ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 18, 2012) – Two days of racing at the 57th WeatherTech Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints® concluded a spectacular Father’s Day weekend at the famed 4-mile Road America circuit.
Racing got underway on Saturday afternoon with a 63-car Group 1 featuring Spec Miata, Showroom Stock B and C, and Touring 3. A heavy lunchtime shower had many in the group concerned about the track conditions on the grid.
While Richard Fisher was winning Touring 3 in the No. 78 Autobarn Volkswagen Volkswagen GTI, Toby Grahovec took the SSB win in the No. 84 Classic BMW, and Tom Daly won SSC in the No. 02 Luther Westside VW/BFGoodrich Tires Volkswagen Rabbit.
Unsurprisingly, the Spec Miata race was action packed. A nail-biter with five cars running within inches of each other, the race ended with the final lap under yellow and no chance to race back to the checkers. After some conversations with the Stewards of the Meet, Todd Buras took the gold medal in the No. 56 OPM AutoSports/East Street Racing/Krispy Kreme/Traqmate Miata, followed by Jim Drago (No. 2 East Street Racing Miata) and Tom Long (No. 50 Freedom Autosport/MAZDA/SemperFiFund.org Miata).
With another Wisconsin rain shower brewing, the lightning-quick C Sports Racing, D Sports Racing, and Sports 2000 cars began the Group 2 race.
Jean-Luc Liverato marched his No. 1 K-Hill Motorsports/Hoosier Tire/8-Ball Racing Swift JMS014 to the CSR title, while Tom Bootz did the same in DSR in the No. 36 Bootz Industries Stohr WF-1. Lawrence Loshak rebounded from early weekend motor difficulties in the No. 7 ETE Reman/Moon Supercycle/Goodyear Stohr WF-1 to take a runner-up finish at his home track.
Bart Wolf, an Elkhart Lake resident, grabbed the checkered flag in S2 driving his No. 28 Goodyear/Lake Street Carbir CS2.8.
Just after victory circle wrapped, with Group 3 on the grid, the skies opened up for that anticipated shower.
The rains plagued the entire race featuring Formula F, Formula Enterprises, and Formula 1000, with the field being black flagged on two separate occasions for safety in the treacherous conditions.
Patrick Gallagher skated to the overall win in Formula Enterprises in the No. 98 Jay Motorsports/CTL Engineering FE machine, ahead of a hard-charging Scott Rettich in the No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash machine.
The FB race came down to decisions made in the pits while the field was black-flagged. Brandon Dixon changed to rain tires as allowed under the rules, but also adjusted the ride height in the No. 7 Citation Engineering/Hoosier Tire Citation F1000 which sent him to the back of the field for the restart. Dixon still carved through the field to win when the course went green again.
Ethan Shippert finished fourth overall in the No. 55 Shippert Racing/Lucky Strike/Tool Van Diemen RF97k to win Formula F.
Though the track was dry, Sunday morning’s races got off to a spectacular start when Doug Peterson’s No. 87 3Dimensional.com Formula Mazda took a wild ride across the top of the pit straight wall just after the green flag in what became a five-car incident involving an additional Formula Mazda and three Formula Atlantic machines. Thankfully, all drivers walked away from the incident, but the long clean-up shortened the Group Four race to just seven laps and the remaining races to just nine laps instead of the scheduled 12.
Once Group 4 restarted, Jason Byers drove the No. 8 Swan/Hoosier Swift 014.a to a 4.48-second win overall and in Formula Atlantic. Jason Vinkemulder (No. 10 Vinkemulder Financial Star Mazda) was able to hold off George Jackson (No. 06 Quality Tower Services Star Mazda) and Robert Noell (No. 27 Star Mazda) for the Formula Mazda win, with Gerald Szykulski winning Formula Continental in the No. 31 Rotary Systems Van Diemen DP over Nikki Coello’s No. 81 PouredFoundations.com RFR F2000.
Group 5 for the Production cars, plus GT-Lite and Super Touring Lite, were all won by drivers traditionally strong at Road America. Jon Brakke’s No. 89 Margaret Peterson Bars Mazda Miata took the overall and E Production win in the 10-lap race. Class winners Steve Sargis (GTL No. 18 SBS Batteries/Goodyear Tire Triumph Spitfire), Ken Kannard (F Production No. 51 Northwest Cable/Hoosier/Mazda Mazda Miata), Mike Moser (H Production No. 01 ETE Reman/RWM Auto/Goodyear Honda CRX), and Rich Walke (STL No. 61 Dan Glitz/Creative Technology Inc. Mazda RX-7) all sipping champagne.
As always, the Formula Vee race at the WeatherTech June Sprints was hotly contested. After a number of lead changes in the Group 6 race, Michael Veracins No. 65 Speed Sport/Veetech/Hoosier Speed Sport AM-5 led the draft to the checkered flag just ahead of Chris Jennerjahn’s No. 48 Jennerjahn Machine Inc Vortech and Ron Whitston’s No. 5 Subway/Hoosier Protoform P2.
Michael Mueller, from nearby Plymouth, cruised to a Formula 500 victory in the No. 24 MJ Manufacturing/Fibeco Red Devil to take the overall win in the group.
The Touring 1, Touring 2, American Sedan and Super Touring Under machines made up Group 7. John Buttermore’s No. 52 Hoosier/Carbotech/Stoptech Chevrolet Corvette took T1, with Martin Musial (No. 09 AMS Performance Mitsubishi Lancer) winning T2, Andy McDermid (No. 24 Ford Mustang) winning AS, and Richard Fisher taking his second win of the weekend, driving the No. 48 Volkswagen GTI in STU.
Always ready to run in a draft down Road America’s long straits, Group 8’s Spec Racer Ford run turned to a two-way battle between Scott Rettich’s No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash SRF and Brian Schofield’s No. 61 PM Racing SRF. The two swapped the point several times over the closing laps and crossed the finish line side-by-side, with Rettich claiming the win by just 0.049-second.
GT-1 led Group 9 in a race that no one seemed to want to win. Three separate lead cars eventually fell out of the lead before a red-hot Simon Gregg took advantage in the No. 59 Deerhag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette to claim victory. June Sprints veteran Mark Boden won in GT-2 driving the No. 46 WeatherTech/Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup, with Jeff Dernehl (No. 03 Roswell Outback/RRE/Hoosier Mazda RX-7) winning in GT-3 and David Pintaric (No. 40 Kryderracing/Hoosier/Carbotech/WRP Investments Dodge Viper) rebounding from a dramatic Viper Cup crash just weeks ago at Road America to win in STO.
More information on the WeatherTech Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints is available at www.junesprints.com.
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