Memorable Weekend at MIS Opens Northern Conference
Brooklyn, Mich. (May 26, 2013) – The SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour capped their Memorial Day weekend opener on Sunday on the road course at Michigan International Speedway, crowning winners in 24 Runoffs eligible classes.
Grids for Sundays races were set based on short qualifying races held first thing in the morning, adding additional quality track time to the weekend. Those races didn’t award Conference points, but dramatically improved the qualifying stock of a handful of racers.
Ralph Provitz opened the feature races with an overall win in his D Sports Racing No. 08 V2 Motorsports S08, but the drive of the day came from Brian Novak. Novak put himself in a tough position with an early race spin while battling eventual Formula 1000 winner Jeremy Hill’s No. 00 Hoosier Tire Photon VD07, falling all the way to the end of the field. Novak put his head down, picking off one car at a time in the No. 72 Hoosier Tire/AiM Data Nova Piper F1000, to crawl back to third overall and second in class behind Hill.
The Spec Miata field again featured a barnburner of a race, with David Bednarz’s No. 68 Dynomax Exhaust Mazda Miata, Bruce Andersen’s No. 77 Senson Racing Group/Autotechnik Racing Mazda, and Michael Novak’s No. 9 Roush Caldwell Racing Prep Miata pulling away from the field at the start.
Just as mechanical issues sent Andersen to the paddock on lap five, Kyle Webb’s No. 99 Kiss My Grass Racing/East Street Racing Miata joined the lead battle, and the three resumed their battle. A mistake by Novak allowed Bednarz to pull out a nearly two second lead, but the draft and hard driving brought the back pair up to his bumper in just a handful of laps.
Bednarz and Novak swapped the lead, with Novak appearing to hold the advantage through the infield, and Bednarz the quickest around the banking. Webb, trying to keep pace, spun on lap 18 and continued, staying in third.
The straight-line speed served Bednarz well, as he entered the final lap in the lead and held it through the finish, sweeping the weekend in Spec Miata.
Polesitter Adam Gottlieb’s No. 7 Spec Racer stayed in front of the field and paired off with Scott Rettich’s No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash Spec Racer Ford. Working together, the two broke away from the field to decide the race finish.
For four laps, Rettich hounded Gottlieb’s mirrors until, on Lap 15, Gottlieb spun trying to stay in front as the pair went through turn two.
Gottlieb recovered and didn’t quit, even though he was chasing a former National Champion that now had a few second lead. Picking away at the gap, Gottleib had closed to 1.2-seconds behind Rettich. Still hustling, Gottleib closed to Rettich’s gearbox on the banking but couldn’t get past.
The Spec Racer Ford win was Rettich’s fourth overall this weekend, including a Formula Enterprises sweep.
The H Production battle involved the same two cars that duked it out during Saturday’s race – the No. 2 Midwest Bayless Italian Auto Fiat X 1/9 of Matt Brannon and the No. 8 Triumph Spitfire of Aaron Johnson.
Brannon led early, but Johnson, Saturday’s winner, closed the gap and moved into the lead on lap 12. Brannon used the draft and the banking to move back in front on lap 14, with Johnson reclaiming the point through the infield section of the track.
The tricky left-hand turn four had caught a number of drivers out during the weekend, and on lap 17 it was Johnson’s turn. Spinning from the lead, Brannon went on to the checkered flag and a weekend split with Johnson.
John Buttermore swept the big bore group with another Touring 1 win on Sunday at MIS in the No. 52 Hoosier/Carbotech/StopTech Chevrolet Corvette. Andy McDermid matched the feat in American Sedan in the No. 24 WeatherTech/Felice Performance Engines/T&A Shocks Ford Mustang, then guaranteed the most memorable finish of the two with a smokey pit lane burnout that stretched the length of 11 NASCAR pit stalls.
An overall weekend sweep by Charles Tobel in the No. 14 Discount Tire/Novi Wall Co. Pontiac Solstice in Super Touring Under was almost broken up by a late race pass by Touring 3 winner Kevin Boehm. Boehm’s’ No. 95 BFGoodrich Tires/HPD/Team Honda Honda S2000 held the lead coming onto the banking for the final time. The pair split a lapped car on the front straight in dramatic fashion before the Solstice crossed the stripe just a split-second ahead for the win.
Katie Lapham ended the weekend with a Formula 500 win. Lapham left the remaining Formula 500 field behind early in her No. 88 QRE Invader QRE/Rotax, then inheriting the lead when overall leader Steven Thompson pulled his No. 3 T&R Fabricating TR1 to pit lane and out of the race on unlucky Lap 13.
Not content with just the class win, Lapham battled hard with Formula F runner-up Mark Davison’s No. 91 Swift DB-1 for second overall, behind eventual winner Russell Ruedisueli’s No. 20 Goodyear Tires Van Deimen RF-99.
Rounds Three and Four of the Northern Conference Majors Tour happen in just one week at the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
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Brooklyn, Mich. - Provisional race winners for Sunday’s SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour Round Two 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: Katie Lapham, White Lake, Mich., Invader QRE/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: Russell Ruedisueli, Rochester, Mich., Van Diemen RF-99
Formula Mazda: Jason Vinkemulder, Spring Lake, Mich., Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Brandon Abbott, Livonia, Mich., Vector AM-1/VW
E Production: Joe Moser, Chicago, Ill., Honda Prelude
F Production: Kevin Ruck, Delaware, Ohio, Acura Integra
H Production: Matt Brannon, Columbus, Ohio, Fiat X 1/9
GT-1: Dick Greer, Columbus, Ohio, Chevrolet Corvette
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