Veteran Driver Amy Ruman Holds Off Stiff SCCA Competition and Brings Home A Sweeping Victory at Watkins Glen
Amy Ruman stole the show from two of the hottest Sports Car Club of America GT-1 racers in the country Sunday at Watkins Glen International.
The temperature sizzled for a third straight day in the BFGoodrich SCCA Super Tour/Double Majors event on the Glen’s 3.4-mile circuit. For the second day in a row, 28 class winners were crowned in seven, 14-lap, group races.
The anticipated showdown between veteran Ruman of Kent, Ohio, teenage sensation Dillon Machavern of Charlotte, Vt. and three-time defending SCCA National Runoffs class champion Michael Lewis of Poway, Calif., had pretty much fizzled until the last lap.
Ruman, who had fashioned a comfortable six- to eight-second lead with her Chevy C6 Corvette over polesitter Machavern’s 1963 Ford Falcon, was held up by lapped traffic in Turn 6 on the final lap. That allowed 18-year-old Machavern a chance to steal the win but a desperate out-braking move in Turn 8 left his car beached in the gravel trap.
“It got real interesting on the last lap and Machavern could have got me but he tried the outside at the top of the boot (Turn 8) and he found out that that is not where you want to be,” Ruman said. “We’re kind of lucky that happened.”
Machavern dove deep into the right-hander, edging in front of Ruman before locking his rear brakes which sent him sliding off the track.
“I got a better launch out of (Turn) 7 and was side-by-side with her about half way down that little straight,” Machavern said. “I was on her, so I figured that was my best opportunity.”
“It was a gutsy move,” Ruman told Machavern. “You almost made it stick.”
Prior to that move, Ruman had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with one of the lapped cars in Turn 6 which allowed five-time 2013 winner Machavern to erase his deficit and make his play for the lead two turns later.
“I got blocked pretty good,” Ruman said. “The timing was better for him than for me and I almost got hit. I got in the grass a little and gathered it back up but by then Dillon caught me.”
With Machavern out of the race, Ruman finished 13.565 seconds ahead of second place finisher Jim McAlesse in a Corvette. Ruman averaged 108.712 mph in the caution-free race, earning a weekend sweep of the Super Tour event and adding to her two U.S. Majors wins earlier this year.
Lewis, a five-time winner on the west coast, missed Saturday’s race because of engine problems with his Jaguar XKR. The 53-year-old seven-time Runoffs champion was bitten again Sunday by a bad choice of ‘experimental’ Goodyear tires that blistered early on, forcing him out of the race, while third, on lap 9.
Nearly 300 amateur racers from around the country took part in the 66th running of the Glen Nationals. The oldest continuous running road race in North America received a boost this year in becoming one of six, larger points paying, Super Tour double events.
Jonathan Stocum of Horseheads completed a clean sweep of the B-Spec class Sunday with his Ford Fiesta.
Cliff White, of Huntsville, Ala., also claimed a weekend sweep in the competitive Spec Racer Ford class after taking advantage of a mistake from race leader Franklin Futrelle in in final corner of the last lap.
“You know how yesterday, I said it was the best race of the season,” White said. “This one topped it. We were three wide for the last four corners of the race, bascically.”
Futrelle, of Augusta, Ga., White and Brian Schofield, of Lakeland, Fla., all had a share of the lead from Turns 8 to 11.
“Coming on the front stretch I was watching my mirrors and not the road and I blew the Turn,” said Futrelle, who was leading at the time. “I put my left side wheels off the road and it made me wiggle.”
Said White, “It left the door open for me and I took the apex away from him.”