The 17th SCCA® RallyCross® National Championship took place Oct. 6-8, 2023, at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, KS, the same location that hosted the event just three years prior. Building on the experience earned in 2020, this year’s National Championship event was designed to maximize driving time and fun – great weather was just a bonus. The result was nearly 80 competitors making the trek to the Sunflower State, with two drivers earning championships in both 2020 and 2023, and three drivers successfully defending the RallyCross titles they earned one year ago.
Out of nine titles up for grabs, 33 percent earned back-to-back wins in their class. Timothy Thompson, Jim Rowland, and Lothrop Withington IV earned this distinction, but it was far from easy.
In Stock All, Thompson led an 11-car class to the win with a comfy 10.269sec advantage over four-time National Champ Jan Gerber. Jim Rowland faced a five-entry class, with his battle coming in Prepared Front, where Rowland earned the win with 0.346sec to spare, making this the closest margin of victory for the event. In Prepared Rear, seven drivers battled, with Withington taking the win over Shawn Roberts by 0.534sec – the event’s second closest margin of victory.
It paid to be leading come Saturday’s sunset, as seven of the nine winners topping their class at the end of day one’s competition ultimately finished atop the scoresheet on Sunday. Prepared Rear was one of those exceptions, with Gonzalo San Miguel leading day one by 3.089sec over Shawn Roberts, with Withington another 2.747sec back in third. But come the end of the weekend, it was Withington pulling out the win.
Prepared All was the other class that saw a second-day shuffle for the National Championship position. There, Edwin Cunill had amassed a 1.911sec advantage over Mark Hill, but thanks to last-day heroics, it was Hill on the top step when it counted, laying claim to his fourth SCCA National Championship title by 3.678sec over Cunill.
The largest margin of victory for the weekend came in the eight-driver Stock Front class, where Brad Turnbull seemingly put on a smackdown. At the end of day one, it looked like Turnbull would have his work cut out for him battling Josh Armantrout, as the two were separated by just 1.828sec after Saturday’s seven runs – the next fastest was Caleb Warren who was more than 13sec back. But Sunday brought big trouble for Armantrout as he only logged one run – Turnbull used that opportunity to drop the hammer and claim his first SCCA National Championship title 27.881sec ahead of Warren.
Check out the official SCCA RallyCross Facebook page for event photos, and keep an eye on SCCA.com for more RallyCross news.
The following are SCCA’s 2023 RallyCross National Champions, listed by class: driver, car, margin of victory, and number of National Championships.
- Stock Front Wheel Drive: Brad Turnbull, 2015 Ford Fiesta, 27.881sec, 1st National Championship
- Stock Rear Wheel Drive: Keith Lightfoot, 1994 Chevrolet Chevette, 14.443sec, 3rd National Championship
- Stock All Wheel Drive: Timothy Thompson, 2016 Ford Focus RS, 10.269sec, 2nd National Championship
- Prepared Front Wheel Drive: Jim Rowland, 1992 Nissan Sentra SE-R, 0.346sec, 3rd National Championship
- Prepared Rear Wheel Drive: Lothrop Withington IV, 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder, 0.534sec, 2nd National Championship
- Prepared All Wheel Drive: Mark Hill, 2006 Mitsubishi Evo IX, 3.678sec, 4th National Championship
- Modified Front Wheel Drive: ZB Lorenc, 1998 Volkswagen GTI, 9.461sec, 5th National Championship
- Modified Rear Wheel Drive: Jason Fuller, 1976 Porsche 914, 1.534sec, 1st National Championship
- Modified All Wheel Drive: Chris Endres, 1993 GMC Typhoon, 10.917sec, 1st National Championship
Complete event results can be found by clicking here.
Photo Caption: Battling a tough seven-car Prepared Rear class, Lothrop Withington IV had his work cut out for him, but he still managed to claim his second SCCA National Championship title – albeit by just 0.534sec.
Photo by Rupert Berrington