ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 22, 2013) – Three-times a bridesmaid, Greg Ira is now a Sports Car Club of America National Champion after on-track E Production race winner Matt Reynolds was penalized for last-lap contact in a battle for the lead at the 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America.
Ira, of Plantation, Fla., led in his No. 2 GlenMartin Nissan 260-Z as the field received the one-to-go signal. Recovering from an early-race spin in his No. 71 Reynolds Brothers Racing/Jesse Prather Mazda Miata, Reynolds ran Ira down, but made contact with the Nissan in Turn Eight, allowing the Mazda through and into the lead. On the track, Reynolds finished 0.173-second ahead of Ira.
Following the race, the SCCA Stewards of the Meet determined that Reynolds was in violation of General Competition Rules (GCR) sections 6.11.1.A, B, C and D relating to On Course Driver Conduct. He was moved back a total of three positions (one for the last-lap incident and two for an earlier incident), making the revised top three finishers Ira, Aaron Downey, of Rossmoor, Calif., and Chris Dryden, of New Freedom, Pa.
The race got off to an adventurous start, as two early leaders slid off course. Reynolds was battling with Jim Daniels on the third lap and took the lead when Daniels’ No. 76 TheRacingInsiders.com Mazda Miata slid off the track near the Kink. Moments later, Reynolds spun in Canada Corner on his own, and waited to rejoin the field as several cars passed him.
SafeRacer Polesitter Downey then took the point in his No. 5 roundpeg.com/Mazdaspeed Motorsports Mazda RX-3, but it was short-lived, as Ira was soon into the lead.
Having fallen back to 14th, Reynolds was on a tear through the field, setting the Hawk Performance Hot Lap of the Race with a time of 2:28.274 (97.117 mph) on lap six. He was back up to second place on lap 11, passing Downey for the position.
“The level of aggressiveness that some people have is different,” Ira said. “That might fly in another class, but a bump-and-run, for whatever the reason is, isn’t a good way to win if you ask me.
“These old cars we’re in, we really have to wheel them,” Ira added. “Winning with one of our older cars is difficult. But I was never comfortable. My head was always down, and I was always trying to click and hit my marks the best I could, for the exact reason that happened at the end. I told myself I was going to raise my aggressive level today because of our need to win so badly.”
“It was two very competitive drivers and two good drivers going for the same spot,” Reynolds said immediately following the race. “I chose my line, which was underneath, and there was just a little contact. It was a racing incident, and I did apologize to Greg.”
In the revised results, Ira’s margin of victory was 8.362 seconds, averaging 90.441 mph.
Downey bounced around the top five, and led lap three in the No. 5 roundpeg.com/Mazdaspeed Motorsports Mazda RX-3. In the end, he was only 0.201-second ahead of Dryden the new third-place finisher in the No. 02 PayPal/Carbotech BMW Z3.
“We were just off on the setup,” said Downey, the recipient of the GoPro Move of the Race after drifting through the Carousel early in the race. “I never lost sight of the leaders. Yes, I did lead a couple times during the race, but I never felt like I had a winning car.”
Reynolds was placed fourth in the final results, one position ahead of Jesse Prather, of Topeka, Kan., who drove the No. 34 Jesse Prather Motorsports/Mazdaspeed/Hoosier Mazda MX-5.
Philip Royle in the No. 42 CureSarcoma.org/Electromotive Mazda RX-7 picked up the Sunoco Hard Charger, advancing 18 spots from 34th to 16th.
The 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Road America, Friday, September 20 through Sunday, September 22.
Follow all the live timing and scoring and get results at www.scca.com/runoffs. Live Twitter stream is available @SCCALive. Follow this weekend’s races on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SCCAOfficial.
The live broadcast of all 28 National Championship races will be available through Sunday at www.SpeedcastTV.com/scca and later available On Demand from the same site.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Final results for Sunday’s SCCA E Production national championship at the 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America, with finish position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (4), Greg Ira, Plantation, FL, Nissan 260-Z, 13.
2, (1), Aaron Downey, Rossmoor, CA, Mazda RX-3, 13.
3, (5), Chris Dryden, New Freedom, PA, BMW Z3, 13.
4, (3), Matt Reynolds, Boerne, TX, Mazda Miata, 13.
5, (6), Jesse Prather, Topeka, KS, Mazda MX-5, 13.
6, (10), Kevin Leigh, Harrisonburg, VA, BMW Z3, 13.
7, (7), Kenneth W Shreve, Sammamish, WA, Mazda RX-7, 13.
8, (11), James Simaras, Oconomowoc, WI, Mazda RX-7, 13.
9, (9), Sam Halkias, Westerville, OH, Triumph TR6, 13.
10, (13), John Morton, El Segundo, CA, Nissan 240-Z, 13.
11, (18), Don Bunt, Rockford, IL, Nissan 240-Z, 13.
12, (16), Lance Loughman, Lake Zurich, IL, Nissan 240-Z, 13.
13, (12), Steve Smyczek, Brookfield, WI, Mazda RX-7, 13.
14, (35), Robert E. Hummel, McHenry, IL, Mazda RX-7, 13.
15, (19), Charlie Clark, Mission, KS, Mazda RX-7, 13.
16, (34), Philip Royle, Winnetka, CA, Mazda RX-7, 13.
17, (26), Peter Morton, Milford, MI, Honda S2000, 13.
18, (24), Brian Haupt, Spring Hill, KS, Mazda RX-7, 13.
19, (25), Richard Luening, Milwaukee, WI, MG B, 12.
20, (33), Sydney Davis, Angleton, TX, Mazda Miata, 12.
21, (29), James Malone, Willcox, AZ, Porsche 944, 12.
22, (38), George Olsen, Barrington, IL, Austin-Healey 3000, 12.
23, (21), Michael Helm, Union, OH, Toyota MR-2, 11.
24, (2), Jim Daniels, Germantown, TN, Mazda Miata, 10.
25, (8), Rick Kavitski, Freeland, PA, Mazda Miata, 10.
26, (14), Rick Kosdrosky, Granbury, TX, Caterham 7 America, 7.
27, (32), Dan Hedley, Gorham, ON, Honda Prelude Si, 7.
28, (20), Tony Jimerson, Benicia, CA, Mazda RX-7, 6.
DNF, (15), Gary Gist, Del Mar, CA, Mazda RX-7, 3.
DNF, (23), Ron Olsen, Barrington, IL, Mazda RX-7, 2.
DNF, (30), Dwight Cooke, Greensboro, NC, Triumph TR4, 2.
DNF, (17), Rob Coffey, Thunder Ray, ON, Honda Prelude Si, 1.
DNF, (31), Rich Olsen, South Barrington, IL, Mazda RX-7, 1.
DNS, (22), Steve Hussey, Capitola, CA, Mazda Miata.
DNS, (27), Chris Stevens, Shawnee, KS, Mazda RX-7.
DNS, (28), Donald Walsh, Orrtanna, PA, Mazda RX-7.
DNS, (37), Jon Brakke, Fargo, ND, Mazda Miata.
Overall Time of Race: 34:29.864
Average Race Speed: 90.441 mph
Margin of Victory: 8.535 seconds
Hawk Performance Fastest Race Lap: Matt Reynolds, 2:28.274 (97.117 mph), Record
Sunoco Hard Charger: #42 Philip Royle
Lap Leaders: Lap 1, #76 Daniels; Lap 2, #71 Reynolds; Lap 3, #5 Downey, Laps 4-9, #2 Ira; Lap 10, #76 Daniels; Laps 11-12, #2 Ira; Lap 13, #71 Reynolds.
Note: Reynolds penalized three positions per SCCA GCR 6.11.1.A, B, C, D