VIR - 1972 October Results -Article by Margot Wilkinson

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Two Flags Over VIR
VIR 200 Challenge


by Margot Wilkinson

A new twist to an old theme produced a regional race with a purse of $3,600 and co-sponsorship by two SCCA Regions separated by 250 miles. The N. C. and Washington, D. C. Regions overcame geographical barriers to produce "TWO FLAGS OVER VIR" held at Virginia International Raceway October 14 and 15. One hundred fifteen Novice, Regional, and National License holders from Mid-Atlantic states were lured to the grid by the promise of great racing action on the 3.23 mile rolling road course and a chance to take home trophies and American green.

Saturday's racing included four Group Races for trophies and one Enduro for $500 in purse, the Formula Fling. Sunday's racing action gave $500 in purse to the Sports Car Special, the Vee Prix, and the Small Sedan Sprint; and a grand finale of $1500 to the 200 mile VIR 200 Challenge. Top qualifier of the weekend was awarded $100 by the Racer Store of Rockville, Maryland.

Eighteen cars gridded for Group 1, open to Formula Ford, Formula Super Vee, and Formula SCCA. Taking top honors in Group 1 was Dan Torpy of Adelphi, Maryland, driving a Lola Formula Ford. Finishing second overall was Jay Mangan of Arlington, Virginia, driving an Elden Formula Ford.

Group 2 featured 34 drivers in E through H Production, C Sedan, C and D Sports Racing, and Showroom Stock Sedan. Finishing first overall was Eugene Woodruff of Arlington, Virginia, driving a Royale C Sports Racer. Taking second place honors and first in F Production was 2-time National Champion Pete Van Der Vate of Vienna, Virginia, driving a Spitfire. Third place finisher Jack Lewis of Atlanta, Goorgia, drove his E Production Porsche to first in class. Other class finishers were Earl Clemenson of High Point, N. C., driving an H Production Sprite, Dave Moubray of Brookville, Maryland, driving a G Production Spitfire, and Clay Kimball of Charlotte, N. C., driving a SSS Pinto.

Group 3 featured Formula Vee and gridded 24 cars. Kip Laughlin of McLean, Virginia, finished first overall with Rich Lamb of Laurel, Maryland, taking second. The 2 top finishers drove Zink Formula Vees.

Group 4, open to A through D Production, A and B Sedan and A and B Sports Racing, gridded 22 cars. Top finisher was Russ Norburn of Durham, N. C., driving a B Sedan BMW 2002ti. Second place finisher and first in A Sedan was G. L. Spoerl of LaVale, Maryland, driving a Pontiac GTO. Third place finisher and D Production winner was Bill Jarrell of Chestertown, Maryland, driving a Daimler SP 250. Forth overall and first in B Sports Racing went to Pete Lobianco of York, Pennsylvania, driving a Chevron B19. Fifth overall and first in A Sports Racing went to John Sabel of Rockville, Maryland, driving a Sabel SR. First in C Production went to Todd Dickinson of Durham, N.C. driving a Datsun 24OZ.

The final race of the day and the first for purse was the Formula Fling, worth $500 to the top finishing Formula Fords. First overall honors were taken by T. H. Wentz of Villanova, Pennsylvania, driving a Merlyn. Second and third place honors went to Dan Torpy and Jay Mangan, earlier, Group 1 winners. Tom Pumpeley of McLean, Virginia, lead the race in his Elden until he was forced to retire with suspension failure on the last lap.

Sunday's Enduro Facing began with the 45 minute Sports Car Special, open to G and H Production and C and D Sports Racing. Finishing first overall was Jim Myers of Asheville, N. C., driving a Lotus C Sports Racer. Myers best time brought home $140 in Purse. First in H Production brought Sprite driver Rod Larson of Trianglen, Virginia, $95 in purse. G Production winner was Phil Thompson of Bridgewater, Virginia, driving a Spitfire.

Twenty-one Formula Vees gridded for the 18 lap Vee Prix with Kip Laughlin taking his second win of the weekend, bringing home $125. Bob Schultz of Virginia Beach, Virginia, drove his RCA to second place d $100. Third place honors and $75 went to Bob O'Connor of Alexandria, Virginia, driving a Zink.

B and C Sedans and SSS grouped for a 1 hour race, the Small Sedan Sprint. Running away from the pack from the start, Group 4 winner Russ Norburn drove his BMW to first and $140. Robert Johnson of Ft. Lee, Virginia, finished first in SSS driving a Pinto. Clay Kimball finished three car lengths behind Johnson making his SSS victory an hour-long battle.

The final Sunday race featured the VIR 200 Challenge and a chance for A through H Production and A and B Sedan to tangle for a piece of $1,500. Jim Glanton of Durham, N. C., drove his C Production Porsche 911S to first qualifying position and pulled out an early lead with G. L. Spoerl's A Sedan Pontiac only seconds behind. After not being able to make the grid after the Small Sedan Sprint, Russ Norburn worked his BMW from last to third position and finally was able to edge past Spoerl's Pontiac, making the race a terrific 3-car Challenge. Mid-race, both Norburn and Spoerl developed engine trouble with Glanton taking a smooth first overall victory and $375 in purse. Finishing second in a Toyota and first in B Sedan was Victor Matthews of Mechanicsville, Virginia, taking home $200. Matthew's Toyota, which had mechanical troubles in Saturday's racing, proved to be a consistent contender in the 200 mile race. Other class winners were Richard Knoblauch of Great Falls, Virginia, driving a E Production Porsche; G. L. Spoerl and I. Dietrick team driving the A Sedan Pontiac; Edward Sharp of Temple Hills, Maryland, driving an H Production Sprite; Phil Thompson and Dave Moubray driving an E Production Triumph; Robert Jones and Tom Howden of Charlottesville, Virginia, driving an F Production Sprite; and Pete LaBianco of York, Pennsylvania, driving a D Production Lotus S7.

Top weekend qualifier was T. H. Wentz of Villanova, Pennsylvania.

How does it feel to be top money-winner at a Regional Race? Just ask Jim Glanton how good a bottle of champagne tastes after taking the checkered flag for the VIR 200 Challenge. Will Two Flags wave over VIR again? Just ask anyone--a regional with pazzazz!

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