Defending Formula Vee Runoffs winner Michael Varacins won his seventh SCCA National Championship Runoffs, but not without a last-lap challenge from Tire Rack Pole Award winner and 1991 FV Runoffs Champion Skip Streets, who fought his way back from a mid-race spin to cross the finish line side-by-side in a near-photo-finish.
Third place went to Alex Scaler fought his way up from seventh in the to run as high as second before losing the silver medal spot to the charging Streets.
“Out of the last few (Runoffs) this is the most fun and probably most difficult,” said Varacins, “Skip was fast all week and we were chasing him all week and I knew it was going to be a battle between him and I.”
Polesitter Streets took the lead at the start in his No. 51 Hoosier/Ron Chuck/Pops/Traci Mysterian M3, with defending champion Varacins in the No. 65 Speed Sport Engineering/LifeLite Speed Sport AM-5 close behind.
As the race settled in, Streets and Varacins began battling hard, which allowed Scaler’s No. 19 AdvantageMotorsports.com/Autowerks Mysterian CM2 to close in on the lead pair.
With Scaler beginning to loom in the mirrors, Streets signaled Varacins to work together, and the drivers swapped the lead a few times in a momentum-conserving dance to maintain the gap back to the third place.
“There were a few spots where I was quicker and spots I could let him go and work together,” said Varacins.
The plan worked for a little while, leaving a frustrated Scaler watching the pair pull away.
“We got down to the Esses and their walking away and I’m pounding the steering wheel,” said Scaler.
The leader’s plan didn’t last long though, and Streets spun and slipped to third behind Scaler.
“I kept my foot in it when I spun and there was nothing else to do but drive,” said Streets.
Lapped traffic and slippery track conditions caused the three leaders to bunch up for a late-race showdown in the final two laps. Streets got around Scaler and was even able to pull his car alongside Varacins but missed the win by 0.099 second.
“I saw him back there and was certainly glad the white flag came out, “ said Varacins, “When you’re leading you’re in a tough spot because of you push hard and you go off you look like an idiot it’s more a matter of stay on track and manage that so he’s not going to quite get you by the end.”
Andrew Whitston, driving the No. 12 Subway/Hoosier/Carbotech Protoform P2 finished fourth, and Mitchell Ferguson rounded out the top five in his No. 52 Vorscha GB4.
The 55th SCCA National Championship Runoffs crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at Sonoma Raceway in California Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct 21.
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, as well as live timing and scoring for each National Championship race.
Provisional results for Friday’s Formula Vee race at the 55th SCCA National Championship Runoffs from Sonoma Raceway, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps completed.
1, (2), Michael Varacins, Burlington, WI, Speed Sport AM-5, 20.
2, (1), Skip Streets, San Clemente, CA, Mysterian M3, 20.
3, (7), Alex Scaler, Flemington, NJ, Mysterian CM2, 20.
4, (3), Andrew Whitston, Neenah, WI, Protoform P2, 20.
5, (11), Mitchell Ferguson, Moore, SC, Vorscha GB4, 20.
6, (4), Andrew Thomas Abbott, Livonia, MI, Vector AM-1, 20.
7, (5), Jonathan Weisheit, Baltimore, MD, JK Technologies LLC XP1, 20.
8, (6), Rick Shields, Bridgeville, PA, VDF , 20.
9, (10), Roger Siebenaler, North Hero, VT, Mysterian M3, 20.
10, (8), Gavin Sweeney, New York, NY, Crusader Formula Vee, 20.
11, (9), Brandon Abbott, Farmington Hills, MI, Vector AM-1, 20.
12, (14), Dennis Andrade, Silverlake, WA, Vortech FV, 20.
13, (22), Quinn Posner, Camas, WA, Protoform P3, 20.
14, (19), Zachary Whitston, Austin, TX, Protoform P2, 20.
15, (21), Stephen Saslow, Sammamish, WA, Vortech FV, 20.
16, (15), Stevan Davis, Danielsville, GA, Racer’s Wedge SB-1, 20.
17, (20), Ron Whitston, Neenah, WI, Protoform P2, 20.
18, (26), Donald Manthe, Santa Rosa, CA, Volkswagen Lynx, 19.
19, (12), Ron Wake, Lafayette, CA, Mysterian M3, 19.
20, (25), Stuart Delaney, Plymouth, MI, Caracal D, 19.
21, (23), Mark Edwards, Los Angeles, CA, Glamdring , 19.
22, (28), Charlie Turner, Mission Viejo, CA, Vortech FV, 19.
23, (24), Robert Posner, Bellevue, WA, Protoform P3, 19.
24, (16), Marjorie Lundberg, Glendale, CA, Caracal C, 17.
25, (27), Ron Bonham, Eugene, OR, Protoform P3, 16.
26, (17), Charles Hearn, Houston, TX, Vortech FV, 13.
27, (13), Blake Tatum, Stockton, CA, Crusader Formula Vee, 7.
28, (18), Robbie Arthur, Mission, BC, Lazer MK2, 3.
DNS, (29), Richard Gordon, Walnut Grove, CA, Crusader Formula Vee, .
Length of Race: 50 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 37:39.760 (avg. 80.292 mph)
Margin of Victory: 00.099 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:53.639 (79.832 mph)
Lap Leaders: #51 laps 1-8, 12; #65 laps 9-11, 13-20
Sunoco Hard Charger: #9 Quinn Posner