Anderson Starts On Pole, Then Gets More in Touring 4

The first of three Hagerty Race Days continued at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) Friday afternoon during the 60th running of SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs® with a Touring 4 (T4) race — a field of 23 competitors facing sunny and warming conditions.

At the front of the bunch was Tire Rack Pole Award winner Devin Anderson, of Mooresville, NC, in the No. 11 TechSport Racing/Red Line Oil Subaru BRZ. Beside him was a Toyota 86 driven by four-time Runoffs winner and reigning T4 National Champion Marshall Mast.

On the first of what was a 15-lap contest around VIR’s 18-turn, 3.27-mile circuit, Mast assumed the lead before the field curled through the track’s Snake curves. Anderson, however, didn’t give up. Going down the 4,000-foot back straight — nicknamed Madison Avenue — Anderson managed to get back around for the lead, and another Subaru BRZ wheeled by Nick Leverone dropped Mast back to third.

Mast looked to be serious about getting back to the front, but then dipped a wheel off the track in South Bend, spinning him off circuit and out of the race — and bringing out a full-course yellow and a shuffle in the pack.

The race restart on lap seven saw Anderson being chased by Jonathan Neudorf in the No. 95 Neuterra Mazda Miata. Then there was Jaden Lander in a Mazda MX-5, the Mazda RX-8 of Raymond Blethen, Leverone, the No. 83 Eckerich Race Engr/Hoosier Mazda RX-8 with Christian Braunlich in it, and a few other drivers very much in the hunt.

Working lap eight, Anderson and Neudorf managed to form a small breakaway couple. And recognizing an opportunity, Neudorf nosed by Anderson in Turn 4, only to see Anderson power back by at the end of Madison Avenue.

With a handful of laps remaining, Neudorf and Anderson were running side-by-side through some corners. Not far behind, six other drivers were squabbling to see who would claim the third and final T4 step on the podium. But out of that group emerged Braunlich, who started seventh but was closing in on the lead two cars all by himself.

The penultimate lap saw Neudorf and Anderson swap the lead again. On the last lap, however, Braunlich managed to get by Neudorf and onto hunt Anderson with a purpose. Braunlich got a great run out of Hog Pen — the final corner — and pulled out from behind Anderson to take a shot at the victory. The winning margin was only 0.075sec, and the triumph went to Anderson for his first National Championship in just two Runoffs appearances.

“It was scary watching that RX-8 barreling down on me at the end,” Anderson said. “It was an amazing race by all my competitors. That was a really tough race to win. It took a lot of consistency, and really diving deep to try and stay ahead of those guys.”

Perhaps no surprise, Braunlich was a bit frustrated — but not angry. Certainly, he wished the race was one or two laps longer, which could’ve made all the difference.

“They probably had a good 10- or 15-car gap on me … and the next thing you know I’m catching them down the back straightaway,” Braunlich said. “Then I was on Anderson’s bumper coming down the front straight. I can’t ask for anything better from my first Runoffs. I’m happy with second.” 

Neudorf, too, couldn’t be all that disappointed. Making his first appearance on the Runoffs victory podium, and getting to spray Mazza Sparkling Wine — the Official Sparkling Wine of SCCA’s National Championship — on only his second trip to the Runoffs is pretty special.

“It was more mentally demanding than physically demanding today,” Neudorf said. “I was sitting behind, just planning what my next move would be. I was bumper to bumper with Anderson the whole time. Obviously, there’s some stress, but it’s a good time.”

Behind the podium finishers was Blethen in fourth after a hard-fought race. Kevin Fryer finished fifth and Sergio Zlobin was sixth, with both men driving Mazda MX-5s. John McLendon, who started 24th and finished 18th, received the Sunoco Hard Charger award.

The 60th running of SCCA’s 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. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at

Below are official results for Friday’s Touring 4 race at the 2023 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Devin Anderson, Mooresville, NC, Subaru BRZ, 15.
2, (7), Christian Braunlich, Fort Mill, SC, Mazda RX-8, 15.
3, (6), Jonathan Neudorf, Scottsdale, AZ, Mazda Miata, 15.
4, (4), Raymond Blethen, Londonderry, NH, Mazda RX-8, 15.
5, (9), Kevin Fryer, Durham, NC, Mazda MX-5, 15.
6, (11), Sergio Zlobin, Houston, TX, Mazda MX-5, 15.
7, (3), Nick Leverone, Mendon, MA, Subaru BRZ, 15.
8, (5), Jaden Lander, New York, NY, Mazda MX-5, 15.
9, (14), Richard Astacio, Wilton, CT, Mazda MX-5, 15.
10, (10), Stephen Blethen, Bow, NH, Mazda RX-8, 15.
11, (15), Owen Schefer, Warrenton, VA, Mazda RX-8, 15.
12, (8), Christopher Windsor, Thurmont, MD, Mazda MX-5, 15.
13, (16), Jeff Giordano, Cary, NC, Mazda MX-5, 15.
14, (12), Paolo Salvatore, San Antonio, TX, Ford Mustang V6, 15.
15, (18), Ayden Rose, Staatsburg, NY, Mazda MX-5, 15.
16, (17), Brent Simonson, Millersville, MD, Mazda RX-8, 15.
17, (20), Ron Munnerlyn, Bennettsville, SC, Mazda MX-5, 15.
18, (24), John McLendon, Southport, NC, Mazda MX-5, 15.
19, (21), Morgan Mehler, Belville, NC, Mazda MX-5, 15.
20, (19), Ken Lendrum, Queensbury, NY, Subaru BRZ, 13.
21, (13), Jeremy Butz, Darnestown, MD, Mazda MX-5, 8.
DNF, (22), Christopher Deen, Wilmington, NC, Scion FR-S, 5.
DNF, (2), Marshall Mast, Denver, PA, Toyota 86, 2.
DNS, (23), Mathew Milford, New Bern, NC, Honda Civic SI,  .

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49.05 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 40:13.776 (avg. 73.155 mph)
Margin of Victory: 00.075 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 2:11.962 (89.207 mph)
Lap Leaders: #11, Laps 1-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #29 John McLendon


Photo caption: Devin Anderson fought off several challengers to earn the 2023 Runoffs Touring 4 National Championship.

Photo by Jay Bonvouloir