Always a very competitive class, GT-2 did not disappoint Saturday during the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Sonoma Raceway in California. After 20 laps around the 12-turn, 2.52-mile circuit, Spencer Trenery reached the checkered flag before everyone else to claim his very first victory at the Runoffs on his 39th birthday.
Trenery, of Berkeley, California, started the race on pole in his No. 5 Fantasy Junction Chevrolet Camaro. Alongside him was multi-time Runoffs champion Andrew Aquilante in the No. 33 Phoenix/Hoosier/Hawk Ford Mustang. Trenery, who has been running at Sonoma Raceway for more than 20 years, had a plan for the start before the race — but things don’t always go as planned.
“He aced the start and drove it in super hard and deep into turn two,” Trenery said about Aquilante grabbing the lead early. “Rather than fight him, I just decided to get in behind.”
Trenery pressured Aquilante hard the first third of the race. On lap seven, he was able to push through in Turn 11 to take the lead. Aquilante fell back and, on lap 13, pulled into the pits and retired from the race.
With Aquilante out, the runner-up battle got heated between Brad McAllister, in the No. 24 Periodontal Associates Ford Mustang, and Michael McAleenan, in the No. 2 Smith Alling/Lowe Group Racing BMW M3 racecar. McAleenan was holding off a charging McAllister when he spun with only a couple laps remaining, handing the second-place finish to McAllister — his first Runoffs podium.
“I made a couple attempts to get around Michael in traffic,” McAllister said. “It was going to be pretty tough to catch him. But he spun in turn 11 and I was right there to capitalize. So, I got a little lucky on that one.”
The fight for third was equally exciting as Preston Calvert, in the No. 77 Calvert Dynamics/Phoenix Chevrolet Corvette, worked hard to hold off Mark Boden’s No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 997.1 GT3 Cup car. It was tough, but Calvert succeeded.
“When Mark’s tires started to come in, he really started to pressure me,” Calvert said after the race. “I race with Mark a lot, and he’s a tremendous racecar driver. It’s very hard to keep him behind you.”
Boden secured the fourth finishing position, and Sean Wheeler, in the No. 6 TC Design Motorsports BMW M3, finished fifth. The Sunoco Hard Charger award went to Danny Malfatti in the No. 55 Malfatti Motor Sports Chevrolet Impala who started 21st and finished in 14th position.
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 http://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), R Spencer Trenery, Berkeley, CA, Chevrolet Camaro, 20.
2, (4), Brad McAllister, Sherwood, OR, Ford Mustang, 20.
3, (5), Preston Calvert, Potomac, MD, Chevrolet Corvette, 20.
4, (6), Mark Boden, Winnetka, IL, Porsche 997.1 GT3 Cup, 20.
5, (7), Sean Wheeler, San Jose, CA, BMW M3 (E30), 20.
6, (10), Thomas Herb, Barrington, IL, Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup, 20.
7, (12), Oli Thordarson, Trabuco Canyon, CA, Chevrolet Corvette, 20.
8, (14), Joseph Wolf, East Nassau, NY, Chevrolet Camaro, 19.
9, (15), Christopher Qualls, Yorba Linda, CA, Chevrolet Camaro, 19.
10, (16), Mark Kibort, Saratoga, CA, Porsche 928, 19.
11, (17), Lars Mapstead, Aptos, CA, Porsche 997.1 GT3 Cup, 19.
12, (11), Tim Lynn, Ross, CA, Chevrolet Camaro, 19.
13, (3), Michael McAleenan, Tacoma, WA, BMW M3 (E36), 18.
14, (21), Danny Malfatti, Hayward, CA, Chevrolet Impala, 18.
15, (20), Bryan MacMillan, Benicia, CA, Ford Mustang, 18.
16, (13), Robert Kahn, Yorba Linda, CA, Chevrolet Corvette, 15.
17, (9), Tom Patton, Fairfield Twp., OH, Sunbeam Tiger, 13.
18, (2), Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, PA, Ford Mustang, 12.
19, (22), Timothy Gray, Minneapolis, MN, Ford Mustang, 7.
20, (8), Todd Clarke, Fox Island, WA, BMW M3 (E46), 0.
DNS, (18), Robert Kelley, Huntington Beach, CA, Dodge Viper Comp Coupe, .
DNS, (19), Bradford Sofronas, Fullerton, CA, Chevrolet Camaro, .
DNS, (23), Behram Soonawala, Santa Rosa, CA, Porsche 911 Coupe, .
Length of Race: 50 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 33:42.562 (avg. 89.708 mph)
Margin of Victory: 14.713 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:38.524 (92.079 mph)
Lap Leaders: #33 laps 1-4, 6; #5 laps 5, 7-20
Sunoco Hard Charger: #55 Danny Malfatti