SUMMIT POINT, W.Va. (Aug. 2, 2014) – Seven race groups of 27 Runoffs-eligible classes put on quite an opening act during Saturday’s SCCA Eastern Conference U.S. Majors Tour Round 13 race at Summit Point Motorsports Park, part of the SafeRacer SCCA National Racing program. While watching the on-track action, one could tell many of these drivers were pushing hard during the final race weekend on the conference schedule.
Unlike Friday’s cool, cloudy and drizzly weather, the sun shone down on the 10-turn, 2.0-mile circuit on Saturday. While the sun was shining brightly, temperatures stayed very comfortable for the competitors, volunteers and spectators in attendance. Six Eastern Conference Championship trophies will be awarded following today’s action, with an addition 10 up for grabs on Sunday.
Group One: Mark Vultaggio, of Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, earned the distinction of being the first race winner on Saturday in an extremely close contest. Starting fifth in the No. 43 Dinosaur Racing SRF, Vultaggio wasted little time getting to the front of the field. In the later stages of the race, he found himself in the middle of a nip-and-tuck battle with Bruce Myers and Robert Reed for the lead. As the laps wound down, Vultaggio made the race-winning pass around Meyers. In an effort to get back around Vultaggio, Meyers spun in Turn Five sealing the results. Reed and Matthew Polk completed the podium positions.
Jeffrey Lehner was the early leader, showing the pace needed to stay in the lead battle. On lap nine, misfortune befell Lehner as his car suffered a mechanical failure that forced his early retirement.
Group Two: Jonathan Weisheit, of Baltimore, Maryland, scored the Formula Vee win by the narrowest margin of victory all day. Weisheit’s No. 61 JK Technologies JK Tech XP1 crossed the finish line 0.011-second ahead of Roger Siebenaler. For all 22 laps, Weisheit, Siebenaler and Richard Shields were involved in a three-way tussle for the lead. The Turn One braking zone seemed to be the favored passing zone as Siebenaler and Weisheit took turns trading the lead as the laps wound down.
In Formula F, Jeremy Grenier (No. 12 Ski Motorsport/Hoosier Tire Citation F1600), of Charles Town, West Virginia, won in dominating fashion while Jay Beckley (No. 60 Frenzinta Racing QRE Invader QC-1), of Marlton, New Jersey, ran away with the Formula 500 win.
Group Three: Tyler Kicera, of Manheim, Pennsylvania, led flag-to-flag in Spec Miata. From the drop of the green flag, Kicera clicked off consistently fast laps allowing him to open a sizable lead at the wheel of his No. 44 Rock-It Cargo/Kicera Motorsports Mazda Miata.
Running in second at the time, Sebastian Landy dropped out of the race on lap 11 with a mechanical issue. His brother, Forrest, inherited the second spot and held station for the remaining laps. Marc Cefalo completed the podium, in third.
Group Four: Robert Lentz, of Chantilly, Va., was Saturday’s winner in a GT-Lite battle that lasted for 20 of the 22 laps run. Lentz, in the No. 60 FGR/Hoosier Tire Nissan Sentra SE-R, got around Disque by lap five. He then tucked in behind Warren Montague, the leader at the time. Montague and Lentz played a high-speed game of cat and mouse at the front for the next 15 laps. The lead drivers traded positions back and forth until Montague made a mistake by dropping off course briefly. After gathering his car back up, Montague was in third, behind Kyle Disque. That’s how they came across the line to complete the podium.
Ron Bartell, of Madbury, New Hampshire, was dominating in H Production. Driving his No. 4 Hoosier Tire MG Midget, Bartell pulled out a 25-second gap to his next closest competitor, in class.
Group Five: Conner Kearby (No. 56 K-Hill Motorsports/Hoosier/GK Motorsports Mazda Swift 016), of Corpus Christi, Texas, took the win in Formula Atlantic. However the most interesting on-track battle occured behind him. Conner’s father, Gaston, and Chris Fahan spent all 27 laps within two seconds of each other. In the end, Fahan didn’t have enough to get by Gaston and had to settle for third.
Alex Mayer, of Harleysville, Pa., won the race in Formula 1000. Piloting the No. 77 Mayer Motorsports JDR F1000, Mayer made great strides toward wrapping up the Eastern Conference title. His closest challenger in the season-long standings, Alastair McEwan, was unable to complete a lap due to a mechanical issue.
Group Six: For the Aquilante clan, it was a family affair as Joe Aquilante, of Chester Springs, Pa., took the Touring 1 win and his niece, Amy Aquilante, of Phoenixville, Pa., was the top finisher in American Sedan.
In his No. 32 Phoenix/Hawk Performance/Hoosier Tire Chevrolet Corvette, Joe was embroiled in a close battle with David Sanders. Once Joe was able to get around Sanders early in the run, he never looked back. Sanders made a race of it, staying just off the rear decklid of Joe for much of the race.
Amy, piloting her No. 50 Tom Aquilante Racing Pontiac Firebird, was also in a close-quarters battle with Daniel Richardson for 22 laps. In the end, her margin of victory was a slim 0.456-second.
Group Seven: B-Spec was the highlight, but it wasn’t winner Peter Schwartzott (No. 04 BFGoodrich Tires Chevrolet Sonic), of White Plains, New York, who got the most attention. Behind him was a great battle involving Peter Schwartzott, Sr. and Brian Audet. The two drivers traded positions countless times during the race, sometimes swapping places multiple times per lap. In the end, it was Schwartzott Sr. that had the advantage, claiming second place 0.031-second in front of Audet
Greg Amy, of Middletown, Conn., put on a driving clinic in Super Touring Lite. Driving his No. 33 Hoosier/HPD/Carbotech/Kessler Engineering Acura Integra GS-R, he was able to put the two other cars in his class one lap down.
Each of the seven groups will conclude the Eastern Conference Majors season with a 25-lap endurance race, starting Sunday at 8:40 a.m. (EDT).
Additional information on the Summit Point Majors, including the schedule and entry list, can be found here.
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