RACE: National Runoffs: ArmsUp Motorsports race report
"ArmsUp Motorsports shows well at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs." TOPEKA, Kan. -- ArmsUp Motorsports drivers Jim Victor and Kirk Kindsfater competed last weekend at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in the Formula Continental class.
"ArmsUp Motorsports shows well at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs."
TOPEKA, Kan. -- ArmsUp Motorsports drivers Jim Victor and Kirk Kindsfater competed last weekend at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in the Formula Continental class. This was the first year that the crown jewel of amateur road racing was held at the Heartland Park Topeka circuit in Topeka, Kansas. The new 2.5 mile track presented a new challenge to the ArmsUp drivers who had not seen the circuit previous to arriving at the runoffs. After improving steadily through the weekend both Kindsfater and Victor ran into different forms of bad luck during the race to score 11th and 13th place finishes respectively.
Qualifying for the Runoffs is a four day affair starting on the Monday before the Friday race day. Each day a 20 minute session is allotted to each class competing at the Runoffs. A driver's best time overall from any of the four qualifying sessions sets their grid position for the event.
Kindsfater and Victor were both getting more and more comfortable with the Topeka circuit and steadily improved their times. Kindsfater, who split time between qualifying and work, was able to set the eighth fastest lap of the week, and the sixth fastest of the last qualifying session as the ArmsUp Motorsports team continually made setup improvements to his Van Diemen. Jim Victor steadily improved all week but in the final qualifying session had problems finding grip with his Van Diemen as temperature hovered around 40 degrees. When it was all said and done Victor lined up 19th on the grid.
The Formula Continental National Championship race was held on Friday the 13th. The ArmsUp Motorsports team may have felt as though they were in the "Friday the 13th" movies with the events that transpired both on and off the circuit. In the race Kindsfater got a strong start after being given two positions before the green flag when two cars did not show up to the grid on time. However in the first lap of the race the throttle on his Van Diemen was sticking for a second when he lifted to go to the brake pedal. Dealing with this problem as best he could the Fort Collins, Colorado driver was able to stay in the top ten through the first half of the race. Meanwhile Victor had a great start and was moving up from his 19th starting position.
After a full course yellow in the middle of the race Kindsfater was holding steady in eighth while Victor had moved to within striking distance of the top ten. On the restart Kindsfater's car became very loose through the uphill carousel and spun on the exit dropping him down to 15th in the order. Jim Victor was still moving up and found himself in 11th running down the ninth and tenth place cars. Heading into turn one the ninth place car spun under pressure from his two pursuers putting Victor into the top ten. At the checkered flag Victor crossed the line in tenth scoring his first National Championship top ten as well as winning the races hard charger award for advancing the most positions during the race. Kindsfater was able to make a great recovery after his spin putting himself 12th on the track while still dealing with a sticking throttle.
After the race however Jim Victor was docked three positions after it was determined that he had passed under a yellow flag after the restart. The ArmsUp team protested the call because the pass was made after the green flag had been displayed at the start finish. But because the corner marshal was slow to take down the double yellows the penalty was upheld by the stewards dropping Victor the 13th.
"Talk about a disappointing end to the week for our drivers," commented Gregg Borland after the weekend. "We had a much better weekend than our results showed. Kirk was among the fastest drivers in the last qualifying session and could have had a top five car today if we hadn't had the throttle problem. Jim just kept getting better and better and his result in the race today proved that. It's unfortunate our outcome was decided after the race and not on the track. Both drivers did well and deserve more, we are really looking forward to next year and improving on our finishes at this race."
ArmsUp Motorsports' Formula Continentals will finish off the season testing at Blackhawk Farms at the end of October. The team will also continue their efforts over the winter to join the Champ Car Atlantic Championship for the 2007 season.
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