Eastern Conference, Super Touring Under
With over 25 years of SCCA racing under his belt, David Brand, of Syosset, N.Y., considers the inaugural Eastern Conference STU Championship a milestone in his wide-ranging experience. From the setting lap records in a Sports 2000 car, to winning multiple titles in Improved Touring, Brand has been at the controls of many racecars in SCCA competition.
In 2013, Brand had a pivotal weekend during the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour event at Watkins Glen International Raceway, over the Independence Day weekend. In qualifying, Brand ran into some trouble in his Krugspeed/ BGB Esq. Louts Exige, but averted disaster to keep his championship hopes alive.
“On Friday morning, after laying down a hot, first-place qualifying lap, I was at the top of the climbing Esses in our Lotus Exige when the car hit oil,” Brand said. “It veered hard right, into a guardrail, comprehensively damaging the entire front end.
“I was certain that the weekend was toast, but the Krugspeed maestros, Alex Krugman and Nicholas Jacob, would have none of that. They rebuilt the car, fabricating when needed and working non-stop over the next 30 hours until the race.
“I always travel to races with a guitar. Approaching midnight on Friday, my Gibson acoustic and I were belting out I Won’t Back Down, by Tom Petty, to these guys and our race car, in a Watkins Glen garage. Only a few others, as well as about 50 resting racecars were in attendance.”
The qualifying lap before the crash put Brand in a good position for the start of Saturday’s race. Keeping the car together and staying ahead of his competition, Brand crossed the line first in his class.
“On the victory lap, the motor, which had also taken a significant jolt from the crash, finally relented,” Brand said. “The car came to a stop in a cloud of black smoke about halfway through the lap, and we were taken to Victory Lane on the back of a flatbed truck.”
While he ran only four races, back-to-back wins at Road Atlanta and Watkins Glen were enough to allow Brand to clinch the championship by four points. Brand won from the pole in all but the Sunday race at Road Atlanta, where he started second.