High 90s Temps Doesn't Stop Great Racing at High Plains
Note - Edited July 3, to reflect Anthony Simmers' STU win that was previously incorrectly recorded.
BYERS, Colo. (June 30, 2012) – Day one of the SCCA Majors weekend at High Plains Raceway, east of Denver, is now complete after a 97 degree day in the eastern Colorado rolling hills.
The first day of the double national weekend that also includes the BFGoodrich Tires Rocky Mountain Super Tour on Sunday began with a brief practice and qualifying session in the morning, followed by six group races during the afternoon.
Group One began with the big bore machines, including Super Touring Over and Super Touring Under, GT-2 and GT-3, Touring 1 and Touring 2, and American Sedan.
The battle in the group was for the overall win, with Scott Bove’s STO No. 22 Motul/StopTech BMW M3 and Jim Valdez’s GT2 No. 2 Valdez Motorsports BMW E46 each taking a turn on the point. Bove took the lead on lap 16 of the 18-lap race, and finished with a 0.546-second victory.
Jim Leithauser took the Touring 2 win in the No. 62 Alpines Motorsports BMW Z4, Natha Waldbaum’s No. 5 Gregg Young Chevrolet Chevrolet Corvette was victorious in Touring 1, and Robert Herman took GT3 in the No. 00 Herman Plbg/Kim’s Auto Mazda RX-7.
Anthony Simmers captured the STU class in the No. 45 Volkswagen GTI in just his sixth career start.
Denny Stripling’s No. 4 Lightspeed Motorsports Spec Racer Ford led Group 2, with only Spec Racer Ford machines, for the first half of the race before Keith Verges closed the gap at the halfway mark. On lap 10, Verges drove his No. 69 Apex Driving Academy SRF into the lead, then held on for the remaining eight laps for a 0.815-second win over Stripling. Mark Hutchins was third in the No. 95 YourCancerCare.com SRF.
Spec Miata, along with Showroom Stock B and Showroom Stock C, were in Group 3. Although the SM class is known for its close racing, Matt Reynolds picked up and left the field behind in his No. 74 Mazda Miata and cruised to an 8.246-second victory. Mark Franklin was all alone in second place in the No. 25 RM Petrophysics Miata, 11 seconds ahead of Chris Haldeman’s No. 72 XFactor Race Engines Miata in third. Michael Pettiford’s No. 41 Go 4 It Racing Schools Pontiac Solstice took the Showroom Stock B win.
Showroom Stock C was the lone battle for the win in the grouping. The No. 39 Place Rentals Acura GRS of James Place and the No. 5 Hoosier Tires Mazda Miata of robert Schader ran nose-to-tail for nearly 18 laps, with Place coming home with a win.
The No. 4 Fones West Digital System Vortech Formula Vee of Mark Felsen and the No. 7 Littlefeat.net Vortech of Lisa Noble were the main entertainment in Group 4. Felsen led early, with Noble moving in front on lap eight. Felsen motored past on the back straight a lap later, but Noble went back to the lead on lap 13. Felsen reclaimed the point on lap 16, and when David Loken’s No. 25 Swift DB-1 Formula F seperated the two drivers and took the checkered flag as the overall leader, Felsen cruised to a win.
Timothy Friest’s No. 86 XT Racing/RodEndSupply KBS Mk VII claimed Formula 500 victory when mechanical issues sidelined leader CJ McAbee on Lap 17.
A split start separated F Production, H Production, and GT-Lite from the E Production field in Group five, but that didn’t keep some of the drivers in the second group from working up the field.
Matt Reynolds scooted away from the E Production field to take a 6.037-second win in the No. 71 Reynolds Bros. Racing Mazda Miata and grabbed the checkered flag, with F Production winner Eric Prill second overall in the No. 7 Jesse Prather Motorsports/Hoosier/OS Giken Mazda Miata.
Kent Prather’s No. 26 Prather Racing/MAZDASPEED Mazda Miata was a winner in GT-L, bringing the number of wins for the Miata in the group to three classes. Alex Burnett took the win in H Production.
The day concluded with sports racers and the winged open-wheel cars. Kirk Kindsfater’s No. 32 Ortho Center Rockies Speads RS11, while JR Osbourne’s No. 83 Stohr/Hoosier Stohr Formula 1000 machine set a new track record in 1:44.617 and finished second overall. Gerald Szykulski’s No. 3 Rotary Systems Van Diemen was the Formula Continental winner and crossed the stripe with a bronze medal overall.
Russ Lindemann’s built-up good karma from hosting the American Military Family and FOB Summit County military charities and a fast No. 16 Rocky Mountain Tire & Auto Formula Mazda was enough to win that class.
Michael Keith Scharf captured the CSR win in the No. 38 KC Racing/Mazda/Hoosier SCCA Enterprises Mazda, winning the SCCA Enterprises Sportsracer Challenge as a subseries within the class for like-prepared machines.
Mark Mercer took the Sports 2000 class victory in the No. 34 Ferenco/Hoosier Tires Lola 90/91.
The second Majors round of the weekend gets underway with qualifying at 8 a.m. MDT, followed by the BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour races.
Live timing and notes are available all day on Sunday from www.scca.com/sccalive.