Farnham plows ahead for first Formula Vee National Championship

Jay Bonvouloir photo

Farnham plows ahead for first Formula Vee National Championship

SCCA / SportsCar Magazine

Farnham plows ahead for first Formula Vee National Championship


A Formula Vee (FV) field consisting of 28 drivers took to a drying track late Saturday morning during their Hagerty Race Days contest at the 59th SCCA National Championship Runoffs taking place Sept. 24-Oct. 2 at Virginia International Raceway.

After setting a new track record in qualifying, Brian Farnham was the Tire Rack Pole Award winner and led the field to the green flag in the No. 15 Quixote Racing/Kearney DD/Autowerks Silver Bullet FR-S. Beside him was defending FV National Champion Andrew Whitston in the No. 12 Rocket Motors/Hoosier/Speedsport Protoform P2 car.

With nearly everyone on slick tires, Farnham got a fantastic start and ran uncontested into Turn 1 with the lead. But down the 4,000-foot backstretch, Farnham ended up three-wide with Andrew Whitston and Alex Scaler in the No. 79 AdvantageMtrsprt/Autowerks/Hoosier Scaler Mk1. As the trio plunged towards the Roller Coaster section of the 18-turn, 3.27-mile circuit, Whitston was out front with Scaler second and Farnham third.

On lap two, at the exit of Hog Pen, Whitston went off into the grass and managed to come to a stop just short of the tire wall. That moved Farnham to first, followed by the No. 25 L.D.E Equipment/Hoosier/Vector Vector AM-1 of Andrew Thomas Abbott, and Zachary Whitston was third in the No. 27 Whitmoore and Assoc/LOA Roofing Protoform P2 car.

Working lap six, Farnham managed to build a two-second lead on Zachary Whitston who had gotten around Abbott. Mitchell Ferguson, who started ninth in the No. 52 Vorscha Racing Vorscha GB-4, was fourth and within striking distance of third.

Halfway through the 15-lap race, Farnham had worked up a 4.4-second lead, even though the right-front shock had broken on his car. The fight for the remaining two spots on the victory podium, however, was hot and heavy between Zachary Whitston, Abbott and Ferguson.

Typically, FV races are close ones, with the winner being decided by hundredths of a second at the very last moment. That was not the case Saturday as Farnham, from Medina, OH, went on for the uncontested victory and his first win at the Runoffs in half-dozen tries.

“I was on brand-new tires to start, and the others had scrubs,” Farnham said about opening lap action. “I was really trying to take it easy so I didn’t go off the track because there was not a lot of grip right off the bat.

“I broke the lower shock mount on the righthand side about halfway through the race, so any time I went into a braking zone I was getting wheel hop, and the car was dragging on the ground when I would turn left,” Farnham noted about the challenge he faced out front. “It was difficult to control the car at that point just for the fact that I had to be really easy on the brakes … and then just be really gentle with the car on lefthand turns.”

Zachary Whitston, of Austin, TX, and Abbott kept sparring throughout the race. On the last lap, Abbott applied as much pressure as he could, but Whitston held tough and finished second for his second Runoffs podium appearance.

“I think about halfway through the race … we were working together well,” Zachary said about racing with Abbott. “On the last lap, we decided to go to work. You know, we work so hard all year for the Runoffs. It doesn’t always go as planned. So when it does, it makes it all worth it. It was a great race and a ton of fun.”

Abbott, of Livonia, MI, came home third for his third Runoffs victory podium in 13 attempts.

“It was a blast,” Abbott said while holding his commemorative bottle of Mazza sparkling wine awarded during victory podium celebrations. “Zach and I worked together and put our heads down and did everything we could to minimize lap times, but we just didn’t have enough there at the end today. A couple more laps, who knows what would’ve happened. But, still, this was an awesome time.”

After falling away from the podium battle, Ferguson finished fourth. Fifth was Andrew Whitston, who fought back from the rear of the field after going off track. And the Sunoco Hard Charger award went to Russell Fredericks after starting 27th and finishing ninth in the No. 23 Northshorevethospital.com Caracal D car.

The 59th SCCA National Championship Runoffs, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at VIR during Hagerty Race Days, Friday, Sept. 30, through Sunday, Oct. 2.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live, and at SCCA’s official YouTube and Facebook social media channels. Live timing and scoring for each race is also available at SCCA.com, along with an audio-only feed from the Super Tour Radio presented by Hoosier Racing Tire broadcast team.

Below are provisional results for Saturday’s FV race at the 2022 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Brian Farnham, Medina, OH, Silver Bullet FR-S, 15.

2, (3), Zachary Whitston, Austin, TX, Protoform P2, 15.

3, (5), Andrew Thomas Abbott, Livonia, MI, Vector AM-1, 15.

4, (9), Mitchell Ferguson, Moore, SC, Vorscha GB-4, 15.

5, (2), Andrew Whitston, Neenah, WI, Protoform P2, 15.

6, (7), Trevor Carmody, Horseheads, NY, Protoform , 15.

7, (16), Donnie Isley, Fletcher, NC, Agitator 16, 15.

8, (4), Alex Scaler, Asbury, NJ, Scaler Mk1, 15.

9, (27), Russell Fredericks, Northport, NY, Caracal D, 15.

10, (17), Steve Whitston, Hutto, TX, Protoform P2, 15.

11, (19), Jeffrey Valeo, Brooklyn, NY, Mysterian CM2, 15.

12, (15), Roger Siebenaler, North Hero, VT, Mysterian M3, 15.

13, (22), Ray Qualls, Reisterstown, MD, Protoform P3, 15.

14, (26), Dermot Ennis, Spring Grove, PA, Protoform P2, 15.

15, (8), Brandon Abbott, Farmington Hills, MI, Vector AM-1, 15.

16, (25), Ron Whitston, Neenah, WI, Protoform P3, 15.

17, (24), Ryan Donaghy, Philadelphia, PA, DRT 1, 15.

18, (23), Stuart Delaney, Plymouth, MI, Caracal C, 15.

19, (12), Chris Jennerjahn, Hartford City, IN, Vortech , 15.

20, (14), Jeff Filipkowski, Raleigh, NC, Vorscha GB-4, 15.

21, (29), Iqbal Bashir, Ossining, NY, Caracal C, 14.

22, (28), James Brookshire, Saluda, NC, Agitator 15, 14.

23, (18), Derrick Moennick, Whistler, BC, Mysterian M3, 14.

24, (20), Gerard Owen Callaghan, Medford, MA, Citation XTC-41, 14.

DNF, (6), Laurin Brallier, Clemmons, NC, Caracal D, 3.

DNF, (11), Stevan Davis, Danielsville, GA, Vortech, 2.

DNF, (21), Anthony Henderson, Chattanooga, TN, Vortech, 2.

DNF, (10), Jonathan Weisheit, Baltimore, MD, JK Technologies XP-1, 1.

DNS, (13), Rick Shields, Bridgeville, PA, VDF.

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49 Miles
Overall Time of Race: : 35:13.643 (avg. 83.543 mph)
Margin of Victory: 02.462 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: : 2:18.093 (85.247 mph)
Lap Leaders: #12 – lap 1, #15 – laps 2-15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #23 Russell Fredericks


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