ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 22, 2013) – Michael Scornavacchi, of Matthews, N.C., stayed clear of a lengthy battle for the final podium positions to run practically unchallenged to the Touring 4 title at the 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs ®. Lance Stewart, of Miami, Fla., and Greg Vandersluis, of North Olmstead, Ohio, completed a Mustang sweep of the podium.
Scornavacchi became a two-time National Champion in the No. 2 Angry Sheep Motorsports/Carbotech Ford Mustang, averaging 88.720 mph in the 13-lap, 52-mile race on his way to a 1.948-second victory.
The new Touring 4 class is a combination of the previous Showroom Stock B and Showroom Stock C class, with Scornavacchi returning one year after claiming the final SSB title.
Scornavacchi started on the SafeRacer pole, got away at the start, and then hit his marks as the field battled for second through fifth behind him. The gap on the opening laps was enough for Scornavacchi to set sail for the title.
“The first one was the toughest one, because I should have probably won this thing a couple of other times when it was back in Topeka and something would always seem to go wrong,” Scornavacchi said. “This year, things kind of worked out. Qualifying is so important here, because as you saw behind me, there were just all kinds of stuff going on. So I could kind of set a pace. This one is a little bit more special, because the other was the first one and it seemed like it was never going to happen.”
Stewart, who finished second behind Scornavacchi for the second-consecutive year, worked through the field quickly in the No. 31 Specialty Vehicle Logistics/BFGoodrich Tires Ford Mustang from his eighth spot on the grid. Stewart was fifth by the end of the opening lap, then began to climb through the contenders.
Getting to the front required Stewart to pass several cars. He picked off the No. 24 HPD/Honda Racing/BFGoodrich Tires Honda Civic of Matthew Staal on lap two to move to fourth, then battled with Brian Price’s No. 51 RP Performance/Performance Auto Works Mazda MX-5 for two laps.
Stewart’s Mustang had the power to get by Price’s Mazda on the front straight, but the Mazda was quicker through the back part of the track and under braking. Stewart made an impressive pass through Turn 13 to earn the GoPro Hero Move of the Race and get clear of Price for good.
Next up for Stewart in the swarm of T4 cars was Lee Niffenegger’s No. 42 Honda Racing/HPD/BFGoodrich Tires Honda Civic Si. Stewart moved to second position in Canada Corner, and set his sights on Scornavacchi.
Stewart closed to Scornavacchi, but was too far behind at the start of the chase. For the second-consecutive year, Stewart stayed one step below the class champion on the podium. On his way to second place, he turned the Hawk Performance Hot Lap in 2:41.499 (89.165 mph).
“Eighth is probably not the best place to start the race because of his [Scornavacchi’s] car,” Stewart said. “He was driving it really well. The first two turns, it was a battle. It was just a big rugby scrum and we were trying to gain a position wherever we could. There was a lot of late braking going on. Then, it was just trying to catch Mike. But he was driving well, his car was working well, and he was too far ahead. We gave it all we had.
“It’s three times in a row, essentially, that I’ve been second-place in that car here. It’s kind of frustrating, I really wish I could have done better. But he did a good job, you can’t fault him. We’ve just got to try harder.”
Vandersluis’ No. 93 Carbotech/BFGoodrich Tires/Ford Racing Ford Mustang started second, and got a bump on the opening lap in turn five and ran wide, falling to sixth.
From there, Vandersluis followed much of the path that Stewart did, working his way to third in not only his first Runoffs appearance, but his first visit to Road America.
“The start was decent,” Vandersluis said. “We got going into Turn 5, and there was a lot of traffic everywhere. Getting down on the brakes, one of the MX-5s punted me pretty hard. I almost completely spun out, and luckily nobody hit me and I was able to continue. I knew that whatever I dropped to wasn’t going to cut it, and I had to make a drive up.”
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I started second and usually I like to improve on that, but everything happens for a reason. I’m just glad of my drive, I could get all the way up to third.”
Niffenegger finished fourth, followed by Price.
Tom Daly improved seven positions in the No. 20 Luther Westside VW/BFGoodrich Tires Volkswagen Rabbit, finishing 15th and winning the Sunoco Hard Charger.
The 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, crowned Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Road America, Friday, Sept. 20 through Sunday, Sept. 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. - Provisional results for Sunday’s Touring 4 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, (1), Michael Scornavacchi, Matthews, NC, Ford Mustang V6, 13.
2, (8), Lance Stewart, Miami, FL, Ford Mustang V6, 13.
3, (2), Greg Vandersluis, North Olmsted, OH, Ford Mustang V6, 13.
4, (3), Lee Niffenegger, Santa Clarita, CA, Honda Civic SI, 13.
5, (4), J Brian Price, Middletown, VA, Mazda MX-5, 13.
6, (6), Matthew Staal, Torrance, CA, Honda Civic SI, 13.
7, (9), Andrew von Charbonneau, Boca Raton, FL, Ford Mustang, 13.
8, (7), Ralph Porter, Kokomo, IN, BMW Z4 2.5, 13.
9, (11), Steven Zink, Fort Worth, TX, Ford Mustang V6, 13.
10, (5), Michael Collins, Mount Airy, MD, Mazda MX-5, 13.
11, (10), Jim Ebben, Appleton, WI, Mazda RX-8, 13.
12, (12), Toby Grahovec, Royal Oak, MI, BMW Z4 2.5, 13.
13, (13), Paul Gargiulo, Weston, CT, Honda Civic SI, 13.
14, (14), Stan Czacki, Truth Or Consequences, NM, Acura RSX Type-S, 13.
15, (22), Tom Daly, Minneapolis, MN, Volkswagen Rabbit, 13.
16, (18), Victor Van Tress, West Hills, CA, Mazda MX-5, 13.
17, (16), Lothar Kremer, Franktown, CO, Chevrolet Camaro, 13.
18, (17), James Place, San Antonio, TX, Ford Mustang, 13.
19, (20), Steven Christopher, Olathe, KS, Mazda 3s, 12.
20, (19), Keith Jones, Lorain, OH, Mazda Miata, 12.
DNS, (15), Kristina Etherington, Henderson, NV, Ford Mustang V6, .
DNS, (21), Mark McCaughey, Sarasota, FL, Toyota Celica GTS, .
Overall Time of Race: 35:10.002
Average Race Speed: 88.720 mph
Margin of Victory: 1.948 seconds
Hawk Fastest Race Lap: 2:41.499
Fastest Race Lap Average Speed: 89.165 mph
Sunoco Hard Charger: #20 Tom Daly
Lap Leaders: #2 – Laps 1-13
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