SCCA Nationwide Championship Runoffs Wednesday pocket book
Two days of SCCA Nationwide Championship Runoffs qualifying are within the books, and drivers have yet one more probability to enhance their occasions. The grid is about on every driver’s greatest time over the three days, and at present’s breezy circumstances have saved lots of people from going quicker. Those who assume they’ll enhance, and a few who’ve but to document time as a consequence of mechanical or different points, have solely Thursday left.
Chasing Two Medals with One Automotive
One of many individuals who will want that third day is Michael Lewis. The nine-time Nationwide Champion skipped Tuesday’s classes as a consequence of enterprise commitments, and misplaced an engine in his GT-3 RX-7 on Wednesday. However he put in a top-five time in his GT-Lite RX-7 later within the day. Factor is, the GT-3 automobile and the GTL automobile are the identical second-generation RX-7.
Lewis, who additionally races GT-1 with a Jaguar wherein he’s received 5 titles, scored a number of GT-3 wins within the ’90s, and got here again to the category a number of years in the past with a rented RX-7. Now he’s acquired the second-generation automobile, but in addition determined to race it in GTL as effectively.
“I actually need to blame Joe Harlan for that,” Lewis laughs. “He’s a GTL man from the Northwest, and he mentioned, ‘Hey, a Mazda would in all probability do effectively at Street America.’ I mentioned, would that be authorized, might that be finished with out quite a lot of modifications? We regarded on the guidelines and we determined we might at the least strive it. We began out utilizing the identical engine, simply altering a restrictor and some different issues. As soon as we bought into it, we realized that very same engine wasn’t going to work and we determined to strive a 12A. Now it requires an engine change, an exhaust system change and it’s gotten out of hand.”
Lewis says a top-five end is definitely achievable, and even perhaps a podium, however doesn’t anticipate to maneuver as much as the highest step with out some unhealthy luck for his opponents. He hopes the bigger wheel bundle he’s working could assist him preserve tires beneath the automobile when others begin to fall off late within the race. However nevertheless he finishes, and even though the crew has to modify from the GT-3 13B rotary to the GTL 12A rotary and again, he’s glad he gave the category a strive.
“I’m completely happy I’m doing GTL. It’s a cool class and quite a lot of good guys. It was type of an unknown coming right here, particularly with the 12A. It was type of good coming and never realizing the way it’s going to work. We type of knew, from different automobiles and information, that the piston guys have been going to be higher on prime velocity, and they’re. Nevertheless it’s been enjoyable.”
Third Automotive’s a Appeal?
Joe Moser has been by a number of automobiles in the previous few years. After spending a number of years campaigning an E Manufacturing/Tremendous Touring Beneath Honda Prelude, final yr he tried out a Jesse Prather-built third-generation Mazda MX-5.
Joe Moser’s been by a number of completely different automobiles earlier than deciding on his Tremendous Touring Lite Honda CRX. Picture by Richard S. James
“Inside in all probability a minute and a half on the right track I found out I in all probability went the flawed path,” he laughs. “I completed out the season on the Runoffs final yr within the MX-5 and instantly went to work on determining what ’s subsequent, and jumped over to this CRX.”
It’s not that Moser is unfamiliar with rear-wheel-drive automobiles just like the MX-5, however he’s been campaigning front-wheel drive automobiles for thus lengthy, he simply feels higher suited to it. He additionally feels it may be a bonus at some tracks. So he wished to return to front-wheel drive, he wished to race a Honda, an he wished it to be in a category he feels a FWD automobile could be aggressive in.
“I sat again and tried to be goal about what I wished to do. I wished front-wheel drive. I wished to race a Honda so I might proceed to work with King Motorsports. And should you take a look at it, I believe it’s been a very long time since anybody’s been actual aggressive with front-wheel drive in E Prod. So I type of felt like I used to be pushing a boulder uphill, and wished to get to a category the place I felt front-wheel drive was just a little extra of a bonus.”
So he went with a Tremendous Touring Lite Honda CRX he purchased from Sam Myers. Joe had fairly good success with the Prelude, profitable a championship in STU and grabbing couple of silver medals in E Manufacturing, however he felt the CRX could be slot in STL. There’s additionally an emotional connection: He and his father, who handed away final December, raced CRXs collectively for a dozen years.
“To date so good,” Joe, who was picked by SportsCar journal to win the category, mentioned after the primary spherical of qualifying. “We had the automobile out in testing, and it was a rocket. King Motorsports constructed a hell of a motor, so we’re feeling like this automobile is able to go. We had some points with the automobile within the first session, however nonetheless bought the automobile on provisional pole, so we’re feeling good about that. And we expect it’s bought just a little bit extra.”