40 OCTOBER 2018 scca.com
RUNOFFS PREVIEW | WHO WILL WIN? PRESENTED BY FOR TRACKSIDE SUPPORT DURING THE RUNOFFS, CALL (951) 905-1144
(Clockwise from LEFT) We expect Mike
Lewis to claw his way back to the top
of GT1 in his trusty Jag. Joe Huffaker
is parking his legendary GTL Mini in
favor of his Midget, and it should be
fast enough for the win. Collin Jackson
looks to make it five for five in GT3 at
Sonoma. Andrew Aquilante is changing
cars this year, but we don’t expect
that to change the GT2 results.
Mike Lewis had a difficult week
in Indianapolis last year but still
came away with a silver medal
behind David Pintaric. This year,
we expect to see different results.
Although most of Lewis’ efforts
this summer have gone to his GT3
campaign, don’t expect him to
have ignored that Jaguar XKR.
“It’s a little long in the tooth,
and it showed last year and the
year before,” Lewis admits about
the GT1 car that has seen him
on many a Runoffs podium. “It
doesn’t quite have the pace of
these newer cars. But we’ve been
working on it, and our familiarity
with the track will help.”
Looking at the current entry
list, we expect that old Jag
should be plenty strong enough
to take Lewis to his ninth title.
Preston Calvert isn’t bringing a
traditional GT1 car, but he made
the trip out for the Sonoma
Majors, and we think his FIA
Porsche could be a contender.
Michael Fine could use home court
advantage to step on the podium.
Of course, if defending champ
Pintaric, who is campaigning a
full Trans Am season, uses the
provisional entry, all bets are off.
Though the car will be different,
we expect Andrew Aquilante to
once again hoist the GT2 trophy
at the Runoffs. “The [Corvette]
I’ve won with in the past was sold
earlier this year, so I’m not really
sure,” Aquilante says about the
car he’ll be driving at the Runoffs.
“I’m thinking about making last
year’s T1 Mustang work.”
This is not Aquilante being
coy – the Mustang is probably the
car unless, as he says, “the lottery
comes through” and he builds a
new Corvette for Sonoma. Although
Aquilante thinks the Corvette is
the car to have at Sonoma, we’ll
place our bet on the eight-time
champ until proven otherwise.
There are others to watch,
however. Michael McAleenan has
been fast out west in a BMW, as
has Spencer Trenery in a Porsche.
Aquilante specifically listed Preston
Calvert and his Corvette to contend
for his second consecutive podium
in the class. Mark Boden wasn’t
already busy enough with T1 and T2
races, so he could be the wildcard.
Until someone beats Collin
Jackson, we’d be foolish to choose
anyone else to claim a gold medal
against him. Now a remarkable
four-for-four, the defending
champ is all lined up to make it
an unprecedented five for five.
Jackson is coming and, as he
told us in the cover feature, he’s
putting his full effort into winning.
Sonoma is his favorite track, so it’ll
take a Herculean effort to beat him
OK, so, remember Mike Lewis
from a few paragraphs back? Lewis
is also running GT3 this year, and if
anyone can put an end to Jackson’s
winning streak, it’s him. Lewis is
driving Mike Henderson’s very fast
RX- 7 this year, and he’s doing so
superbly, so expect him to be glued
to Jackson for the entire race.
The race for the final step on the
podium will be interesting, too. You
can never count out Taz Harvey
when he’s racing so close to home.
But if Jeff Dernehl makes the tow,
we’ll expect him on the podium.
We’d be crazy not to tap Joe
Huffaker in a home race, but it won’t
be without some challenges. For
one, he’ll be running the Midget in
both GT-Lite and F Production.
“For some reason, the Midget
is quite a bit faster than the Mini,”
Huffaker says. “I pulled the Mini
out for the Majors race at Sonoma
just to see if I could get it close
to the Midget, and it just isn’t.
That makes the decision easy.”
Huffaker’s fellow West Coast
nemesis Troy Ermish will be
squarely in the mix, and he’s been
fast this year. Taz Harvey will also be
there in the Mazda Miata that has
done well for its previous owners,
so we won’t be surprised to see his
name near the top of the results.
— Reece White
1. Mike Lewis
2. Preston Calvert
3. Michael Fine
1. Andrew Aquilante
2. Michael McAleenan
3. Preston Calvert
1. Collin Jackson
2. Mike Lewis
3. Taz Harvey
1. Joe Huffaker
2. Troy Ermish
3. Taz Harvey
“It’s a little long in
the tooth, and it
showed last year
and the year before”