Friday, September 20, 2013

SCCA National Runoffs: Limitless Racing Audi R8 GRAND-AM performed well at Road America

By Johan Laubscher

The 2013 SCCA National Championship Runoffs took place at Road America this week. It was the fiftieth anniversary of this prestigious event and two Audis were entered in two different classes. The second Audi entered race was held on Friday morning and Limitless Racing showed good form with their Audi R8 GRAND-AM.

Originally three Audis had been entered for the Runoffs, including two Audi R8 GRAND-AM entries. The first Audi R8 GRAND-AM was that of Limitless Racing and Dr Jason Lee, who had qualified for the Runoffs GT2 class (SCCA GT2 class, not related to ACO GTE/GT2) by competing in the 2013 SCCA U.S. Majors this year. The second R8 GRAND-AM was originally entered by Fall-Line Motorsports for Mark Boden, however the team switched to a Porsche 911 GT3 for the weekend, thus dropping the Audi R8 GRAND-AM count to only one car. The next and final Audi car was entered in the STU class, the Continental Racing Audi A4 of Joel Weinberger. His B7 A4 is one of the ex-Stasis SCCA World Challenge touring cars. 

The event normally takes place with an all-week format, as practice and testing begins on Monday, followed by the racing taking place from Friday to Sunday. Each of the various SCCA categories has one race with a duration of thirteen laps or forty minutes, whichever comes first.

Qualifying was held over two days, with two sessions for each of the classes. It was a steep learning curve for Limitless Racing, as their driver, Dr Jason Lee, had never competed at Road America before. Despite this, Dr Lee was able to put in respectable lap times and continued to improve with each session. He ultimately qualified eighteenth within GT2 during the first dry session, behind the wheel of his #08 Audi R8 GRAND-AM. It was wet during the second session, so the overall fastest times remained stagnant, but he was able to post the second fastest time of that session among the competitors that took part, despite the weather conditions. 

It so happened that both of the Audi entered races took place on Friday, with the STU race being the very first race to kick off proceedings at the Runoffs, followed by the GT2/GT3 race two hours later. 

The STU race was held earlier in very wet conditions. At 8:45 am local time it was a case of quattro weather and Joel Weinberger achieved a podium result in his Audi A4.

A few hours later, at 10:45 am local time, the SCCA GT2/GT3 race got underway. This race took place on a drying track. Dr Lee was able to progress very well and got up to eleventh overall on the first lap, but he would suffer on his wet tires later during the race. He was involved in a number of battles, trying to defend his position. Ultimately he lost places and dropped to twenty-fifth overall after the full-course yellow, finishing twelfth in class.

It was a good weekend for the Audi teams at the 2013 SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Hopefully the number of Audis will increase at this prestigious event in the years to come.

Photo credit: 
Limitless Racing / Chris Rallo
John Mills