Update: Seltzer Named Touring 4 Champion
(Updated: October 1 at 10:30 p.m. to reflect a change in the winner in the official results)
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 1, 2017) -- The Touring 4 (T4) class packed as much drama as they could into the 19-lap SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® Sunday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Action from the front of the 40-car field to the back kept spectators in suspense watching as the laps counted down.
Driving the No. 46 Jackson Racing BF Goodrich Toyota, Oscar Jackson, of Chino, California, crossed the finish line first, only to fall to fourth after reviews by the stewards of the meet.
Dynasty Racing teammates Darren Seltzer and rookie entry Kellie Czarny, both of Orlando, inherited the top two spots on the podium for Seltzer’s first road racing National Championship.
Jackson, surrounded by Dynasty Racing drivers, started pole-position with Chi Ho, of Orlando, on the outside of row one, and the No. 64 BF Goodrich/OrecaGear/G-Loc Scion of Seltzer on the inside of row two. As the green flag dropped, Ho and Seltzer took advantage of being teammates, working together to overtake Jackson at the start. Ho dipped to the outside with Seltzer pushing him from behind.
Jackson braked deep to make Turn 1 with three cars flying off into the grass behind him. Ho went wide on the outside, hitting the curb before Turn 6. Seltzer dropped back to third with Jackson challenging Ho side-by-side entering Turn 6. Exiting the esses, contact from Jackson caused Ho to shunt off track and led to the penalty, and awarding the title to Seltzer.
The late-in-the-evening steward action didn’t dampen the accomplishment for Seltzer.
“It feels honestly fantastic,” Seltzer said after news of the decision reached him. “We put in a lot of really, really hard work. Our team has worked incredibly hard to get to this point in just one year of development of these cars. We perfected our driving in B-Spec, and then we took our car development with these cars and combined the two. The whole team running up front, all three cars.”
Czarny, in the No. 77 Fidelity Funding Mortgage Corp Scion, seized third-place position on lap two and started chipping away the gap Jackson and Seltzer created. It took Czarny eight laps to catch her teammate Seltzer. Drafting off Seltzer, Czarny passed for second on the front straight of Lap 17, but Seltzer quickly took his position back after Czarny hit lapped traffic in Turn 1. On the final lap, Czarny tried to make a move one last time for second, but lapped traffic trapped her again in a turn, allowing Seltzer to pull away to challenge for first. Jackson crossed the stripe with Seltzer right on his tail.
Czarny finished nearly three seconds behind the pair, making her the only female to visit the podium in the 2017 Runoffs.
“I want to say to all the girls out there wanting to pursue a career in motorsports that there is a place for you here,” Czarny passionately said. “Try karting, try cars, try SCCA Autocross, try everything. Follow your dreams because you belong here, too.”
In the No. 51 RST Performance Racing Mazda RX-8, Raymond Blethen took third. Jackson was moved to fourth. Jon Yanca in his No. 20 Steve Steeb Service/Hoosier/G-lock Mazda MX-5 claimed fifth.
The No. 3 Hoosier/SVLLC Mazda driven by Lance Stewart earned the Sunoco Hard Charger Award after moving from 25th on the grid to 12th at the checkered flag.
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.
Provisional results for Sunday’s T4 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, (3), Darren Seltzer, Orlando, FL, Scion FR-S, 19.
2, (5), Kellie Czarny, Orlando, FL, Scion FR-S, 19.
3, (9), Raymond Blethen, Londonderry, NH, Mazda RX-8, 19.
4, (1), Oscar Jackson, Chino, CA, Toyota 86, 19.
5, (11), Jon Yanca, Saline, MI, Mazda MX-5, 19.
6, (4), Don Knowles, Pittsboro, NC, Mazda RX-8, 19.
7, (12), Ryan Kowalewski, Indianapolis, IN, Mazda MX-5, 19.
8, (18), Ross Murray, Marina del Rey, CA, Mazda RX-8, 19.
9, (10), Thomas Bernacki, Chicago, IL, Mazda MX-5, 19.
10, (8), Felix Borodaty, Madison, NJ, Scion FR-S, 19.
11, (7), Tim Myers, Atlanta, GA, Mazda MX-5, 19.
12, (25), Lance Stewart, Coconut Grove, FL, Mazda RX-8, 19.
13, (13), Scotty B White, Auburn, WA, Scion FR-S, 19.
14, (17), James Ebben, Appleton, WI, Mazda MX-5, 19.
15, (15), Jeff Jensen, Monument, CO, Acura RSX Type-S, 19.
16, (22), Timothy Wise, Santa Cruz, CA, Mazda MX-5, 19.
17, (21), Ron Munnerlyn, Bennettsville, SC, Mazda MX-5, 19.
18, (23), James Coughlin, Hilliard, OH, Honda Civic SI,
19. 19, (26), Steve Strickland, Marion, VA, Mazda MX-5, 19.
20, (27), Ralph Porter, Kokomo, IN, BMW Z4, 19.
21, (28), L. Lowell Huston, Friendswood, TX, Mazda MX-5, 18.
22, (30), Matt Downing, Pickerington, OH, Pontiac Solstice, 18.
23, (32), Christopher Collins, Germantown, MD, Mazda MX-5, 18.
24, (31), Richard Grunenwald, Hilliard, OH, Ford Mustang V6, 18.
25, (24), Richard James, Ladera Ranch, CA, Mazda MX-5, 18.
26, (35), Curt Faigle, Florissant, MO, Chevrolet Camaro, 18.
27, (36), Mike Burke, Asheville, NC, Mazda MX-5, 18.
28, (38), Whitfield Gregg, Bellevue, WA, Subaru BRZ, 18.
29, (37), Steven Christopher, Olathe, KS, Mazda MX-5, 18.
30, (33), Matthew Miller, Canal Fulton, OH, Ford Mustang V6, 18.
31, (34), Michael Dalton, Skokie, IL, Pontiac Solstice, 18.
32, (14), Richard Dickey, Columbus, IN, Mazda RX-8, 18.
33, (19), Kevin Fryer, Falls Church, VA, Mazda MX-5, 17.
34, (39), Keith Jones, Lorain, OH, Mazda MX-5, 16.
35, (20), Ali Naimi, Morgan Hill, CA, Mazda MX-5, 13.
Length of Race: 49 miles
Overall Time of Race: 37:34.341
Average Speed: 78.645
Margin of Victory: 0.160 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:56.923
Lap Leaders: No. 46 1-19
Sunoco Hard Charger: No. 3 Lance Stewart
Image: Darren Seltzer took Touring 4 Championship
Photo Credit: Jay Bonvouloir