Rettich Wins Ninth Consecutive Pro FE Race; Clinches 2011 Championship
Nov. 6, 2011 - BRASELTON, Ga. - Scott Rettich’s ninth SCCA Pro Racing Formula Enterprises win in as many attempts this season clinched the 2011 Championship on Sunday for the Camden, Ohio, resident with an afternoon finale at Road Atlanta still remaining on the schedule. Patrick Gallagher, of Thornville, Ohio, and Paul Schneider, of Charlotte, N.C., also earned podium finishes.
Rettich races ahead of Jason Wolfe for win 9 of the season.
Rettich started third in the No. 17 PDI Communications Systems Formula Enterprises machine and moved into second on the opening lap with Gallagher’s No. 00 Jay Motorsports/CTL Engineering machine spun in the race’s third corner.
While Gallagher restarted, Rettich set chase for polesitter Jason Wolfe’s No. 23 Jay Motorsports Formula Enterprises car. Rettich caught Wolfe and chased the 17-year-old, moving past him and into the lead on lap 10, but handing the lead back to the young racer on lap 11.
Just one lap later, Rettich reclaimed the lead and began to pull away from Wolfe. Giving chase and trying to keep touch with the leader, Wolfe spun out of the race on lap 15.
Rettich cruised to what would officially be a 17.142-second win over Gallagher, after the No. 92 Rent This Car Formula Enterprises of Mark Eaton was disqualified for being underweight. Eaton was closing on the lead car in the final laps, pulling to 3.015-seconds at the checkered flag on the track. Eaton was moved to 15th place after post-race technical infraction, just ahead of Matt Schneider, who suffered the same fate in the No. 31 Jay Motorsports Formula Enterprises after finishing fourth on track.
The Champion-elect averaged 106.286 mph in the 20-lap, 50.8 mile race, leading twice for 10 laps.
“It was a pretty crazy race, at the start I settled into third and Patrick spun right in front of me and I had to ease off and get around him,” Rettich said. “Jason got a little bit of a gap on me there and I spent the next few laps catching him. On about the third lap I was almost close enough to draft by him, but he was faster in some places and I was faster in some places.
“I started pulling away just the tiniest bit and we caught a lapped car who spun right in front of us. A couple of corners later I glanced in my mirrors and saw Jason spinning.”
Gallagher crawled through the field, taking advantage of his spinning teammate and the post-race demotion of Eaton to finish second.
“You’re not going to win races if you make mistakes, and that’s just what it comes down to,” Gallagher said. “I messed up. I feel bad for my team, they gave me a good car – something that I believe I could have won the race with. I had to use it up getting through the field.
Gallagher and the rest of the field have one last shot to prevent Rettich from sweeping the season.
“I think we have the car to do it. It’s going to come down to who makes mistakes, we’re all really close this weekend. I think we can get it done. We’ll go back, we’ll do our homework and we’ll see where I end up.”
Paul Schneider crossed the finish line in fifth, but was scored in third behind the wheel of his No. 73 Performance Motor Cars of Charlotte machine after crossing the scales.
Tilden Kinlaw finished fourth in the No. 73 Comprent Motorsports Formula Enterprises, followed by Shaun Miller’s No. 59 Work Racing machine.
Wolfe, who turned the fastest lap of the race in 1:24.713 (107.914 mph), will start on pole for the afternoon race. The grid for the matinee is set by the fastest race laps in the morning contest. Rettich will start second, followed by Gallagher, Jim Libecco’s No. 98 Akron Skin Center FE car, and Kinlaw.
Rettich has clinched the 2011 season-long title, with Gallagher locked into second by taking the green flag in the afternoon race. Wolfe sits third, followed by Libecco and Schneider.