Tight Racing Theme of the Day at Mid-Ohio BFG Super Tour
LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 3, 2012) – Round Six of the 2012 BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour concluded with great racing at picturesque Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Sunday, part of the Ohio Valley Region/Cincinnati Region Race of Champions weekend.
Race One featured a tight battle at the front, as Super Touring® Under polesitter and Saturday race winner Rob Huffmaster took the early lead in his www.VirSecServices.com Pontiac Solstice GXP with second-starting Eric Heinrich, of Milton, Mass., in tow with his BFGoodrich/Elephantmotorsports.com/AST BMW E30 M3. The pair traded fast laps throughout the race until lap 11, when Huffmaster’s car slowed due to a brake issue, allowing Heinrich to speed away to victory, re-setting the STU track record at 1:37.076 (89.002 mph).
Steve Jenkins, of Glenview, Ill., took the Touring 2 class win for the second-straight day in his Trim-Tex/BRM/HRE Wheels/Fall-Line Porsche 911. Bill Baten was 2.5 seconds behind in his Billy Graham Camaro/Hoosier/Marks ADR Chevrolet Camaro. Chad Gilsinger, of Marysville, Ohio, went flag-to-flag for the Touring 3 win in his HPD/BFG/Alpinestars/H&R/OS Giken Honda S2000, as did the Huffmaster Security/Hoosier Mazda RX-8 of Ray Huffmaster in Super Touring Lite.
Both Showroom Stock classes featured lead changes. In SSB, polesitter and Saturday race winner Andrew Charbonneau led early in his Ford Mustang, setting a new track record of 1:43.302 (83.638 mph) and building up a big lead before reporting to the pits with a mechanical issue on lap 16. That promoted Luke Wilwert, of Marysville, Ohio, to the lead in his HPD/BFG Tires/Alpinestars/Traqmate Honda Civic Si with Kristian Smith right on his bumper in a Ford Mustang. The pair finished in that order, just 0.336-second between them. Saturday’s SSC winner Steve Christopher led early, driving the Parental Control/BFG/Hawk MAZDA3, but was passed by two-time defending National Champion Mark McCaughey, of Sarasota, Fla., for the lead and the eventual win in his Hosier Tire/Carbotech Brakes/Toyota Celica GT.
Group Two for Spec Racer Fords was a runaway win for polesitter Scott Rettich, of Camden, Ohio, his second BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour win in the class this season. Rettich drove his Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash/PDI Communications entry to an 18.214-second victory over second starting Jason Wolfe’s Jay Motorsports entry. Hal Briand took the final podium position in his BEC Racing/KME entry, holding off DG Lex’s D-Tek Enterprises entry by 0.283-second.
Group three for small formula cars got off to an inauspicious start. Second starting Lewis Cooper III got the jump in his Martini/Voss Water Van Diemen over polesitter Tim Kautz’s Braeburn/Two Dogg/Hoosier Piper to lead Formula F, but chaos ensued behind. David Lapham’s Formula 500 car sputtered from seventh on the grid (second in class), causing a stack up that saw cars make contact and spin before they even reached Turn One. Andrew Genkinger (Van Diemen Formula F) and Chris Jennerjahn (Jennerjahn Machine Vortech Formula Vee) got the worst of it and were unable to continue, although neither was injured.
Also involved was Formula Vee polesitter Michael Varacins (Speed Sport/Veetech/Hoosier Speed Sport AM-5), who came to a stop and was dead last in the field after getting back going. The race was stopped to clean up the carnage, and the field was put back into original grid order, meaning Bautz was back up front, and Varacins was able to move back to the front of the FV pack. One car not taking its original grid spot was Lapham’s QRE/Hoosier Invader QRE, as it needed new spark plugs to cure its running problem.
On the restart, Cooper again jumped to the front, but that was short-lived as Kautz made a bold move around the outside of the Carousel to retake the lead. From there, he built a two second lead, with the pair then trading fastest race laps before Kautz finally set a new track record of 1:30.937 (95.011 mph) en route to victory.
After starting shotgun on the field, Lapham, who was celebrating his birthday Sunday, sliced through the field and passed James Weida’s Weida Apartments Scorpion W1 for the Formula 500 lead on lap 14. That was short-lived though, as Lapham spun in Turn Nine several laps later, handing the lead and the win back to polesitter Weida, of W. Lafayette, Ind.
Varacins, of Burlington, Wis., led every lap after the restart, except for the last one. Jeff Loughead started second in the Hoosier Tire/LL Loughead DDS Vortech and ran right on Varacins’ gearbox the entire way, getting side-by-side on the final lap in Turn Four initially and then finally taking the lead in the Carousel as the pair ran to the checkered flag.
While he finished second, Varacins did leave with a new track record of 1:40.139 (86.280 mph) breaking the previous record of Bill Wallschlaeger, which stood for 18 years.
Group Four was all Spec Miatas, and second-starting David Bednarz got the jump and put his Dynomax Exhaust Mazda Miata into the lead. Bednarz led the opening three laps, before polesitter Alex Bolanos, of Hialeah, Fla., made his way back to the point in Turn Six, at the exit of The Esses. From there, Bolanos gradually pulled away to a 5.725-second victory over Bednarz. Andrew Charbonneau, who won Spec Miata on Saturday, made his way by Bruce Andersen on the final lap to take the final position on the podium.
Group Five for Production and GT-Lite featured lead changes in all four classes. Saturday’s overall and E Production winner John Schmitt started from the pole and jumped to the lead at the start in his Red Line Oil/Hoosier Tire Honda Prelude, but the power of Sam Halkias’ Catawba Island Marina Triumph TR6 put him into the lead on the back straightaway. Schmitt remained second for a lap before slowing with mechanical trouble, allowing 2009 National Champion Halkias, of Westerville, Ohio, to cruise to the overall and class victory.
F Production looked to be a Kevin Ruck runaway, as the 2010 National Champion had his Hoosier/Honda/Cobalt Acura Integra out front with a reasonably comfortable lead, running third overall behind the E Production Kryderacing Mazda RX-7 of Gary Martz. On lap five, the pair came together in Turn Nine (entering Thunder Valley), with Martz sustaining too much damage to continue and Ruck falling behind David Strittmatter’s Hoosier Tire Lancia Scorpion. Over the next several laps, Ruck reeled Strittmatter back in, and the two had a spirited battle for the lead over the last six laps, often running side-by-side through the beginning portion of the Esses. With just a lap and a half to go, Ruck finally made his outside move in Turn Four at the end of the back straight stick, re-taking the lead. That only lasted three corners, though, as he spun in Turn Nine, giving Strittmatter, of Akron, Ohio, the lead and the win.
H Production again featured a great fight for the win, with four-time class National Champion Tom Feller, of Holland, Mich., taking the victory in his DJ Race/West MI Imports/Brinks Triumph Spitfire over Matt Brannon’s Midwest-Bayless Italian Auto Fiat X 1/9. Defending National Champion Greg Gauper also spent time up front early, and finished third in his Rana Mort Racing/Goodyear Honda Civic.
Bryan Floyd, of Clarion, Pa., started his Kelly Chrysler Nissan 200SX from the pole and battled Saturday’s winner, Bill Pintaric, in the race’s opening moments. Pintaric’s early exit due to a mechanical problem meant clear sailing for Floyd to the victory over Joel Hipp’s Austin Mini Cooper.
Group Six had the biggest variety of classes, and up front it was the Swift 016 of three-time SCCA National Champion Hans Peter that ran away with the victory. Peter, of Olathe, Kan., battled Saturday winner Sedat Yelkin’s Everclear Swift early, but gradually pulled out a healthy lead before Yelkin retired with just a few laps to go. As his son did earlier in Formula F, Lewis Cooper Jr. scored a runner-up finish in his Martini/Voss Water/St Charles Wine Swift.
Michael Crowe, of Jamestown, Ky., battled with Jeremy Hill before Hill’s Hoosier Tire Photon slowed exiting the last corner just past halfway, allowing Crowe’s Crowe Motorsports/Applied Oxidation/PFC Van Diemen to speed away to the win. Matt Machiko, of Allison Park, Pa., put his Hoosier Tire/Machiko Motorsports Van Diemen in Formula Continental victory lane, topping Saturday winner Robert Allaer's Voss/Martini/LTD Motorsports Van Diemen.
After his pair of wins on Saturday and dominating Spec Racer Ford victory earlier in the day, Scott Rettich hoped to go four-for-four with another win in Formula Enterprises. But 2010 Formula 500 National Champion Pat Gallagher, of Thornton, Ohio, had other ideas, coming out on top of the battle in his Jay Motorsports/CTL Engineering Formula Enterprises entry. Rettich, who led early and charged late, had the fastest lap, but could not close the gap enough at the end of the 19-lap race.
Doug Peterson, of Rochester Hills, Mich., cruised to the Formula Mazda win in his 3Dimensional.com Star Mazda after polesitter Steve Jenks pitted his High Impact Company entry early in the race. Jacek Mucha, of Quebec, sped away to the C Sports Racing victory in his Phoenix-Innotech Swift JMS Mazda and David Locke, of Lafayette, Ind., won D Sports Racing in his Stohr WF1.
After battling Michael Bautz’s Hoosier/Matt & Dave show/Artera Lola early, Corey Fergus, of Powell, Ohio, drove his Hoosier Tires/Carbotech Brakes Carbir CS2 to the Sports 2000 victory.
Peterson didn’t have much time to catch his breath after winning Formula Mazda, as he was scheduled to start on the outside of the front row for the final race of the weekend, featuring the big bore field of GT-1, GT-2, GT-3, Super Touring Over, Touring 1 and American Sedan. Saturday’s GT-1 race winner Amy Ruman put her McNichols/Goodyear/Cenweld Chevrolet Corvette on the pole with a blistering lap Sunday morning, and got the jump at the start. Peterson waited for his opportunity, which came on lap six, and went around Ruman in the Esses.
One lap later, Ruman slowed and reported to the pits with suspension damage after contact while lapping another car. That allowed Peterson to pilot his 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette to a 16-second victory over Ryan McManus’ The McManus Agency Ford Mustang.
David Pintaric, of Canfield, Ohio, recorded his third BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour win of the year in his Kryderacing/Hoosier/Carbotech Dodge Viper, handily winning in STO.
After having to fight his way from the back of the pack to the front on Saturday, Tom Patton, of Hamilton, Ohio, led all the way to take GT-2 in his Tire Discounters/Red Line Oil/Goodyear Sunbeam Tiger, beating the similar car of Barry Schonberger.
Defending National Champion John Buttermore, of Wixom, Mich., led flag-to-flag to take Touring 1 in his Hoosier/Carbotech/Stoptech Chevrolet Corvette, and Paul Young won GT-3 in his Young Racing/Hoosier Tire Ford Probe.
American Sedan looked to be a runaway for polesitter Tom Sloe’s Hitter Racing Eng/Hoosier/Russell Ford Mustang until mechanical difficulties slowed him halfway through the race, handing the lead and eventual victory to Michael Lavigne’s Auto Re-Nu-It Auto Body/Hoosier Tire Ford Mustang.
As is customary with the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour, five volunteer workers and one driver took home cash prizes in a blind drawing at the Saturday night party, sponsored by BFGoodrich Tires. Event workers Jim Henson, Nancy Schillace, Joyce Jones, Louie Beal and Doug Gall each took home $100 cash, while Sports 2000 driver Glenn Jividen Jr. nabbed $500.
The next BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour event is scheduled for High Plains Raceway, Byers, Colo., June 30-July 1. For more information, please visit www.scca.com/supertour.