Kurt Rezzetano led flag to flag from the Tire Rack Pole for his fifth SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® win and third in a row in the Touring 2 class, closing out the Hagerty Race Days from VIRginia International Raceway on Oct. 1.
Pulling his No. 37 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Hawk Ford Mustang GT away from the field in the early stages, the newly crowned gold medalist saw his entire lead wiped out during a full course caution just inside the halfway point of the race.
That didn’t change the running order, at least for long, but it at least changed the race dynamic. Scotty White drove his No. 0 Knight Transport/Goodyear/Hawk Dodge Viper past Rezzetano on the lap 11 restart, diving to the inside in Turn 1. Rezzetano gave it right back, whipping back into the lead in Turn 4 to get in position to use his strength in the run up the hill through the Climbing Esses.
For the remaining four laps, the same scenario repeated. White’s Viper would close up to the rear of Rezzetano down the back straight and on the way to the flag; Rezzetano’s Mustang would ease away in the tighter sections of the track.
At the end of 15 laps, it was the Mustang and Kurt Rezzetano in front of White by 2.867sec.
“You can’t take it lightly, no matter what you think you’ve got,” Rezzetano said. “Look at the qualifying days, it started out with a little gap and every day it got closer and closer. There’s no games played, because we’ve all been there. You’ve got to have your head on straight when you’re racing guys like this.
“When I saw the full course [caution], I knew I was in a little bit of trouble. We started on stickers [tires] … and I was doing everything I could to cool them off. Luckily, this place is huge and I could do a little bit of straight line driving and keep the heat out of the tires. Scotty’s car has a big steamroller of a rear tire on it, so I knew I had to be delicate with it. Luckily, I could get out of Oak Tree just good enough to keep him behind me and it worked out that I could stay ahead.”
White scored his seventh career podium finish, leaving third-place finisher Mark Boden seven seconds behind.
“I think Kurt had his hands full a little bit, we just didn’t quite have enough to get there,” White said. “Kurt is a hell of a shoe. I’ve seen Kurt’s data, I know what it takes to keep up with him, and it ain’t easy. I thought we had a shot, and certainly we had a little more juice when the green dropped, but then you have to whoa the thing down and do all the other stuff. It was fun racing with him. I was better in a few spots, he was better in a few spots, and I was hoping if I could just get to his bumper at the top of Roller Coaster I would have him by the finish, but I just couldn’t quite get there.”
Boden, driving the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 911, was, besides Rezzetano himself, the one driver who was not happy with the full-course yellow. Chasing down White for second in the first stint of the race, his Porsche never quite rebounded on the restart, and instead was fighting off John Heinricy’s No. 35 Hoosier/Mobil/Hawk Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and David Sanders’ No. 73 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier Chevrolet Corvette for the final podium position in the second stint.
“It tends to be the cars that rely a little bit more on motor have a little better opportunity to recover,” Boden said. “The Porsche is tough. Years ago when they took all the aero off, you’re going up the esses with the motor behind you and nothing to stabilize it, and it just takes the tires off. You’re just really hanging on. John was coming. I’d look coming out of [Turn 5] and I’d think, ‘I have a gap,’ and I’d look in Turn 10 and think, ‘I don’t have a good gap.’ I managed to hang on, and you just look at who you’re racing with and everything they’ve done in their careers, and it’s pretty fun.”
With Heinricy finishing fourth and Sanders fifth, five different makes completed the top five. With Alan Kossof (996-generation Porsche 911, different from Boden’s 997-generation) in sixth, Joe Boden (Porsche Cayman) in seventh earning the Sunoco Hard Charger Award, and Brian LaCroix (C6-generation Corvette vs. Sanders’ C5-generation) in eighth, no cars repeated at the top of the field, making Touring 2 the most diverse field at the Runoffs.
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 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.
Below are official results for Sunday's Touring 2 race at the 2023 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.
1, (1), Kurt Rezzetano, Phoenixville, PA, Ford Mustang GT, 15.
2, (2), Scotty B White, Auburn, WA, Dodge Viper SRT-10, 15.
3, (3), Mark Boden, Winnetak, IL, Porsche 911/997, 15.
4, (4), John Heinricy, Clarkston, MI, Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, 15.
5, (5), David Sanders, Malvern, PA, Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06, 15.
6, (6), Alan Kossof, Prospect Hts, IL, Porsche 911/996, 15.
7, (8), Joe Boden, Winnetka, IL, Porsche Carrera S, 15.
8, (9), Matthew O'Toole, Glenview, IL, Porsche 911/997, 15.
9, (10), Aaron Kaplan, Evanston, IL, BMW M2CS Cup, 15.
10, (7), Brian LaCroix, Hyannis, MA, Chevrolet Corvette C6, 15.
11, (11), Scott Sewell, Fort Worth, TX, Porsche Cayman GTS, 15.
12, (12), Alan Phillips, Glassboro, NJ, Ford Mustang GT, 15.
DNF, (13), Tom O'Toole, Wilmette, IL, BMW M2CS Cup, 5.
Length of Race: 49.05 miles
Overall Time of Race: 37:53.503 (77.669 mph)
Margin of Victory: 2.867 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 2:01.201 (97.128 mph)
Lap Leaders: #37, Laps 1-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #45 Joe Boden
Photo caption: Kurt Rezzetano led a diverse group of race cars to the checkered flag.
Photo by: Rick Corwine