Goulart Wins Spec Miata Thriller for Championship
Updated 7:55 p.m., September 25, 2011
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 24, 2011) – Elivan Goulart, of Shelton, Conn., captured his third National Championship Saturday, winning the Spec Miata race at the 48th SCCA National Championship Runoffs® held at Road America in thrilling fashion with a last-lap pass for the lead over Steven Gorriaran. Andrew Charbonneau, of Delray Beach, Fla., and Voytek Burdzy, of Algonquin, Ill., completed the podium after post-race decisions disqualified Gorriaran and Sammy Valafar.
Gumout polesitter Jim Drago got the jump on the field in his No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata over third starting Gorriaran and his No. 44 Gorrila Racing/Driven Performance/Meathead Racing entry. Gorriaran, the 2009 National Champion, made a move for the lead between turns seven and eight. The two touched, and Drago slid sideways into the turn eight runoff and out of contention.
From there, Gorriaran battled second-starting Goulart (No. 73 SAC Racing/www.SCDA1.com) and fifth-starting Danny Steyn (No. 39 Adept Studios/Rossini Engines/Traqmate) for the lead. Goulart and Gorriaran broke away and worked together to make it a two-car battle for the win.
The penultimate lap saw the two trade the lead at least three times, with Gorriaran out front as they took the one lap to go signal. He held on through the turn one and five brake zones, but ran wide in turn eight, allowing Goulart to get a run on the outside entering the Carousel, where he took the lead for good.
Goulart beat Gorriaran to the stripe by 0.434-second, averaging 80.089 mph in the 13-lap, 52-mile race that was slowed for two laps by caution.
Gorriaran was disqualified after the race for his contact with Drago.
“This feels awesome,” Goulart said. “It’s my first shot at the Runoffs since 2002, so that makes it three-in-a-row, which is awesome. It was a pretty exciting race for me. At the start, I got shuffled back a bit. I started on the outside, which made it more challenging. I tried to keep my cool. And then there was the yellow and that bunched everything back up. Eventually I made my way up to the lead. Gorriaran and I kind of checked out. The last two laps were pretty close quarters—it was tight racing and clean racing from Gorriaran.
“My plan was to take the lead and try to check out, but obviously that didn’t happen with Gorriaran behind me. I think he ran a little wide on the last lap in [turn] eight and I made the outside move [in the Carousel]. From there I just tried to do a good lap and get to the finish first.”
Goulart earned the Hawk Fastest Race Lap award for his record-setting 2:43.899 (87.859 mph).
Behind the leaders, the battle was fierce for the final step on the podium. Steyn ran in the top five all day, but fell back on lap 11 after contact with Voytek Burdzy’s No. 71 Advanced Autosports entry, promoting defending Champion Andrew Charbonneau to the spot. On the final lap, Valafar, of Las Vegas, Nev., made a move to take the spot in his No. 78 MiataPartsSource.com/SpecEStore.com entry before being disqualified for a post-race technical infraction.
Charbonneau inherited second in his No. 1 Jeffy Boy Racing entry and then dashed off to run the next race in Showroom Stock B. Burdzy, of Algonquin, Ill., finished third.
Chip Van Vurst, of Pompano Beach, Fla., captured the Sunoco Hard Charger award in his No. 57 Autotechnik Miata, advancing from 35th and last to finish fourth after not turning a time during qualifying. Steyn finished fifth once the final results were posted.
Now in its 48th year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs annually crowns Champions in the Sports Car Club of America?s Club Racing classes. The live broadcast of all 28 National Championship races will be available throughout the weekend at www.SpeedcastTV.com/scca and later available On Demand from the same site.
Follow the action on Twitter @SCCAOfficial or the SCCA, Inc. Official Facebook page at facebook.com/sccaofficial. More information is available at www.scca.com.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Results from Saturday’s Spec Miata SCCA National Championship race from Road America, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (2), Elivan Goulart, Shelton, CT, Mazda Miata, 13.
2, (9), Andrew Charbonneau, Delray Beach, FL, Mazda Miata, 13.
3, (8), Voytek Burdzy, Algonquin, IL, Mazda Miata, 13.
4, (35), Chip Van Vurst, Pompano Beach, FL, Mazda Miata, 13.
5, (5), Danny Steyn, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Mazda Miata, 13.
6, (10), Alexander Bolanos, Miami, FL, Mazda Miata, 13.
7, (17), Craig Berry, Tyler, TX, Mazda Miata, 13.
8, (23), Tom Brown, Muskego, WI, Mazda Miata, 13.
9, (12), Brian Ghidinelli, San Rafael, CA, Mazda Miata, 13.
10, (20), Adam Poland, Mount Vernon, TX, Mazda Miata, 13.
11, (7), Shawn Slattery, Chicago, IL, Mazda Miata, 13.
12, (11), Jerret Gerber, Dodgeville, WI, Mazda Miata, 13.
13, (19), Michael Collins, Mount Airy, MD, Mazda Miata, 13.
14, (22), Harry Manning, Racine, WI, Mazda Miata, 13.
15, (6), Tom Sager, Naperville, IL, Mazda Miata, 13.
16, (25), Charlie Campbell, Corry, PA, Mazda Miata, 13.
17, (24), Steven Powers, Mesa, AZ, Mazda Miata, 13.
18, (28), David Palfenier, Naperville, IL, Mazda Miata, 13.
19, (21), Tom Kraft, Des Moines, IA, Mazda Miata, 13.
20, (26), Tyler Dahl, Spanish Fork, UT, Mazda Miata, 13.
21, (30), Phil Cummings, Colorado Springs, CO, Mazda Miata, 13.
22, (31), Ted Cahall, Bellevue, WA, Mazda Miata, 13.
23, (29), David Pintaric, Canfield, OH, Mazda Miata, 13.
24, (32), James Suhr, Springboro, OH, Mazda Miata, 13.
25, (14), Christopher Haldeman, Anna, TX, Mazda Miata, 12.
26, (33), Randy Cummings, Herriman, UT, Mazda Miata, 12.
27, (1), Jim Drago, Memphis, TN, Mazda Miata, 10.
DNF, (15), David Bednarz, Ann Arbor, MI, Mazda Miata, 0.
DNS, (3), L. Patrick Sandlin, Cordova, TN, Mazda Miata, 0.
DNS, (16), Tom Fowler, Cumming, GA, Mazda Miata, 0.
DNS, (18), Tony Coello, East Troy, WI, Mazda Miata, 0.
DNS, (27), Luke Bickham, Dallas, TX, Mazda Miata, 0.
DQ, (4), Steven Gorriaran, Providence, RI, Mazda Miata, 13.
DQ, (13), Sammy Valafar, Las Vegas, NV, Mazda Miata, 13.
Time of Race: 38:57.386
Winner's average speed: 80.089 mph
Fastest race lap: #44 Steven Gorriaran, 2:43.890 (87.864 mph)
Lap Leaders: 1, #44 Gorriaran; 2-3, #39 Steyn; 4, #44 Gorriaran; 5-6, #73 Goulart; 7, #44 Gorriaran; 8-11, #73 Goulart; 12, #44 Gorriaran; 13, #73 Goulart
Sunoco Hard Charger: #57 Chip Van Vurst