Saturday action from the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour’s Circuit of The Americas weekend included:
Simonds Says: New race cars are full of gremlins and headaches – or at least they’re supposed to be. Perry Simonds, with the help of famed production car builder Jesse Prather Motorsports, debuted a brand-new F Production Mazda Miata at COTA. And, of course, it ran trouble-free for the win in its very first time out.
Simonds has been traveling back and forth between his home in Winnsboro, Texas, and the JPM shop in Topeka since October to put the blue and neon green-wrapped car together. Simonds installed the pieces and parts that he could, while leaving the expert work for Prather and the knowledge he’s gained building several successful Production-class Miatas.
“To take a brand-new car, run a full day of testing, then qualifying and race with no issues says a lot about Jesse, and I couldn’t be happier,” Simonds said. “It’s my first Super Tour win (and) I’m ecstatic. What a way to break in a new car.”
No Stinkin’ Points: Russell Turner and Denny Stripling are friends – for all but one lap per day around Circuit of The Americas.
The buddies off-the-track also work together on the track, and Stripling pushed Turner’s Spec Racer Ford to the front of the SRF3 field in the opening nine laps on Saturday. And while there is prestige in winning the season-long Hoosier Racing Tire Super Tour point championship, that’s all out the window on the final lap of any given race.
“Denny tried to pass me on the last lap, and I was able to hold him off the win,” Turner said, in what was an accurate – but very understated – statement.
The pair were side by side through three corners, and that move actually cost Stripling second place when Grayson Strathman went by in the final corner. Turner would go on to win, leading all 10 laps.
“It was either stay behind him and have a nice solid second, or, you know what, we’re out here to race so let’s go for this thing,” Stripling said. “There was no touch, and it was awesome.”
So is it safe to assume Stripling will be back for more in Sunday’s race?
“Let me sleep on it,” he said with a laugh.
Stripling need not feel bad, however. Turner later dispatched a strong Formula Enterprises 2 field later in the afternoon for his second win of the day, and Stripling got his first-place trophy later in Super Touring Lite.
Schedule Adjustment: Saturday ended prematurely after a Group 6 incident on the final lap.
Two cars made contact in Turn 11, with the resulting damage necessitating repairs to the barrier before racing could continue. With just one group to go and time needed for the repairs, Group Seven – FF, F5 and FV – will hold both races on Sunday.
Winner, Winner: On track on Saturday were seven group races, each 25-minutes in length at the 3.4-mile Circuit of the Americas, the second Hoosier Super Tour race of the 2021 season. Provisional winners were:
American Sedan: Philip Waters, Chevrolet Camaro Z-28
B-Spec: Riley Salyer, Honda Fit
E Production: Matt Reynolds, Mazda Miata
F Production: Perry Simonds, Mazda Miata
H Production: Neil Verity, MGB
Formula Atlantic: Varun Choksey, Ligier JS F3
Formula Continental: Eric Presbrey, Van Diemen RF03/Ford
Formula Enterprises 2: Russell Turner, Formula Enterprises/Mazda
Formula X: Nico Christodoulou, Ligier F4
GT-1: David Fershtand, Chevrolet Corvette
GT-2: Mark Boden, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
GT-3: Luis Rivera, Mazda RX-7
GT-Lite: Bill Keeney, Toyota Tercel
GT-X: Derek Beitzel, Porsche 911 GT4
Prototype 1: William Munholland, Elan DP02
Prototype 2: Robert Iversen, Ligier JS 49
Super Touring Under: David Fiorelli, Porsche Cayman
Super Touring Lite: Denny Stripling, Scion FR-S
Spec Miata: Jim Drago, Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford Gen 3: Russell Turner, Spec Racer Ford
Touring 1: Paolo Salvatore, Ford Mustang
Touring 2: Charlie Peter, BMW 235i
Touring 3: Breton Williams, Nissan 370Z
Touring 4: Sergio Zlobin, Mazda RX-8