Glen Bocchio took a pair of STU wins at the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour. (Mark Weber photo)
Sunny skies and warm temperatures blanketed Sunday’s Round Two of the SCCA Eastern Conference Majors Tour at Sebring International Raceway, in stark contrast to most of country, and 27 drivers were rewarded with wins during the BFGoodrich Tires Sebring Super Tour.
Sunday featured seven race groups running distances of 15 laps or 40-minutes, whichever came first, at the 17-turn, 3.74-mile circuit. In all, 315 entrants participated in the double-header weekend.
Competitors were greeted with a wet track from overnight rains, leading to some slick conditions in the opening group. That certainly played a part in ending GT-Lite challenger Harold Flesher’s day just past the green flag and bringing out the first of the day’s full course caution periods.
While Greg Ira’s E Production No. 2 Starbrite Startron Datsun 240Z, Peter Shadowen’s GT-Lite No. 72 Road N Race Auto Honda CRX, Ken Kannard’s No. 51 Northwest Cable Contruction/Hoosier/OPM Mazda Miata were taking their second wins of the weekend, the tightest battle was in B-Spec once again.
Saturday winner Tim Washay held the early lead in the No. 30 Indian Summer Racing/SOLID Mini Cooper, but fell to third when the No. 07 Dynasty Racing/HPD/Hoosier Honda Fit of Chi Ho and the No. 21 Breathless Performance Mazda2 of Ernie Francis moved by on lap five. Ho and Francis slipped away to settle the race between the two of them.
Francis moved past in Turn 3 on lap 12, and the two ran side by side down the backstraight toward the Sebring hairpin. When Ho wiggled in the center of the corner, Francis secured the lead. Cho had one last real opportunity coming to the one-to-go lap, moving to the inside through turn 17. Francis carried more momentum on the exit, and stayed at least a car length ahead over the final 3.740 miles to grab the win. That dramatic battle was all for naught, unfortunately, as Francis was disqualified post-race by the stewards for unsafe driving, elevating Cho to victory.
A full course yellow packed the group two race on lap six, reforming a battle in Formula Atlantic between Saturday race winner Sedat Yelkin’s No. 75 Everclear Swift 014/Toyota and Keith Grant’s No. 40 Mazda/Hoosier/Polestar Swift 016/Mazda. Both drivers led at least one lap prior to the yellow, but Yelkin got the jump on the restart and pulled in front. Grant retook the lead on lap 12, but Yelkin moved back in front just a few corners later. Yelkin held the lead when the checkered flag came out one lap early after yet another spinning car called for a full course caution.
Darryl Wills swept the weekend in Formula Mazda with his Sunday win in the No. 1 Hillenburg Motorsports Formula Mazda.
Alex Bolanos was declared the winner of the Spec Miata race after a protest determined the final lap on the track began as the 40-minute allotment was exhausted, shuffling the official order back to as it ran a lap prior and negating what was a thrilling final lap of action.
For the second day in a row, Cliff White’s No. 58 Cottage Senior Living SRF dominated the Spec Racer Ford field. A late caution and a quick cleanup had race officials hopeful of a one-lap shootout, but the 40-minute time limit expired and the race ended under caution.
Group Five saw five weekend sweeps following a lap two full course caution of its own. Francis, Jr. was able to take home a trophy, victorious in Touring 1 behind the wheel of the No. 98 Breathless Performance Chevrolet Camaro after a back and forth battle with Joe Aquilante’s No. 32 Phoenix/Hoosier/Hawk Chevrolet Corvette.
Andrew Longe came out on top in a battle of Porsche 996 machines in Touring 2. Longe’s No. 02 Trianon/Fall-Line Porsche 996, Gary Mason’s No. 6 Hoosier Porsche 996, and Gregory Schermer’s No. 149 Posh Racing Porsche 996 all took a turn at the front and chased each other for the race distance. Longe was followed to the podium by Mason, then Schermer, after taking the lead from Mason on the final lap.
Tom Ellis’ American Sedan No. 57 Ford Mustang, Glenn Bocchio’s Super Touring Under No. 12 I-Moto/Cobalt Friction/BFGoodrich Tires MAZDA3, Jim Drago’s Super Touring Lite No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata, and Michael Scornavacchi’s Touring 4 No. 25 Hoosier/Carbotech Ford Mustang all cruised to back-to-back wins, with the closest race of the group coming in Touring 3.
John Snyder looked poised to cruise to the Touring 3 win in his No. 4 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3, but a 10-second lead evaporated and Snyder found his mirrors full of Dennis Koselak’s No. 64 Mojo Motorsports Nissan 350Z on lap 12.
With three to go, the race was on. Koselak pressured Snyder, looking for a mistake or a way around, but Snyder hung on for the victory.
Stevan Davis opened his Eastern Conference Formula Vee title defense with a pair of wins in Sebring behind the wheel of the No. 80 Hoosier/Butler Engines Racer’s Wedge, including a 5.275-second margin of victory on Sunday. James Goughary rebounded from a Saturday DNF to win Formula F in the No. 72 Van Diemen RF-00.
Todd Lamb, driver of the No. 8 Cahall/Driver Coaching/Hawk Miata, was selected for the weekend’s GoPro Hero Move of the Race for his performance on Sunday in Spec Miata.
The Eastern Conference Majors Tour continues in just one week with Rounds Three and Four at Palm Beach International Raceway, the second half of the Winter Vacation Majors.
Results and more information on Rounds One and Two at Sebring is available at SCCA.com/SebringMajors.
Provisional race winners for Sunday’s BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Sebring Super Tour at Sebring International Raceway. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
American Sedan: Tom Ellis, Pompano Beach, Fla., Ford Mustang
B-Spec: Chi Ho, Orlando, Fla., Honda Fit
Formula 500: Russell Strate, Jr., Alden, N.Y., Rocketech R2
Formula 1000: Jason Bell, Tampa, Fla., Stohr F1000
Formula Atlantic: Sedat Yelkin, Canfield, Ohio, Swift 014/Toyota
Formula Continental: Chuck Moran, Oakton, Va., Van Dieman RF99/Ford
Formula Enterprises: Brandon Kennedy, Bear, Del., Formula Enterprises
Formula F: James Goughary, Jupiter, Fla., Van Diemen RF-00
Formula Mazda: Darryl Wills, Houston, Texas, Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Stevan Davis, Danielsville, Ga., Racer’s Wedge/Volkswagen
E Production: Greg Ira, Plantation, Fla., Datsun 240Z
F Production: Ken Kannard, East Troy, Wis., Mazda Miata
H Production: Tim Pitts, Lousville, Tenn., Volkswagen Golf
GT-1: Simon Gregg, Ponta Vedra, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette
GT-2: Randy Kinsland, Whittier, N.C., Chevrolet Corvette
GT-3: Chad Bacon, Kingsport, Tenn., Toyota Celica
GT-Lite: Peter Shawdowen, West Palm Beach, Fla., Honda CRX
Prototype 1: Jacek Mucha, Laval, Quebec, JMS 016 cp/Mazda
Prototype 2: Sherman Chao, Palm Beach, Fla., Stohr WF1
Spec Miata: Alex Bolanos, Miami, Fla., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Cliff White, Huntsville, Ala., Spec Racer Ford
Super Touring Lite: Jim Drago, Memphis, Tenn., Mazda Miata
Super Touring Under: Glenn Bocchio, Delray Beach, Fla., Mazda3
Touring 1: Ernie Francis, Jr., Dania, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro
Touring 2: Andrew Longe, Naples, Fla., Porsche 997
Touring 3: John Snyder, Wilmette, Ill., BMW M3
Touring 4: Michael Scornavacchi, Matthews, N.C., Ford Mustang