BYERS, Colo. (July 1, 2012) – High weekend temperatures didn’t dampen the spirits of the 104 competitors Sports Car Club of America National Racers competing in Sunday’s BFGoodrich Tires Rocky Mountain Super Tour at High Plains Raceway.
The close racing began before lunchtime with an overall battle for Group 1 supremacy. With neither Jim Valdez, of Denver, Colo., or Scott Bove, of Conifer, Colo., willing to concede the overall victory and both clear of their closest class competitors, the race came down to the final corner for a pair of BMWs.
Bove’s Super Touring Over class winning No. 22 Motul/StopTech BMW M3 started on the overall pole and pulled away in the opening lap, but Valdez’s GT-2 prepped No. 2 Valdez Motorsports BMW E46 took over the lead on lap two of the 18-lap race.
Valdez was the rabbit for Bove to chase, closing up down the long straightaway in the higher horsepower machine but falling behind through the track’s twisty corners. The scene repeated itself over and over as the pair worked through traffic, the similar BMW’s attacking the 15-turn, 2.55-mile circuit.
Flawless driving left Valdez just 0.412-second ahead of Bove for the overall win, reversing the finishing order from Saturday’s SafeRacer National Series race.
Spec Racer Ford looked like it could be a runaway, but Saturday’s race winner Keith Verges displayed an impressive bit of resiliency in the No. 69 Apex Driving Academy SRF machine to make the finish exciting. Third-starting Mark Hutchins took the green flag like a rocket to put his No. 95 YourCancerCare.com SRF in between Verges and polesitter Denny Stripling for second place.
Stripling was able to work his No. 4 Lightspeed Motorsports SRF away from the field while Verges battled with Hutchins for second. Verges had the second position in a couple of laps, but had a tremendous gap to make up in the spec series.
The polesitter had a 2.413-second advantage on lap 11 of the 18-lap race, but with four to go that gap had fallen to just over one second. With two to go, the gap was just a half-second, and Stripling had Verges on his tail with one lap to go.
Verges was not able to take advantage of a draft up the long backstraight that often happens at High Plains, and attempted to pull side-by-side through corner eight. Stripling kept the pursuit in his mirrors, however, and took the Super Tour victory.
The wind picked up considerably and gray clouds rolled in during the Group 3 race while Matt Reynolds was running away with the Spec Miata class win in the No. 74 Reynolds Bros. Racing Mazda Miata. Despite the ominous sky, only a few drops of rain fell and everything continued on schedule.
Reynolds showed up again in Group 5 where he gave chase to eventual E Production winner Jesse Prather’s No. 34 Jesse Prather Motorsports Mazda MX-5. In that race, Reynolds fell behind in the No. 71 Reynolds Bros. Racing Mazda Miata, then pitted with mechanical issues while Prather cruised to victory by 23.136 seconds.
Joining Jesse Prather as a race winner in that Group was his father, Kent Prather. The defending GT-Lite National Champion was locked in a race-long battle with Jonathan Goodale’s No. 04 MAZDASPEED/Hoosier Mazda MX-5. The two showed strength on different parts of the circuit with the gap hovering essentially at less than a second for the entire race before Prather hung on for the win in his No. 26 Prather Racing/MAZDASPEED Mazda Miata.
Michael Pettiford, of Louisville, Colo., did manage to take two wins on Sunday. Pettiford drove the No. 41 Go 4 It Racing School Pontiac Solstice to the Super Touring Under win in the morning, then repeated with a Showroom Stock B victory in a less prepared Solstice later in the day.
A full list of Sunday’s winners follows.
Round Eight of the nine-race BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour moves to the Portland International Raceway of the Northern Pacific Division, July 13-15.
More information on the Sports Car Club of America, the SafeRacer National Series, or the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour is available at www.scca.com.
Follow SCCA on Twitter @SCCAOfficial.
BYERS, Colo. – Race winners from Sunday’s BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Rocky Mountain Super Tour at High Plains Raceway, with class, driver, hometown and car.
American Sedan: Kim McDonald, Grand Island, Neb., Pontiac Firebird
C Sports Racing: Gary Stevens, Littleton, Colo., Speads RS11
D Sports Racing: Kirk Kindsfater, Fort Collins, Colo., Speads RS11
E Production: Jesse Prather, Topeka, Kan., Mazda MX-5
F Production: Eric Prill, Topeka, Kan., Mazda Miata
H Production: Rob Horrell, Memphis, Tenn., Austin Sprite
Formula 500: C.J. McAbee, Topeka, Kan., AJ’s 2012 Rotax
Formula 1000: Jake Latham, Fort Collins, Colo., Stohr F1000
Formula Continental: Gerald Szykulski, Edina, Minn., Van Diemen
Formula Enterprises: Henry Donohoo, Arvada, Colo., SCCA Formula Enterprises
Formula Mazda: Russ Lindemann, Longmont, Colo., Star Formula Mazda
Formula F: David Loken, Littleton, Colo., Swift DB-1 Honda
Formula Vee: Phillip Holcomb, Longmont, Colo., Citation 88V
GT-2: Jim Valdez, Denver, Colo., BMW E46
GT-3: Robert Herman, Cairo, Neb., Mazda RX-7
GT-Lite: Kent Prather, Wakarusa, Kan., Mazda Miata
Showroom Stock B: Michael Pettiford, Louisville, Colo., Pontiac Solstice
Showroom Stock C: James Place, San Antonio, Texas, Acura GRS
Spec Miata: Matt Reynolds, Fair Oaks, Texas, Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Denny Stripling, McKinney, Texas, Spec Racer Ford
Sports 2000: Mark Mercer, Aurora, Colo., Lola 90/91
Super Touring Over: Scott Bove, Conifer, Colo., BMW M3 E46
Super Touring Under: Michael Pettiford, Louisville, Colo., Pontiac Solstice
Touring 1: Natha Waldbaum, Omaha, Neb., Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 2: Jim Leithauser, Westminster, Colo., BMW Z4
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