DECATUR, Texas (March 16, 2014) – The SCCA Southwest Division –entitled “Sunburn Grand Prix” turned out to be ironically named this weekend at Eagles Canyon Raceway, where the SCCA Mid-States Majors Tour Round Four concluded on Sunday on a cool, windy north Texas afternoon following Saturday afternoon’s rains
The day opened with the Formula F, Formula 500 and Formula Vee drivers running their “Saturday” 35-minute timed sprint race, which was postponed late in the previous afternoon for thunderstorms.
It was an auspicious start to the day, as the No. 07 Noble Racing Vortech Fast/VW Formula Vee of Bill Allman and the No. 8 Team Texas Racing/CF5 Racing Novacar J9 Formula 500 of Joseph Palmer came together on the opening lap, stalling both and bringing out the first full course caution of the weekend.
On the lap six restart, James Stiehr’s No. 5 Carpe Metam Racing Piper Df5 moved around the polesitting No. 42 Swift DB-1 of David Loken, jumping to the lead with a train of cars behind him. In turn 11 on the same lap, Loken tried to retake the lead under braking, but couldn’t complete the pass. He spun off course and out of contention, and Stiehr stayed in front to the finish.
David Vincent’s No. 73 Elisabeth Vincent/AJ’s Import Garage Kbs Mk7/Rotax led most of the way in Formula 500, hounded constantly by Timothy Friest. At the one to go sign, Friest was pushing hard, and coming down the hill into the fast, right handed turn four, Vincent spun. He quickly continued, but by then Friest’s No. 86 Hoosier/Rodend Supply/XT Racing Kbs Mk7/Rotax was on its way to the checkered flag.
Because of the additional race, Sunday’s feature races were rescheduled as 35-minute timed races.
Third-starting Andrew Robertson moved his No. 24 Trinity River Associates Caterham 7 around polesitting Matt Reynolds No. 71 Reynolds Brothers Racing/Jesse Prather Motorsports Mazda Miata at the start, along with Steven Coleman’s Touring 2 No. 25 RaceAwayCancer Ford Mustang. In front, Robertson ticked off lap after lap, maintaining a gap to the Saturday winner Reynolds and pulling away for an eventual 24-second win.
The B-Spec battle began with Saturday winner Joe McClughan’s No. 36 MAZDASPEED/Hoosier Tires MAZDA2 in front, but James Wilson’s No. 80 Black Armor Helmets MAZDA2 swung around McClughan and into the lead through the fast turn four on lap six. Wilson ran wide in turn 11 on the same lap, falling behind McClughan and the No. 95 Hoosier/Mazda/Carbotech MAZDA2 of Steve Taake.
McClughan stayed just in front of Taake while Wilson hustled to reel them back in, finally catching up again with under two laps to go. In the same turn 11 that cost him earlier, Wilson went late on the brakes and slid past both Taake and McClughan. He couldn’t get his Mazda to stop in the corner, however, running wide and slowing McClughan who was trying to avoid contact. That left a giant hole for Taake, who moved to the lead at the one to go board.
McClughan chased Taake back down on the final lap, crossing the stripe just in front for the win.
Jason Ott swept the weekend in Touring 3 in his No. 09 Bimmerhaus/Hoosier Racing Tire BMW Z4 Coupe, while James Rogerson redeemed his bad Saturday luck with an H Production win in the No. 66 MSR Experience/Over 50 Racing Honda Civic.
Saturday’s Spec Racer Ford race started dry, ended wet, and mixed up the field considerably from their qualifying times as the field limped around the track. With none of those concerns today, Denny Stripling started on pole and raced his No. 4 Lightspeed Motorsports Spec Race Ford away from the field to a 9.518-second win.
GT-1 was a back and forth affair, with three drivers taking their turn on the point. Tom Smith’s No. 62 Alpha Clea Chevrolet Camaro moved past David Fershtand’s No. 05 Fershtand Race Prepared Chevrolet Corvette at the green flag and moved to an early lead. After falling back early from his front row starting spot, Fershtand ripped off three consecutive laps to close Smith’s nine-second advantage, moving just in front on the run from turn six to turn seven on lap seven.
At the turn-in point to turn seven, however, Fershtand and Smith came together. Fershtand was sent off track, and Smith continued, running wide through the exit of turn 10 and pulling to pit lane briefly to assess the damage. With Smith’s call to pit lane, Fershtand was the leader.
Two laps later, Fershtand spun yet again in turn seven, with Carl Janin’s No. 14 Chevrolet Camaro inheriting the lead. Fershtand recovered and chased the new leader, catching back up on lap 13 and retaking the lead in the run between turns five and six. Once in front, Fershtand held on to the lead through lap 19 and the win.
Saturday Touring 1 winner Dave Kagan put his No. 52 Ford Mustang/Texas Central Air Ford Mustang Cobra back in front of Sunday’s battle, leading Michael Pettiford’s No. 42 Go4It Racing Chevrolet Corvette until lap 13, when Pettiford closed a substantial gap and took the lead.
Two laps later, Kagan dove hard to the inside in a rough turn one braking zone, hanging on and taking the lead again. With Pettiford still in his mirrors, Kagan held on to the finish.
Gregg Rodgers kept his No. 33 Pinnacle Autosports Chevrolet Camaro in front of the GT-2 class to sweep the weekend at his hometown racetrack. Jim Wheeler (No. 28 Hoosier Tires/Willwood Brakes Pontiac Trans-Am) and Jim Speights (No. 103 Speights Ventures Mazda RX-7) swept American Sedan and GT-3, respectively.
A three-car breakaway for the Spec Miata win followed the lunch break. Sunday polesitter Brett Gabriel held the early lead in his No. 04 Lakeside Foot Care Mazda Miata until Saturday winner Brian Wisler slid his No. 59 XFactor Racing Miata to the front in turn one.
Wisler’s lead lasted two laps, until Bill Agha hung on over the turn one bumps with his foot hard on the brakes of the No. 18 DieselStorm.com Miata, emerging with the lead for the first time in the group. Agha’s lead lasted until lap 11, when the trio emerged from turn seven with Gabriel back in front.
Gabriel held on for the win through lap 18, with Wisler and Agha following close behind to the checkers.
Darryl Wills repeated with an overall win in the “Wings and Things” group five, taking the top spot in his No. 1 Hillenburg Motorsports Formula Mazda again on Sunday. Timothy George (No. 12 Driveway Austin Elan DP-02) and Jay Messenger (No. 59 Jacob’s Ladder/Hoosier/Think Fast Carbir CS2) scored a pair of wins each in Prototype 1 and Prototype 2, respectively.
The day ended with the group that started the day coming back out one last time. The highlight this time was another Formula F battle between Loken and Stiehr. Loken led the opening laps, with Stiehr moving to the front on lap three. Loken took the title back on lap 10 of an eventual 19, and in the ensuing chase, Stiehr spun on lap 18. Loken cruised to the win.
The Mid-States Conference Majors Tour returns to action at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, April 5-6, with a doubleheader for Rounds Five and Six of the 12-race season. The Eastern Conference hosts the next Majors Tour event next weekend, March 21-23, at Road Atlanta for the BFGoodrich Tires Atlanta Super Tour.
Results, grids and more information is available at SCCA.com/ECRMajors.
DECATUR, Texas - Provisional race winners for Sunday’s Round Four of the Mid-States Conference Majors Tour at Eagles Canyon Raceway. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
American Sedan: Jim Wheeler, Lenexa, Kan., Pontiac Trans-Am
B-Spec: Joe McClughan, New Braunfels, Texas, MAZDA3
E Production: Andrew Robertson, Spring, Texas, Caterham 7
F Production: Nigel Saurino, Tulsa, Okla., MG Midget
H Production: James Rogerson, Pearland, Texas, Honda Civic
Formula 500 (Round Three): Timothy Friest, Leavenworth, Kan., Kbs Mk7/Rotax
Formula 500: David Vincent, Leavenworth, Kan., Kbs Mk7/Rotax
Formula Atlantic: David Zavelson, Austin, Texas, Star Mazda
Formula F (Round Three): James Stiehr, Evergreen,Colo., Piper Df5/Honda
Formula F: David Loken, Littleton, Colo., Swift DB-1/Honda
Formula Mazda: Darryl Wills, Houston, Texas, Formula Mazda
Formula Vee (Round Three): Stephen Rainey, Palmer, Texas, FV Vortech/Volkswagen
Formula Vee: Charles Hearn, Houston, Texas, FV Vortech/Volkswagen
GT-1: David Fershtand, Ft. Worth, Texas, Chevrolet Corvette
GT-2: Gregg Rodgers, Decatur, Texas, Chevrolet Camaro
GT-3: James Speights, San Antonio, Texas, Mazda RX-7
GT-Lite: Jonathan Goodale, Conifer, Colo., Mazda Miata
Prototype 1: Timothy George, Austin, Texas, Elan DP-02
Prototype 2: Jay Messenger, Muleshoe, Texas, Carbir CS2
Spec Miata: Brett Gabriel, Dallas, Texas, Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Denny Stripling, McKinney, Texas, Spec Racer Ford
Super Touring Lite: Brian Laughlin, Tulsa, Okla., Mazda Miata
Super Touring Under: John Harms, Plano, Texas, Mazda MX-5
Touring 1: Dave Kagan, New Ulm, Texas, Ford Mustang
Touring 2: Steve Coleman, Azle, Texas, Ford Mustang
Touring 3: Jason Ott, Thornton, Colo., BMW Z4
Touring 4: Stan Czacki, Truth or Consequences, N.M., Acura RSX-S