The series boosted GT-3 participation, with drivers and supporters pleased with the result
In a rather wild race that include numerous lead changes, RX-7 racer Jeff Dernehl claimed his first GT-3 title at the 2019 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at VIRginia International Raceway on Friday, Oct. 11. But at the same time, in winning that race, he also won the inaugural GT-3 Challenge presented by MPI, a series supported by Mazda, Max Papis Innovations, Penske Racing Shocks, AiM Sports and Hoosier Racing Tire.
“This feels absolutely incredible,” Dernehl exclaimed after the race. “I’ve dreamed of coming here to win this race. I’ve finished second a couple of times in absolutely heartbreaking fashion. There was always a little something that wasn’t right. This year, I didn’t spend a lot of time at the regular races. I really poured my heart and soul into developing the car and getting it faster. That paid off. The engine was an absolute rocket ship, the suspension has always been good, and it did the job.”
Dernehl also won the first GT-3 Challenge race at his home track of Road Atlanta. He says that the GT-3 Challenge is helping boost the class, and it makes the racers feel like pros.