FONTANA, Calif. (January 27, 2013) – After battling moisture for two days, the Southern California weather shown through with cool temperatures and a dry race track at Auto Club Speedway for Sunday’s races at the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour presented by Porterfield Brakes, rounds one and two of the Western Conference Majors Tour.
The weather conditions made for high horsepower and another day of tight racing following 20 minute qualifying sessions in the morning.
Once again, the Spec Racer Fords opened the racing with a spectacular show. The field split early with the front-running duo of the No. 11 MBI Racing machine of Mike Miserendino and the No. 4 Pro Drive Racing/HMS machine of Saturday’s winner Todd Harris battling for the lead out in front.
Harris got a great jump at the green flag, getting a push from Lee Douglas’ No. 2 LADCO Pipe & Piling SRF around the banking to move in front of the polesitter. Miserendino chased Harris until getting back on point on lap four, but couldn’t create separation and Harris pulled to the lead again on lap seven as the pair transitioned to the infield road course under banking.
Miserendino used a run down the back straight in the infield to take the lead again on lap 13, but Harris used the draft to reclaim the lead at the end of the superspeedway portion of the track again on the very next lap. Not to be outdone, Miserendino repeated his pass on the previous lap and held the lead with just 2.8-miles left to go.
Harris drafted alongside Miserendino through the banking on the final lap, but couldn’t complete the pass. With one last look on the way to the checkers, Miserendino held the lead and took the checkered flag.
Spec Miata held up their end of the spec racing match-up. Elliott Skeer’s No. 77 RM Auto Sports/Pelican Windows & Remodeling Miata got free of the field in the second half of the race for his second win of the weekend, creating a cushion over runner-up Steven Powers’ No. 2 Amerifirst Mortgage Miata and an even larger gap over the battle for third.
That battle for the final podium position held enough action for everyone, with four cars taking their turn in the slot. Todd Launchbaugh’s No. 13 Lee and Associates Commercial Real Estate Miata and Grant Westmoreland’s No. 12 Pacific Tugboat Service/Rush Motorsports/OPM Autosports Miata were locked together in the draft, with Joey Jordan’s No. 47 BFGoodrich Tires/Minxnails.com/Protomotive Miata and Dean Busk’s Commercial Broker’s Inc. Miata working together to keep pace.
Westmoreland’s run through the infield on the final lap gave him a podium finish when Busk and Jordan got past Launchbaugh and gave Westmoreland some breathing room. Busk and Jordan crossed the stripe side by side. Using a visual identification by the starter, Jordan inched ahead of Busk in the drag race for a thrilling fourth-place.
For the second consecutive day, Tom Wickersham and Erich Joiner chased each other around the Auto Club Speedway road course in search of a GT-2 title. Unlike Saturday’s race, on Sunday Wickersham’s Maine Straight Racing Porsche 996 held the lead over Joiner’s No. 10 Tool of North America Porsche 996 for the victory.
And once again, attrition robbed what promised to be a thrilling finish in Formula F, with Ed Erlandson taking his second win of the weekend in the No. Artwork by Eli/Porter Racing Swift DB-6/Ford. While Jeff Jorgenson’s No. 84 Veskimo.com/21st Amendment Novakar JJ-10/Rotax was cruising to a Formula 500 win, the Formula Vee contingent was again entertaining those in attendance.
Seven Formula Fee machines ran in a swarm around the high banks of Auto Club Speedway and through the infield, until trouble struck on lap nine. With the Formula F field lapping through right where the oval drops into the infield road course, Brian McCarthy’s No. 05 Formula Vee Anduril/VW made contact with the No. 86 Toad Hall Enterprises Mysterian M4/VW of Terran Swanson and the No. 74 Red Line/Hoosier Glamdring/VW of Mark Edwards. The contact ended all three drivers’ day.
That left the No. 4 Fones West Digital Systems/Lynx Wireless Communications Vortech/VW and the No. 22 Volkswagen FV of Tyler Hunter to battle for the top spot on the box. The pair continued to swap the lead on the banking and down the long infield straights, where it became clear that the driver trailing coming down the back straight for the final time would be in the catbird’s seat.
As the passes played out, that driver was Hunter, who grabbed the lead under braking into turn 12. Hunter held the top spot onto the banking and across the stripe to take Formula Vee victory.
Not to be outdone by its smaller open-wheel brethren, the Formula Mazda field saw a three-way battle for the lead at the finish. With three laps remaining and Brad Drew’s No. 78 Maglite Flashlights Star Formula Mazda up on TJ Fischer’s No. 8 Rathbun Associates machine by just two car lengths, Steve Brown’s No. 31 CamGaurd Systems Inc Mazda inserted himself into that battle for the lead.
Brown moved around Fischer for 2nd on Lap 14, then gave chase for Drew and the victory. Brown’s last chance for the win came in Turn 16 where he peeked to the inside of Drew but lost momentum, settling for second and giving Drew the crown.
The final group ended with a pair of Touring 4 cars showing off very different strengths. Lee Niffenegger’s No. 42 Honda Racing/HPD/BFGoodrich Tires Honda Civic Si gapped Steve Zink’s No. 96 Ford Mustang through the curves of the infield, and then had just enough motor to keep the American iron at bay around the superspeedway for 15 laps and the race win.
Rounds Three and Four of the Western Conference Majors Tour continues April 27-28 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. More information on the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour, the U.S. Majors Tour, and the SCCA SafeRacer National Series is available at www.scca.com.
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FONTANA, Calif. - Provisional race winners from Sunday’s BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour presented by Porterfield Brakes at Auto Club Speedway. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
American Sedan: Christopher Qualls, Burbank, Calif., Ford Mustang
B-Spec: Toby Larsson, Anaheim, Calif., Toyota Yaris
C Sports Racing: Lee Alexander, Las Vegas, Nev., Stohr WF-Zero/Suzuki
D Sports Racing: Chris Farrell, Salt Lake City, Utah, Stohr/Suzuki
Formula 500: Jeff Jorgenson, San Francisco, Calif., Novaksar JJ-10/Rotax
Formula 1000: Duane Eitel, Casa Grande, Ariz., Phenix F1000/Suzuki
Formula Atlantic: Randy Cook, Palo Alto, Calif., Reynard 93H/Toyota
Formula Continental: Les Phillips, Bakersfield, Calif., Van Diemen/Ford
Formula F: Ed Erlandson, Burbank, Calif., Swift DB-6/Ford
Formula Mazda: Brad Drew, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., Star Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Tyler Hunter, Denver, Colo., Volkswagen FV/VW
E Production: Philip Royle, Winnetka, Calif., Mazda RX-7
F Production: Steven Hussey, Los Altos, Calif., Mazda Miata
H Production: Jason Isley, Coto de Caza, Calif., Toyota Yaris
GT-1: Mike Lewis, Poway, Calif., Jaguar XKR
GT-2: Tom Wickersham, Oakland, Calif., Porsche 997
GT-3: Mike Henderson, El Cajon, Calif., Mazda RX-7
GT-Lite: John Bower, Granada Hills, Calif., Nissan Sentra
Spec Miata: Elliott Skeer, Vista, Calif., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Mike Miserendino, Bakersfield, Calif., Spec Racer Ford
Sports 2000: David Ferguson, Paso Robles, Calif., Van Diemen RFS-0/Ford
Super Touring Lite: Oscar Jackson, Irvine, Calif., Honda Civic Si
Super Touring Under: Marc Hoover, Shingle Springs, Calif., Mazda Miata
Touring 1: Ken Davis, Escondido, Calif., Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 3: Tom Wickersham, Oakland, Calif., Honda S2000
Touring 4: Lee Niffenegger, Santa Clarita, Calif., Honda Civic Si