This year's SCCA National Championship Road Racing Series was one of the best in recent years.
There were 600 competitors competing in 23 classes. Most of the less expensive classes, such as SM and Production, had full fields of 35 plus cars. Finger Lakes Region had 6 drivers competing for the first time in recent years.
Vince LaManna, competed in the very fast P2 class, ran consistant but suffered from a front suspension failure and had to drop out. During the race, Vince's son Jason suffered from major engine problems resulting in his crew having to rebuild two engines at the track. He ran very well early in the race but D.N.F. because of an engine failure. Dave & Chris Ciufo ran in the toughest class at the Runoffs with only a couple of seconds separating most of the field.
Dave, who always runs well, suffered from a brake issue which caused him to end up in the gravel trap on the first lap. After being removed from the gravel trap, he soldiered on only to have a repeat of another gravel trap incident. As the true competitor that he is, he ran on to finish the race. Chris, after struggling in qualifying, started 35th moved rapidly through the field up to 21st place before being punted off the track. Chris drove an incredible strong race and should be pleased with his performance.
F Production had three competitors from the Finger Lakes: Daniel Thiel, Mark and Scott McAllister. Scott suffered from poor handling and engine problems. The car was prepared on the final days before the Runoffs due to replacing the entire front end because of a crash at Watkins Glen. His crew of Don Gervin, Mike Nix and himself worked from sunup to sundown almost everyday to correct these issues. However, he D.N.F. on the first lap. Daniel Thiel, who spent hundreds of hours building a new car, did very well in his first Runoff finishing 18th dispite being down on power. Daniel should be pleased with his efforts. The best performance at the Runoffs was Mark McAllister's 10th overall in a incredably competitive field. He moved from 14th to 10th and may have finished higher up if the race had not been shortened due to a horrible crash.
Finger Lakes members did well in the 5K charity race Saturday night with Chris Ciufo finishing 4th overall. Dave won his age group of 60-99. Chris McAllister finished 1st in her class, Mark finished 2nd in his class, Jeff Wayland finished 1st in his class, and John Morris, Marty Pitre, my wife Jean all finished.
Dispite a lot of hardship issues, I think everyone came away feeling satisfied that they did everything they could to make the event successful for them and are getting excited about next year's race at Indianapolis.
Last but not least, a thank you goes out to Chris DeMinco for sponsoring a Finger Lakes party which was well attended.