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Cooper Captures First-Career Formula F SCCA National Runoffs Championship at Road America

Lewis Cooper wins Formula F National Championship Lewis Cooper wins Formula F National Championship View Full Size

 

Cooper Captures First-Career Formula F SCCA National Runoffs Championship at Road America
 
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 24, 2011) – Lewis Cooper, of Grosse Point, Mich., drove an impressive race capturing his first-career Formula F National Championship at the 48th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. William Valet, of Coram, N.Y., and Tim Kautz, of Geneva, Ill., completed the podium.
 
Cooper, the Gumout pole winner, got a great jump in the No. 0 Polestar/Martini/Voss Van Diemen RF00 Ford and took the early lead. He led the first four laps before Reid Hazelton passed him in the No. 01 Hoosier/Farley Engineering/Primus Racing/Linds Van Diemen RF92 Ford for the lead. This back-and-forth battle continued for the next four laps before Hazelton pulled into pit lane with a mechanical issue. At that point, Cooper had a more than 10-second lead and cruised to victory. He won by 12.146-seconds over Valet.
 
“Reid [Hazelton] caught me and I couldn’t really see anybody else at that point behind him, so I figured it was just better to stay in line, drive a few laps, click them off and see what would happen,” Cooper said. “I tried a few things so I knew where I could get by him if we all stuck around to the end there and going down into [Turn] Five, he pulled off. I don’t know what exactly happened going down the straightaway there, but after that, we just kept trying to hit our marks and turn some good lap times.”
 
“It’s a great feeling [to win]. We’ve had a long year. We tried a whole bunch of new stuff starting in Florida in January and it just kind of came together at the right time.”
 
Valet, who started fifth in the Loyning’s Engines/Goodyear Tires Swift DB-6 Ford, spent most of the second half of the 13-lap race battling Kautz for position. In fact, on the last lap Valet was third and Kautz was second. Valet figured he’d settle for third, but got a good run on Kautz in Turn One and passed him for second, a position he did not relinquish.
 
“We threw the hard tire on and prayed for warm weather, which we didn’t get, so we kind of lost a little bit on the first lap,” Valet said. “But, I caught Tim [Kautz] and we fought a little bit and we wound up working together. That was the best thing that could happen during the race. We needed two cars to push towards Cliff [Johnson].”
 
“Honestly, I wasn’t planning on getting him [Kautz] in Turn One. The last lap I tried it as a test to see what would happen and he got by me later in the lap, but I got a little bit of drive coming out of 14 and got alongside him climbing the hill. I was hoping that I could get through the corners a little better coming down into Five. It worked out. I can’t complain about that.”
 
Kautz started 11th in the No. 88 Braeburn/Two Dogg/Hoosier/Euroquipe Piper DF-3D Ford and it did not take him long to work his way through the field. By lap two, he was fifth and was second by lap nine. The defending Formula F National Champion worked hard to fend off a hard charging Valet, but had to settle for third on the final lap. Kautz was the Sunoco Hard Charger for advancing eight positions.
 
“A lot of it was attrition,” Kautz said. “I worked well with Bill [Valet]. We started off trying to figure out who was going to lead the point and Bill was quicker down the straightaways and I was a little quicker in the corners. We decided, you know what, I’m just going to stay behind him on the straightaways and work together and we moved forward.
 
“We had engine troubles all weekend. This is our fourth motor of this event. I’ve got to thank the people who lent them to me. Cliff Johnson lent me his spare motor and Bill Kephart and John Taylor. I’ve had all three of their motors in my car this weekend along with the one I came with. It wouldn’t be possible without everybody’s generosity here of giving me their good motors.
 
“We were down a little bit on horsepower, but we worked well with Bill. Obviously, all three of us ran smart races, but I had to work well with Bill in order to get up there. I had a good start as well.”
 
“When we got past Cliff Johnson, he was working with Bill and they got a good run into [Turn] One, and Bill got by me. I thought, ‘That’s not a bad place to be on the last lap.’ We came around that backmarker and it ruined my drive through 14. I had done it a couple of previous laps. I had gotten beside him by the stripe, but with breaking a little bit of my momentum, it wasn’t going to happen.”
 
Russell Ruedisueli, of Rochester Hills, Mich, finished fourth in the No. 20 Goodyear/Williams Engines Van Diemen RF98 Ford. David Livingston, of Nashville, Tenn., finished fifth in the No. 85 Swift DB-3/89 Ford.
 
Hazelton turned the Hawk Fastest Lap of the race with a 2:21.053 (102.089 mph).
 
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. - Provisional Results from Saturday’s Formula F National Championship Race, part of the 48th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America with finish position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
 
1, (1), Lewis Cooper, Grosse Pointe, MI, Van Diemen RF00 Ford, 13.
2, (5), William Valet, Coram, NY, Swift DB-6 Ford, 13.
3, (11), Tim Kautz, Geneva, IL, Piper DF-3D Ford, 13.
4, (10), Russell Ruedisueli, Rochester Hills, MI, Van Diemen RF99 Ford, 13.
5, (13), David H. Livingston Jr., Nashville, TN, Swift DB-3/89 Ford, 13.
6, (6), John Benson, Dade City, FL, Swift DB-1 Ford, 13.
7, (15), Wesley Cunningham, Houston, TX, Swift DB-6 Ford, 13.
8, (8), Bill Kephart, Colorado Springs, CO, Vestal 09F Ford, 13.
9, (12), Randy Acock, Robstown, TX, Van Diemen RF98 Ford, 13.
10, (16), James Stiehr, Evergreen, CO, Swift DB-6 Ford, 13.
11, (18), David Loken, Littleton, CO, Swift DB-1 Honda, 13.
12, (14), Allen Wheatcroft, Chicago, IL, Van Diemen RF98K Ford, 13.
13, (17), John Vlasis, Cudahy, WI, Piper DF-2H Honda, 13.
14, (19), Mark Keller, Snohomish, WA, Piper DF-05 Ford, 13.
15, (22), John Luxon, West Chicago, IL, Piper DF-2 Ford, 13.
16, (4), Cliff Johnson, Leawood, KS, Piper DF-5 Ford, 12.
17, (9), Mike Sauce, Arlington, TX, Sauce SVM1 Ford, 12.
18, (2), Scott Rubenzer, Brookfield, WI, Citation 95FF Ford, 10.
19, (3), Reid Hazelton, Burlington, WI, Van Diemen RF92 Ford, 8.
DNF, (7), Jeff Bartz, Plymouth, WI, Reynard Ford, 3.
DNF, (21), Stan Townes, Santa Clara, CA, Swift DB-1 Ford, 0.
DNS, (20), Dan Murphy, Eden Prairie, MN, Van Diemen RF00K Honda, 0.
 
Overall Time of Race: 30:54.768
Average Race Speed: 100.929 mph
Margin of Victory: 12.146 seconds
Hawk Fastest Race Lap: #01 Reid Hazelton, 2:21.053 (102.089 mph)
Sunoco Hard Charger: #88 Tim Kautz

Lap Leaders: #0 Lewis Cooper Laps 1 - 4, 6, 8 – 14, #01 Reid Hazelton Laps 5, 7