Eastern Conference, Formula 500
During his championship run, Jack Walbran, of St. Louis, Mo., overcame some major mechanical issues in his Mitchell Racing Services Scorpion during the Sunday BFGoodrich Super Tour race at VIRginia International Raceway.
“A broken chain late in qualifying took out the entire drive train and damaged the rear axle assembly,” said Walbran. “In the intervening time, just short of four hours, Leon Mitchell and Jeremy Morales built a new rear end and drivetrain, finishing as I walked out of the trailer with 12 minutes until race time. Because the drive belt was way too tight, we had to start the car on a quick jack at the one minute whistle, drop it and stand on the brakes. Obviously, I didn’t know what I had to drive, so Turn One and the early laps were tentative. Following the mechanical issues, I finished third and set the fast race lap.”
Walbran made a start in eight Eastern Conference races, recording six podium finishes and compiling 143 points. He finished on top at Road Atlanta, notched second-place finishes twice at Sebring, and once each at Road Atlanta and VIR. He also took home a third-place finish at VIR.
For all race car drivers, the folks turning the wrenches behind the scenes are the unsung heroes of the sport. For that reason, Walbran wanted to make a point to thank Mitchell and Morales for their help in getting him back on track at VIR.
Walbran was able to succinctly sum up what this conference championship meant to him.
“At 73, it’s very, very rewarding, not only to win, but also to have been faster at every track in the Conference that I had the opportunity to run.”