NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 18, 2006) – In the first-ever SCCA Club Racing National Championship Runoffs held at a new venue, Heartland Park Topeka Motorsports Complex in Topeka, Kansas, Nissan vehicles and drivers once again added to the company’s record, with an 88th SCCA National Championship. Collin Jackson, of Vancouver, British Columbia, drove to a flag-to-flag victory in his number 53 Nissan 240SX racer, the second time Jackson has won the GT3 class at the Runoffs. Finishing second was 2005 GT3 champion John Saurino, of Tulsa, Okla., in another 240SX and third was Jackson’s fellow British Columbian Dave Humphrey, also in a 240SX. Nissan was a dominating force in GT3, holding six of the top ten positions.
It was a long, cold and rainy weekend of racing for the Nissan group, and Jackson, who had won the 2003 GT3 championship at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, won the inaugural event at the 2.5-mile Heartland Park Topeka circuit by an astounding 16.676 seconds. “It’s not a surprise that Nissan was by far the favorite to win this year in GT3, with Nissan Motorsports’ encouragement of its drivers to continue winning SCCA national championships,” said Jackson.
“Nissan once again had great success at the SCCA Runoffs, even at a new venue this year,” said Ron Stukenberg, senior manager, Nissan Motorsports marketing and operations. “We’re very proud of all of the 44 Nissan drivers at the 2006 event, and are thrilled that our record championship streak continues for Nissan Motorsports.”
Nissans ran well in many of the other classes with a string of top-five finishes, including: a 4th place in Touring 2 for Robert Schader of Boulder, Colo. in a Nissan 350Z; 5th place in Touring 2 for Ken Dobson of Sonoma, Calif. in a Nissan 350Z; 4th place in E Production by Greg Ira of Plantation, Fla. in a Nissan 240Z; 5th place in GT Lite by William Pintaric Jr. of Youngstown, Ohio in a Nissan 200SX.; and 5th place in GT2 by Gerry Mason of Fishers, Ind. in a Nissan 300ZX.
Nissan Provides Strong Support, and a Nissan Motorsports Legend Speaks
The 2006 Runoffs was a major undertaking for Nissan Motorsports, which included a sizeable presence with parts, technical assistance and official Nissan staff. A highlight of the event was a special Nissan drivers’ banquet featuring guest speaker Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) team owner and manager Peter Brock. Brock spoke to a full house about his extensive racing history, his involvement in the early days of Datsun and how racing then was a cornerstone to Nissan’s success today.
“Peter Brock’s speech was riveting, and really put Nissan Motorsports history into perspective,” said Stukenberg. “It’s rare to be afforded the opportunity to hear from a living legend and such an important part of Nissan’s history. The impact of his words was such that Nissan drivers were talking about it in the paddock throughout the entire event.”
In honor of Brock and BRE, Nissan also had the multiple championship-winning #46 BRE Datsun 510 on display, which was piloted into the record books by another Nissan Motorsports legend, John Morton.
The SCCA Club Racing National Championship Runoffs
Competing at the 2006 Runoffs were more than 700 drivers in 25 classes. To be invited to this event, known as the “Super Bowl” of amateur road racing, each driver must have been one of the top-ten competitors in one of the eight National SCCA divisions. Nissan drivers racked up eight class division championships in 2006 to make it to the Runoffs. All 25 Championship races, held from October 13 through the 15, will be televised on a tape-delay basis in their entirety on the SPEED Channel on Tuesdays beginning November 7 and running through December 19, in one hour programs.
About Nissan Motorsports
Nissan has a long heritage of Motorsports success, both off-road and on the track. In 2006, Nissan’s Contingency Awards Program offers more than $125,000 in available awards to qualifying Nissan drivers, including those in SCCA competition. In addition, Nissan Motorsports offers a comprehensive 108-page parts catalog, available through Nissan Motorsports at email@example.com or 888/833-3225.
# # #