LEXTINGTON, Ohio (June 2, 2012) – More than 200 drivers competed Saturday in the Ohio Valley Region/Cincinnati Region Race of Champions National race, the precursor to Sunday’s BFGoodrich Tires Great Lakes SCCA Super Tour.
After qualifying in the rain on Friday, Saturday’s seven race groups were often jumbled, with many fast cars needing to come through the field to challenge for race wins.
One driver leading from start-to-finish was Group One overall winner Rob Huffmaster, of Clarkston, Mich. Huffmaster started his www.VirSecServices.com Pontiac Solstice GXP first in Super Touring® Under and overall and led flag-to-flag to score the victory. While Huffmaster took the win, it was second-finishing Eric Heinrich who set the new track record in his BMW M3 E30, with a 1:37.610 (88.516 mph). Steve Jenkins finished third overall, leading all the way in Touring 2 to take the win in his Trim-Tex/BRM/HRE Wheels/Fall Line Porsche 911.
Chad Gilsinger won Touring 3, setting a new track record in the process with a 1:40.935 (85.600 mph) in his HPD/BFG/Alpinestars/H&R/OS Giken Honda S2000. Andrew Charbonneau also set a new track record of 1:43.789 (83.246 mph) en route to winning Showroom Stock B in his Black Forest Cake with a Tall Glass of Milk Ford Mustang. Steven Christopher won SSC in his Parental Control/BFG/Hawk MAZDA3.
Scott Rettich, of Camden, Ohio, won his first of two races Saturday in Group Two, lowering his own Spec Racer Ford track record in the process, with a 1:39.323 (86.989 mph) in the Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash/PDI Communications entry. Jason Wolfe finished second, followed by Lauren Scarpace.
Once he cleared the Formula Vees that qualified ahead of him in the rain, 2010 National Champion Tim Kautz, of Geneva, Ill., had a clear path to the Group Three victory in Formula F in his Braeburn/Two Dogg/Hoosier/Euroquipe Piper. Defending Runoffs Champion Lewis Cooper III came from 17th overall on the grid to finish second, 16 seconds back.
In Formula Vee, Jeff Loughead started ninth on the grid in his Hoosier Tire/LL Loughead DDS Vortech and set the fastest lap of the race for his class, but it wasn’t quite enough to beat polesitter Michael Varacins and his Speed Sport/Veetech/Hoosier Vortech CR04. Brian Brothers took Formula 500 in his T&R Fabrication TR1 Stinger.
After winning SSB earlier in the morning, Andrew Charbonneau, of Delray Beach, Fla., had to work from sixth on the Spec Miata grid to get to the front for Group Four. He held the lead from lap five onward, fending off a charging Alex Bolanos, who started 15th on the grid. Bolanos turned the races’ fastest lap by nearly one second, but came up 0.234-second behind Charbonneau in the end.
Group Five for Production and GT-Lite saw 2009 E Production National Champion Sam Halkias lead from the pole in his Catawba Island Marina Triumph TR-6. Halkias built up a comfortable lead before John Schmitt, of Sunbury, Ohio, made his way through traffic from his 14th position on the grid, running Halkias down, taking the lead and subsequent overall and E Production win in his Red Line Oil/Hoosier Tire Honda Prelude. Halkias held off the Kryderacing Mazda RX-7 of Gary Martz for the race’s final 10 laps to finish second.
The best battle in Group five was for H Production. The class boasted seven National Championships between three drivers—Tom Feller (four), Ron Bartell (two) and Greg Gauper (one), and each led at one point along with Matt Brannon’s Midwest-Bayless Italian Auto Fiat X1/9. Gauper led from the pole in the Rana Mort Racing/Goodyear Honda Civic, but quickly found himself in a battle with Brannon and, later, Bartell’s Hoosier Tire MG Midget. The trio traded the lead and was soon joined by Feller, who started well back in the field in his DJ Race/West MI Imports/Brinks Machine Triumph Spitfire. Feller worked his way to the front, and slowly pulled away to take the win over Bartell, who just held off Gauper at the stripe.
Kevin Ruck led flag-to-flag to win F Production in his Hoosier/Honda/Cobalt Acura Integra, his primary competition of Joe Walker and Rob Futcher’s Lotus Super Sevens both experiencing problems. Bill Pintaric won GT-Lite in his Kryderacing/WRP Investments Nissan 200SX over the similar car of Bryan Floyd.
In Group Six, Sedat Yelkin, of Austintown, Ohio, got a big jump at the start to take the lead from his sixth grid position in Turn One. He and polesitter Hans Peter traded the lead over the next two laps, before Yelkin put his EVERCLEAR Swift 008a up front for good, beating Peter to the overall and Formula Atlantic® win by 10.472 seconds. Scott Rettich took his second win of the day, this time in Formula Enterprises. Jeremy Hill won Formula 1000 in his Hoosier Tire Photon VD07 and Robert Allaer won Formula Continental® in his Voss/Martini – LTD Motorsports Van Diemen. In Formula Mazda, Steve Jenks emerged victorious in his High Impact Company Star Mazda.
Sports Racers shared the group, and David Watson passed Jacek Mucha shortly after a mid-race restart to take C Sports Racing in his Stohr WF1. Greg Bell took D Sports Racing in his The Door Company/Young Racing Stohr WF1. Driving the No. 00 Hoosier Tires/Carbotech Brakes Carbir normally piloted by his father John, Corey Fergus won Sports 2000.
Group Seven for big bore classes was a runaway for Amy Ruman, of Kent, Ohio. The only woman to win a Trans Am Series race (Road Atlanta, 2011), Ruman started from the pole in her McNichols/Goodyear/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette and sped away to a 21.483 second victory over Ryan McMasters’ Ford Mustang.
Tom Patton survived an early spin to come back and win GT-2 in his Tire Discounters/Red Line Oil/Goodyear Sunbeam Tiger. Reigning Touring 1 National Champion John Buttermore led all the way in his Hoosier/Carbotech/Stoptech Chevrolet Corvette. Freddy Baker led early in Super Touring® Over before David Pintaric went to the point in his Kryderacing/Hoosier/Carbotech/WRP Investments Dodge Viper. While Pintaric lowered his own track record, he didn’t make it past lap 10, allowing Baker’s Porsche Beachwood/Goodyear Porsche 911 Carrera to take the win. Joe Kristensen won GT-3 in his Acura RSX. Tom Sloe topped a 10-car American Sedan field in his No. 74 Hutter Racing Eng/Hoosier/Russell Auto Center Ford Mustang.
Qualifying for Sunday’s BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour races concludes in the morning, with the first race group taking the green flag at approximately 9:30 a.m. (EDT). Live Timing and Scoring as well as Live Audio links are available at the event home page here: http://www.scca.com/events/index.cfm?eid=3708.
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