Danny Kellermeyer drove to a Touring 1 win on Saturday. (Red Line photo)
The SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour started its penultimate weekend on Saturday, running six group races for points under the Western Michigan sun at GingerMan Raceway. Each group qualified on Saturday morning in the traditional time trial format, then held 21-lap races for Majors points.
Opening the day was the Spec Racer Ford, where Adam Gottlieb’s No. 7 Flat Black Racing machine drove away from the field for a 10.296-second win over Jeff Beck’s No. 31 Lindell/Ryan Spec Racer Ford.
The battle in the race was for the final podium position, where Rick Bartuska hunted down and drove past two competitors to take third in his No. 15 M/K Industries ride. Bartuska moved to fifth when the No. 6 Oakbrook Investments machine of Paul Jankovskis pulled off on lap four, then joined a battle between Mark Greb and Steve Kohli on lap six.
Bartuska tried to drive under the No. 71 Plaza Auto Auction Spec Racer of Greb in turn two on lap seven and lost momentum when it didn’t work, but one lap later completed the exact same pass and set to closing on Kohli’s No. 52 machine. Bartuska moved into the final podium position on lap 15, and then held on to the checkered flag.
Tom Sloe splendidly drove his No. 97 Hutter Racing Eng/Hoosier/Russell Auto Center Chevrolet Corvette through the field for the overall and Touring 2 win by 21.524 seconds in the day’s second group, just before the lunch break.
Just as impressively, Voytek Burdzy piloted the No. 41 Advanced Autosports Mazda Miata away from the Spec Miata field to take a 6.345-second win in the spec class.
In the Production group, Lance Loughman made quick work of the finishers in his No. 20 5:01 Motorsports Datsun 240Z to the overall and E Production win, unchallenged at the checkers. Chris Crisenbury survived the H Production battle to take victory in his No. 05 Rascal Racing Triumph Spitfire. Crisenbury trailed John Salisbury’s No. 34 Austin Healy Sprite early until Salisbury encountered trouble, and then held off Aaron Johnson’s No. 8 ReK Racing Triumph Spitfire until he pulled off course on lap nine. From there, the path to the finish was all Crisenbury’s.
The small formula cars also had a breakaway overall leader. Brian Brothers crept away from the pole position in the No. 60 T & R Fabricating TR1 Stinger/Rotax , slowly and steadily building a gap over James Weida’s No. 22 Weida Apartments/Formula X-1 Scorpion W1/Rotax for a 17.619 second lead.
Just behind them, however, was the battle for the Formula F class crown. Mark Davison moved his No. 91 Swift DB-1 around class polesitter Michael Green on the third lap, then stretched his lead through the middle portion of the 21-lap race. Green’s No. 81 Lindstrand Motorsports Piper DF-2 had begun to close the gap late in the race, however, visibly getting closer on the track.
The sprint to the finish became anticlimactic when, on lap 19, Davison pulled to pit lane. Green inherited the lead and cruised to the checkered flag.
Danny Kellermeyer’s No. 37 Corvette Central/Hawk/Matick Chevrolet Corvette chased the No. 52 Hoosier/Carbotech/StopTech Chevrolet Corvette of John Buttermore for the first half of the Touring 1 race, but his stalk got exponentially easier on lap nine when Buttermore slowed on the front straight. Kellermeyer raced to the win, while Buttermore drove down pit lane on multiple occasions to still salvage a third-place finish.
Craig Weidner led the American Sedan race early in the R.P.Mack Motorsports/Lane Automotive/Hoosier Tire Ford Mustang, chased through the middle laps by Scott Schweitzer’s No. 28 KMS Autosport Ford Mustang. Schweitzer faded, but Stephen Hynes joined the battle in his No. 15 Heat Treating Services Ford Mustang on lap 14. When Weidner either ran of course or was forced off in the last corner of lap 17, falling to third, Toth drove his Mustang to the win.
The 21-lap “wings and things” group to finish the day’s point-paying races paused after seven laps for a black flag all when a number of cars ran off track in separate incidents. When the race resumed, the battle on track was for the overall lead between D Sports Racing’s No. 69 Audi/Hoffman Estates Stohr WF-1 of Brian Hall and Jacek Mucha’s C Sports Racing No. 07 Phoenix-Innotech/Mazda JMS016cs/Mazda.
Mucha took the lead with two to go, and then held on for the final two circuits and the overall and class victory. Hall scored the D Sports Racing top finish.
Following the completion of the feature races, groups one and two returned for a half distance qualifying race to set the grid for Sunday’s races. The remaining four groups will have their qualifying races on Sunday morning, followed by each group’s second race of the weekend.
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American Sedan: Thomas Toth, Sugar Grove, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro
C Sports Racing: Jacek Mucha, Laval, Quebec, JMS016cp/Mazda
D Sports Racing: Brian Hall, Spring Grove, Ill., Stohr WF1/Audi
E Production: Lance Loughman, Lake Zurich, Ill., Datsun 240Z
F Production: Michael Sturm, Grafton, Wis., Mazda Miata
H Production: Chris Crisenbery, Parma, Mich., Triumph Spitfire
Formula 500: Brian Brothers, Lake Orion, Mich., TR1 Stinger
Formula Atlantic: Charles Duncan, Broomfield, Colo., Swift 016A/Mazda
Formula Continental: Robert Allaer, Lithia, Fla., Van Diemen RF-02/Ford
Formula Enterprises: Reece Everard, Rochester, Mich., Formula Enterprises/Mazda
Formula Mazda: Jason Vinkemulder, Spring Lake, Mich., Formula Mazda
Formula F: Michael Green, Dayton, Ohio, Piper DF-2
Formula Vee: Michael Varacins, Burlington, Wis., Speed-Sport AM-5/VW
GT-1: Dick Greer, Columbus, Ohio, Porsche 911
GT-2: Tom Patton, Hamilton, Ohio, Sunbeam Tiger
GT-3: Joe Kristensen, London, Ont., Acura RSX
GT-Lite: Joel Hipp, Norwalk, Ohio, Austin Mini
Spec Miata: Voytek Burdzy, Shiller Park, Ill., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Adam Gottlieb, Wilmette, Ill., Spec Racer Ford
Sports 2000: Tony Sleath, Dearborn, Mich., Carbir CS2-A2
Super Touring Lite: John Schmitt, Sunbury, Ohio, Honda Prelude
Super Touring Under: Raymond Huffmaster, Clarkston, Mich., Pontiac Solstice GXP
Touring 1: Danny Kellermeyer, Ortonville, Mich., Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 2: Tom Sloe, Newbury, Ohio, Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 3: Aaron Kaplan, Evanston, Ill., BMW M3
Touring 4: Greg Vandersluis, North Olmsted, Ohio, Ford Mustang