Chevy and Pontiac Add Five More SCCA National Championships to GM Tota
Win Streak Reaches 52 Consecutive Years and 133 Titles; Pontiac Solstice wins two classes
TOPEKA, Kan. – Drivers racing Chevy and Pontiac vehicles won five Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Championships over the weekend at the 44th Annual Runoffs Presented by AT&T at the 2.5-mile Heartland Park Topeka circuit.
Ken Flory, a Pratt & Miller engineer, drove his Pontiac Solstice Club Sport Z0K to the model’s second straight Runoffs win against a strong field of import vehicles in the Showroom Stock B (SSB) race on Saturday.
“I was hit in the rear at the start, but that was enough to push my Solstice into the lead and we were able to stay there,” said Flory, who was competing in his first Runoffs.
The 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP Club Sport Z0K built for the Touring 2 (T2) class was driven wire-to-wire to a victory by now-four-time National Champion Don Knowles, who gave the Solstice its first championship last year during the vehicle’s inaugural SSB season.
“Having the GM Performance Division engineering and technical staff out here for support helps raise the level of focus for each racer driving a GM vehicle,” said Knowles. “For me, I knew my Solstice would be up to the challenge as long as I kept up my end of the bargain by driving like I know I can.”
Knowles led a 1-2-3 finish for the Solstice GXP Z0K in T2. He was followed to the checkered flag by Bill Ziegler and Ed Zabinski, who decided after last Monday’s first qualifying session to replace his Lotus with a Solstice.
Zabinski bought an unfinished Solstice GXP Z0K from Phoenix Performance and with the help of GM Performance Division engineers and technicians, built the vehicle on-site and then set the fastest lap in T2 provisional qualifying his first time out with it on Thursday.
On Friday during the first day of racing, 20-year-old college student Andrew Aquilante drove his 2007 Corvette C6 Z51 from the Touring 1 (T1) class pole position to the top of the leader board, winning his first Runoffs title.
GM Performance Division executive John Heinricy won his 11th title in a Phoenix Performance-owned Chevrolet Cobalt SS while competing in the Showroom Stock C (SSC) class.
Tony Ave won the Grand Touring 1 (GT1) class for specially-built race cars, driving a Chevrolet Corvette for his first National Championship.
GM-powered cars now have a winning record unmatched by any other manufacturer in SCCA – 133 wins in 52 consecutive years of National Championship racing.
The GM Performance Division was at the Runoffs for its third consecutive year, providing technical support to all GM competitors. In addition to a $10,000 contingency program in each of the six classes that hold special interest for GM (T1, T2, T3, SSB, SSC and American Sedan), nine engineers and technicians were on-site all week to provide services to any competitor with a GM car.
GM teams qualified in the pole position in four of the five Showroom Stock and Touring classes where the company’s interest is heaviest.
Mike Scornavicchi Jr., won the pole in the SSB class with his 2007 Solstice Z0K; while Don Knowles, the 2006 SSB champion in a naturally-aspirated Solstice Z0K, won the T2 pole in the turbocharged Solstice GXP Z0K.
In addition to Aquilante’s pole in T1, Heinricy gave GM cars a sweep of the Touring class poles by putting his 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged at the head of the Touring 3 (T3) class pack.
Sixty teams raced GM branded vehicles in six classes during the weekend, including American Sedan (AS) in addition to the Touring and Showroom Stock classes.
“Our goals for the Runoffs were met as well as anybody can expect in the unpredictable world of racing,” said Greg Fadler, group manager for GMPD Race Vehicle Engineering.
“We won two of the three Touring classes, qualified on the pole in all three, won two Showroom Stock classes where our interest is the greatest, qualified on the pole in both of those, and then added the GT1 win to the record books.”
The races were individually televised by the SPEED TV crew and will be aired on Wednesdays from November through the end of January 2008.
Air dates and times for races featuring GM’s focus classes are:
* Nov. 14, 12:00 PM Showroom Stock C
* Nov. 28, 12:00 PM Touring 1
* Dec. 5, 1:00 PM Touring 3
* Dec. 12, 1:00 PM American Sedan
* Dec. 26, 1:00 PM Showroom Stock B
* Jan. 9, 12:00 PM Touring 2
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 280,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.
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