The Prototype 2 (P2) race on Sunday at the 59th SCCA National Championship Runoffs taking place Sept. 24-Oct. 2, 2022, at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR), was more a matter of survival than anything else. With rain falling all day around VIR’s 3.27-mile, 18-turn circuit — located along the border of North Carolina in Alton, VA — the final Hagerty Race Day saw even minor off-course excursions turn into tow truck recoveries. This was especially true for classes with low ground clearance, such as P2.
The Tire Rack Pole Award for P2 went to 2018 P2 champion Tim Day, Jr. of Scottsdale, AZ, driving his No. 8 Goodyear/GDRE/Summit/Hawk Stohr WF1 Suzuki. Gridded outside on the front row was the 2020 class champion Greg Gyann of Western Springs, IL, driving the No. 83 Gycor International Stohr WF1 Suzuki. The second row included Lucian Pancea of San Antonio, TX, behind the wheel of the No. 99 Young Racing/Newport Hills Villa Stohr WF1 Kawasaki, with Mike Reupert of Hubertus, WI gridded outside in the No. 7 Sunshine Metals Stohr WF1 Suzuki Hayabusa.
At the start of the race, the leaders made it through the first lap, but polesitter Day spun off course at the exit of Turns 11-12, VIR's famous Oak Tree Curve. That brought out the first of what would be several full-course cautions, and packed the field up behind the safety car. With Gyann in the lead followed by Pancea in second place, the field got one green flag lap in before the second caution.
"To be honest, I'm very happy I finished," Pancea said after the race. "The conditions were treacherous out there. When they dropped the green flag, I think some water got into my electronics, so I couldn't downshift. I had to downshift by hand. It was one of my toughest races."
By the time of the second caution, eighth-place qualifier Peter Shadowen of West Palm Beach, FL, driving the No. 12 West WX10 Suzuki, had worked his way through the field to third place. The race saw additional cautions and restarts, but the field continued to circulate with no changes to the top three.
"One key factor was poor visibility," Shadowen said. "I didn't know where I was going or what I was doing, so I just had to lay back until I could see clear track, and then go. I couldn't stay close to the leaders on the restarts because I couldn't see anything. So I had to be patient and really examine the track. It was about being careful."
At the checkered flag, Gyann won the race with a margin of 1.775 seconds over Pancea, with Shadowen crossing the line almost 20 seconds later.
"Being out in front and having a clear track certainly helped," Gyann said. "I knew if I could get around the corners, keep it pointed in a straight line as much as possible, and just get on the throttle, I could do it. The car was good, and as long as I didn't push it past that envelope, I had confidence I would be OK. I could have gone faster, but I also knew it would be hard for anyone to pass me."
The fourth position was claimed by ninth-place qualifier Michael Moulton of Wilmington, NC, driving the No. 77 Young Racing Stohr WF1 Suzuki, and fifth finishing position went to 11th place qualifier Richard Colburn of Northbrook, IL in the No. 97 Sunshine Metals Nostendo 1 Suzuki.
The top three drivers were greeted at the victory podium with a bottle of bubbly form Mazza Vineyards, the “Official Sparkling Wine” of the Runoffs.
The 59th SCCA® National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIRginia International Raceway — in Alton, VA — during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 30, through Sunday, Oct. 2.
Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com, along with an audio-only feed from the Super Tour Radio presented by Hoosier Racing Tire broadcast team.
Below are final results for Sunday's P2 race at the 2022 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.
1, (2), Greg Gyann, Western Springs, IL, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 14.
2, (3), Lucian Pancea, San Antonio, TX, Stohr WF1 Kawasaki, 14.
3, (8), Peter Shadowen, West Palm Beach, FL, West WX10 Suzuki, 14.
4, (9), Michael Moulton, Wilmington, NC, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 14.
5, (11), Richard Colburn, Northbrook, IL, Nostendo 1 Suzuki, 14.
6, (13), Robert Iversen, Gulf Breeze, FL, Radical SR3 Suzuki, 14.
7, (12), Pat Wildfire, Fairmont, WV, AMAC Suzuki, 14.
8, (7), Thomas Kaufman, Riviera Beach, FL, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 12.
9, (10), William B Niemeyer Jr, Loveland, OH, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 14.
10, (4), Mike Reupert, Hubertus, WI, Stohr WF1 Suzuki Hayabusa, 9.
DNF, (6), Sherman Chao, Palm Beach, FL, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 5.
DNF, (1), Tim Day Jr, Scottsdale, AZ, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 1.
Length of Race: 46 miles
Overall Time of Race: 41:51.745 (65.615 mph)
Margin of Victory: 01.775 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 2:15.834 (86.665 mph)
Lap Leaders: #83, Laps 1-14
Photo caption: Greg Gyann sloshed to victory in Prototype 2 at the 2022 SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
Photo by: Jay Bonvouloir