For Immediate Release:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (October 1, 2017) – Michael Varacins, of Burlington, Wisconsin, took his sixth SCCA Runoffs® win driving the No. 65 Hoosier/Speed Sport Engineering Speed Sport AM-5 to be crowned National Champion at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Following Varacins was second place Andrew Whitston, of Neenah, Wisconsin, driving the No. 12 Subway Protoform P2, and Brian Farnham, of Medina, Ohio, in the No. 15 Autowerks/Hoosier/Kearney Driver Development Silver Bullet SB1 coming to the checkered flag in third.
For Varacins, this championship was particularly special because some of his earliest racing memories are from when he chose to listen to the 1982 Indy 500 – at that time the closest Indy 500 finish in history - on the family van radio instead of playing at the park.
“Obviously, you can’t beat the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Varacins said, “It’s one of those things I’m not sure words can describe when you see the history of this place and pull into the same area that so many legends have before.”
Like Gordon Johncock at the 1982 Indy 500, Varacins didn’t get to victory lane without a fight. For the first three-quarters of the race, he and Whitston challenged each other, swapping the lead multiple times on some laps.
“It was pretty exciting there for the first few laps,” Varacins said. “I was trying to figure out where he was going to be on the last lap or where I was going to be on the last lap.”
Unlike the 1982 Indy 500, Varacins’ battle for the Runoffs win at Indianapolis would not come down to the finish. Whitston developed an issue which slowed his car, forcing him to give up the battle for the lead and focus on staying out of the clutches of a raging battle for third place.
“I was pushing very hard, I think even harder than when I was running with (Varacins),” Whitston said.
While the lead swapping and car drama went on at the front, the battle for third was intense between Farnham, Rick Shields, in the No. 77 ARS Inc/Vee Sport Racing/Autowerks FDF, and Roger Siebenaler, in the No. 72 Autowerks/Hoosier Mysterian M3.
On lap 17, the battle for third shook up when Farnham locked up and went wide in turn one, and Siebenaler pulled off a couple of corners later with apparent car trouble. Two laps later, lapped traffic enabled Farnham to get a run on Shields where the two made contact, leaving Shields in the gravel and Farnham with the Runoffs Bronze Medal.
“Unfortunately, (Shields) and I came together in the last corner,” Farnham said, “We came through the last complex and in the braking, he almost went off the track and we both banged wheels coming around the next corner.”
Completing the top five were Andrew Thomas Abbott, of Livonia, Michigan, in the No. 2
Hoosier/Car-O-Liner/Autowerks Vector AM-1 in fourth and Jeff Loughead, of Darien, Illinois, in the No. 8 Hoosier Vortech FV.
The Sunoco Hard Charger award went to Robert Posner, of Bellevue, Washington, driver of the No. 4 Protoform P3, who started in 32nd spot and finished 20th overall.
The 54th SCCA National Championship Runoffs, the Pinnacle of American Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Friday, September 29 through Sunday, Oct 1.
While the live broadcast of all 28 National Championships is available at SCCA.com and Motor Trend OnDemand, each race will be on demand in the coming weeks.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Provisional results for Sunday’s Formula V race at the 54th SCCA National Championship Runoffs from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (1), Michael Varacins, Burlington, WI, Speed Sport AM-5, 19.
2, (4), Andrew Whitston, Neenah, WI, Protoform P2, 19.
3, (2), Brian Farnham, Medina, OH, Silver Bullet SB1, 19.
4, (10), Andrew Thomas Abbott, Livonia, MI, Vector AM-1, 19.
5, (11), Jeff Loughead, Darien, IL, Vortech FV, 19.
6, (14), Charles Hearn, Houston, TX, Vortech FV, 19.
7, (9), Mitchell Ferguson, Moore, SC, Vorscha GB4, 19.
8, (5), Dennis Andrade, Silverlake, WA, Vortech FV, 19.
9, (15), Quinn Posner, Camas, WA, Protoform P3, 19.
10, (18), Mike Landon, Zionsville, IN, Protoform P2, 19.
11, (6), Brandon Abbott, Farmington Hills, MI, Vector AM-1, 19.
12, (23), Ron Wake, Lafayette, CA, Mysterian M3, 19.
13, (13), Ron Whitston, Neenah, WI, Protoform P2, 19.
14, (22), William Styczynski, Downers Grove, IL, Vortech FV, 19.
15, (21), Robert Neumeister, Pueblo, CO, Mysterian M3, 19.
16, (25), Mark Richardson, Washington, IL, Mysterian M3, 19.
17, (20), John Petillo, Acton, MA, SpeedSport V, 19.
18, (28), Mark Edwards, Los Angeles, CA, Glamdring, 19.
19, (29), Colin Lawrence, Shanghai, SH, BRD AFV-01, 19.
20, (32), Robert Posner, Bellevue, WA, Protoform P3, 19.
21, (33), David Satterley, Belleville, MI, Protoform P3, 19.
22, (12), Rick Shields, Bridgeville, PA, VDF, 18.
23, (24), Megan Gilkes, Richmond Hill, ON, BRD AFV-01, 18.
24, (31), Charlie Turner, Mission Viejo, CA, Vortech FV, 18.
25, (26), Guy Bellingham, Brantford, ON, Mysterian M3, 18.
26, (34), Joseph Bertolucci, Mount Prospect, IL, Citation XTC-41, 18.
27, (39), Frank Folbre, Millsap, TX, Adams Aero, 17.
28, (7), Roger Siebenaler, North Hero, VT, Mysterian M3, 16.
29, (38), Mike Schiffer, Cape Coral, FL, Mysterian M3, 16.
30, (30), Curt Bennett, Danville, PA, Protoform P3, 16.
31, (36), Lisa Noble, Manhattan, KS, Vortech FV, 11.
32, (16), Adam Jennerjahn, Hartford City, IN, Vortech FV, 10.
33, (37), Stuart Delaney, Plymouth, MI, Caracal D, 3.
34, (3), Chris Jennerjahn, Hartford City, IN, Vortech FV, 0.
35, (8), Donnie Isley, Fletcher, NC, Agitator 16, 0.
36, (17), Laura Hayes, Feltcher, NC, Citation Silver Bullet, 0.
37, (19), Gary Kittell, Tully, NY, Caracal D, 0.
38, (27), Marjorie Lundberg, Glendale, CA, Caracal C, 0.
39, (35), Donald Manthe, Santa Rosa, CA, Lynx, 0.
Length of Race: 49 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 37:03.516 (avg. 79.735 mph)
Margin of Victory: 18.563
Fastest Race Lap: 1:55.923 (avg. 79.735mph)
No. 65 laps 1-2, 4, 6-8, 10-19
No. 12 laps 3, 5, 9
Sunoco Hard Charger: No. 4 Robert Posner
Image: Michael Varacins takes his Runoffs victory lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Credit Jay Bonvouloir