Photo above: Ken Kannard’s Mazda Miata took the F Production win Saturday at VIR
Inclement weather played a role during the first of two days of Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour activity on the 18-turn, 3.27-mile Virginia International Raceway. Friday practice and qualifying sessions at the event hosted by SCCA’s North Carolina Region were wet, with threatening storms bringing an early end to the opening day.
For the nearly 500 drivers competing across 28 classes in nine different race groups, Saturday morning brought hope as sunshine poked through scattered clouds. However, the rain came back with a vengeance in late morning, though it slowly diminished as Saturday races came around.
A wet track made the first race of the day quite interesting, especially in the F Production class. There, polesitter Charlie Campbell jumped out to an early lead in his Mazda Miata. Behind, though, Ken Kannard in the No. 51 Northwest Cable Construction/Hoosier Racing Tire/G-Loc Brakes Mazda Miata made a terrific start from fifth and was soon challenging Campbell for the lead, which he grabbed on the fourth lap. But, a few laps later, working through traffic, Campbell got the lead back only for Kannard to pull off a daring pass on the last lap to steal the victory.
“It was a crazy race,” Kannard said. “Charlie and I broke away from the group and we just went at it. I luckily got by him on the last lap, held him off at the top of the hill, I kind of almost spun … it was a mess. But I’m happy to get the win by half a car length.”
In the same race, B-Spec drivers John Phillips and David Daughtery, both driving Honda Fits, also had a great duel. Phillips moved to the front early and held the lead for the first three laps. But Daughtery remained right on his tail and moved to the front on the fourth lap, going on to take the win in his No. 10 Carbotech/Hoosier/Ktuner racecar.
“John got caught in a little bit of traffic and that bogged him down,” Daughtery said about being able to catch his competitor. “Quite honestly, we were even as could be. He just got caught by a little more traffic than I did, which allowed us to get the win today.”
Early in the afternoon, the 70-car Spec Miata field also took to the track in wet conditions. Several competitors spun into the grass on the first lap, bringing out a full-course yellow. Polesitter Nicholas Bruni had the lead, followed by Brian Henderson and a host of skilled, proven drivers. But at the restart, Bruni pushed wide going into Turn 1, and Henderson grabbed the lead.
Behind, though, several drivers who didn’t qualify particularly well were charging toward the front, including Danny Steyn who’d started 22nd. With a handful of laps left in the race, Steyn had closed to within one second of the leader, but Henderson held on to claim the wet win in his No. 97 BDL Motorsports Mazda Miata.
“On the restart it looked like Bruni got in a little hot. I was able to get under him and took off from there,” Henderson said. “Then it looked like Danny almost got to my bumper. He was giving it everything he got, but couldn’t quite make it happen at the end.”
The action continued into the fourth multi-class race of the day featuring the GT-1, GT-2, Touring 1 (T1) and American Sedan cars. It was Andrew Aquilante, in the No. 33 Phoenix Performance Ford Mustang, who took both the GT-2 and overall victory in that race. But a real cliffhanger developed in T1 where stalwart Mark Boden held the lead for the first five laps before handing the top position to John Pasch, both driving BMW M3s. On the last lap, though Bill Baten passed both, grabbing the T1 win in his No. 39 Van Winkle Baten/Hoosier/Backstreet Chevrolet Camaro.
“It was a mess out there from the beginning, just carnage everywhere,” a smiling Baten said about the challenge. “The first half of the race, I was just trying to avoid wrecking. The second half, there was a little more space to get going faster and make selective passes when it was safe. I made the last pass for the win on the last lap in one of the last turns.
“It was storybook for me. It was awesome.”
In keeping with what has become a tradition on the Hoosier Super Tour, volunteers, competitors, crews and families gathered on Saturday night at the All-Participant Party to share a meal and good comradery. It was a pleasant respite prior to a second day of Hoosier Super Tour racing which gets underway Sunday at 8:45 a.m. Eastern Time.
Below are provisional winners from Saturday’s VIRginia International Raceway Hoosier Super Tour event with Class: Name, Hometown, SCCA Region and Car.
-American Sedan: Daniel Richardson; Derwood, MD; Washington DC Region; Chevrolet Camaro
-B-Spec: David Daughtery; China Grove, NC; Central Carolinas Region; Honda Fit
-E Production: John Hainsworth; Marlton, NJ; South Jersey Region; Mazda RX-7
-F Production: Ken Kannard; Sebring, FL; Atlanta Region; Mazda Miata
-H Production: Will Perry; Sale Creek, TN; Chattanooga Region; Honda CRX
-Formula 500: Wiley Clinton McMahan; Covington, GA; Middle Georgia Region; Scorpian FDS 00
-Formula 1000: Michael Crowe; Chattanooga , TN; Central Florida Region; Citation
-Formula Atlantic: Larry Howard; Kansas City, MO; Kansas City Region; Swift 016
-Formula Continental: Chuck Moran; Oakton, VA; Old Dominion Region; Van Dieman RF99
-Formula Enterprises: James Libecco; Solon, OH; NeOhio Region; SCCA FE Mazda
-Formula Enterprises 2: Scott Rettich; Columbus, OH; Ohio Valley Region; SCCA FE2 Mazda
-Formula F: Dexter Czuba; Tampa, FL; New England Region; Mygale SJ15H004
-Formula Vee: Mitchell Ferguson; Moore, SC; Atlanta Region; Vorscha GB4
-Formula Mazda: Michael Anderson; Temecula, CA; Texas Region; FM Formula Mazda
-GT-1: Jeff Hinkle; Destin, FL; Atlanta Region; Dodge Challenger
-GT-2: Andrew Aquilante; Chester Springs, PA; Philadelphia Region; Ford Mustang
-GT-3: Stacy Wilson; Englewood, TN; Atlanta Region; Mazda RX-7
-GT-Lite: Ryan Kristoff; Farmington Hills, MI; Detroit Region; Honda CRX
-Prototype 1: Jean-Luc Liverato; Woodstock, GA; Atlanta Region; Elan DP02
-Prototype 2: Tray Ayres; Gainesville, GA; Atlanta Region; Van Diemen ESR
-Spec Miata: Brian Henderson; Fredericksburg, VA; Washington DC Region; Mazda Miata
-Spec Racer Ford 3: Tray Ayres; Gainesville, GA; Atlanta Region; SCCA Enterprises SRF3
-Super Touring Lite: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Florida Region; Mazda MX-5
-Super Touring Under: Chris Haldeman; McKinney, TX; Texas Region; Honda Civic
-Touring 1: Bill Baten; Indianapolis, IN; Indianapolis Region; Chevrolet Camaro
-Touring 2: Cooper I MacNeil; Hinsdale, IL; Central Illinois Region; BMW M3
-Touring 3: Scotty B. White; Auburn, WA; Northwest Region; Ford Mustang
-Touring 4: Nick Leverone; Mendon, MA; New England Region; Subaru BRZ