The 2018 SCCA Runoffs are underway at Sonoma Raceway. Follow the action live by clicking here.
Here’s what’s happening:
FV community comes together for Mitchell Ferguson
Mitchell Ferguson (pictured above) towed his No. 52 Formula Vee all the way from Spartanburg, South Carolina to Sonoma, California to compete in the 55th SCCA National Championship Runoffs. But misfortune struck during his very first track session.
“I broke a trailing arm,” he says. “I went off track and ended up going over the top of Dennis Andrade (FV No. 87) and I almost landed on Andrew Whitston (FV No. 12). Luckily they were both unscathed, so no problems there. But I came down fairly hard, banged the wall pretty good, and ripped both the front and rear ends off the car.”
It was a devastating blow to Ferguson’s Runoffs hopes.
“I thought I had written off the car,” he admits. “But I got back to the pits and started looking at it, and I noticed that the frame was still good. I thought, ‘So here we go,’ and I started ordering parts.”
That’s when Ferguson’s fellow FV drivers started showing up to help.
“I went down to the pits and everybody chimed in, asking what I needed,” Ferguson says. “Stevan Davis helped a lot. I have most of his spare parts on the car. Charlie Hearn helped with the brakes, Marjorie Lundberg chipped in and helped. Ron Chuck kicked in, and Donald Manthe, Dennis Andrade, and Andrew Whitston were in the mix, too. Everybody came up and checked.”
With parts and assistance from the entire FV community, Ferguson got his car put back together in time for the final qualifying session of the week.
“It’s not in bad shape,” he reports. “It’s got some minor issues. We had to strip it down to the bare frame because I thought I might have some rips and cracks in the welds. I made a beam straightener and unbent the front beam axle, and I had to replace the transmission. The engine seems to be OK.”
Running on parts from the entire paddock, Ferguson ran in eighth place in Thursday’s qualifying session, and earned an 11th-place qualifying spot for the race.
“We’ll go out tomorrow and do our best,” Ferguson says.
The Formula Vee race happens Friday at 11:45 a.m. Pacific/2:45 ET. You can follow the race at SCCA.com.
Lap records fall at Sonoma
Each SCCA region notes lap records for every class and every configuration of every track at which the club races. Separately, SCCA keeps lap records set at the Runoffs. Because this is the first time the Runoffs have been held at Sonoma Raceway, all top times are Runoffs records. However, San Francisco Region has been keeping track records for Sonoma since its inception in 1968. This week, many of those records have fallen.
In American Sedan, the top five qualifiers are all under the previous record of 1m51.377s, set in 2004 by Richard Ciochon. The new record is 1m47.782s, set by Andy McDermid. In B-Spec, Jake Pipal’s 2018 record of 2m00.734s was lowered to 1m59.321s by Oscar Jackson Jr. Pipal also ran below his previous record.
In E Production, the previous record of 1m48.212s, set in 2009 by Bruce Ackerman, was reduced to 1m45.828s by Glen McCready. In F Production, Joe Huffaker Jr. set a new record at 1m47.588s, besting the 1m50.143s set by Mark Hotchkis in 2004. H Production saw Lee Fleming’s record of 1m55.140s reduced to 1m54.070 by Brian Linn.
Rennie Clayton’s 2003 Formula Atlantic record of 1m29.810s was bested by Miri Swan with a time of 1m28.176s. In Formula 1000, JR Osborne dropped his own previous record from 1m29.930s to 1m28.612s. Timothy de Silva performed the same trick in Formula Continental, taking his record from 1m34.134s to 1m32.571s. Mark Snyder reduced Brandon Chappell’s Formula Enterprises record from 1m40.940s to 1m37.517s, while Flinn Lazier took Tom Burt’s 1m39.258s record down to 1m35.040s. In Formula F, the previous record of 1m43.494s set by Chuck Horn was dropped to 1m41.612s by Jonathon Kotyk.
In the GT category, the GT-1 record of 1m35.750 set by Lew Larimer in 2006 was lowered to 1m34.961 by Michael Lewis. However, Lewis set a new record of 1m40.947s in GT-3, beating Collin Jackson’s prior record of 1m43.517s. Jackson himself was also well under his previous record. Michael McAleenan’s GT-2 record of 1m39.872s was dropped to 1m37.017s by R. Spencer Trenery. In GT-Lite, Troy Ermish beat his own previous record of 1m51.217s, taking the bar to 1m47.885s.
In Prototype 1, the old record of 1m29.771s set by Jim Devenport was dropped to 1m27.714s by Todd Slusher. Devenport was also under his previous record at 1m27.768s. The P2 record was reduced from Chuck Bona’s 1m33.390s to 1m30.620s by Tim Day, Jr. The Spec Racer Ford 3 record of 1m46.660s, set earlier this summer by Mike Miserendino, was reduced to 1m46.117s by Robeson Clay Russell. Miserendino was also under his old record and just 0.002 seconds behind Russell.
Spec Miata saw Mark Drennan’s record time of 1m54.933s dropped just a bit to 1m54.355s by Ken Sutherland. Super Touring Lite saw a big drop from Tim Auger’s 1m54.130s to Danny Steyn’s new record of 1m49.138s. In Super Touring Under, the record of 1m49.359s set by Andrie Hartanto was dropped to 1m46.118s by Kevin Boehm.
The Touring category was just as dramatic, with Kristofer Olson dropping his own T1 record from 1m43.952s to 1m39.970s. In Touring 2, Mark Boden’s record of 1m48.418s was reset to 1m45.032s by John Kachadurian. The prior Touring 3 record of 1m50.072s set by Mark Drennan was cut to 1m48.026s by Marshall Mast. And in Touring 4, Ross Murray’s record of 1m55.274s has been dropped to 1m52.339s by Gresham Wagner.
Some of these records might be short-lived, with three days of racing at Sonoma still to go. Follow all the action live at SCCA.com.