SCCA BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour concludes in Atlanta
An impressive 297 cars participated this weekend in the SCCA BFGoodrich Tires Atlanta Super Tour at Road Atlanta, with Round Six of the Eastern Conference Majors Tour coming to a close on Sunday under sunny skies.
The final day schedule featured eight race groups running races of 20 laps or 40 minutes, whichever came first, at the 11-turn, 2.540-mile Road Atlanta.
Unfortunately, Sunday's races were over before they began for Super Touring Lite drivers Yiannis Tsiounis (No. 69 Yushino Mazda Miata), Aaron Povoledo (No. 82 Aaron Povoledo Track Days Mazda Miata), Todd Lamb (No. 84 Cahall/Driving Coach/Hawk Performance Mazda Miata) and Joe Strong (No. 08 Blablakids.com Mazda Miata), who were involved in a big incident under the flag stand at the race's green flag.
As the field accelerated to the green, Tsiounis, starting fourth, was hit and spun by another car. Sitting sideways in the track, Tsiounis and the others were collected as the large field tried to scramble through the open gaps. The incident brought the entire field to pit lane under black flag conditions with the 40-minute clock still running.
Once running again, the battle up front in Touring 2 was a repeat of Saturday. Kurt Rezzetano started his No. 36 Phoenix Performance/Ford Racing/Hoosier/Hawk Performance Ford Mustang on the pole and withstood a challenge to the finish from the No. 02 Trianon/Fall-Line Porsche 997 of Andrew Longe.
Opposite of Saturday, Luke Wilwert held the early lead in Touring 3 in the No. 07 HPD/BFGoodrich Tires/Hondata Acura TL over Rob May's No. 04 Fall-Line Motorsports/Hoosier/Rytec Doors BMW M3. May used a run down the front straight to carry the momentum and make the pass on the way to turn two working lap nine, and held off a charging Wilwert to the finish.
Back in the STL battle, Brian Shanfeld moved his No. 66 Honda R&D/BFGoodrich Tires Honda Civic Si around Bruce Andersen's No. 3 Senson Racing Grp/Autotechnik Racing Mazda Miata on lap nine, and then pulled away for a 2.5-second win at the finish line for a weekend sweep. Joining him in sweeping their respective classes during the weekend were Matthew Pullano (No. 72 PullanoPT.com/Krugspeed Lotus Exige, in Super Touring Under) and Travis Washay (No. 33 Indian Summer Racing/Northern Cross MINI Cooper, in B-Spec).
The rain started to fall on the pace lap for the small formula cars, sending a handful to pit lane with the pace car and waving off the initial start of the race. Clint McMahan's No. 2 Satellite Racing Nova KBS-01 Formula 500 took off at the start, racing to the overall lead ahead of the Formula F battle.
Now wet and with McMahan out in front of his class, the Formula F and Formula Vee fields were left to sort out their races. The No. 88 Braeburn/Two Dogg/Hoosier/Euroquipe Piper DF-3D Honda of Tim Kautz led early in FF, with John Benson's No. 7 Advanced Borehole Services/Lee Racing/Cricket Farm Motors Swift DB-3 and Max Hanratty's No. 91 Honda/SynerComm Inc./Sparco Spectrum in tow. Benson took the lead on lap seven, one lap before Steven Davis' Formula Vee No. 80 Hoosier/Butler Engines/RoxannesHeaders Racer's Wedge SB-1 spun in turn five to bring out a full course caution.
Benson, Kautz and Hanratty ran in order on the track, and two laps after the lap 10 restart, Benson moved into the overall lead and crawled away from Kautz to the finish.
Donnie Isley's No. 30 Agitator By Brookshire Agitator 016 held off a challenge from Saturday winner Laura Hayes' No. 22 Protoform P2 early, and when Davis spun, was well out in front of the Formula Vee field. That continued after the full course caution, and Isley rebounded from Saturday's mechanical failure for the win on Sunday.
For the second straight day, Brian Schofield kept his No. 61 PM Racing Spec Racer Ford in front of a tight battle with Trey Ayres' No. 7 Ayres Racing SRF and John Greene's No. 29 Jacky Jones Lincoln/PM Racing machine, with the three running nose to tail for most of the 18 laps.
Ayres moved his black number seven to the front on lap five, but for the most part Schofield stayed just in front of the draft. With Greene and Ayres battling for second on the final lap, Schofield opened up a half-second lead at the finish, followed by Ayres and Greene less than a car length apart for the podium.
The fastest cars in the big bore group were also the closest, as Doug Peterson (pictured, TOP) and Simon Gregg renewed their SCCA Pro Racing Trans Am rivalry on Sunday in the GT-1 class. The last two pro champions, Peterson led wire to wire in what was a mistake-free drive, with Gregg rarely more than just a few car lengths behind during the entire race.
Unable to find a way around Peterson's yellow No. 87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette, Gregg set up one last chance with a hard-braking maneuver into turn 10 at the end of the backstraight. Gregg may have had an opportunity to wrestle the spot away in the No. 59 Deerhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, but respectfully gave Peterson enough room to turn in as well. Coming down the hill to the finish, Peterson was just in front, and the final margin ended at just a scant 0.324-second.
Tom Ellis (No. 57 Steeda/Averitt/Palm Express Ford Mustang) and Jason Von Kluge (No. 119 Varsity Ford Ann Arbor/Steeda Ford Mustang) put on impressive drives this weekend, sweeping the American Sedan and Touring 1 classes, respectively. Von Kluge stalked the No. 10 Ford Mustang of Ricardo Flores early in a three-car battle that included the No. 77 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Penske/Hawk Chevrolet Corvette of Preston Calvert, then moved around Flores on lap eight and kept the others at bay to the checkered flag.
With the track now bone dry, the Spec Miata gang took over and put on a show. Polesitter Alex Bolanos got a shove from Jim Drago at the start, and the pair led a line of Mazdas 10 deep through the early stages.
It didn't take long until the No. 57 Autotechnik/Rossini Engines Miata and the No. 2 East Street Racing Miata, joined by Dillon Machavern's No. 24 Heritage/Panic/T-Speed Mazda, had shed the rest of the line and the three lapped the circuit nose to tail.
On lap 13, Machavern followed the two-time defending National Champion Drago around Bolanos. Bolanos quickly moved right back onto the train and kept the pressure on.
Lap after lap until the finish, the three waited for a mistake that never came. Still separated by a razor's edge, Drago crossed in front of Machavern and Bolanos for the podium.
The Formula Atlantic, Formula 1000 and Prototype 1 race came to a sudden and eventful end when, going through the fast, right handed turn one at speed on lap 12, the (front) wheel literally came off. The carnage scattered Christopher Ash (No. 67 Scanworks Medical/Rilltech Racing Spreads RS11), Jason Slahor (No. 19 Slahor Racing Van Diemen RF98, second at the time in Formula B), Alex Mayer (No. 77 Mayer Motorsports JDR), Bruce Hamilton (No. 06 K-Hill Motorsports/Hoosier Swift 014), and Dore Chaponick (No. 79 Gridsport/Highway Systems/Corby Concepts/Hoosier Tire Stohr F1000), with Lewis Cooper (No. 70 Martini/Coors Light/Johan Klaus German Wines/Voss Water/Polestar Swift 014) following the group in and finding contact. All drivers were cleared from the track medical center following the incident.
That came after an initial six lap green flag run, followed by four laps of caution for another stalled car on course.
Under the short green flag runs and the limited race, Daniel Burkett (No. 4 K-Hill Motorsports Swift 016), Jacek Mucha (No. 07 Phoenix-Innotech/Mazda JMS 016cp), and Glen Cooper (No. 43 Ralph Firman Racing/Hoosier Tires/HorseLoversGifts.com RFR F1000) scored wins in Formula Atlantic, Prototype 1 and Formula 1000, respectively.
Like Saturday, the featured race in the mid-speed open wheel group was the Formula Continental battle. Chuck Moran, running a low downforce setup on the No. 45 Van Diemen RF99, led early over Thomas McGregor's No. 93 Honda/Dairy Queen/Sparco Spectrum 014Z, with McGregor taking the lead for the first time on lap five.
Over the next 15 laps, the pair swapped the lead several times. On the last lap, the duo came into the heavy turn 10 braking zone side by side. Moran was stuck on the outside of 10a, and tried to cut back to the inside to get a run coming out of 10b. Unfortunately for him, he was carrying too much speed and didn't have enough grip to make the move work and locked up his left front tire. That was all the gap McGregor needed to get to the finish.
Robert Noell took the lead from Darryl Wills' No. 1 Hillenburg Motorsports Formula Mazda on lap eight, and the pair ran within half a second until lap 17, when Wills spun out of contention. The run to the finish completed a weekend sweep for Noell in the No. 27 Robert Noell Associates/Guest Concepts Formula Mazda.
The weekend was capped by weekend sweeps from Jim Daniels (No. 76 TheRacingInsiders.com Mazda Miata in E Production) and Michael Miller (No. 64 SportsCarSalvage/AppRaceTire/Comptune Austin Healy Sprite in H Production), a first time U.S. Majors Tour winner in Patrick Crider (No. 89 Hoosier Tire/Jesse Prather Motorsport/Ducommun Incorporated Mazda Miata in F Production), and a redeeming win by Peter Shadowen (No. 72 Road N Race Automotive/Flat Top Brewing Company/Hoosier/HPD/Redline/Hawk Honda CRX in GT-Lite).
Shadowen spent the entire race fending off the No. 14 JB Racing/Hoosier Tires/Appalachian Race Tire Nissan 200SX of Charles Leonard, with the gap fluctuating between two car lengths and a full second for 20 laps as they worked through traffic. Crider got a boost when both Ken Kannard and Don Ahrens pulled off track, giving him a full lap of breathing room but elevating the back and forth battle between Mark Weber's No. 25 Goodyear/RedLine Oil/ESCP/Mazda Mazda Miata and Gary Johnson's No. 7 Lotus 7 to the final two podium spots, with Weber in front of Johnson at the end.
The Eastern Conference Majors Tour returns to action at VIRginia International Raceway, April 18-20, for Rounds Seven and Eight on the schedule. The next U.S. Majors Tour event on the calendar comes in the Mid-States Conference at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, April 5-6.
Saturday Revision: Officials issued final results on Sunday morning for Saturday's Round Five race for Formula Atlantic, Formula 1000, and Prototype 1 that reflected changes to the originally posted provisional results. Saturday's race featured a full course caution and resulting black flag that brought the cars to pit lane for a brief period. However, a review post-race revealed the cars were restarted in the incorrect order on the track.
Officials determined that the final results would revert back to the final green flag lap prior to the black flag. The ruling reversed the standings in Prototype 1 and Formula 1000, with Mucha and Slahor reverted to their respective class wins.
Results and more from the BFGoodrich Tires Atlanta Super Tour can be found at SCCA.com/ATLMajors.
BRASELTON, Ga. - Provisional race winners for Sunday's BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Atlanta Super Tour at Road Atlanta, Round Six of the Eastern Conference Majors Tour. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
American Sedan: Tom Ellis, Sunrise, Fla., Ford Mustang
B-Spec: Travis Washay, Milford, Conn., MINI Cooper
E Production: Jim Daniels, Germantown, Tenn., Mazda Miata
F Production: Patrick Crider, Leesburg, Va., Mazda Miata
H Production: Michael Miller, Walhalla, S.C., Austin Healy Sprite
Formula 500: Clint McMahan, Covington, Ga., Nova KBS-01
Formula 1000: Glen Cooper, Roswell, Ga., RFR F1000
Formula Atlantic: Daniel Burkett, Winnipeg, MB, Swift 016
Formula Continental: Scott McGregor, Spectrum 014Z
Formula Enterprises: Scott Rettich, Camden, Ohio, Formula Enterprises
Formula F: John Benson, Dade City, Fla., Swift DB-3
Formula Mazda: Robert Noell, Cary, N.C., Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Donnie Isley, Fletcher, N.C., Agitator 016
GT-1: Doug Peterson, Bonita Springs, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette
GT-2: Pete Peterson, Lumberton, N.C., Toyota Celica
GT-3: Chad Bacon, Kingsport, Tenn., Toyota Celica
GT-Lite: Peter Shadowen, Loxahatchee, Fla., Honda CRX Si
Prototype 1: Jacek Mucha, Laval, Quebec, Jms016cp/Mazda
Prototype 2: Bailey Monette, Milton, Ga., Mazda Sport Racer
Spec Miata: Jim Drago, Memphis, Tenn., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Brian Schofield, Lakeland, Fla., Spec Racer Ford
Touring 1: Jason Von Kluge, Ann Arbor, Mich., Ford Mustang
Touring 2: Kurt Rezzetano, Phoenixville, Pa., Ford Mustang
Touring 3: Rob May, Wadsworth, Ill., BMW M3
Touring 4: Tony Pandjiris, Naples, Fla., Dodge Neon
Super Touring Lite: Brian Shanfeld, Powell, Ohio, Honda Civic Si
Super Touring Under: Matthew Pullano, Endicott, N.Y., Lotus Exige
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