The 2018 SCCA Runoffs are underway at Sonoma Raceway. Follow the action live by clicking here.
Here’s what’s happening:
22 historic Formula 1 cars depart Sonoma for Japan
An unexpected sight greeted participants at this week’s SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Sonoma Raceway. A total of 22 vintage Formula 1 cars were wheeled through the paddock and packed into shipping containers bound for Japan. The cars will compete in the “Sound of Engine” Masters Historic Racing Formula 1 event at Suzuka in mid-November.
Masters Historic Racing pays for round-trip race car shipping and three airline tickets for each car entered, enticing many American vintage F1 owners to participate. Find out more at http://www.mastershistoricracing.com. (Photos courtesy of Heyward Wagner.)
Heinricy crowned National Champion for the 14th time with AS win
John Heinricy of Clarkston, Michigan extended his streak as SCCA’s winningest active driver with a 14th championship victory. Friday’s win in American Sedan came after early leader and eight-time national champion Andy McDermid was forced out of the race when his car lost a wheel. Heinricy then chased down second-place finisher Drew Cattell and led the final laps of the race.
“It was a textbook race,” Heinricy said. “Starting in third place, I could see the dicing going on up in front of me, and that gave me a chance to just hit my marks, keep my tires under me, and save my brakes. As long as I could stay in touch, that was what I wanted to do. That’s what worked for me, being patient and working the whole race. Thinking about the end and not anything in the middle.”
With this win, Heinricy moves past Duane Davis and is now second only to Jerry Hansen’s legendary record of 27 SCCA national championships.
Triple the fun — five drivers who are racing in three classes
Most drivers who enter the Runoffs will tell you that it requires total focus on their car and their race. However, dozens of drivers each year enter two classes, doubling their chances at a championship, but also adding to their workload. Just a few are bold enough to enter three classes. This year, five drivers are working the triple.
2014’s Touring 2 champion Preston Calvert has moved up to big iron, now racing in GT-1, GT-2, and Touring 2. Perry Richardson is running in Prototype 1, Prototype 2, and Spec Racer Ford 3. Three-time national E Production champion Pratt Cole is competing in Touring 1, Touring 2, and American Sedan. Four-time Western Conference AS winner Christopher Qualls is racing in American Sedan, Touring 2, and GT-2. Finally, three-time Runoffs polesitter Scotty B. White will compete in Touring 2, Touring 3, and Touring 4.
“If you’re prepared and the car’s in good shape, there’s a lot of downtime at the Runoffs,” White says. “But if something goes wrong, it can get very hectic.”
White brought two cars to the Runoffs this year, and will race the same Mustang in both Touring 2 and Touring 3.
“They’re both the same generation of Mustang,” White explains. “That helps a lot. To put the T3 car into T2, we just put some bigger tires on it and take out the restrictor plate. It’s essentially the same car.”
White will race in T4 at 4:45 PT/7:45 ET on Saturday, and in T3 at 8:30 PT/11:30 ET and the T2 race at 2:35 PT/5:35 ET on Sunday. Catch all the SCCA Runoffs races at SCCA.com.