SCCA Pro Racing has announced its 2013 All-Star Team. The lineup features many of the top stars in North American road racing, including young, up-and-coming racers and seasoned veterans still at the top of their game.
The team draws its members from the five road racing series that are sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. Each class is represented by the 2013 championship-winning driver.
Here’s a snapshot of each championship run:
Pirelli World Challenge
GT Johnny O’Connell
O’Connell was strong from the start of the season on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., where he captured a pair of podium finishes. Following some tough luck at Long Beach and Circuit of The Americas, O’Connell steadily climbed back into the championship battle. The title wasn’t decided until the finale at Houston when O’Connell stood on the top step of the podium.
GTS Lawson Aschenbach
Surrounded by a new team, Aschenbach showed serious pace throughout 2013. He came to terms quickly with his new team and scored a podium in the second race of the season at St. Pete. He kept himself near the top of the GTS leaderboard, capitalizing on the misfortunes that befell then-championship leader Jack Baldwin at Sonoma. Aschenbach finished the season strong, scoring a win at Houston.
TC Ryan Winchester
Winchester was the model of consistency in a class that features very closely-matched, fender-rubbing racing. He bookended 2013 with a pair of wins, andracked up 11 podiums in the other 12 races.
TCB Robbie Davis
Davis took home what proved to be the closest of the Pirelli World Challenge championship battles in 2013. Throughout the season he did enough to stay in the title fight picture, and was able to seal the deal in Houston with an eighth- and seventh-place finish.
TA1 Doug Peterson
Peterson showed throughout 2013 that being consistently fast is the best way to ensure a championship run. In nine of 10 races, he scored no lower than second. The only exception was his ninth-place finish in the penultimate round at Road Atlanta where his car suffered a power steering pump issue. However, by that time Peterson had all but secured the class title.
TA2 Cameron Lawrence
Lawrence had a charmed year in 2013 by notching eight wins and two second-place finishes throughout the 10 race campaign. Even in qualifying, Lawrence didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the entire year, starting each race on the front row.
TA3 American Muscle Chuck Cassaro
While this is Cassaro’s second consecutive Trans Am class championship, what may make the 2013 championship more memorable is the adversity which was overcome. After winning the 2012 title in a Panoz GT, Cassaro switched to a Ford Mustang to compete in the newly-created TA3 American Muscle class. A heavy collision with a trackside barrier at Brainerd International Raceway resulted in Cassaro being transported to a local hospital. He returned to compete in the final three rounds to seal the championship.
TA3 International David Seuss
Seuss crossed the line first in six of the seven Trans Am races in which he ran. He also earned five pole positions throughout the season on his way to the class championship.
Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup
Mazda MX-5 Cup Christian Szymczak
Szymczak was the victor in what became a two-man fight for the title. After scoring the season-opening win at Sebring, Elliott Skeer won the second race of the doubleheader event. The wins followed that pattern for the next six races, until Szymczak finished second, with Skeer in third, in Coronado. At the final two races at Road Atlanta Szymczak was in prevent mode, keeping his car clean and finishing the races. Conservative in the final event, Szymczak took the title by four points.
Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge Kenton Koch
Koch was the dominate driver of the class, winning nine races and earning 11 poles in 12 races. His spotless record was blemished by only a sixth-place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, and a second-place starting and finishing position in the first race at Road Atlanta.
Edison started 2013 strong with a pair of second-place finishes, but hit full stride with a win in Round Four at Road Atlanta. He never looked back, totalling seven wins and 11 podium finishes in 2013. Edison ended the season with a 59-point cushion over the second-place finisher.
Minor proved that age and treachery can still beat out youth and enthusiasm as he took the overall championship title by a margin of 164 points. As a single-car team, Minor was both the driver and mechanic. That type of situation stands in stark contrast to the multiple-car teams supported by multiple mechanics that field young, up-and-coming drivers looking to further their racing careers in the open-wheel ranks. Regardless of being the underdog on paper, Minor tallied 13 podiums, including nine wins, in 14 races.
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