Memorial Day weekend is a busy one for racing, and the U.S. Majors Tour has events spread across the country. The Northern, Mid-States and Western Conferences are in action this weekend, spreading SCCA Club Racers across the country. There's plenty to watch, Here's what we're looking for:
Northern Notes: For the first time in nearly 30 years, Michigan International Speedway will be hosting a road course race. The Northern Conference opens the revamped track this weekend, which was reopened when the facility also gave the oval a freshening over the winter. The 1.9-mile road course mirrors the original layout, which hosted SCCA Club and professional races in its heyday… The last to start, the Northern Conference finally gets underway this weekend after waiting for the snow to melt in a number of locations. The schedule heats up quickly, though, with Rounds Three and Four at Mid-Ohio just a week later, Road America two weeks after that… Northern Conference drivers were clearly ready to get the season underway, though many of those names have appeared outside of the Conference at other events this season. With more than 140 cars on the entry list, MIS is the largest event of the three this Memorial Day weekend.
Mid-States Madness: For the first time this season, the Colorado drivers get to welcome their Mid-States counterparts. The Conference has visited Circuit of the Americas in Texas, moved north to Hallett, and continues around into the Rockies for this weekend’s double… Bill Kephart has two podium finishes in the first four rounds this season, and could extend his point lead in Formula F at his home track this weekend… Bob Schader has won three times in four trips this season in Super Touring Lite. He could add two more this weekend at PPIR.
Western Wildness: With the opening four rounds of the Western Conference held in Southern California (at Auto Club Speedway and Buttonwillow), the Northwest drivers get a chance to defend their home turf instead of traveling to an away game… Chris Farrell is four-for-four this season in D Sports Racing, and will be at Pacific this weekend. A season-opening six for six isn’t out of the question…TJ Fischer went south for two wins and four podiums in Formula Mazda. Now the Portland native is closer to home and looking to extend the point lead…John Bower has a four-win streak in GT-Lite to open the season. He’s on the entry list for Pacific with an eye on two more gold medals… Oscar Jackson, Jr., has opened the season with four wins in Super Touring Lite, but this weekend he’s on the Touring 4 entry list. If he does run T4, he’ll battle Lance Stewart. Stewart is coming off of two wins at Buttonwillow.
Family Fun: Spectators are welcome at each of the three events this weekend. At Michigan International Speedway, a $20 ticket covers both days of the race weekend. At Pacific Raceways, tickets for adults are $10 per day, and $5 for juniors. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets for all events are available at the gate.
The Dawn Of An Era: In September 2012, the Sports Car Club of America rolled out the U.S. Majors Tour as the top level of amateur racing in this country. This weekend features three events spread across the country, at Michigan International Speedway (Northern Conference), Pikes Peak International Raceway (Mid-States Conference), and Pacific Raceways (Western Conference). Drivers across the country will participate, featuring an enhanced race experience for drivers and fans, from pre-race to post-race activities.
SCCA Club Racers – The Best In The Country: There many amateur road racing groups in the United States, but the clear leader of top drivers is with the SCCA. Though most are weekend warriors who take vacations from their full-time jobs to attend races, it’s a craft taken seriously. Bobby Rahal, Mark Donohue, Roger Penske, Michael Andretti, and actor/driver Paul Newman got their start in SCCA Club Racing. More recently, you could have seen current stars Boris Said, Graham Rahal, Sam Hornish or J.R. Hildebrand at an SCCA Club race. This weekend features National Champions, professional race winners and series champions, and up-and-coming stars on the entry lists.
U.S. Majors Tour Northern Conference - Rounds One and Two of Nine or 10 (class dependent)
Michigan International Speedway
9-turn, 1.9-mile road course
U.S. Majors Tour Mid-States Conference - Rounds Five and Six of 10
Pikes Peak International Raceway
9-turn, 1.3-mile road course
U.S. Majors Tour Western Conference - Rounds Five and Six of Eight
10-turn, 2.25-mile road course
All locations: Saturday and Sunday mornings
Following Qualifying on both Saturday and Sunday.
Michigan International Speedway: Seven Race Groups
Pacific Raceways and Pikes Peak International Raceway: Six Race Groups
MIS: 21 laps or 30 minutes, whichever comes first
PPIR: 35 laps
Pacific: 20 laps
Timing/Scoring: Live Timing & Scoring, lap notes and streaming track PA audio via the SCCA® Pit Board are available for all sessions through www.scca.com/sccalive.
Entry lists, full event schedules, and more information is available at www.sccamajors.com.