Nolan Allaer carries on family tradition of FC wins

Jay Bonvouloir photo

Nolan Allaer carries on family tradition of FC wins

SCCA / SportsCar Magazine

Nolan Allaer carries on family tradition of FC wins

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Sunday’s Formula Continental (FC) class race at the 59th SCCA National Championship Runoffs was a family affair for Nolan and Robert Allaer, of Grosse Point, MI. Robert is a two-time Runoffs champion in the class, and he got to watch his son Nolan carry on the tradition with a dramatic victory on VIR’s 3.27-mile, 18-turn circuit.

“The kid is incredible,” Robert Allaer said after the race. “We’re so proud! This is better than the two championships I won. It feels so much better.”

Rain had been falling throughout the third and final Hagerty Race Day of the year, and every FC driver gridded up with rain tires. Nolan Allaer had earned the Tire Rack Pole Award driving his father’s championship car, the No. 11 Martini/Chandon/LTD Motorsports Van Diemen RF02, while the elder Allaer drove Nolan’s regular ride, the No. 52 Martini/Chandon/LTD Motorsports Van Diemen RF02.

Outside on the front row sat Simon Sikes of Martinez, GA, driving the RiceRace/Hoosier/Quicksilver/Primus Citation US2000. The second row included 2019 FC champion Tim Minor of Fredericksburg, VA in the No. 88 Lake House/Hoosier/Ski Motorsports Citation US2000, and fourth-place qualifier Michael Varacins of Burlington, WI in the No. 65. Lake House/Hoosier/Ski Motorsports Citation US2000. The third row featured Trevor Russell of Tucson, AZ in the No. 32 Red Arrow Racing/Inde Motorsports Van Diemen RF99 and Robert Allaer. Earlier this weekend, Russell won the Runoffs championship in the FX class, and finished second in FF.

As the cars went out on track, it was obvious that setup would have a critical effect on performance. Nolan Allaer’s Van Diemen was trimmed for straight line speed with low aerodynamic downforce, while other front-runners had set their aero for more effective grip. When the green flag flew, that decision had its first effect as Nolan’s car easily accelerated into the lead, only to slide off track at Turn 1, handing the lead to Sikes. Russell slotted in behind him for second, and third was claimed by seventh-place qualifier Rick Payne of Mission BC in the No. 75 Payton Pools Van Diemen RF99.

“I thought I was done,” Allaer said, “but I could see Sikes and Trevor [Russell] in the distance, and I knew there was a chance.”

“I was hoping to get one or two positions on the start,” said the fifth-place qualifying Russell, “but I got a few more than that, which I’ll take!”

While Allaer clawed his way back through the field, Sikes continued to lead for the first half of the race, with Russell settled in behind him. On the 11th lap, Russell got by Sikes on the run down to the front straight, and then Sikes ran off track at Turn 1.

“It started off well,” Sikes said, “for about half the race we were running pretty comfortable laps, just maintaining gap. About halfway through the race it really started raining and Trevor [Russell] got around me.”

Those events put Allaer into second place with the leader in his sights. By lap 13, Allaer had closed the gap and was looking for a way around Russell. Opportunity presented itself in the last lap, when Russell left a space in Turn 3 and Allaer slipped by. The two were nose-to-tail heading up to Oak Tree corner, but at the checker it was Allaer by 0.720 seconds with Russell second and Sikes in third, another six seconds back. Fourth place went to Varacins, and fifth place to Robert Allaer.

“I knew that if I put my head down and listened to what the team was telling me, I would be able to come back,” Allaer said. “It’s incredible to follow in my dad’s footsteps. That car is the car I used to clean as a child when I was coming to the track with my dad.”

Top three were greeted at the victory podium with a bottle of bubbly form Mazza Vineyards, the “Official Sparkling Wine” of the Runoffs.

The Sunoco Hard Charger award went to Russell in the No. 32 Red Arrow Racing/Inde Motorsports Van Diemen RF99, gaining three positions during the race.


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 Sunday’s FC race at the 2022 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, and laps completed.

1, (1), Nolan Allaer, Grosse Pointe, MI, Van Diemen RF02, 15.

2, (5), Trevor Russell, Tucson, AZ, Van Diemen RF99, 15.

3, (2), Simon Sikes, Martinez, GA, Citation US2000, 15.

4, (4), Michael Varacins, Burlington, WI, Van Diemen F2000, 15.

5, (6), Robert Allaer, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, Van Diemen RF02, 15.

6, (7), Rick Payne, Mission, BC, Van Diemen RF99, 15.

7, (9), Glenn Cordova, Effort, PA, Van Diemen RF99, 15.

8, (3), Tim Minor, Fredericksburg, VA, Citation US2000, 15.

9, (10), Hunter Tatman, Windsor, CO, Van Diemen RF06, 14.

10, (8), Rick Silver, Derwood, MD, Van Diemen RF98, 14.

11, (11), Hartley MacDonald, Mulberry, FL, Van Diemen RF06, 14.

12, (12), Mike Pepitone, Falls Church, VA, Van Diemen RF00, 13.

13, (13), Gabriele Jasper, Toms River, NJ, Van Diemen DP08, 12.

Race Stats

Length of Race: 49 miles
Overall Time of Race: 32:24.209 (90.824 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.720 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 2:07.859 (92.070 mph)
Lap Leaders: #13, Laps 1-10; #32, Laps 11-14, #11, Lap 15
Sunoco Hard Charger: #32 Trevor Russellruno

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