News release by SCCA
Sports Car Club of America 2014 Majors Champion - Tom Patton
Northern Conference, GT-2
Tom Patton, of Hamilton, Ohio, was able to bounce back from a less that satisfying 2013 campaign to take home a very meaningful Championship title.
“After our 2013 campaign, where we were not competitive, and to win the races we did this year was special,” Patton said. “Especially, the way we did it, by coming from behind in each race was rewarding. The class has changed so much the past two years, with the addition of the former Super Touring Over and Trans Am 2 cars it has been more exciting every race we attended.”
As for a memorable moment, Patton said the whole season was memorable. However, he was able to identify three key moments that led to his Championship win.
“First, was our first race at Road Atlanta at the Eastern Conference Majors, in March,” Patton said. “Hoosier had done a lot of work on the tires over the winter. With the work we did over the winter break, it made a huge difference. We had a big field of GT-2 cars and had a great race with the eventual winner Randy Kinsland, swapping the lead on the last couple of laps.
“The second point was when we went to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Majors at our home track. We wanted to have a better showing than in 2013 where we finished fourth and fifth, running more than three seconds off the lead pack. Once again, thanks to Hoosier, and our hard work, we were competitive. We had two great races, finishing second on day one and taking the win in the feature race, on Sunday. After the licking we took in 2013, it felt great especially with the quality and size of the field.
“The third point was our first trip to Watkins Glen over the Independence Day weekend. Once again as part of a strong GT2 field with great racing, we were second on Saturday after starting fifth, in class. Then, we won the feature on Sunday. At this point, we had set our sights on not only the Northern Conference Championship but also the Nation-wide Championship.”
Even with the positive momentum from earlier in the season, the team still ran into one major issue with the No. 50 Hoosier Tires/Redline Oil Sunbeam Tiger. However, the SCCA community was quick to come to Patton’s aid.
“The car ran flawlessly all season except for the Majors race at Virginia International Raceway,” Patton said. “We were running the test day and a bolt backed out of the differential case and took out the ring and pinion in the rear end. We did not have a spare with us but we really enjoyed the facilities at VIR and decided to stay and watch the races.
“Pete Peterson, my competitor, offered us the parts we needed and had his crew member Scott run back to the shop and pick up what we needed. Overnight, they helped us put it all together. Our finishes at the event were not what we wanted, but we had a terrific time had great racing all thanks to my fellow competitors!”
When all was said and done, Patton recorded seven podium finishes in eight Northern Conference races. That included wins at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, GingerMan Raceway, Road America and Grattan Raceway.
Patton made a point of thanking the Majors staff for making the events possible. Between the venues, and the on-track competition, Patton said he and his team had a memorable experience.
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