Flinn Lazier secured a convincing win to become the first SCCA National Champion in the Formula Enterprises 2 (FE2) class, 8.6 seconds ahead of Liam Snyder. Six-time Runoffs Champion Scott Rettich came home in third place.
“We got away early, which helped us, but Liam definitely kept the pressure on,” Lazier said. “By no means was it relaxing at any point.”
During the week, there was a ferocious battle for the Tire Rack Pole Award which saw Lazier drive his No. 3 Tivoli Lodge/Bell Helmets/Stockit SCCA Mazda FE2 to a narrow margin ahead of Snyder’s No. 28 Snyder Brothers Racing SCCA Mazda FE2. But the race wasn’t nearly as close, with Lazier taking the lead on the start and never looking back.
“We had a great start,” Snyder said. “I tried to keep some pressure, but he is fast.”
Rettich, driving only his second race in FE2 trim and his first ever event at Sonoma, filled out the podium in the No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Red Line Oil SCCA Mazda FE2.
“There is not a big difference between FE and FE2,” Rettich said, “but it’s certainly a little more challenging and combined with a new track I just couldn’t run the pace I wanted to run this week.”
Lazier, a third-generation driver whose father, Buddy won the 1996 Indy 500 and grandfather, Bob and uncle, Jacques also stood on the top step of the Runoffs podium continues to carry on the family motorsports legacy. Despite the temptation to blame family obligation for his venture into motorsports, Lazier is quick to point out that like many SCCA members, this is something fun.
“It’s always great family time,” said Lazier, with his dad and mom in the room smiling and capturing the moment on a cell phone. “There is no pressure.”
Each of the podium finishers are planning on coming back to the Runoffs next year at Virginia International Raceway in the FE2 class, which is new for 2018 and has an updated engine and gearbox in the SCCA Enterprises Spec Formula Car chassis.
“I really want to do FE2 another year,” Snyder said, “I think it can be the new intro class for drivers coming out of karts because it’s not like you have to replace a carbon fiber tub and it’s less expensive.”
Paul Schneider drove his No. 73 Comprent Motorsports SCCA Mazda FE2 to fourth place, and claimed the Sunoco Hard Charger award. Thomas W. Burt filled out the top five in the No. 45 Bulldog Motorsport SCCA Mazda FE2.
Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live. An audio race call, supplied by the Super Tour Radio broadcast team, is also available at www.SCCA.com/live , as well as live timing and scoring for each National Championship race.
Provisional results with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps completed.
1, (1), Flinn Lazier, Vail, CO, SCCA Mazda FE2, 20.
2, (2), Liam Snyder, Southlake, TX, SCCA Mazda FE2, 20.
3, (3), Scott Rettich, Columbus, OH, SCCA Mazda FE2, 20.
4, (8), Paul Schneider, Charlotte, NC, SCCA Mazda FE2, 20.
5, (7), Thomas W Burt, Woodway, WA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 20.
6, (5), Jim Devenport, Modesto, CA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 20.
7, (9), Keith McDonald, Ranson, WV, SCCA Mazda FE2, 19.
8, (4), Rhett Barkau, Freeport, IL, SCCA Mazda FE2, 16.
9, (6), Brandon Aleckson, Campbell, CA, SCCA Mazda FE2, 3.
Length of Race: 50 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 33:34.499 (avg. 90.067 mph)
Margin of Victory: 08.619 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:35.563 (94.932 mph)
Lap Leaders: #3 laps 1-20