The 2016 Northern Conference SCCA U.S. Majors Tour has concluded its season. Nearly 800 drivers stepped up and took a shot at winning Northern Conference races this year, but only 28 have earned a Conference Championship.
A multitude of champions were decided in the Northern Conference by just a handful of points. The difference between the Champion and runner-up in GT-3 came down to eight points separating two Mazda RX-7s, with George Cichon Jr. taking the title over Phil Lasco. Super Touring Under was decided by a half-dozen points, with Mark Crellin winning out in his Nissan 200 SE.R over Charles Tobel in a Pontiac Solstice. Then in GT-2 it was a five-point spread that gave Timothy Gray and his Ford Mustang the victory over Jonathan Start’s Dodge Viper. And Gray was able to accomplish that feat without a single Northern Conference win this year, but did compete in 10 of the Conference’s 12 rounds.
A few more Conference Champions claimed their top spots by only four points. That was the case in E Production with Steve Smyczek in a Mazda RX-7 claiming victory over the Mazda MX-5 of Breton Williams. The four additional points Touring 1 driver Mark Boden scored in his BMW M3 gave him the title over challenger John Buttermore in a Chevrolet Corvette. And while John Walker made a valiant run at the F Production title in his Lotus Super 7 by winning every race in the back half of the Northern Conference calendar, he fell four points short of winner Michael Sturm who piloted a Mazda Miata at all but one race weekend during the Northern Conference schedule.
Three was the magic number of points Ryan Kowalewski had over James Ebben to win Touring 4, with both of them wheeling Mazda MX-5s. And it was a slim three points that also gave Voytek Burdzy the Spec Miata title over Justin Hille in a Class that saw over 100 challengers this season in the Northern Conference.
Last, and absolutely least, was the point spread that gave the American Sedan title to Brian Wallace in a Chevrolet Camaro. It was a single point that gave him the Championship over Andrew McDermid’s Ford Mustang. Both men had solid performances all season claiming multiple wins. But a DNS for McDermid during the U.S. Majors Tour stop at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course came back to haunt the reigning AS Runoffs Champion.
The Northern Conference’s 12-round season began in April with Round One and Round Two at Blackhawk Farms in South Beloit, Illinois. In June there were two race weekends with Round Three and Round Four at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and Round Five and Round Six at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for the WeatherTech June Sprints. The season continued in July with Round Seven and Round Eight at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan, followed by a return visit to Road America for the Cat Majors. The season then came to a close with the last two Rounds taking place at Grattan Raceway in Belding, Michigan.
Conference points are awarded to the top 20 finishers in each Class. Winners earn 25 points, and 21 points go to second. Points are then doled out to others starting with 18 and descending to a single point for the 20th finisher. Only the best eight races count toward a driver’s point total.
Northern Conference Champions with Class: Name, Hometown and Car.
-American Sedan: Brian Wallace; Grand Blanc, MI; Chevrolet Camaro
-B-Spec: David Daughtery; Fortville, IN; Honda Fit
-E Production: Steve Smyczek; New Berlin, WI; Mazda RX-7
-F Production: Michael Sturm; Grafton, WI; Mazda Miata