Round Two of the Western Conference Majors Tour completed on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway without a full course caution for the second consecutive day at the Auto Club Majors Presented by Porterfield Brakes.
Twenty-six winners were crowned in the seven groups that ran full 17-lap races each time on the 17-turn, 2.88-mile track that combines hard braking zones, long straightaways and the superspeedway to provide some outstanding action.
The relatively cool morning opened with a hot three wide finish in Formula Vee.
Saturday winner Terran Swanson found himself with two different rivals to the podium on Sunday, with the big draft around the high banks of Auto Club Speedway pulling Mark Edwards’ No. 74 Red Line/Hoosier Glamdring/Volkswagen (ABOVE) and Aaron Meyer’s No. 48 Diamond Formula Cars Protoform P2/Volkswagen to the pacesetter each time he threatened to pull away.
Swanson’s No. 86 Toad Hall Enterprises/Swan Tech Graphics Mysterian M4 was finally swallowed up by the two car train on the banking with two to go, relegating him to third. With one to go, Swanson moved around Meyer for 2nd under braking at the transition back into the infield, then moved into the lead under braking at the end of the long infield straight.
That put Swanson in the precarious position of being in the front of a nose to tail draft to the checkered flag. In a near impossible situation, Swanson ran higher up the banking that he would have in the past, moving Edwards up the hill with him and leaving the door open for Meyer on the bottom.
Edwards started high with Swanson, then dove to the middle lane and split Swanson and Meyer. That was the right decision to make, as Edwards crossed the stripe just 0.057-second in front of Swanson and only 0.136-second in front of Meyer in third at the finish.
Brandon Aleckson swept the weekend in his No. 33 Dan’s Upholstery /Hoosier Tires Formula Enterprises, and Nikita Lastochkin’s No. 2 Van Diemen RF02 recovered from a mechanical failure on Saturday to run away with the Formula F win on Sunday.
The Spec Racer Ford race lived up to its Saturday preview in the early stages. Saturday race winner Mike Miserendino started third in the No. 11 MBI Racing Spec Racer Ford and shoved polesitter Todd Harris clear of the outside lane on the opening lap. Now separated from the field, Harris’ No. 24 Pro Drive Racing machine and Miserendino ran in tandem to open up a gap.
A veteran at both the track and in Spec Racer Ford, Miserendino waited until lap 11 to move to the lead. Harris pulled in front again on the banking two laps later, but Miserendino outbroke the red and white machine to move back to the point.
Harris locked up his brakes and ran off track at the end of the infield straight, and then pulled off for good just a half lap later with an apparent mechanical issue. Miserendino had enough of a gap to stay in front of the second tandem, featuring Paul Marino’s No. 14 Impress Communications SRF and TJ Acker’s No. 62 Spec Racer, to the finish. Marino kept Acker behind him for the distance to complete the podium.
Clement Lee drove his No. 33 RM Autosports Spec Miata to a win on Saturday with a pass after entering the banking for the final time. On Sunday, he reversed positions, but still knew how to utilize that final run for a win.
Lee and Mark Drennan’s No. 10 NoWifeNoKids/Hooverspeed/Riverbed Mazda Miata steadily and systematically worked away from a lead pack that was as high as nine cars at one point during the race. Each led throughout, with Lee moving into the lead on the banking just after getting the one to go board.
Drennan looked for an opportunity to reclaim the lead, but Lee had enough of a gap as he entered the banking to stay in front at the checkers.
The battle for third was as large as seven cars with just two laps to go. Ken Sutherland claimed the final podium spot in the No. 94 MiataCage.com/Wyatt Fire Protection Miata, followed by Mark Lange’s No. 14 Parallel Technology/RM Autosports Miata and Brian Ghidinelli’s No. 12 RaceHero.io/MotorsportReg.com/TFB Miata.
Chris Farrell earned the Prototype 1 win on Sunday after coming up short through traffic on Saturday. The No. 58 C&M Manufacturing/ GDR Engines/Hoosier Tires/Stohr Cars Stohr WF-1 inherited the lead on lap four when polesitter Lee Alexander slowed his No. 48 Factory 48/APE Raceparts Stohr WF-0 and pulled to pit lane. Alexander rejoined a lap down, but Farrell ran unchallenged to victory.
Behind Farrell, Ken Davis was cruising to a Formula Atlantic weekend sweep in the No. 64 Davis Stone Ralt RT-40. David Ferguson swept Prototype 2 in the No. 75 Veracity Racing Data Stohr WF-1/Suzuki, as did Dutch Schultz in his Formula Mazda No. 44 Point B Real Estate Services Formula Mazda.
The GT-Lite battle was a mix of two very different machines – the No. 44 Nissan Sentra of John Bower and the famous No. 77 Huffaker Engineering Huffaker MINI of Joe Huffaker. Throughout the race, Bower had the advantage on the oval portion of the racetrack, but Huffaker closed the gap and took the lead through the infield. The scenario played out almost every lap until, on lap 15, they encountered lapped traffic. Huffaker ran out of room and was forced off track, falling behind far enough that he couldn’t close the gap. Bower stayed in front to the checkered flag.
In GT-2, Michael Von Quilich reversed his fortunes from Saturday. The No. 47 Apartments247.com/RVParks247.com/StorageRentals247.com SRT Viper ACRX held the serve from start to finish over the No. 01 Main Straight Racing/Michelin Porsche GT3 of Tom Wickersham to take the win.
Josh Carroll rode away with the E Production win the No. 17 Endsight Mazda RX-7 for the second straight day, leading flag to flag for a weekend sweep, and Chris Qualls matched that feat in American Sedan behind the wheel of the No. 73 Hasa Chemical/B&D Racing/Goodyear Ford Mustang.
Lee Niffenegger had to pedal his No. 42 Honda Racing/HPD/BFGoodrich Tires Honda Civic Si hard to get away from the No. 24 Honda Racing/HPD/BFGoodrich Tires Honda Civic Si sister car driven by Mathew Staal, but once in the clear earned his second win of the weekend.
Bob Schader drove his No. 5 Hoosier Tire/MiataCage.com Mazda Miata to a 10.870-second win in Super Tour Lite to complete a flag to flag weekend sweep in the class. Jason Isley bettered that performance in H Production, winning on consecutive days in the No. 99 TRD/Hoosier/OS Giken/Racer.com/Driven Racing Oil Toyota Yaris by over 30 seconds each time. Derrick Ambrose was a two-time B-Spec winner to open the season, grabbing trophies in the No. 71 CorkSport Mazda Performance/Monarch Inspections/BFGoodrich Tires MAZDA2.
The Western Conference Majors Tour returns to action for rounds three and four at Inde Motorsports Ranch in Wilcox, Ariz., Feb. 22-23. The next U.S. Majors Tour action is the Mid-States opener at NOLA Motorsports Park, Feb. 7-9, for the BFGoodrich Tires NOLA Super Tour.
More information on the Auto Club Majors presented by Porterfield Brakes is available at SCCA.com/ACSMajors
Fontana, Calif. – Provisional race winners for Sunday’s Western Conference Majors Tour Round One at Auto Club Speedway. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
- American Sedan: Chris Qualls, West Los Angeles, Calif., Ford Mustang
- B-Spec: Derrick Ambrose, Vancouver, Wash., MAZDA2
- Formula 500: Joe Rozelle, Modesto, Calif., Novacar J10
- Formula Atlantic: Ken Davis, Escondito, Calif., Ralt RT-40
- Formula Continental: Andrew Evans, Sammamish, Wash., Van Diemen RF02/Ford
- Formula Enterprises: Brandon Aleckson, Watsonville, Calif., Formula Enterprises
- Formula F: Nikita Lastochkin, Pacific Palisades, Van Diemen RF02
- Formula Mazda: Dutch Schultz, San Clemente, Calif., Formula Mazda
- Formula Vee: Mark Edwards, Los Angeles, Calif., Glamding/Volkswagen
- E Production: Josh Carroll, Danville, Calif., Mazda RX-7
- F Production: Jesse Heitman, Portland, Ore., Mazda Miata
- H Production: Jason Isley, Coto de Caza, Calif., Toyota Yaris
- GT-1: Mike Lewis, Poway, Calif., Jaguar XKR
- GT-2: Michael Von Quilich, Pahrump, Nev., SRT Viper ACRX
- GT-3: Mike Henderson, Alpine, Calif., Mazda RX-7
- GT-Lite: John Bower, Grenada Hills, Calif., Nissan Sentra
- Prototype 1: Chris Farrell, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stohr WF-1/Suzuki
- Prototype 2: David Ferguson, Paso Robles, Calif., Stohr WF-1/Suzuki
- Spec Miata: Clement Lee, San Diego, Calif., Mazda Miata
- Spec Racer Ford: Mike Miserendino, Bakersfield, Calif., Spec Racer Ford
- Super Touring Lite: Bob Schader, Longmont, Calif., Mazda Miata
- Super Touring Under: Rylan Hazelton, Santa Cruz, Calif., Honda S2000
- Touring 1: Jim Tway, Yorba Linda, Calif., Chevrolet Corvette
- Touring 2: David Ray, Danville, Calif., Ford Mustang
- Touring 3: Scotty White, Auburn, Wash., Ford Mustang
- Touring 4: Lee Niffenegger, Santa Clarita, Calif., Honda Civic Si
- Image: Mark Edwards grabs a checkered flag after his Formula Vee win.
- Credit: Dennis Baer