2013 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs

30. September 2013 16:01 by Don Bunt in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

It has been a long and challenging season, but we finally arrived at the 50th running of the SCCA Runoffs at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. We are proud to be a part of this historic event. Past runoffs champions were invited to race without qualifying, like John Morton who won the race in a 240Z in both '70 and '71.

We suffered from part failures at all but one event over the course of the season. This is the problem when you race production based cars. The parts cannot hold up to the stresses of racing. The good part is that we were always able to put the car back together at the track in time to finish the races. In fact, we qualified for thrunoffs after the first two races. 

 

We arrived at Road America on Monday with driver, Don Bunt and four crew members; Caitlin Bunt, Nolan McCann, Paul Glinski and Eileen Bunt. We had practice scheduled for Monday and Qualifying on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The race followed on Sunday. 

This season, after 15 years, Goodyear decided to quit making tires for amateur racing. So we had to make the switch to Hoosier tires. At the same time, we decided to move to radial tires. This requires some fairly substantial changes to the cars suspension. During practice on Monday, still not having the suspension geometry completely figured out, we burned up the outside edge of our left front tire. After consulting the onsite Hoosier tire experts, we made some additional changes to the front end geometry.

On Tuesday during qualifying, we ended up running even slower than practice and our lap times were about 5 seconds off last year. We immediately went looking for a problem in the cars suspension. We found that a critical rear end part had broken causing the rear toe setting to change while the car was being driven. Within a couple of hours, we had the car fixed and we awaited our second qualifying session on Wednesday.

When Wednesday came, so did the rain. We knew that we wouldn't go any faster in the rain, but we had to test the fix of the car, so we proceeded out with rain tires on. The car ran good, but we needed a dry session to see if we could make lap times as good as last year. Thursday was rainy all day and we didn't even to out. We were stuck with the slow lap that we made on Tuesday with a broken car. This put us starting 18th of 38 entries for the race. For the weekend, two additional crew members arrived: Kurt Benda and Mitch LaMonica.

On Sunday, knowing that we should have started up further up in the field, we were excited to get on with the race. When the pace car went out at a very brisk pace, with the field in tow, we were very spread out. In fact, there was no way to get the field formed up in time for the start. The start was waived off and we had to make another attempt. On the following lap we got the green flag. We had a good race and picked up a few positions along the way. Racing with Lance Loughman in one of the other 240Z's was priceless. We traded positions multiple times during the race. In the end, we are satisfied with our 11th position finish.

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2016 Race Schedule

Apr 30-May 1

Blackhawk Farms, South Beloit, IL

Jun 3-5

Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH

Jun 17-19 *

June Sprints, Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI

Jul 9-10

Gingerman Raceway, South Haven, MI 

Jul 30-31

Cat National, Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI

Aug 13-14

Grattan Raceway, Belding, MI

Sept 19-25 *

SCCA National Championship Runoffs, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH

 * Spectator Event

(All other weekends will require you to enter as a crewperson, contact us for details)

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