Northern Conference Reopens Michigan Road Course
Brooklyn, Mich. (May 25, 2013) – The SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour season commenced on Saturday by christening the newly reopened Michigan International Speedway road course, launching a venue that hadn’t previously hosted a road course event since 1994.
Jacek Mucha, of Laval, Quebec, goes into the record books forever as the first person to take a checkered flag in the Northern Conference, running to an overall win in his No. 07 Phoenix-Innotech/Mazda JMS 016cp/Mazda in Formula Atlantic.
Mucha battled early with the Formula 1000 class-leading No. 00 Hoosier Tire Photon VD07 of Jeremy Hill. That battle helped the No. 72 Hoosier Tire/AIM Data Nova-Piper F1000 of Brian Novak hang around, which locked Novak and Hill in a battle for the Formula 1000 lead. Chasing Hill hard for several laps, Novak took the lead around the MIS banking and into Turn One for the lead on lap 19, but Hill reclaimed the top spot one lap later.
Working through traffic, Hill opened his lead back up again, and crossed the stripe with a class victory.
Within shouting distance of the Formula 1000 battle was the D Sports Racing fight, just behind. Jon Staudacher’s No. 21 Staudacher S11 moved around Ralph Provitz for the class lead on lap 15, but the No. 08 V2 Motorsports S08 of Provitz jumped back to the front after a couple of laps.
Again, lapped traffic appeared to help the front runner, and Provitz held on for victory.
The high banks of Michigan International Speedway’s oval was bound to factor into a few races on Saturday, and Spec Miata was the first to demonstrate just how much.
David Bednarz, from nearby Ann Arbor, Mich., chose the inside lane on the 21st and final lap around NASCAR turns three and four, motoring his yellow No. 68 Dynomax Exhaust Mazda Miata around second running Bruce Andersen II and leading Michael Novak for a 0.172-second win.
The top three battled all race long for the top podium positions, with each leading around the 1.9-mile circuit. Andersen’s No. 77 Senson Racing Grp/Autotechnik Racing Miata started on the pole and brought Novak’s No. 9 Roush Caldwell Race Prep Miata with him around Bednarz. The front three swapped the positions several times over the race distance.
With just two laps to go, Bednarz had lagged behind the others and looked to be too far back to complete the move. Bednarz had timed it perfectly, however, and pulled off the spectacular finish.
Spec Racer Ford, however, didn’t play out the same way. Scott Rettich earned his second win of the day (along with Formula Enterprises) by more than five seconds in the No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash Spec Racer Ford. Rettich, starting on the outside of row one, fell back to fifth in the opening corners, then crawled back to second place behind polesitter Adam Gottlieb’s No. 7 Spec Racer.
Gottlieb spun in turn six on the tenth lap, elevating Rettich to the lead and leaving him unchallenged to the checkered flag. Gottlieb recovered to finish second, with Rick Bartuska’s No. 15 M/K Industries SRF completing the podium.
Joe Moser started on pole in his No. 63 Hoosier/King Motorsports/Moser Racing Honda Prelude and ran away from the field for the E Production victory. Former National Champion Kevin Ruck did the same in F Production, piloting his No. 73 Hoosier/Honda/Cobalt Acura Integra to the class win.
A pair of Honda teammates battled for the Touring 3 win on Saturday, when Luke Wilwert’s No. 79 BFGoodrich Tires/HPD/Team Honda Honda S2000 and Kevin Boehm’s very similar No. 95 BFGoodrich Tires/HPD/Team Honda Honda S2000 swapped the lead and chased each other around the circuit. Boehm pulled his machine home first, capturing the opening round for his class.
The Formula F battle that ended the day seemed to be the race no one wanted to win. Russell Ruedisueli’s No. 20 Goodyear Tires Van Diemen RF-99 fell out early, leaving a three-car battle for the lead.
Ruedisueli’s bad fortune put Mark Davison’s No. 91 Swift DB-1 on the point, just ahead of Jason Byers and David Harmison. With the three running nose to tail, Davison spun late in the race to lose the lead, and remarkably, just a few corners later Byers’ No. 31 LTD Motorsports Crossle 31F did the same. Now in front as the others tried to catch up, Harmison held the lead for the final handful of laps, taking the checkers in the No. 10 Royale RP-21.
Round Two of the Northern Conference Majors Tour takes place on Sunday on the road course at Michigan International Speedway, with second qualifying session beginning at 8:00 EDT followed by the seven group races.
More information is available at www.scca.com. Like SCCA on Facebook at Facebook.com/SCCAOfficial, or follow on Twitter @SCCAOfficial.
Live timing and notes are available on Sunday at www.scca.com/SCCALive.
Brooklyn, Mich. - Provisional race winners for Saturday’s SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour Round One at Michigan International Raceway. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
American Sedan: Andy McDermid, Howell, Mich., Ford Mustang
D Sports Racing: Ralph Provitz, Macomb, Mich., S08/Suzuki
Formula 500: Steven Thompson, Royal Oak, Mich., TR1/Rotax
Formula 1000: Jeremy Hill, Toronto, Ont., Photon VD07/Suzuki
Formula Atlantic: Jacek Mucha, Laval, Quebec, JMS 016cp/Mazda
Formula Continental: Robert Allaer, Lithia, Fla., Van Diemen RF02/Ford
Formula Enterprises: Scott Rettich, Camden, Ohio, Formula Enterprises/Mazda
Formula F: David Harmison, Milan, Mich., Royale RP-21
Formula Mazda: Jason Vinkemulder, Spring Lake, Mich., Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Charles McCormick, Clarkston, Mich., Vortec CM1/VW
E Production: Joe Moser, Chicago, Ill., Honda Prelude
F Production: Kevin Ruck, Delaware, Ohio, Acura Integra
H Production: Aaron Johnson, Martinsville, Ind., Triumph Spitfire
GT-1: Dick Greer, Columbus, Ohio, Chevrolet Corvette
GT-2: Butch Kummer, Woodstock, Ga., Chevrolet Monte Carlo
GT-3: Mike Cyphert, Twinsburg, Ohio, Toyota Celica
GT-Lite: Joel Hipp, Norwalk, Ohio, Austin Mini
Spec Miata: David Bednarz, Ann Arbor, Mich., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Scott Rettich, Camden, Ohio, Spec Racer Ford
Super Touring Lite: Andrew Salzano, Marysville, Ohio, Honda Civic Si
Super Touring Under: Charles Tobel, New Hudson, Mich., Pontiac Solstice
Touring 1: John Buttermore, Wixom, Mich., Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 2: Todd Napieralski, Chelsea, Mich., Chevrolet Camaro SS
Touring 3: Kevin Boehm, Marysville, Ohio, Honda S2000
Touring 4: Greg Vandersluis, North Olmstead, Ohio, Ford Mustang