falls to sixth place.

Michael Lewis leads from start to finish to take the National Championship, Pete Peterson finishes second after starting at the back of the field, and Mike Pinegar takes third.

Pete Peterson was selected for the Stack, Inc. "Drive of the Race" award and Wolfgang Maike was selected for the "Outstanding Drive" award, also sponsored by Stack, Inc.

Top Three Driver Quotes Race #19 GT3

Mike Lewis, 1st: "Fairly uninspired, but we did what we had to do and finish up in front. I just tried to develop a lead that would help me through the traffic. Pete had everything as far as fun goes, he had a hell of a drive. My car was good, I got the lead and just tried to maintain it." "Traffic was okay, the oil was the worst part. Gotta find your way through. First it was Turn 1, then 10, then the carousel. It was just like a wet race. I thought about coming in for grooved tires!" "I was just praying that nothing would fall off, never had it this easy before!"

Pete Peterson, 2nd: "I didn't know it was gonna run right until we went out to go on the grid. We found a broken stud that holds the camshaft in place at the last minute, fixed it on the way to the grid. That was indicative of our whole week." "We were in oil the last half of race." "I thought we had a 50/50 chance of making the podium at the very best, hoping for a full course yellow. The track was slippery." "I probably ran 20 seconds faster! (than in qualifying)" "It was possibly the toughest race I've run." "If Wolfgang (Maike) had kept it straight I couldn't have gotten by." Next year? "I think I'm retiring. Whoooeeee, just kidding!"

Mike Pinegar, 3rd: "Strategy? I don't know about patience, but I just kept trying. My old, aerodynamically-challenged RX3. Wofgang lost it in the oil in the Carousel and here I am." "The cornerworkers were great with the flags. I had to swerve to miss the woodchuck crossing the track and almost rolled the car." "I ran 7/10th faster in the race than in qualifying." "I was running a used set of tires I got from Pete for 2 cases of beer!" "With no radio, I was surprised Peterson was behind me as quick as he was, I was just watching flags and mirrors." "This was a gift from Maike; that's why I'm here [in the presss room]."

GT3 Mike Lewis, 1st Pete Peterson, 2nd Mike Piergar, 3rd

ML:  Fairly uninspired, but we did what we had to do and finish up in
front.  I just tried to develop a lead that would help me through the
traffic.  Pete had everything as far as fun goes, he had a hell of a
drive.  My car was good, I got the lead and just tried to maintain it.

ML: Traffic was okay, the oil was the worst part. Gotta find your way through. First it was Turn 1, then 10, then carousel. Just like a wet race. Thought about coming in for grooved tires! I was just praying that nothing would fall off, never had it this easy before!

MP: Started 8th. Strategy? Don't know about patience, but I just kept trying. Old aerodynamically challenged RX3, Wofgang lost it in the oil in Carousel and here I am.

PP: Didn't know it was gonna run right until we went out to go on the grid. We found a broken stud that holds the camshaft in place at the last minute, fixed it on the way to the grid. Indicative of our whole week.

PP: We were in oil last half of race.

MP: Cornerworkers were great with the flags. I had to swerve to miss the woodchuck crossing the track, almost rolled the car.

PP:  I thought we had a 50/50 chance of making the podium at the very
best, hoping for a full course yellow.  Track was slippery.

MP: I ran 7/10th faster in the race than in qualifying.

PP: I probably ran 20 seconds faster!

PP: It was possibly toughest race I've raced.

MP: I was running a used set of tires I got from Pete for 2 cases of beer!

Next year:

PP: I think I'm retiring. Whoooeeee, just kidding!

MP: Probably same thing next year, work on the car a little bit.

MP: No radio, was surprised PP was behind me as quick as he was, I was just watching flags and mirrors.

PP: If Wolfgang kept it straight I couldn't have gotten by.

MP: This was a gift from WM; that's why I'm here [in the presss room].

RACE 22 - GT4

SportsCar picks: Warren Montague, Toyota Tercel David Walsh, Nissan 200SX John Olsen, Nissan 200SX

Grid Top 3: Steve Cook, Steven Lisa, Hupert Duprez

LAP 1: Steve Cook leads the field into the first corner. Peter Mumford makes a move on the outside going into the first turn and takes away second. Steven Lisa drops in for third. LAP 2: Cook is pulling out a slight lead over Mumford who has his hands full. Lisa leads a four car assault on second place with Hupert Duprez, John Olsen, and David Walsh. LAP 3: Lisa is right up on Mumford's bumper going into turn 1. Lisa goes by Mumford on the straight to take second. LAP 5: Lisa is starting to move up on Cook and leave the group battling for third behind. LAP 6: Lisa pulls off at turn 3 smoking heavily. Fire shoots out from under the car as he pulls off and parks the car. The corner crews use the fire extinguishers under the hood. LAP 7: Duprez makes a move on the inside of Mumford going into turn 1. Mumford spins and backs into Olsen. Olsen has a flat tire. He eventually makes his way back to the pits and rejoins the race. LAP 10: Cook leads with Richard Grant now in second, David Walsh third, Duprez recovered to fourth and Rusty Bell is now fifth. LAP 13: Cook leads by about five seconds over Grant and Walsh who are battling for second. Duprez is running fourth almost 20 seconds farther back. LAP 15: Walsh continues to pressure Grant for second, less than a car length behind. LAP 17: Walsh gets caught behind slower traffic that Grant had successfully negotiated. He loses almost two seconds on second place. LAP 19: Cook has a comfortable lead over Grant. Walsh still trails by a couple of seconds. Duprez is all by himself in fourth and Brian Clinton has taken over fifth from Bell.

Steve Cook takes the National Championship. Richard Grant finishes second and David Walsh is third.

Richard Grant was selected for the Stack, Inc. "Drive of the Race" award and Peter Mumford was selected for the "Outstanding Drive" award, also sponsored by Stack, Inc.

Top Three Driver Quotes Race #22 GT4

Steve Cook, 1st: "I didn't expect it to go that way (flag to flag win). I saw Steve Lisa creeping up, but he was caught in that group of cars from 2nd to 6th. I thought Hupert (Duprez) was going to be tenacious the whole time, he promised me that!" "When the track would get greasy, the lighter car would do better." "I could see the dust cloud. Huffaker told me 'just drive; it's just like a movie, it just keeps rolling.' I started seeing the gaps going back. It was kind of slick through turn 1. The corner workers did a good job knowing where the oil was, helping point us by." "I came here to gauge myself against these guys. You read about them all the time. You want to compare yourself with the best. You can't let up for a moment, you can't back up. They're just gonna be flying through the slippery stuff."

Richard Grant, 2nd: "I got dropped back about 3 seconds at the start. I think I was inching up on them." "By the time I got to Turn 1 all I could see was smoke and cars looking at me. Dave (Walsh) had to get on his brakes to keep from getting involved. It killed his momentum and I got around him. If I hadn't got him then I wouldn't have gotten by him. I could tell all the way through the back we were even. Actually, the whole pack of cars was running tight."

David Walsh, 3rd: "Traffic was not too much of a factor. I just couldn't get around. They were too tough today."

RAW NOTES:

Dave: Traffic not too much of a factor, I just couldn't get around, they were too tough today.

Richard Grant. I got dropped back about 3 seconds at start, so I keep that get, think I was inching up on them. By yhe tie I got to T1 andall I could see was smoke and cars looking at me. Dave had to get on his brekaes to keep from getting involved, killed his momentum, I got around him. I f I hadn't got him then I wouldn't have gotten by him. I could tell all the way through the back we were even. Actually whole pack of cars was running tight.

Steve Cook. Flag to flag win, outqualified. Didn't expect it to go that way. Saw Steve Lisa creeping up, but he was caught in that group of cars from 2nd to 6th. I saw Steve coming up on me. Think Huebert was gonna be tenacious the whole time, he promised me that! When the track would get greasy, the lighter car would do better.

SC: I could see the dust cloud. Huffaker told me "just drive; it's just alike a movie, it just keeps rolling." Started seeing the gaps going back. Kind of slick through turn 1. Corner workers did a good job knowing where the oil was, helping point us by.

Lisa thinks he broke an oil sump, then when it cooled off there was an oil fire.

SC: I came here to guage myself against these guys. You read about them all the time, wanna compare yourself with the best. You can't let up for a moment, you can't back up. They're just gonna be flying through the slippery stuff.

RACE 20 - Formula Continental

SportsCar picks: Jeff Shafer, Nemesis Brett Simpson, Van Diemen RF-9 Dave Weitzenhof, Citation 95SF

Grid Top 3: Justin Pritchard, B.J. Zacharias, David Rutledge

Justin Pritchard, the pole sitter, starts the race in the pit lane with the crew working on the engine. LAP 1: Brett Simpson moves up and takes the early lead with BJ Zacharias falling into second. LAP 2: Zacharias is all over Simpson's rear wing going through turn 1. Zacharias makes the pass on Simpson and starts pulling away. David Rutledge is challenging Simpson for second. Michael Williams is running fourth and Rolf Stutz is fifth. LAP 4: The top four cars have spread out now with gaps of about four car lengths between each. A larger gap back to Keith Williams now in fifth and Dave Weitzenhof in sixth. LAP 5: Simpson is closing on Zacharias. Weitzenhof has gotten by Keith Williams into fifth and is just five seconds off the lead. LAP 7: Rutledge starts to slow and is losing positions. LAP 8: Weitzenhof has moved up into third place and is closing on Michael Williams in second. Zacharias continues to lead and now has a five second advantage over the second place battle. LAP 11: Weitzenhof makes a move on the outside down the straight and gets by Michael Williams for second. LAP 12: Zacharias now holds a four second lead over Weitzenhof. LAP 13: Weitzenhof is gaining almost a second a lap on the leader Zacharias. Michael Williams is third followed by Keith Williams and Rolf Stutz. LAP 15: Weitzenhof has closed to just over a second on Zacharias. LAP 18: Zacharias continues to hold a slight margin over Weitzenhof. Michael Williams trails in third at a distance. LAP 19: Weitzenhof has closed to less than a second as they start the last lap. Weitzenhof trails by two car lengths through the esses. Weitzenhof tries to close up in the carousel, but Zacharias holds him off to take the championship by barely more than a car length.

B.J. Zacharias takes the National Championship with Dave Weitzenhof close behind in second. Michael Williams takes third.

Dave Weitzenhof was selected for the Stack, Inc. "Drive of the Race" award and Brett Simpson was selected for the "Outstanding Drive" award, also sponsored by Stack, Inc.

Top Three Driver Quotes Race #20 FC

B J Zacharias, 1st: "Every time I popped over Turn 11 I looked in the mirror. I saw a little yellow spot (Weitzenhof's car), then suddenly he was filling the mirror. I was glad to be a part of it. You can never count this guy out (Dave)." "Thanks to JDC Motorsports for the opportunity to run this class. I don't have a lot of money. I owe a lot to them. They gave me a chance. Thanks also to Lindell Motorsports for Spec Racer, Primus for parts. Gotta thank John Church and Gene Anderson from JDC. Speedcam for footage, it helped a lot with front suspension setup. Thank everyone from Cincinnati; mom and dad really supported this too." RE: SRF race later in the day. "This is Warren's (Stilwell) track and Dave's track. I feel pretty confident and hope we can build on this momentum. The braking points are pretty much the same, you're just getting there a lot sooner. It's better that I'm running the FC first, SRF will be just as hard. SRF is always a hard class."

Dave Weitzenhof, 2nd: "Usually I shoot for the pole and win the race. This year I ran with too soft a compound in qualifying. Still persistent in qualifying, but the tires didn't work this year. I went back to last summer's setup and the car worked fine." "I never got close enough to make a move. Maybe 3 or 4 more laps. The only safe place to pass is at the end of the straight. He had straight line speed because he had less wing, I had more wing." "I had to keep readjusting the sway bar the whole race." "I'd like to thank Ohlin shocks, Quicksilver engines, Indianapolis Comp Product who built the car. Goodyear always has good tires and is fair to me, even though I sometimes work for the competition. Valvoline is a real good product. When I started using their synthetic oil, my engine life quadrupled. I ran with used Ohlin shocks." "Thanks to all the corner workers for keeping everything moving, the flags were there. We all got through safely." "I vote for the Indycar course, it gives us another passing zone." The other drivers agree.

Mike Williams, 3rd: "I got a good start, big difference from last year. I tried to keep the pedal down, give it a run. The car was very consistent. I ran 3 or 4 identical laps. Goodyear produced a good tire again." "Thanks to Cape Motorsports for setting up a great car, first class act. Thanks also to my wife and family, they put me in this position. Also Ivey motors and all the sponsors that make the Valvoline Runoffs happen." "This is my third time here. I ran the Runoffs last year, but was taken out on the first lap. I also ran the FF2000 pro series once." "I could've used a yellow!"

RAW NOTES: Mike Williams: Got a good start, big difference from last year. Tried to keep the pedal down, give it a run. Car was very consistent. Ran 3 or 4 identical laps. Goodyear produced a good tire again.

DW: Usually I shoot for pole and win the race, this year I ran with too soft a compound in qualifying. Still persistent in qualifying, but the tires didn't work this year. Went back to last summer's setup, car worked fine. Never got close enough to make a move. Maybe 3 or 4 more laps. Only safe place is at the end of the straight. He had straight line speed because he had less wing, I had more wing.

BJZ: Every time I popped over T11 I looked in mirror, saw a little yellow spot, then suddenly he was filling the mirror. Glad to be a part of it. You can never count this guy out (Dave). Re: SRF. This is Warren's track and Dave's track. I feel pretty confident and hope we can build on this momentum.

All 3 drivers running 160 compounds.

DW: Had to keep readjusting the sway bar the whole race.

BJ:  The braking points are pretty much the same, you're just getting
there a lot sooner.  It's better that I'm running the FC first, SRF
will be just as hard.  SRF is always a hard class.

BJZ: JDC Motorsports prepares BJs car, Valvoline oil, Quicksilver engine

DW: Olen shocks, Quicksilver engines, do my own prep.

MW: Thanks Cape Motorsports for setting up a great car, first class act. My wife and family, put me in this position, Ivey motors, all the sponsors that make Valvoline Runoffs happen.

MW: My third time here. Ran Runoffs last year, taken out first lap, also ran FF2000 pro series once.

DW: Indianapolis Comp Product who built the car, Quicksilver, Goodyear always had gtood tires, fair to me, even though I sometimes work for the competition, Valvoline, real good product. When I starrted using their synthetic oil, my engine life quadrupled. Ran with used Olen shocks.

BJZ: Thanks to JDC Motorsports for the opportunity to run this class, don't have a lot of money, I owe a lot to them, they gave me a chance. Lindell Motorsports for Spec Racer, Primus for parts. Gotta thank John Church and Gene Anderson from JDC. Speedcam for footage, helped a lot with front suspension setup. Thank everyone from Cincinatti; mom and dad really supported this too.

DW: Thanks to all the corner workers for keeping everything moving, the flags were there, we all got through safely.

MW: I could've used a yellow!

DW set new track record.

DW: I vote for the Indycar course, it gives us another passing zone.

Other drivers agree.

RACE 21 - GT1

SportsCar picks: Mike Lewis, Ford Mustang Max Lagod, Chevrolet Camaro Bill Gray, Chevrolet Camaro

Grid Top 3: Mike Lewis, Max Lagod, Bill Gray

LAP 1: A lot of shuffling back in the pack, but Michael Lewis takes the lead at the start. Max Lagod tucks in right behind. LAP 2: No gap at all between Lewis and Lagod. Lagod tries to go underneath at the end of the straight, but Lewis holds him off. LAP 3: The leaders have already opened up almost a four second lead over third place William Gray. Gray is followed by Kerry Alexander and Jeff Ervin. Ervin is pressuring Alexander for fourth. LAP 4: Lewis has pulled out a slight lead on Lagod. LAP 5: Alexander's car appears to be smoking a little as it enters the first turn, but he is holding on to fourth. Lagod is closing on Lewis through the esses. LAP 7: Lewis has barely a car length lead on Lagod, but is still holding onto first. The battle for third is very tight, but is more than 15 seconds behind the leaders. Alexander continues to smoke going into the corners. LAP 8: Alexander is putting pressure on Gray for third, but Ervin is right in his mirrors. LAP 9: Ervin tries to get by Alexander in turn 1 but can't quite make it. He stays right on Alexander's tail through the esses. The battle is giving Gray a chance to pull out a little margin. LAP 11: Ervin loses power and slows on course. He pulls off before turn 11. LAP 14: Lewis still leads but Lagod is shadowing him just a car length behind. Gray is more than 30 seconds back in third, followed by Alexander. Dennis Schneider is running fifth another 30 seconds back. LAP 16: Lagod is starting to increase the pressure on Lewis. He dives to the inside going into turn 1, but Lewis easily holds him off. LAP 17: Lagod nudges Lewis going through the keyhole. Lagod gets alongside down the straight and takes the inside at the end of the straight. The two bump going through the turn and Lagod comes out ahead into the esses. LAP 18: Lewis closes up in the esses. LAP 19: Lagod leads by a car length going into turn 1. Lewis is right on his bumper going through the keyhole. Lewis pulls to the outside at the end of the straight, but doesn't have the speed to overtake Lagod. Lewis taps Lagod going into seven, but Lagod holds on.

Max Lagod takes the National Championship by a car length over Michael Lewis. Third goes to William Gray.

Max Lagod was selected for the Stack, Inc. "Drive of the Race" award and Dennis Schneider was selected for the "Outstanding Drive" award, also sponsored by Stack, Inc.

Top Three Driver Quotes Race #21 GT1

Max Lagod, 1st: "I was trying every time, then I settled down and let the tires cool. Mike got bottled up in the keyhole, so I decided to go for it." "The only shot I had was to catch a little of his draft. At the start I tried everything, but I couldn't get by." "Next year? I'll have to wait for what happens. Three in a row? Not likely."

Michael Lewis, 2nd: "This is a hard track to get by on. I was trying to keep the car in control, maximize the places where we go good." " I couldn't get through the keyhole at all, but I could get out of it okay." "In GT3 the track was worse, people were blowing up left and right. It's hard to tell; at the end of the day, it all looks oily." "I'm an amateur racing pro. I'll always be a club racer."

William Gray, 3rd: "When I pulled out, I had no power steering and the cool suit failed. I was just trying to hold it to the road. No (power steering) pump is worse than a bad pump. I couldn't steer with one hand and shift; I had to get it straight before shifting." "All I needed was to have Max and Mike keep fighting. If I'd had a whole car I would have been in there too. All I was trying to do was to hold on. By midway I was just trying to catch my breath." "I was driving just as hard in the second half. I'm gonna be sore tomorrow!"

Mike: Hard track to get by on. Trying to keep the car in control, maximize the places where we go good.

Max: I was trying every time, then settled down, let the tires cool, Mike got bottled up in the keyhole, I decided to go for it.

Mike: Couldn't get through the keyhole at all, but I could got out of it okay.

Max: Only shot I had was to catch a little of his draft. At the start I tried everything, couldn't get by.

Mike: GT3 track was worse, people were blowing up left and right. Hard to tell; at end of day, it all looks oily.

Max Lagod: Next year, have to wait for what happens. Three in a row? Not likely.

Bill Gray: When I pulled out, no power steering and cool suit failed. Just trying to hold it to the road. No pump is worse than bad pump. Couldn't steer with one hand and shift; had to get it straight before shifting. All I needed was to have Max and Mike keep fighting. If I'd had a whole car I would have been in there too. All I was trying to hold on, by midway just trying to catch my breath.

I was driving just as hard in the second half. Gonna be sore tomorrow!

Mike: I'm an amateur racing pro, I'll always be a club racer.

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers David Rutledge , Steven Lisa , Kerry Alexander , Steve Cook , Max Lagod , Michael Lewis , Bill Gray , Michael Cyphert , Robert Weaver , Mike Pinegar , Pete Peterson , Fletcher Williams , Justin Pritchard , Rusty Bell , Jeff Ervin , Richard Grant , Dennis Schneider , David Walsh , Jeff Shafer
Teams Williams