South Beloit, Ill. (August 5, 2012) – A chamber of commerce weather day greeted competitors for the ninth and final round of the BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour on Sunday at Blackhawk Farms Raceway, capping the season with a Central Division tune-up prior to September’s National Championship Runoffs.
Saturday’s thunderstorms gave way to sunshine and a slight breeze, insuring that the weather would not be a factor in the 24-lap races for eight different run groups.
The day started with a bang, almost literally. Denny Marklein’s No. 22 Marklein Auto Body/DJMSP Formula Enterprises machine took an early lead in the class over polesitter Dean Oppermann’s No. 27 International Maxxforce Diesel Formula Enterprises car. Oppermann led the opening lap, but allowed Marklein to scoot through for the lead on lap two. The pair ran nose to tail for 19 laps until, with five to go, Oppermann used traffic to move around Marklein and temporarily into the lead.
It was short-lived, however, as Oppermann slid wide in the corner and contacted his rear wheel with Marklein’s front. Oppermann’s FE machine popped up in the air, landing and sending him off track. Now uncontested, Marklein cruised to the win.
Michael Mueller was the lone driver to break a Blackhawk Farms track record during Sunday’s BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour races. Mueller, the polesitter in the Formula 500 class, drove his No. 24 MJ Manufacturing/Fibeco Red Devil around the 7-turn, 1.95-mile circuit in 1:12.018 (97.476 mph), and raced home to a 24.630-second victory over Super Tour class point winner CJ McAbee’s No. 15 Hoosier/AJ’s Imports AJ’s 2012. McAbee ran off track on the opening lap, then worked back through the field for the silver medal.
While Jim Marinangel was driving his No. 5 McHenry Savings Bank Spec Racer Ford to his class’s win, the battle for second in his mirrors was the one to watch. Blackhawk Farms is notoriously tough on brakes, and Jim Gray had his eyes on a runner-up finish in his No. 17 SRF machine until his started to fade. With Jeff Beck - who started at the rear of the field after he failed to post a qualifying time before yesterday’s thunderstoms shortened the session - charging hard, Gray had no choice but to try to hold him off until the checkers.
The fading brakes finally proved to be too much, and Gray gave way to the inevitable. Beck drove his No. 31 Lindell/Ryan SRF to second, with Gray finishing third.
The Group Five race got a special start when retiring club racer and longtime Spec Miata driver Harry Manning waved the green flag. Manning, who has attended virtually all of the SCCA Club Races at Blackhawk Farms over his long career, gave his elbow a workout while his contemporaries started underneath him on the front straight.
In the group, Steve Jenkins shook loose of John Kachadurian’s No. 80 Grey Fox Racing BMW M3, driving his No. 2 Trim-Tek/BRM/HRE Wheels Porsche 996 to a 12.331-second win in a Touring 2 class dominated by a host of Fall-Line prepared race machines.
Voytek Burdzy drove the No. 41 Advanced Autosports Mazda Miata to the Spec Miata victory
Cliff Ebben made his return to racing just two weeks ago with an eye on qualifying for the National Championship Runoffs after being sidelined for most of the season with a broken elbow suffered in the SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series opener. The freshly healed Ebben drove his No. 36 McMahon Group/Stumpf Ford Ford Mustang out to a huge lead in the GT-1 race, and the gap was still growing when he suddenly felt his engine failing on lap 18. Playing it safe, Ebben pulled off the course at the signs of engine trouble, though it later turned out to be just a spark plug wire that had worked it’s way loose. The good news is that Ebben reported no pain in the elbow, and needs just one more good race to become Runoffs eligible.
Ebben’s difficulties opened the door for Phillip Daus to inherit the lead in his No. 09 PDQ Chevrolet Camaro after working his way around Denny Lamers. Lamers’ No. 66 McMahon Group/Stump Ford Ford Mustang finished second, with Blackhawk Farms Raceway track owner Paul Musschoot finishing third in the No. 18 C&P Racing/Blackhawk Farms Raceway Chevrolet Corvette.
Two drivers lapped their entire fields during their race. Jean-Luc Liverato, driving the No. 1 K-Hill Motorsports Hoosier Tire Swift JMS 014 in C Sports Racing, did it in the morning group two race. Jeff Kowalik’s No. 77 Northcentral Mazda/Hoosier Swift 016a Mazda did the same during the afternoon Group Six race, though his was a much more difficult road.
Kowalik spent the early part of the race with Fabio Castellani’s No. 97 Swift 014 Toyota on his gear box as the two weaved through traffic. On lap 14, however, Castellani’s car suddenly slowed with a transmission issue, and Kowalik finished the job to take the checkered flag.
The day ended with a drive from the rear of the field to the front from Joel Weinberger. Weinberger didn’t post a time during Saturday’s wet qualifying session, but the defending Super Tour Under National Champ marched through the field of E Production, F Production, H Production, and STL cars to take the overall win in the No. 1 Continental Audi/Castrol/BFGoodrich Tires Audi A4.
More information on the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour, part of the SafeRacer National Series, is available at www.scca.com. Specific information, including results from the final round at Blackhawk Farms Raceway, is available here.
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South Beloit, Ill. – Race winners from Sunday’s BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour at Blackhawk Farms Raceway, with class: driver, hometown and car.
American Sedan: Matt Long, Peoria, Ill., Ford Mustang
C Sports Racing: Jean-Luc Liverato, Alpharetta, Ga., Swift JMS014
D Sports Racing: Jim Vogel, Madison, Wis., Stohr WF-1
E Production: Mark Brakke, Coon Rapids, Minn., Mazda Miata
F Production: John Walker, Richland, Mich., Lotus Super 7
H Production: Greg Gauper, Hubertus, Wis., Honda Civic
Formula 500: Michael Mueller, Plymouth, Wis., Red Devil
Formula 1000: Juan Marchand, South Haven, Mich., Van Diemen F1000
Formula Atlantic: Jeff Kowalik, Cape Coral, Fla., Swift 016a Mazda
Formula Continental: Peter Lesueur, Saint Charles, Ill., Van Diemen RF02
Formula Enterprises: Denny Marklein, Dodgeville, Wis., Formula Enterprises
Formula F: Scott Rubenzer, Brookfield, Wis., Citation 95FF
Formula Mazda: Jason Vinkemulder, Spring Lake, Mich., Star Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Michael Varacins, Burlington, Wis., Speed Sport AM-5
GT-1: Phillip Daus, Mount Prospect, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro
GT-2: Tim Gray, Minneapolis, Minn., Porsche GT3 Cup
GT-3: Robert Herman, Cairo, Neb., Mazda RX-7
Showroom Stock B: Luke Wilwert, Marysville, Ohio, Honda Civic Si
Showroom Stock C: Jim Ebben, Appleton, Wis., Ford Focus
Spec Miata: Voytek Burdzy, Shiller Park, Ill., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Jim Marinangel, McHenry, Ill., Spec Racer Ford
Sports 2000: Charles Duncan, Cottage Grove, Wis., Lola 88/90
Super Touring Over: Mark Pauly, Bettendorf, Iowa, BMW M3 Coupe
Super Touring Lite: Rich Walke, Hawthorn Woods, Ill., Mazda RX-7
Super Touring Under: Joel Weinberger, Hinsdale, Ill., Audi A4
Touring 1: Michael Waszak, Glen Ellyn, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro
Touring 2: Steve Jenkins, Glenview, Ill., Porsche 996
Touring 3: Cheyne Daggett, Iowa City, Iowa, Ford Mustang
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