LEXINGTON, Ohio (September 24, 2016) – Kevin Boehm, of Marysville, Ohio, and Eric Kutil, of Columbus, Ohio, both climbed out of their Super Touring Lite cars after 23 laps around Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday at the SCCA Runoffs presented by Garmin VIRB having used up their brakes. But that didn’t slow the on-track action for the pair, with Boehm finishing 0.719-second ahead for his second consecutive National Championship. Cliff Ira, of Kansas City, Missouri, completed the podium.
That second championship didn’t come easy, though Boehm covered the 23 laps in 38:04.383, averaging 81.844 mph and turned the fastest lap of the race in 1:36.625 (84.127 mph).
Boehm’s No. 79 BFGoodrich/HPD/Hondata/Red Line Honda Civic Si left the field at the green flag from the Tire Rack pole position, and built a steady lead of over three seconds in the early stages of the race. Every tenth of that was necessary, as it turned out, when by lap 19, Kutil’s No. 82 Auto Assets Honda Civic Si was stuck to the bumper.
Boehm used his racing experience to deal with fading brakes late in the race, slowing into the Keyhole turn to get a good run out and down the back straight, then going just as fast as necessary to cool the brakes in the back part of the track.
Kutil tried several times to get by on the inside of the carousel – a notoriously difficult place to make a pass at Mid-Ohio. The two ran side by side on three different occasions, including coming to the white flag, but Boehm made sure to hold the inside line coming onto the short front straight, across the stripe, still in the lead.
“It’s really great to be up here on the top step again,” Boehm said. “When you’re at one of these events and the competitors are as good as they are here, it’s so rewarding to be able to pull it off. It’s such a long week, there’s so much that can go wrong. Even just putting it all together over the whole season to qualify just to be here is awesome. Congratulations to Eric and Cliff, they pushed me and the car to the limit. Definitely glad that people like that show up to the Runoffs, it’s not fun to just run away with it. Being forced to really look at every detail of the car and hit every mark, it’s really rewarding.”
Part of the Honda of America Racing Team, Kutil took a much different path to the Runoffs podium than most SCCA Club Racers. Just a year ago, Kutil attended his first track day – ever. Having enjoyed that, he decided to join his coworkers on the HART team, and got a racing license. With just about 365 days of experience in track activities, Kutil now has a silver medal.
“My brakes started getting pretty soft because I had some tiny rotors on there,” Kutil said. “I couldn’t brake where I wanted to, and the only corner I could maybe stick my nose was the Carousel. I may have given Kevin a couple of love bumps there, trying to get him out of the way. But it was a fun race. I didn’t want to dive bomb him and try to lock up or ruin both of our days, so I tried to play it safe and pass where it’s most possible.
“I don’t really have much experience, maybe video games when I was younger. I autocrossed when I was in college, and then last year I started doing track days and decided to buy a race car and try this out. I guess I had to learn pretty quick to keep up with these guys.”
With a third place finish on Saturday, Ira now has a complete set of podium finishes, following a win and a second in the last two years. Pushing hard, he had nothing for the top two places but was locked securely in third.
“I was digging as hard as I could, and usually when you’re behind you tend to dig a little bit deeper,” Ira said. “I did everything I could to try to catch up to these guys. I could see them. I tried to drive as smooth and as fast as I could, and usually my car is good on longer runs. It just didn’t have enough for them. Congratulations to Kevin and Eric, they drove a great race. I gave it all I had to not overdrive the car and be as smooth as I could. It’s good for us. It’s my second weekend here, ever, and I think we did as well as we could not spending a lot of time here. Love the track, love the facility, and had a lot of fun.”
Nick Leverone finished fourth in the No. 31 Flatout Motorsports/DrillMasters Mazda Miata, with Garret Dunn moving from 10th to fifth at the checkered flag in the No. 136 Dunns Welding/King Motorsports Honda CRX Si. Eric Thompson was the big mover of the race, launching from 24th to 12th in the No. 187 Flatout Motorsports/Kevin Thompson Mazda Miata to win the Sunoco Hard Charger.
The 53rd SCCA National Championship Runoffs presented by Garmin VIRB, the Pinnacle of American Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions this year at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, from Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25.
While the live broadcast of all 28 National Championships is available live at SCCA.com, each race will be on demand in the coming weeks.
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Provisional results for Saturday’s SCCA Super Touring Under National Championship at the 53rd SCCA National Championship Runoffs presented by Garmin VIRB at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (1), Kevin Boehm, Marysville, OH, Honda Civic Si, 23.
2, (3), Eric Kutil, Columbus, OH, Honda Civic Si, 23.
3, (2), Cliff Ira, Kansas City, MO, Acura Integra GS-R, 23.
4, (4), Nick Leverone, North Smithfield, RI, Mazda Miata, 23.
5, (10), Garret Dunn, Commerce Township, MI, Honda CRX Si, 23.
6, (6), Andrew Salzano, Marysville, OH, Honda Civic, 23.
7, (7), Darin Treakle, Broad Run, VA, Honda Civic Si, 23.
8, (11), Bob Beede, Northampton, MA, Honda Civic Coupe, 23.
9, (14), Brian Laughlin, Tulsa, OK, Mazda Miata, 23.
10, (16), Mike Taylor, Cumming, GA, Honda Civic, 23.
11, (18), Clint Boisdeau, Los Angeles, CA, Honda Civic, 23.
12, (24), Eric Thompson, Aberdeen, NJ, Mazda Miata, 23.
13, (17), Ken Kannard, Sebring, FL, Mazda Miata, 23.
14, (15), Greg Amy, Middletown, CT, Honda CivicSI, 23.
15, (19), John Hainsworth, Marlton, NJ, Mazda RX-7, 23.
16, (23), Joseph Ebben, Mequon, WI, Acura RSX Type S, 23.
17, (8), Kevin Ruck, Pearsall, TX, Honda Civic, 23.
18, (22), Steven Sancricca, Grand Blanc, MI, Honda CRX, 23.
19, (25), Bernard Naegele, Geneva, NY, Acura Integra GS-R, 22.
20, (20), Thomas Smith, Evesham, NJ, Mazda RX-7, 22.
21, (26), Thomas Lamb, Kalamazoo, MI, Honda CRX Si, 22.
22, (28), Brian Mangan, Wellington, FL, Mazda RX7, 22.
23, (30), Mark Utecht, Stacy, MN, Honda Civic, 22.
24, (34), David Palfenier, Hinkley, IL, Mazda Miata, 22.
25, (29), Lee Graser, Andersonville, TN, Mazda MX5, 22.
26, (31), Scott Bettinger, Haysville, KS, Mazda Miata, 21.
27, (9), Myles Gilsinger, Marysville, OH, Honda Civic Si, 18.
28, (12), Jeromey Mizer, Millersburg, OH, Honda Civic Si, 16.
29, (27), Kirk Knestis, Syracuse, NY, Acura Integra, 13.
30, (21), Oscar Jackson, Chino, CA, Scion FR-S, 8.
31, (5), John Schmitt, Sunbury, OH, Honda Prelude, 6.
DNS, (13), Andrie Hartanto, Concord, CA, Acura Integra, .
DNS, (32), Hugh McHaffie, Walpole, MA, Honda S2000, .
DNS, (33), Craig McHaffie, Walpole, MA, Mazda MX-5, .
Overall Time of Race: 38:04.383
Average Race Speed: 81.844 mph
Margin of Victory: 0.719 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: #79 Boehm, 1:36.625 (84.127 mph)
Sunoco Hard Charger: #187 Eric Thompson
Lap Leaders: Lap 1-23, #79 Boehm
Photo: Kevin Boehm has a mirror full of Eric Kutil on his way to an STL win.
Credit: Jay Bonvouloir