Photo: Mike Miserendino swept the weekend in Spec Racer Ford Gen3 at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Hoosier Super Tour event.
The 2019 Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour wrapped up its 11-weekend, 22-race season Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca during an event hosted by SCCA’s San Francisco Region. Once again, amazing memories and great finishes were added to the history books as the Sports Car Club of America celebrates its 75th Diamond Anniversary.
The Spec Racer Ford Gen3 (SRF3) class generated several fantastic races this year, and this weekend was no exception. During Saturday’s 25-minute SRF3 race on Laguna Seca’s 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit, T.J. Acker jumped out front early and led most of the race until Mike Miserendino, driving the No. 11 MBI Racing entry, took the lead and went on for the win.
On Sunday, Acker again took the lead at the start and was ahead when a full-course yellow came out after eight laps. But, on the first racing lap after the restart, Acker went out with a mechanical issue and it was Umberto Milletti who briefly took the lead. Soon enough, however, Miserendino made a pass for the top spot and went on to victory, sweeping both weekend races.
Miserendino has competed at a number of Hoosier Super Tour events over the last couple years, and claimed many, many victories. What keeps him coming back? “Checkered flags. They’re fun to get,” Miserendino joked.
“But in all seriousness, it’s the camaraderie,” Miserendino added while his two young children stood alongside him on the victory podium. “We race with a great group of people. We have fun doing this and the racing is just kind of a bonus. We just keep coming back, and we’ll keep on doing it.”
Speaking of “it,” Super Touring Under racer Nathan Pope got “it” done this weekend as he swept class wins both days, but not without a lot of work and some timely decisions. On Sunday, competitor David Fiorelli and his Subaru BRZ had the pole and immediately moved to the lead at the start. About five laps in to the 35-minute race, Pope and his No. 24 El Dorado Motorsports Honda CRX found a way around Fiorelli. For the rest of the race, the duo was nearly nose-to-tail on track as Fiorelli hounded Pope lap after lap. In the end, Pope held strong and claimed the Sunday victory.
“It was a longer race today and I knew my tires would last a little bit better because I’ve got a lighter car,” an exhausted Pope said after the race. “It’s a lot less stressful running second, but I knew I maybe wouldn’t get another opportunity to get around David. So when I saw the chance, I took it. I needed to make something happen.”
The Super Touring Lite race was certainly a happening, too, thanks to competitors Thomas Lepper, Wilson Powell and Morgan Trotter. To begin the race, Powell made an incredible start to gain the lead. Lepper was able to grab the top spot after a few laps, but Trotter filled his rearview mirrors in second and applied a lot of pressure. As race laps dwindled, Lepper was able to pull away and secured the win in his No. 42 Thomas Lepper Associates Honda Prelude.
“I wanted to make sure I conserved tires, but I also had to make sure I stayed in front of Morgan,” Lepper noted after the race. “Morgan just never gives up. It gave me a little motivation and I kept him behind me.”
Prototype 2 (P2) produced a thriller on Sunday: Tim Day Jr., who has numerous Hoosier Super Tour wins this season in his Stohr WF1, was again out front when a second full-course yellow bunched up the field late in the 35-minute race.
After the restart, P2 action got hot and hectic. The win was up for grabs, and several determined P2 warriors had their eye on the prize, notably among the four drivers at the front. Chuck Bona, in his No. 42 Campbell Dental Care and Aesthetics/Kevin Mitz Motorsports/One Motorsports Stohr WF1, got alongside Day for the lead. Day fought back, but the move sent him off track with some mechanical damage resulting. Bona forged ahead for the win with Robert Kazen, driving a West WR07, and the Stohr WF1 of Kevin Mitz closing out the top-three positions.
“It was just back-and-forth the whole race. It was close the whole way through,” a grinning Bona said afterwards. “Kevin Mitz went flying by me at one point, and Tim Day was just fantastic. It was crazy; it was just totally amazing. A great time and a great weekend.”
GT-3 races this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca were part of the new GT-3 Challenge presented by MPI — a series supported by Mazda, Max Papis Innovations, Penske Racing Shocks, AiM Sports and Hoosier Racing Tire. By winning both races over the weekend, Collin Jackson and his No. 53 Specialty Engineering Nissan 240SX became the GT-3 Challenge representative from the Western Division at the 2019 VIRginia International Raceway SCCA National Championship Runoffs in October. That is where the four GT-3 Challenge Division champs can face off during the year-end SCCA event for overall GT-3 Challenge championship honors.
While the 2019 Super Tour’s 11-weekend season is now complete, there exists one last chance for drivers to earn points toward the Nationwide Points Championship — the Runoffs in October, which is a points-earning opportunity for competitors.
Below are provisional winners from Sunday’s WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Hoosier Super Tour event with Class: Name, Hometown, SCCA Region and Car.
-American Sedan: Clark Nunes; San Jose, CA; San Francisco Region; Ford Spec Mustang
-B-Spec: Frank Schwartz; Ann Arbor, MI; Detroit Region; Mini Cooper
-E Production: Glen McCready; Redwood City, CA; San Francisco Region; Mazda MX-5
-H Production: Lee Fleming; Lake Forest, CA; San Francisco Region; MG Midget
-Formula 1000: Jake Latham; Broomfield, CO; Colorado Region; Stohr F1000
-Formula Atlantic: Jim Mali; Morgan Hill, CA; San Francisco Region; Pro Mazda
-Formula Continental: Jason Reichert; Henderson, NV; Las Vegas Region; Van Diemen F2000
-Formula Enterprises 2: Brandon Aleckson; Campbell, CA; San Francisco Region; SCCA FE2 Mazda
-Formula F: Chuck Horn; Los Gatos, CA; San Francisco Region; Swift/Honda DB6
-Formula Vee: Dennis Andrade; Silverlake, WA; Northwest Region; Vortech
-Formula Mazda: Bill Weaver; Fresno, CA; San Francisco Region; Star Formula Mazda
-GT-2: Kristofer Olson; Shingle Springs, CA; San Francisco Region; Acura NSX
-GT-3: Collin Jackson; Langley, BC; Oregon Region; Nissan 240SX
-GT-Lite: Joe Huffaker; Petaluma, CA; San Francisco Region; MG Midget
-Prototype 1: Todd Slusher; Las Vegas, NV; Las Vegas Region; Elan DP02
-Prototype 2: Chuck Bona; Saratoga, CA; San Francisco Region; Stohr WF1
-Spec Miata: Tristan Littlehale; San Jose, CA; San Francisco Region; Mazda Miata
-Spec Racer Ford 3: Mike Miserendino; Bakersfield, CA; Cal Club; SCCA Enterprises SRF3
-Super Touring Lite: Thomas Lepper; Benicia, CA; San Francisco Region; Honda Prelude
-Super Touring Under: Nathan Pope; Fremont, CA; San Francisco Region; Honda CRX
-Touring 1: Marc Hoover; Shingle Springs, CA; San Francisco Region; Chevrolet Corvette
-Touring 2: Max Fedler; Denver, CO; Milwaukee Region; BMW M235iR
-Touring 4: Lance Stewart; Coconut Grove, FL; Florida Region; Mazda RX-8