ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 20, 2013) – Lawrence Loshak, of Grafton, Wis., drove from last to first to capture his first Formula 1000 title at the 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Road America. Lucian Pancea, of Bellevue, Wash., and Brandon Dixon, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., completed the podium.
Loshak was the SafeRacer Formula 1000 polesitter, but was late to the grid. In fact, he was still getting buckled into his No. 2 JDR/ETE REMAN/Moon Super Cycle JDR F1000 Suzuki when the entire FB grid left for the pace lap.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Loshak said explaining being late to the grid. “Our crew has been together for over a decade. I have no idea how we did that. We were driving up to the grid all nice and calm. When I drove up and they told me there was one minute to go, and then 30 seconds they were going to let the field go. I can’t express that feeling, especially when you’re sitting on the pole.”
Loshak was at the back of the field when the race went green. He passed 16 cars and was up to fifth after the first circuit. From there, he consistently turned fast race laps, including setting the Hawk Hot Lap with a 2.29.859 (96.090 mph).
On the final lap, and without any communication from his team, Loshak did not know he was in second coming down the front straight. He passed Pancea for the lead before Turn 1 and held on to capture his first-career Formula 1000 National Championship by 6.391-seconds at an average speed of 91.116 mph.
“I had no idea what position I was in because I got out so late,” Loshak said. “I didn’t have communications. My dash went out with the water. Every time I saw a car, my goal was to catch and pass them. I had no idea what position I was in. I knew I wasn’t slowing down until I saw that black and white thing. Mistakes were not an option. I tried to bring home the best result I possibly could for JDR and my crew."
This win was Loshak’s third-career National Championship, following an E Production title in 2006 and a D Sports Racing win in 2010.
Pancea started fourth in the No. 92 Newport Villa/STOHR Cars Stohr F1000 Suzuki and passed Dixon for race lead in Turn 8 on the first lap. From there, he was the race leader for the next 12 laps and led at the stripe starting the final circuit. Pancea finished second, a career-best finish at this event.
“The first part [of the race] was kind of easy,” Pancea said. “I checked my mirrors and saw that I had built a good gap. I thought if I could keep this gap I’ll be good until the end. I heard on the radio that there were only five minutes to go and I kept pushing. But, the car started to get squirrely. I had a hard time putting the power down. I think my wet tires started to give way. It was too long in the dry. There was not too much standing water. I saw Lawrence coming. I said I am going to keep it clean and see how it goes. I’m happy to be here. I’m glad it was possible for me to be here for the 50th anniversary.”
Dixon, the Formula 1000 defending National Champion, grabbed the early lead in the No. 1 GDRE/GC&G Services/Hoosier/PFC/Hype Citation 1000, but it did not last long. Pancea passed him halfway through the first lap. Dixon was in second until the penultimate lap when Loshak passed him for position. Dixon held on to finish third.
“I got a good start,” Dixon said. “I was sort of even, or maybe even a wheel up on Jeremy [Hill], as we went into one and was able to take the lead. I was trying to keep whatever pace I could, but Lucian was too quick on that lap. He got a better run out of seven and got by nice and clean on the way into eight.
“Lawrence got by on the next to the last lap. I was struggling little bit putting the power down coming off [the corners]. He drove by me in five.
“It’s great to be here. Third is never your target [finish]. But, it’s great to be on the podium. The 50th was a big deal. We weren’t going to miss this. The history of this event means a lot to me."
Steve Ott, of Houston, finished fourth in the No. 3 Hoosier Tires/Rilltec/Astra Cars Astra Summerhawk. Jose Gerardo, of El Paso, Texas finished fifth in the No. 14 General Labels & Printing L.L.C.
Nicho Vardis was the Sunoco Hard Charger, starting 19th and finishing 12th.
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, 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 the SCCA Friday’s Formula 1000 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), Lawrence Loshak, Grafton, WI, JDR F1000 Suzuki, 13.
2, (4), Lucian Pancea, Bellevue, WA, Stohr F1000 Suzuki, 13.
3, (3), Brandon Dixon, Tuscaloosa, AL, Citation F1000, 13.
4, (7), Steve Ott, Houston, TX, Astra Summerhawk, 13.
5, (9), Jose Gerardo, El Paso, TX, Stohr F1000, 13.
6, (5), Brian Novak, Dearborn, MI, Nova-Piper F1000 Suzuki, 13.
7, (11), Tyler Thielmann, Kiel, WI, Van Diemen RF99 Suzuki, 13.
8, (13), Alex Mayer, Harleysville, PA, Elan DP04 Suzuki, 13.
9, (14), Mike Beauchamp, Green Bay, WI, Van Diemen RF99 Suzuki, 13.
10, (2), Jeremy Hill, Toronto, ON, PHOTON VD07 Suzuki, 13.
11, (8), John LaBrie, Draper, UT, Phoenix F1K.10 Suzuki, 13.
12, (19), Nicho Vardis, Sylvan Lake, MI, RFR F1000 Suzuki, 12.
13, (15), Michael Crowe, Jamestown, KY, Van Diemen RF00, 12.
14, (20), Terry Biner, Sandy, UT, RFR F1000 Suzuki, 12.
15, (21), Richard Franklin, Wilmington, NC, Stohr F1000 Suzuki, 11.
16, (18), James Michael, Fort Worth, TX, Stohr F1000 Suzuki, 10.
17, (17), Jason Slahor, Ellicott City, MD, Van Diemen RF98-F1000, 10.
18, (16), Jason Bell, Tampa, FL, Stohr F1000 Suzuki, 9.
DNF, (6), Jake Latham, Broomfield, CO, Stohr F1000 Suzuki, 2.
DNF, (12), Juan R Marchand, South Haven, MI, NovaDiemen F1K Suzuki, 1.
DNF, (10), Christopher Ash, Centennial, CO, Astra SH-RR1, 0.
DNS, (22), J.R. Osborne, Englewood, CO, Citation F1 Suzuki.
DNS, (23), Glenn Cooper, Roswell, GA, RFR F1000 Suzuki.
Overall Time of Race: 34:14.514
Average Race Speed: 91.116 mph
Margin of Victory: 6.391 seconds
Hawk Fastest Race Lap: 2:29.859
Fastest Race Lap Average Speed: 96.090 mph
Sunoco Hard Charger: #08 Nicho Vardis
Lap Leaders: #92 – Laps 1-12, #2 – Lap 13