After an 11-year absence, the Sports Car Club of America’s Runoffs returned to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This was the 53rd year for this annual event. Twenty-eight races 23-laps or 40-minutes in length, whichever came first, would determine the Sports Car Club of America's National Champions.

There was a total of 581-entries for the 2016 Runoffs. The Spec Miata class boasted the greatest number of competitors with 44-drivers going for the gold. The open wheel class with the best representation was Formula Vee with 39-entries.

The event was held in the third week of September and teams and fans enjoyed sunny and unseasonably warm temperatures during the event.

Pole-sitter Jason Hille leads forty-four Spec Miatas into the race’s first turn. Immediately behind Hille is third fastest qualifier and past Champion Jim Drago and front row starter Michael Carter. Hille would lead flag-to-flag to claim his first National Champion but came under pressure from Carter, Drago and Elivan Goulart. Hille’s margin of victory was just 0.379-seconds.
Guess who won the 2016 American Sedan National Championship – Andy McDermid. This was championship number eight for McDermid – all in the American Sedan class. He chased Edward Hosni for much of the race and inherited the lead when Hosni retired on the penultimate lap. However, on the last lap McDermid was hit by Tom Sloe and spun but he was able to continue and was the first to receive the checkered flag.
2013 E Production National Champion Matt Reynolds started fourth in his Reynolds Brothers Racing Mazda Miata. Contact between the pole-sitter Michael Galati and third fastest qualifier Greg Ira allowed Reynolds to move into second place. He chased race leader, Joe Moser in a Honda Prelude, until the last lap when he passed Moser in turn nine for the National title.
In 1997, John LaRue won his first National Championship while competing in Formula Ford. LaRue moved up to the Formula Continental class driving a Citation Snipe FC. He started on the pole, over 0.5-second quicker than second faster qualifier John Saurino in a Van Diemen RF05. LaRue maintained first place at the start and led flag-to-flag to win by a comfortable margin of 23.906-seconds.
Multi-class champion (F Production – 3, G Production – 3, H Production – 1) Steve Sargis, qualified second in the GTL category. Sargis passed pole-sitter Kyle Disque at the start and opened a comfortable lead (nearly 7-seconds) before his Triumph Spitfire encountered problems on lap-15. He was classified twenty-second after completing sixteen laps.
Prototype 2 was dominated by Jeff Shafer driving Stohr WF1 powered by a Suzuki engine. Shafer started from the pole-position and was over 3-seconds quicker than the second fastest qualifier – Sherman Chao. He led flag-to-flag setting a new lap record of 1:20.904 and won the National title by a margin of 20.140-seconds.
Defending STL National Champion Kevin Boehm was the fastest qualifier in his BF Goodrich sponsored Honda Civic Si. Boehm led flag-to-flag to take the gold medal but it was far from easy. Keeping Boehm honest was third place qualifier Eric Kutil driving an older model Honda Civic Si. Kutil jumped into second place at the start and by the late stages of the race was on Boehm’s bumper. Boehm prevailed winning by a 0.719-second margin.
The No. 09 Mazda RX-3 was driven by Gary Bockman. This was Bockman’s eighth Runoffs and his best finish was a second at Mid-Ohio in 1996. He qualified on the pole and led the race by a comfortable margin until lap-22 when his car stopped in corner one. Bockman was credited with a ninth place finish.
Michael Lewis was the defending GT1 Champion, in fact, Lewis has eight national titles to his credit – (GT1 – 5, GT3 – 3). Lewis chose to sit out the final two qualifying sessions and was second on the starting grid. He led for the first ten laps but was passed by pole-sitter Cliff Ebben and had to settle for second place.
Mike Miserendino was the pole-sitter in SRF driving the MBI Racing prepared Spec Racer Ford. Miserendino was able to maintain the lead until lap-8 when he was challenged by second fastest qualifier Todd Harris. He and Harris swapped the lead for the remainder of the race. On the final lap, Miserendino trailed Harris and finished in the runner-up spot - 0.287-seconds behind the winner.
Todd Harris started on the front row of SRF with pole-sitter Mike Miserendino but fell to seventh place on the first lap after missing a shift. By the third lap, Harris was improving his position with each circuit and moved into the lead on lap-8. He and Miserendino took turns out front but Harris was able to maintain the lead for the final three laps and won his first gold medal.
Joe Moser entered his No. 63 Honda Prelude Si VTEC in two classes – E Production and Super Touring Under. His first event was E Production and Moser jumped into the lead from his second starting position but was passed by Matt Reynolds for the win on the last lap. In his second race of the weekend, Super Touring Under, Moser was able to redeem himself. He started fourth but was out front by lap-4 and won by 1.965-seconds.
Jim Devenport qualified on the pole in the Prototype 1 class driving the Norma Auto Concept M20/Honda. Devenport led the first six laps before being passed by reigning class champion Gianpaolo Ciancimino but on lap-7 he was back out front. He led the remainder of the race to win his first National Champion. Devenport also earned the SCCA Super Sweep award.
Making a triumphant return, after a fourteen-year absence, was Ross Murray. Murray won the American Sedan title in 1998 and his last Runoffs visit was the 2002 GT1 race. He qualified his Dodge Viper on the pole but was expected to be challenged by Andrew Aquilante driving a Chevrolet Corvette. Aquilante trailed Murray for the first five laps before retiring. After a mid-race restart, Murray pulled away from the field to win his first Touring 1 Championship.
Gary Blanarik gets sideways in front of the thirty-eight Formula Vee competitors. The fifth place qualifier, Blanarik, was able to save the No. 3 Silver Bullet AR1 before causing an incident that could have collected much of the field. Despite this miscue, Blanarik went on to earn the final position on the podium after battling, for much of the race, with Flinn Lazier.
Starting from the pole-position in F Production was John Walker driving the Walker Racing Lotus Super Seven. But before the end of the first lap, Walker was passed by Joe Huffaker and Eric Prill. He moved to second on the ninth lap and passed Huffaker for the lead at the ‘Keyhole’ on the next circuit. This would be the winning move as a major incident caused the race to be red-flagged four laps later.
The first two laps of the Spec Racer Ford Gen 3 class were waved off. When the grid finally got the green, third place starter Mike Miserendino drew alongside the front row which resulted in contact with John Black and Patrick Byrne. The incident took Miserendino and Byrne out of contention. Race leader Black was passed by No. 58 Cliff White on the last lap. White was later disqualified for a technical infraction and Black earned his fourth title.
Qualifying on the H Production pole was Tom Feller racing a Triumph Spitfire. Feller, a four-time champion in H Production, pulled away from the field at a steady pace and led the first twelve laps. On lap-13 he was passed by eventual winner Brian Linn. With time running out, Feller encountered a mechanical issue and dropped down the race order - eventually finishing sixth.
The No. 47 Mazda RX-7, driven by William Wilson was the sixth fastest qualifier in the GT3 class. Wilson moved up the race order as his fellow competitors encountered a number of different issues. The first was when Joe Kristensen and Chad Bacon tangled, he improved his position again when Mike Henderson and Rob Warkocki had their incident and he inherited first place and the National Championship when Gary Bockman retired.
Defending GT3 National Champion Joe Kristensen qualified second. At the start, Kristensen slotted into second place but was rear-ended in the race’s first turn by Chad Bacon causing him to spin. Erring on the side of caution, Kristensen pitted to have the car checked over. He returned to the race in thirteenth place and charged through the field to take the final spot on the podium – setting the fastest race lap in the process.
It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Scott Rettich would win the 2016 Formula Enterprise title. The five-time National Champion qualified on the pole but was passed on the opening lap by second fastest starter Paul Schneider. Rettich regained the top spot on the second lap and led the remainder of the race to win by a comfortable margin of 23.154-seconds.
2015 F500 National Champion, Calvin Stewart, started the defence of his title by qualifying on the pole. At the outset, Stewart dropped to second place in his No. 07 Novakar Blade F600 Suzuki. However, he got by race leader Steven Thompson on lap-6 only to fall to second two laps later. Thompson and Stewart ran nose to tail until Stewart spun at the ‘Keyhole’. He retired on lap-16 and was classified ninth.
Steven Thompson driving the T&R Fabricating TR1 Rotax started from the second position on the Formula 500 grid. At the outset, Thompson jumped into the lead and maintained first until passed by 2015 Champion, Calvin Stewart - he regained the lead two laps later. The pair ran in close quarters until lap-16 when Stewart spun. Thompson went on to win his first National Championship by 16.224-seconds.
There were ten cars entered in the Touring 3 category and half the grid was made up of Nissan 350Zs. On the pole was Charles Hurley in a BMW 330Ci but at the start, Derek Kulach in a Nissan 350Z Nismo grabbed the lead. Kulach held first place for the entire event and scored his first National Championship. Of note, this was Nissan’s 100th Sports Car Club of America National title.
Leading the Touring 2 class into the ‘Esses’ is defending champion and pole-sitter Kurt Rezzetano. Rezzetano drove the No. 37 Ford Mustang GT prepared by the very successful Phoenix American team. In the early stages of the race, he was followed closely by the Chevrolet Corvette of John Buttermore. Buttermore suffered a brake failure on lap-4 Rezzetano cruised to a 13.315-second margin of victory.
The Formula Mazda field appeared to shrink with each lap. Two of the contenders, Paul Ravaris and pole-sitter Jacob Loomis were black flagged mid-way through the race for sound violations. This allowed the No. 21 of second place qualifier Matthew Machiko to run uncontested to the checkered flag and win by a margin of 14.442-seconds. In addition to taking the National title, Machiko’s performance during the season earned him the SCCA Super Sweep award.
2012 American Sedan National Champion, Edward Hosni, waited until the last lap of qualifying to put his Ford Mustang on the pole – the only driver in the 1:32 range. At the start, Hosni jumped into the lead and was initially pressured by third place qualifier, Andy McDermid. Hosni built up a commanding lead when he retired with mechanical problems on the penultimate lap - he finished ninth.
Reigning National B-Spec Champion, John Heinricy won the U.S. Majors event at Mid-Ohio with a last lap pass on David Daughtery. These performances made Heinricy a favourite to win another title. He qualified fourth and on the first lap he tangled with Honda of John Phillips in the ‘Esses’. The incident dropped Heinricy to second last but he worked his way through the field and finished second at the checkered flag but was moved to third after a penalty.
At the drop of the Starter’s flag second fastest qualifier, Trent Hindman jumped into the lead driving the Fall-Line /BMW M3. Hindman would lead flag-to-flag to win the GT2 title – his first National Championship. Keeping him honest was six-time National Champion Andrew Aquilante in the No. 33 Phoenix Chevrolet Corvette. A late race caution prevented Aquilante from challenging Hindman for the victory.
Oscar Jackson competed in three classes at the 2016 Runoffs (Touring 4, STL and STU). Jackson started from the Touring 4 pole-position driving the Jackson Racing/BF Goodrich Scion FR-S. He took the lead on the first lap and began to increase his gap on second place Jim Drago in a Mazda MX-5. A late race full course caution ended the event three laps early and allowed Jackson to capture his first National title.
One of many drivers competing in multiple classes was past National Champion Jim Drago. Having a history of success in Mazda’s he used this make to compete in two categories. Drago was second in Touring 4 driving an MX-5 and finished fourth in the Spec Miata race.
The top three H Production finishers head for the checkered flag. Leading the group through the ‘Carousel’ is Brian Linn in the Hoosier/Carbotech/Red Line MG Midget who earned his second consecutive HP National Championship. Finishing second, was the Toyota Yaris of Jason Isley and the final spot on the podium went to 2000 and 2001 Champion Ron Bartell.
Sharing driving duties of the No. 94 Honda Fit was David Daughtery and Tom O’Gorman. Daughtery drove the car in SCCA amateur competition and O’Gorman raced the Honda in the World Challenge professional series. Daughtery qualified on the pole and ran unchallenged when the other contenders had issues and scored his ninth National Championship. Two weeks later, O’Gorman won the World Challenge title at Laguna Seca.
Pole-sitter Michael Galati made contact with the Datsun 260Z of Greg Ira twice on the second lap of the race - damaging Galati’s right front tire and fender. Galati pitted to have a tire replaced and returned to the track in twenty-second place. He made progress during the contest and finished seventh – one lap behind the leaders.
Starting second in Formula Vee was four-time National Champion Michael Varacins. Varacins driving the Speed Sport Engineering Speed Sport AM-5 took the lead on the second lap. He built a comfortable cushion as the drivers behind him battled. At the checked flag, he won by a margin of 4.390-seconds.
The No. 42 Vortech Lazier was entered by the Tivoli Lodge for Flinn Lazier. This was the first Runoffs for the seventeen-year-old who is the son the 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier and grandson of former National Champion Bob Lazier. For much of the race, he battled for second with Gary Blanarik. At the checkered flag, he was able to out dual Blanarik and capture second place in Formula Vee.
Alex Mayer qualified on the pole but spun and damaged the car in Mid-Ohio’s first turn. The incident allowed third place started J.R. Osborne to take the lead which he maintained for the first fifteen laps. On lap-16, Osborne lost power on the back straight and was passed by Kevin Roggenbuck and Jeremy Hill. Roggenbuck in the No. 12 Firman RFR 1000 would lead the remaining laps and capture the F1000 title.
With the retirement of race leader Steve Sargis on lap-16 the GT- Lite race took on increased level of excitement as the top-four cars ran nose-to-tail. The event now became a contest between the Honda CRX of Peter Shadowen, Kyle Disque in a Toyota Tercel, Christopher Bovis in another CRX and the Mazda Miata of Michael Kamalian. Shadowen was able to maintain first place and captured his second National Championship.
At this year’s event, Neil Verhagen became the youngest SCCA National Champion at 15-years, 242-days - displacing a record held by IndyCar driver Graham Rahal. Verhagen started on the Formula F pole - almost 1-second quicker than the second fastest qualifier – Andrew Melvin. At the start, Verhagen opened a comfortable lead. A mid-race caution bunched the field but at the restart, he drew away again and won by 5.451-seconds.
In the F Production race, nine-time National Champion, Joe Huffaker, started from the fifth grid position. But by the end of the first lap, Huffaker was in the lead and maintain first until being passed by eventual winner John Walker. On lap-10, Huffaker was battling with Lotus Super Seven of Steven Hussey when the two made contact. The incident caused the race to be red-flagged and Huffaker was classified twenty-fourth.
Starting second on the F Production grid was Steven Hussey driving a Lotus Super Seven. Hussey dropped to seventh place on the first lap but worked his way back into contention. On the tenth lap, he and Joe Huffaker made contact on the back straight. The incident caused both drivers to impact the concrete safety barriers – as a result, the race had to be red-flagged. Hussey finished in the twenty-fifth position.
One of the favourites to win American Sedan was Tom Sloe driving a Ford Mustang. Sloe had served notice earlier in the season by winning the Majors event at Mid-Ohio. He qualified second but made contact with Andy McDermid exiting the ‘Esses’ – causing Sloe to spin and drop to last. He charged through the field and was running third on the last lap when he slowed to make contact with McDermid. Sloe’s actions were deemed intentional by officials and he was disqualified.
Cliff Ebben had his initial success in the Formula Atlantic category but in 2000 switched to GT1 where he won three National Championships. Ebben decided not to participate in the final two qualifying sessions having secured the pole position on Tuesday. At the start, he was passed by second fastest qualifier Michael Lewis but after some contact, Ebben got by Lewis for the lead on lap-11 and took the National title by 8.588-seconds.
The Formula Atlantic race was the first event on the last day of the 2016 Runoffs. This meant that drivers would face the challenge of bringing their tires up to operating temperature on a damp and cool track. The most successful of these competitors was Ryan Norman driving a Swift 016a Mazda. Norman started on the pole and led flag-to-flag earning his first National Championship.
The Lotus Exige of Cameron Maugeri was the fastest qualifier and led the first three laps of the race before being passed by eventual winner Joe Moser driving a Honda Prelude. Maugeri dropped to fourth place early in the contest but by midway, through the event, he was in second. Unfortunately, an engine miss prevented him contending for the win. At the checkered flag, Maugeri was second.

CLASSGOLDSILVERBRONZE
GT1Cliff Ebben / Ford MustangMichael Lewis / Jaguar XKRDave Ruehlow / Corvette
GT2Trent Hindman / BMW M3Andrew Aquilante / CorvetteScotty B White / Dodge Viper
GT3William Wilson / Mazda RX-7Paul Young / Ford ProbeJoe Kristensen / Acura RSX
GTLPeter Shadowen / Honda CRXKyle Disque / Toyota TercelChristopher Bovis / Honda CRX
E ProductionMatt Reynolds / Mazda MiataJoe Moser / Honda PreludeGreg Ira / Datsun 260Z
F ProductionJohn Walker / Lotus Super 7Eric Prill / Mazda MiataCharles Campbell / Mazda Miata
H ProductionBrian Linn / MG MidgetJason Isley / Toyota YarisRon Bartell / MG Midget
Formula AtlanticRyan Norman / Swift 016aKeith Grant / Swift 016aSpencer Brockman / Swift 014a
Formula 1000Kevin Roggenbuck / RFRJeremy Hill / Photon VD07Nicholas Vardis / JDR
Formula ContinentalJohn LaRue / CitationNigel Saurino / Van DiemenJoshua Saurino / Van Diemen
Formula EScott Rettich / F EnterprisesHanna Zellers / F EnterprisesPaul Schneider / F Enterprises
Formula MazdaMatthew Machiko / Star MazdaJohn Entwistle / Star MazdaBradley Yake / Star Mazda
Formula FNeil Verhagen / Mygale SJ11Hans Saurino / Van DiemenDavid Livingston / Spectrum 14H
Formula 500Steven Thompson / TR1Brian Brothers / TR1Thomas Diehm / Novablade
Formula VeeMichael Varacins / Speed SportFlinn Lazier / Vortech LazierGary Blanarik / Silver Bullet
Prototype 1James Devenport / Auto ConceptKirk Kindsfater / Speads RS11Jim Hallman / Stohr WF1
Prototype 2Jeff Shafer / Stohr WF1Sherman Chao / Stohr WF1Greg Gyann / Stohr WF1
Spec Racer FordTodd Harris / Spec RacerMike Miserendino / Spec RacerScott Rettich / Spec Racer
Spec Racer Ford3John Black / Spec Racer Gen3Bobby Sak / Spec Racer Gen3Tordy Acker / Spec Racer Gen3
American SedanAndy McDermid / MustangPhilip Smith / CamaroJohn Heinricy / Camaro
B-SpecDavid Daughtery / Honda FitChi Ho / Honda FitJohn Heinricy / Chevrolet Sonic
Spec MiataJustin Hille / Mazda MiataMichael Carter / Mazda MiataElivan Goulart / Mazda Miata
Super Touring LiteKevin Boehm / Honda Civic SiEric Kutil / Honda Civic SiCliff Ira / Acura Integra GS-R
Super Touring UnderJoe Moser / Honda PreludeCameron Maugeri / Lotus ExigeOscar Jackson / Scion FR-S
Touring 1Ross Murray / Dodge ViperJohn Buttermore / CorvettePratt Cole / Ford Mustang
Touring 2Kurt Rezzetano / Ford MustangMark Boden / Porsche CaymanMichael Lavigne / Ford Mustang
Touring 3Derek Kulach / Nissan 350ZChad Gilsinger / Acura TLLansing Stout / Nissan 350Z
Touring 4Oscar Jackson / Scion FR-SJim Drago / Mazda MX-5Jim Drago / Mazda MX-5


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