With the 15-turn, 2.592-mile road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway drying after earlier showers, most of the Prototype 2 (P2) drivers started on slick tires for a 19-lap event late Saturday afternoon during Hagerty Race Day #2 at the 58th SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
Tire Rack Pole Award winner Tim Day Jr. of Scottsdale, Arizona, brought the field down to the start line, but Lucian Pancea, in the No. 99 YoungRacing/NewportVilla Stohr WF1 Kawasaki, looked like he meant business and made an inside pass into Turn 1 to snatch the lead. It was short lived, however, as Day Jr. drove back by Pancea just before a full-course yellow was called to clean up a Turn 1, lap one incident involving competitors further back in the field.
Racing resumed on lap five, and Day Jr. held his top position on the restart, followed by Pancea, of San Antonio, Texas; Greg Gyann of Western Springs, Illinois; John MacIntyre and Tray Ayres. A lap later, MacIntyre had a problem and slipped down the standings, promoting Ayres to fourth and Robert Iversen, of Gulf Breeze, Florida, to fifth. Soon after, Ayres dropped off the pace and Iverson moved to fourth in his No. 4 National Guard/Ten Crows BBQ Ligier JS 51 Evo Honda.
Just past the race’s halfway point, Day Jr. had established a nearly nine-second lead in the No. 8 GDRE/Summit/Avon Stohr WF1 Suzuki. He remained unchallenged for the top spot the rest of the race and triumphed by 10.132 seconds — his second victory at the Runoffs.
“Lucian Pancea kept me honest at first. He got a good run into first, so we kind of had to work that out,” Day Jr. said, wearing his Runoffs gold medal around his neck. “There was no grip out there, as you can see by the lap times. It was a handful out there. A very green track to say the least.”
Behind the winner, Pancea was pressured by defending P2 National Champion Gyann for a bit. He later pulled away by more than 20 seconds to lock down a runner-up finish, his fifth podium at the Runoffs.
“I had a lot of issues with the car. But finally, we got to the grid,” Pancea said afterwards. “I’m happy with second. It’s not as good as first, but I’ll take it. It was a good race. I enjoyed myself.”
Gyann, in the No. 83 Gycor International Stohr WF1 Suzuki, finished comfortably in third, making his fifth appearance on a SCCA National Championship podium
“It feels good,” Gyann said about another top-three Runoffs finish. “It wasn’t our best run. We had to make some hard choices this week, and leading up to the race. We made some good choices and maybe some we regret. Nevertheless, we’re out here to have a good time.”
Iversen of Gulf Breeze, Florida, finished fourth; and Richard Colburn, of Northbrook, Illinois, finished fifth in the No. 97 Sunshine Metals Asteck P2 Suzuki. The Sunoco Hard Charger award went to Michael Moulton in the No. 71 Medac Stohr WF1 Suzuki, who started 14th and finished sixth.
The 58th SCCA® National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Amateur Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at the Racing Capital of the World—Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis, Indiana—during the Hagerty Race Days Friday Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 3.
Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live along with an audio race call—supplied by the Super Tour Radio presented by Hoosier Racing Tire broadcast team—and live timing and scoring for each National Championship race.
Below are provisional results for Saturday’s Prototype 2 race at the 58th SCCA National Championship Runoffs from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps completed.
1, (1), Tim Day Jr, Scottsdale, AZ, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 19.
2, (3), Lucian Pancea, San Antonio, TX, Stohr WF1 Kawasaki, 19.
3, (2), Greg Gyann, Western Springs, IL, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 19.
4, (7), Robert Iversen, Gulf Breeze, FL, Ligier JS 51 Evo Honda, 19.
5, (11), Richard Colburn, Northbrook, IL, Asteck P2 Suzuki, 18.
6, (14), Michael Moulton, Wilmington, NC, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 18.
7, (4), John MacIntyre, San Jose, CA, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 17.
8, (15), Norm Benson, Paso Robles, CA, Van Diemen RFS-03 Mazda, 16.
9, (12), William Niemeyer Jr, Loveland, OH, Sorcerer Suzuki, 14.
DNF, (5), Tray Ayres, Gainesville, GA, SCCA ESR Mazda, 8.
DNF, (6), Sherman Chao, Palm Beach, FL, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 0.
DNF, (8), Kevin Mitz, Campbell, CA, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 0.
DNF, (9), Mike Reupert, Hubertus, WI, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 0.
DNF, (10), John Gyann, Darien, IL, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 0.
DNF, (13), Vaughan Scott, Royal Oak, MI, Hidari Firefly Suzuki, 0.
DNS, (16), Kevin Bus, Columbia Station, OH, Radical SR3 Suzuki, 0.
Length of Race: 49 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 35:17.894 (avg. 83.712 mph)
Margin of Victory: 10.132 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:35.322 (97.891 mph)
Lap Leaders: #8-laps 1-19
Sunoco Hard Charger: #71 Michael Moulton
Photo caption: Day Jr. builds a more-than-10-second gap on the rest of the P2 field at the 2021 SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
Photo by Jeff Loewe
Words by Jim Llewellyn