ABOVE: Stacy Wilson swept the GT-3 class this weekend in his Mazda
More than 500 competitors descended on Virginia International Raceway this weekend for top-level Hoosier Super Tour competition and in preparation for the 2019 SCCA National Championship Runoffs to be held at the same venue later on in October.
The Super Tour event hosted by SCCA’s North Carolina Region on the 18-turn, 3.27-mile VIR road course did not disappoint Sunday as several close races developed throughout 28 car classes competing across nine race groups in 35-minute events.
Saturday’ F Production race was a thriller, and the excitement resumed right away on Sunday morning. Charlie Campbell’s Mazda Miata pulled away at the start, but eight laps in, a full-course yellow bunched the field, putting Saturday’s winner, Ken Kannard (Mazda Miata) and Kevin Ruck (Acura Integra) right on Campbell’s bumper.
On the restart, the top three FP competitors stormed off to settle things among themselves. On the final lap, Kannard got by Campbell, but then spun, leaving it up to Ruck and Campbell, the Integra winning by the smallest of margins.
“I knew the car was good,” Ruck said. “We went side by side, and I was able to hold on for the checkered flag. It was a super-exciting race. To race with these guys is a privilege, and an absolute riot.”
Some top GT-1 drivers were also on hand at VIR this weekend to wow spectators. Tony Ave, in the No. 04 Chevrolet Corvette, was on pole and set the pace Sunday after his car had broken on Saturday. On the restart after a full-course yellow, Ave found himself hounded by David Pintaric’s Cadillac CTS-V and the Jaguar XKR of Michael Lewis, and while Pintaric poured on the pressure all the way to th end, Ave held tight for the win Sunday.
“The guys worked really late last night to get the car back together,” Ave said. “The thing was perfect today.”
The Spec Miata race, coming in just short of 65 competitors Sunday, was another barn burner. The usual cast of characters were in the hunt, including Tyler Kicera, Jim Drago, Todd Buras and Elivan Goulart. But as laps ticked away, the fight for victory was between Nicholas Bruni, Preston Pardus and Danny Steyn. At the finish line it was Steyn in the No. 39 Adept Studios/Rossini Engines/OPM Autosports/G-LOC Brakes Mazda Miata who finished just 0.118-second ahead of Pardus.
“I want to congratulate Preston and Nick,” said Steyn, who also won both Super Touring Lite races over the weekend. “The three of us went side by side into the top of the roller-coaster (series of corners). We had a very slight touch, but such clean racing with good friends.
“I really love this class, Spec Miata, and really think it’s some of the best racing in the country.”
Spec Racer Ford Gen3 racers presented another formidable field Sunday with nearly 55 drivers taking the green flag. After spinning off course during Saturday’s race, Robeson Clay Russell claimed the lead early in Sunday’s race and led flag to flag in his No. 31 SVN/Angry LLama/Comprent racecar, though he had Brian Schofield and Saturday winner Tray Ayres on his tail the whole way.
“There’s not much to say about Saturday. I just lost control, spun it around and put it in the grass,” Russell admitted. “Today, Brian and Tray closed on me pretty quickly, but time just ran out. If there was more race, they would’ve been up there battling for the win. But I’m happy with the win.”
This weekend’s GT-3 Super Tour events took on special importance as both races were part of the GT-3 Challenge, a series supported by Mazda, Max Papis Innovations, Penske Racing Shocks, AiM Sports and Hoosier Racing Tire. The GT-3 Challenge consists of five events held around the country, culminating with October’s Runoffs. As a class, GT-3 is gaining momentum once again, with two competitive and exciting races this weekend. Stacy Wilson’s No. 47 Hoosier Tire/Mobil 1 Mazda RX-7 won both races, but not without a fight Sunday from Taz Harvey. The two swapped the lead a couple of times, and touched with only a few laps remaining.
“Yesterday’s race was really good,” Wilson said. “Today, I want to say a big apology to Taz Harvey. I didn’t mean to get into him. I just went in hot, tried to make a pass on him, and I just ran out of talent.”
After the bif weekend at VIR, the Hoosier Super Tour series now packs up and heads to the West Coast for a weekend of racing April 26-28 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California’s Central Valley. More information can be found at www.SCCA.com.
Below are provisional winners from Sunday’s Virginia International Raceway Hoosier Super Tour event with Class: Name, Hometown, SCCA Region and Car.
-American Sedan: Gregory Eaton; Woodbridge, VA; Washington DC Region; Ford Mustang
-B-Spec: David Daughtery; China Grove, NC; Central Carolinas Region; Honda Fit
-E Production: Matt Reynolds; Fair Oaks, TX; Alamo Region; Mazda Miata
-F Production: Kevin Ruck; Marysville, OH; Ohio Valley Region; Acura Integra
-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: Richard Zober; Croydon, PA; Philadelphia Region; Swift 016a Mazda
-Formula Continental: Carlos Franca; Ortonville, MI; Detroit Region; Elan DP08
-Formula Enterprises: James Libecco; Solon, OH; NeOhio Region; SCCA FE Mazda
-Formula Enterprises 2: Liam Snyder; Southlake, TX; Texas Region; SCCA FE2 Mazda
-Formula F: Tyler O’Connor; New Hartford, CT; New England Region; Mygale SJ14
-Formula Vee: Brandon Abbott; Farmington Hills, MI; Detroit Region; Vector AM-1
-Formula Mazda: Victor Seaber; Hillsborough, NC; North Carolina Region; Star Mazda
-GT-1: Tony Ave; Maiden, NC; Central Carolinas Region; Chevrolet Corvette
-GT-2: Andrew Aquilante; Chester Springs, PA; Philadelphia Region; Ford Mustang
-GT-3: Stacy Wilson; Englewood, TN; Atlanta Region; Mazda RX-7
-GT-Lite: Peter Shadowen; West Palm Beach, FL; Florida Region; Honda CRXsi
-Prototype 1: Todd Slusher; Las Vegas, NV; Atlanta Region; Peach Mazda Day-02
-Prototype 2: Tim Day Jr; Scottsdale, AZ; San Francisco Region; Stohr WF1
-Spec Miata: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Florida Region; Mazda Miata
-Spec Racer Ford 3: Robeson Clay Russell; Spartanburg, SC; Central Carolinas 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: Mark Boden; Buffalo Grove, IL; Chicago Region; BMW M3
-Touring 2: Cooper MacNeil; Hinsdale, IL; Central Illinois Region; BMW M3
-Touring 3: Broderick Bauguess; Laurinburg, NC; North Carolina Region; BMW 330ci
-Touring 4: Owen Schefer; Warrenton, VA; Washington DC Region; Mazda RX-8