ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Michael Scornavacchi stayed clear of a lengthy battle for the final podium positions to run practically unchallenged to the Touring 4 title at the 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
Lance Stewart and Greg Vandersluis completed a Mustang sweep of the podium.
Scornavacchi became a two-time National Champion in the No. 2 Angry Sheep Motorsports/Carbotech Ford Mustang, averaging 88.720 mph in the 13-lap, 52-mile race on his way to a 1.948-second victory.
The new Touring 4 class is a combination of the previous Showroom Stock B and Showroom Stock C class, with Scornavacchi returning one year after claiming the final SSB title.
Scornavacchi started on the SafeRacer pole, got away at the start, and then hit his marks as the field battled for second through fifth behind him. The gap on the opening laps was enough for Scornavacchi to set sail for the title.
“The first one was the toughest one, because I should have probably won this thing a couple of other times when it was back in Topeka and something would always seem to go wrong,” Scornavacchi said. “This year, things kind of worked out. Qualifying is so important here, because as you saw behind me, there were just all kinds of stuff going on. So I could kind of set a pace. This one is a little bit more special, because the other was the first one and it seemed like it was never going to happen.”
Stewart, who finished second behind Scornavacchi for the second-consecutive year, worked through the field quickly in the No. 31 Specialty Vehicle Logistics/BFGoodrich Tires Ford Mustang from his eighth spot on the grid. Stewart was fifth by the end of the opening lap, then began to climb through the contenders.
Getting to the front required Stewart to pass several cars. He picked off the No. 24 HPD/Honda Racing/BFGoodrich Tires Honda Civic of Matthew Staal on lap two to move to fourth, then battled with Brian Price’s No. 51 RP Performance/Performance Auto Works Mazda MX-5 for two laps.
Stewart’s Mustang had the power to get by Price’s Mazda on the front straight, but the Mazda was quicker through the back part of the track and under braking. Stewart made an impressive pass through Turn 13 to earn the GoPro Hero Move of the Race and get clear of Price for good.
Next up for Stewart in the swarm of T4 cars was Lee Niffenegger’s No. 42 Honda Racing/HPD/BFGoodrich Tires Honda Civic Si. Stewart moved to second position in Canada Corner, and set his sights on Scornavacchi.
Stewart closed to Scornavacchi, but was too far behind at the start of the chase. For the second-consecutive year, Stewart stayed one step below the class champion on the podium. On his way to second place, he turned the Hawk Performance Hot Lap in 2:41.499 (89.165 mph).
“Eighth is probably not the best place to start the race because of his (Scornavacchi’s) car,” Stewart said. “He was driving it really well. The first two turns, it was a battle. It was just a big rugby scrum and we were trying to gain a position wherever we could. There was a lot of late braking going on. Then, it was just trying to catch Mike. But he was driving well, his car was working well, and he was too far ahead. We gave it all we had.