Lawrence Loshak only needs four tires, a steering wheel and some pedals
By Dave Kallmann in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A year ago, at his home track, Lawrence Loshak drove through the field in the rain to win his third national title.
Then six hours later, the Grafton man hoisted another trophy in another class at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Elkhart Lake’s Road America.
Pshhhh… child’s play.
This week he’s at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, Calif., where he has competed only once before. He saw his Formula 1000 car for the first time Monday — not having raced in the class all season — and that was all it was, a car. No crew, no setup notes, no promises.
Oh, and Loshak’s races — the first in a 1,000-pound, winged car with uncovered wheels and a motorcycle engine, and the second in a production 1990 Honda CRX double the weight and 20 seconds a lap slower — go off consecutively Sunday afternoon, 72 hours after he was last on track in either car.
“Four tires, a steering wheel and some pedals; they’re all the same,” Loshak said Thursday while awaiting F1000 qualifying.
“It’s different. But it’s like if you’re a good dancer, what does it matter what you dance? Salsa or break-dancing, you’re a good dancer. A driver should be able to adjust.”
Loshak, vice president of manufacturing for the Milwaukee-based transmission remanufacturer ETE Reman, is one of 10 drivers from Wisconsin among the 500-some competing for championships in 27 classes.
He won the HP pole by nearly a second on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile layout and qualified 11th of 16 in Formula 1000.
“Trying to cram a season of testing and refinement into five days… if these things are not perfect, you give up a lot of time and it’s a lot of risk,” said Loshak, who has the same three-man team for both cars.
Last year, Loshak had to carve his way through the F1000 competition in the rain after giving up the pole when he arrived late to the grid because of confusion about the schedule. This year’s obstacle is that he doesn’t have the dominant car he did then. But Loshak doesn’t shy away from a challenge.
“Sometimes I put too much on my plate, or more often than not. But that’s who I am,” said Loshak, who plans to go pro racing in Trans-Am 2 next season.
“So this kind of might be my last Runoffs for a while. Who knows, maybe get my fifth and sixth titles. We’ll see.”
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