BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour, Majors Weekend Gets Checkers At Hallett
JENNINGS, Ok. (April 15, 2012) – Round Three of the BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour and the second SCCA Club Racer Majors weekend concluded on Sunday at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, crowning another set of winners in SafeRacer National Series classes.
Though severe weather was across the plains states and threatened overnight, by early sunrise the rains had stopped but left a damp track for the morning qualifying. Some spotty sunshine and high winds had dried the 1.8-mile circuit by late morning, and the afternoon races were held on a dry surface.
Racing got underway with Formula 500, Formula Vee and Formula F in Group 1, where C.J. McAbee raced ahead of the field for the overall win in his F500 No. 15 AJ’s Import Garage AJ’s 2012 machine. McAbee lowered his own track record 1:18.148 (82.920 mph) and turned the fastest lap of the race in the process.
Tim Webb’s No. 24 BBD Racing Swift DB-6 Ford was second overall and the leader in Formula F, inheriting the position for good when Cliff Johnson’s No. 4 Alpine Litho-graphics/Farley Engines Piper DF-5 Ford fell out with a mechanical issue. Charles Hearn, driving the No. 37 Irion Filtration/Noble Racing/Goody Vortech, took the Formula Vee win.
Those looking for last-lap passes saw one in Group 2, when Jesse Prather’s No. 34 Jesse Prather Motorsports/MAZDASPEED Mazda MX-5 moved around Rick Kosdrosky’s No. 77 Kosmic Enterprises/Over Fifty Motorsports Caterham Lotus Special on the final of the 25-lap race in E Production. The two made side to side contact as Kosdrosky tried to preserve his win, sending him off the track to a fifth-place finish while Prather took the checkered flag and allowing Bill Allman (No. 28 CarStar/MAZDASPEED/Jesse Prather Motorsports Mazda RX-7) to finish second.
Also in the group, Sam Henry (No. 37 Springfield Dyno/SafeRacer/Goodyear Mazda Miata) took the F Production win, Kent Prather – father of EP winner Jesse – won GT-Lite in the No. 26 Prather Racing/MAZDASPEED Mazda Miata, and John De Barros (No. 85 All Out Auto USA/BFGoodrich Tires/Mazda MAZDA6) grabbed the STU win. Brian Laughlin’s No. 25 Tulsa Radiology Associates/Mazda/Hoosier Mazda Miata held off Jim Drago’s No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata for the STL win, while Rob Horrell outlasted the competition in H Production to take a win in the No. 90 Horrell Group/Architects Austin Sprite.
Laughlin and the elder Prather each set new Hallett track records for their classes, at 1:28.508 and 1:24.684, respectively.
Spec Racer Ford made up Group 3, where Denny Stripling took his second win of the weekend in the No. 4 Lightspeed Motorsports Spec Racer while also turning the fastest lap of the race. Polesitter Cliff White finished second in the No. 58 Thompson White Racing SRF, followed by Grayson Strathman’s No. 19 Monster Energy SRF.
A different spec class, Spec Miata, led Group 4 across the finish line. The No. 29 US Granite Mazda Miata of Craig Berry led the 17-car class in a race that was slowed for caution on lap four when the No. 91 Phillips Race Prep Miata of Kent Carter went off track heading into the first turn, hit the grass and slid hard into the outside tire wall. Carter was out of the car, unhurt, but his car incurred heavy damage and was unable to continue.
Chris Haldeman, piloting the No. 72 Phillips Race Prep/Complete Dent Repair Miata, and Mike Asselta, behind the wheel of the No. 70 SafeRacer Miata, battled for the final two podium finishes, with Haldeman earning second.
Richard Kulach was literally in a Touring 3 class by himself, but raced hard for overall position with Showroom Stock B winner Toby Grahovec. Kulach lowered his own track record at Hallett to a 1:29.642 in the No. 02 Nissan Sport Magazine Nissan 350Z, while Grahovec’s win came in the No. 84 Classic BMW/Hoosier Tire BMW Z4. James Place earned the Showroom Stock C win in the No. 39 Place Rentals Acura Integra GSR, besting Saturday winner John Saucier.
A strong contingent of American Sedan drivers turned out to participate in the Group 5 race, where Jim Wheeler took the win in the No. 20 Hoosier/Willwood Brakes/KC Raceway Pontiac Trans-Am, topping fellow podium finishers Kim McDonald (No. 27 Kims Auto Repair Service Pontiac Firebird) and Jack Martin (No. 30 Pontiac Firebird). David Fershtand’s No. 05 Fershtand Race Prepared Oldsmobile Cutlass took the overall and GT-1 win, with Mark Kirby (STO No. 21 Dodge Viper) and Mike McGinley (Touring 1 No. 50 Superior Chevrolet Corvette) winning in class.
If there were an award for crew of the weekend, it may go to those who helped Brian Haupt piece his No. 15 Mazda RX-7 together. After being collected in the E Production race yesterday, the team scrambled to get the car back together and win the GT-3 race just two hours later on Saturday, and again on Sunday. Haupt also finished third in E Production earlier in the day.
The Group 6 race featured a spirited battle for the lead in Formula Mazda. Alan McCallum’s No. 19 Moses Smith Racing Formula Mazda took a turn in the overall lead, and then held off a hard charge from George Jackson to take the class win. In his pursuit of McCallum, Jackson set a new track record with a lap of 1:14.895 in the No. 76 machine on his way to a runner-up finish.
In his first visit to Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in 17 years, Jacek Mucha took the overall win behind the wheel of the No. 07 Phoenix/Innotech Swift Mazda. Steve Meyer captured the Sports 2000 win in the No. 48 Lola 89/90.
The BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour and Majors weekend featured a number of additional prizes to participants. At the BFGoodrich Tires Participant Party on Saturday night, Formula Vee driver Neil Cox took home a $500 prize in a random draw, while workers Mike Halley, Dan Miklovic, Karen Fearing, Buzz Fisher and Richard Stowers each earned $100 cash in a drawing for their volunteer efforts.
On every Majors weekend, one randomly selected Formula Vee driver will win a $100 prize from Noble Enterprises. At Hallett, Charles Hearn took the prize at Victory Circle after the race.
One $60 prize is being offered to a random Formula F driver each weekend from Alpine Lithographics, along with a $60 bonus to the driver who tows the furthest to the event – again at every Majors weekend in 2012. Marc Blanc, from New Glarus, Wis., traveled 771 miles to make the event, and also captured the prize in the random drawing.
The BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour moves west to Buttonwillow Raceway for the BFGoodrich Tires SoPac Super Tour, April 28-29. The Majors program, held in the Midwest, Southwest, and Rocky Mountain Divisions, continues May 5-6 at Texas Motor Speedway.
More information on the SCCA Club Racing programs is available at www.scca.com/clubracing.
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