A total of 38 entries in 11 classes sported Honda Racing/HPD livery at the 2010 Sports Car Club of America National Championship Runoffs, September 25-27 at Elkhart Lake, Wis. That marked an increase of six entries and five classes from the 2009 event.
Honda Racing/HPD enjoyed a very successful Runoffs, with four national championships, (up from one in 2009), as well as podium finishes in another three races. Here is a recap, beginning with the championship performances:
Honda/Acura SCCA National Championships:
Touring 3 (6 Honda S2000s in a field of 13)
1. Chad Gilsinger (THR Honda S2000, started 2nd)
3. Sage Marie (THR Honda S2000, started 1st)
5. John Costello (RaceLabz Honda S2000, started 5th)
7. Jeremy Lucas (THR Honda S2000, started 8th)
8. Frank Levinson (Colletti Motorsports Honda S2000, started 9th)
11. Tommy Boileau (Boileau Motorsports Honda S2000, started 10th)
In a race combined with the new STU class, both Hondas lost ground at the start to the bigger-engined Chevy Cobalts and Nissan Zs, but in terms of overall lap times the S2000s were quicker. Chad Gilsinger chased down Kevin Fandozzi (Chevy Cobalt) and passed him in traffic. Sage Marie dropped to fifth in the opening lap, but then moved up to finish third. In the third THR entry, Jeremy Lucas started eighth and finished seventh. Tommy Boileau (son of 2009 T3 National Champion Bob Boileau) finished 11th in his first runoffs).
STU (1 Acura TSX, 1 Acura Integra and 1 Honda Civic Si, 1 Honda CRX in a field of 19)
1. Richard Cullen (RealTime Racing Acura TSX, started 2nd)
10. David Mead (Specialty Vehicles Honda Civic Si, started 19th)
11. Gregg Ginsberg (Dahl-Morow Honda CRX, started 18th)
17. Greg Amy (Kakashi Racing Acura Intrega, started 7th)
In the same race as T3, Richard Cullen drove an ex-SCCA World Challenge Acura TSX to victory after a race-long duel with the Audi A4 of Joel Weinberger. Like RealTime, the Acura was prepared and run by a professional race shop – Fall Line Racing. Mead and Ginsberg started at the rear of the field, but moved up to 10th and 11th, respectively. Amy dropped out after five laps and was a DNF.
GT-Lite (4 Honda CRX and 1 Honda Civic in a field of 21)
1. Peter Shadowen (Road ‘n Race Honda CRX, started 1st)
2. Jim Dentici (JDM/Ragland Honda CRX, started 3rd)
5. Jim Hargrove (RacEnergy Honda Civic, started 8th)
7. Bob Clark (JDM/Ragland Honda CRX, started 6th)
20. Chris Bovis (JDM/Ragland Honda CRX, started 2nd)
Pending upcoming rule adjustments, Honda continues to own the GT-Lite class. Shadowen started from the pole and held off a strong challenge from defending class champion Dentici (they went side-by-side through the kink on the final lap!) for the win. Hargrove ran a competitive fifth in his first-generation Civic; Clark recovered from an early off-course excursion to finish seventh. Former class champion Bovis started second, but pitted early with overheating due to leaves blocking the grill, then retired one lap later as the problem continued.
F Production (1 Acura Integra, 1 Honda CRX, 1 Honda Civic Del Sol in a field of 28)
1. Kevin Ruck (Engineered Performance Acura Integra, started 3rd)
12. Michael Engelke (King Motorsports Honda CRX, started 28th)
18. James Smith (Over 50 Motorsports Honda Civic Del Sol, started 26th)
An entertaining, competitive race, featuring the second-largest Production/GT/ST field of the weekend. Ruck started third and took over at the front when the Triumph Spitfire of Steve Sargis had a mechanical failure. He then held off several quick Mazda MX-5 Miatas for the victory. Engelke started at the back of the 28-car field, but finished 12th. Smith dropped out with just two laps remaining but was credited with 18th.
Honda/Acura Podium Finishes:
Showroom Stock B (5 Honda Civic Si in a field of 18)
2. Lee Niffenegger (THR Honda Civic Si, started 3rd)
5. Robert Beede (Bill Fenton Motorsports Honda Civic Si, started 7th)
7. Eddie Nakato (Nakato Racing Honda Civic Si, started 10th)
8. Jimmy Crawford (RaceLabz Honda Civic Si, started 12th)
14. Matthew Staal (THR Honda Civic Si, started 1st)
Niffenegger finished third on the track, but was moved up to second after the runner-up Ford Mustang was disqualified for illegal exhaust modification. Early in the race, pole qualifier Staal battled hard with both Stewart and eventual race winner Ed Zabinski (Ford Mustang), but went off course in Turn 5 while attempting a pass for the lead on Lap 4 and rolled in the gravel trap to end his race. After a heavy crash in qualifying Beede finished fifth in his Bill Fenton entry, with Nakato seventh and Crawford eighth for the Honda RaceLabz team.
Showroom Stock C (3 Acura Integra and 1 Honda Honda Civic Si in a field of 20)
2. Joel Lipperini (RaceLabz Acura Integra, started 1st)
11. Peter Keane (GoRacing Acura Integra, started 12th)
13. Michael Crawford (RaceLabz Acura Integra, started 5th)
15. Bill Seifert (Seifert Racing Honda Civic Si, started 19th)
Former champion Lipperini gave it his best shot, but was unable to match the pace of Mark McCaughey’s winning Toyota Celica. Teammate Crawford started fifth, but fell back to 13th at the finish, moving Keane up to 11th. Seifert started 19th and was the final finisher on the lead lap, in 15th.
H Production (3 Honda Civic and 2 Honda CRX in a field of 25)
2. Michael Moser (CORE Racing Honda CRX, started 2nd)
4. Greg Gauper (King Motorsports Honda Civic Si, started 3rd)
7. James Rogerson (Over 50 Motorsports Honda Civic, started 12th)
12. Martin Burk (Turn One Services Honda CRX, started 16th)
21. Terry Boylan (Cartech Honda Civic, started 8th)
After dominating HP last year, Honda’s received a “rules adjustment” for 2010, and as a result, Steve Sargis took his Triumph Spitfire to an uncontested, dominant 40-second victory over the Honda CRX of Michael Moser, who started and finished second, but couldn’t touch Sargis. Gauper, third in 2009, was fourth this year. Rogerson moved up five places in the race to finish seventh, Burk started 16th and finished 12th; while potential top-five finisher Boylan dropped out after 10 laps.
Other Production/GT Classes:
GT-3 (1 Honda Civic Si and 1 Acura RSX in a field of 18)
9. Jim Hargrove (RacEnergy Honda Civic Si, started 18th)
DNS Joe Kristensen (Kristensen Racing Acura RSX, qualified 13th)
Making its competition debut, the tube-frame, rear-wheel-drive Honda Civic Si started 18th and last after engine problems early in the week prevented Jim Hargrove from posting a qualifying time. However, the car proved to be very quick, and he moved up to a ninth-place finish, despite a mid-race spin. Kristensen also suffered mechanical problems in qualifying, and his team elected not to start, rather focusing their efforts on their several Honda race engine customers (Hargrove in GT-3, GT-5, FP and HP).
E Production (1 Honda Prelude in a field of 29)
6. Michael Sturm (Honda City Honda Prelude Si, started 6th)
The largest Production/GT/ST/Touring field of the weekend with 29 starters, but with only one Honda entry (down from 5-6 in recent years). Sturm qualified and finished sixth in a somewhat processional event.
Formula Car Classes:
Formula B (1 Honda CBR1000 in a field of 12)
12. Tom Beattie (Philly Motorsports DB-X, started 11th)
The first year for this one-liter, motorcycle-engine class, Tom Beattie was running a new car designed and built by Philly Motorsports, and using a Honda CBR1000 engine. Unfortunately, Beattie spun and made heavy impact in the “Kink” on Lap 9 to end his race. He was not injured in the crash. The one-off Philly Motorsports chassis was very well engineered and constructed, but appeared to be a bit “large” compared to other designs and was not completely competitive. However, further development time could improve the car.
Formula F (2 Honda Fits in a field of 35)
12. Mike Scanlan (Scanlan Racing Swift DB-6 Honda, started 16th)
24. Dan Layton (Quantum Racing Van Diemen RF98/00 Honda, started 26th)
Formula F was the third-largest race of the weekend (only Spec Miata and Spec Racer Ford had larger fields). However, Honda entries were handicapped by the 29mm air restrictors currently required by the SCCA.
There was a large, multi-car collision at Turn 5 of the opening lap that Scanlan successfully avoided, moving up to 11th in the process. Layton avoided the incident in front, but was hit from behind and spun, ending up with rear suspension damage. After the Lap 4 restart, Scanlan was unable to hold his position due to a lack of straight-line speed, dropping to 14th before recovering to 12th at the finish. Layton restarted in 28th and moved up to 23rd before a last-lap spin in Turn 6 resulted in a 24th-place finish.