With the end of the 2021 ERCU racing season, the club's season champions have been crowned.
While there were a couple of racers winning championships who have done so before, we had more first-time season champions than not in 2021.
For example, Paul Dunlap, David Heilbrunn and John Sjostrom have never before won ERCU points championships. For Nelson Holmberg, he's won a couple of ERCU championships in the past, but never before in the 1/7 scale. And then there's David Newton. Well...we all know how he does when it comes to season titles.
In 1/10 scale modern, Dunlap drove Rick Evans' 2015 Dalton Industries in all but one of the nine races it entered during the 2021 season. By scoring 12,350 of the boat's ERCU-best 13,950, Dunlap not only staked claim to the boat title, but also took home the drivers championship. Heilbrunn was second in 1/10 scale modern, driving his 2019 J&D's to a season total (in both boat and driver points) of 10,519 points. Ron Daum and his 2019 Grandview on the Lake finished third with 10,017 points.
The first-ever 1/7 scale ERCU modern points championship was won by a long-time veteran of ERCU 1/10-scale, Holmberg - driving Gary Hansen's beautiful 1972 Notre Dame. The Notre Dame won the 1/7 scale championship in Electric Scale Unlimiteds in 2010. Holmberg won 1/10 scale titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014 before taking a few years off to race outboard hydroplanes. He also drove the 1/10 scale Hawaii Kai III to a boat championship in 2011. Second place in 1/7 scale modern went to Denise Sjostrom with her 1974 Miss U.S. and third was Craig Mullen with his 1975 Pay 'n Pak.
The 1/10 scale classic championship came down to the Gold Cup before it was decided. Gerry Bordon led most of the season with his 1974 Miss U.S., with David Heilbrunn a little over a roostertail behind most of the year. When Bordon's Miss U.S. was damaged in the second heat at the Gold Cup, Heilbrunn had the opportunity to make up a deficit of approximately 800 points. Driving conservatively and finishing heats for the day, Heilbrunn and his 1984 Executone were able to claim the title by a difference of 570 points over second place finisher Chuck Murray with the 1983 Miss Houston. Yep, you read that right, Murray also overtook the leader during the Gold Cup, as Bordon's and the Miss U.S. finished third in classic season points, just 77 points behind the Miss Houston.
When it came to 1/10-scale vintage, the season opened with a number of very competitive boats, but Newton and Kerry Kjos quickly dispatched the competition. Winning every race it competed in - one with Paxton Reunanen driving in place of Newton - the 1960 Miss Thriftway was the class of the field, taking the season points title with 13,400 points. Second in 1/10 scale vintage was rookie Jay Fonville and his 1964 Tahoe Miss. Third went to Bill Mowatt driving Rick Evans' 1968 Miss Bardahl.
Rounding out the 2021 ERCU fleet, the 1960 Miss Thriftway - this one owned and driven by John Sjostrom - also won a points title. Sjostrom finished the year with 6,719 points and two race wins to claim the season points title. Second went to Terry Harmer in the 1986 Miss Bahia, which won two races - including the Gold Cup. Third was Mike McIntosh's 1976 Vagabond.
It was truly a great season, and the club is proud to have seen the great turnouts this year as well as the amount of fun everyone seemed to truly have throughout the summer.
We already can't wait for the 2022 season!