MILLVILLE, N.J. (June 1, 2013) – Round Nine of the SCCA Eastern Conference Majors Racing again showed the season-long intensity that the events have become known for, with tight racing throughout the field in the seven 20-lap races held on Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
The opening race of the day was a wild affair amongst both the Formula 500 and the Formula Vee leaders. While Ross Devoe, of Middletown, N.J., was running away for the Formula F win and overall win in his No. 14 RED Racing Van Diemen FF, the battles were brewing behind him.
Jay Beckley, of Marlton, N.J., led early in Formula 500 over Tom Shaughnessy, of Watertown, N.Y., but Shaugnessy’s No 17 QRE/Hoosier/Social Security Invader QC1/Rotax moved into the lead on lap 16. Beckley didn’t give up the fight in his No. 62 Scuderia Frenzinta Ra Invader QC-1/Rotax, however, running nose to tail to the start of lap 19. Trying to split a Formula F car as all three worked through the turn, Beckley moved to the front on the inside briefly but the slowed momentum let Shaughnessy back around.
The two were very close together on the 20th and final lap of the race as they battled through Turn Five when both spun, each saying later that no contact occurred. Shaughnessy continued first after the synchronized spins, but slowed on the front straight and Beckley moved into the lead and took the checkered flag with just a couple of hundred feet to go.
In traditional Formula Vee fashion, the Eastern Conference point leader Steven Davis, of Danielsville, Ga., and Richard Shields, of Bridgeville, Pa., swapped the lead numerous times.
Though Davis’s No. 80 Hoosier/Butler Engines/Roxannes Head Racer’s Wedge SB-1/VW led early, Shields took the lead going into Turn One on lap 10. The lead swapped again on Lap 13, 16, 17, 18 and finally on the final lap for good, as Davis led for the final time on his way to victory.
Andrew Aquilante, of Chester Springs, Pa., beat his father Joe Aquilante to the finish line for the overall and Touring One win in Group Two on Saturday. The younger Aquilante drove his No. 35 Phoenix/Hawk/Hoosier Ford Mustang 302 Boss to a comfortable victory, opening up the lead on the first lap and getting away each lap.
Behind the overall leaders, however, was a battle in Touring 2. David Sanders, of Exton, Pa., moved his No. 73 Phoenix Performance Chevrolet Corvette around Kurt Rezzetano’s No. 36 Phoenix Performance Ford Mustang on lucky lap 13. Chasing hard, Rezzetano ran off-course through Turn Five on the next lap, and Sanders snuck away for the class win.
While Michael Lavigne, of Hooksett, N.H., was winning American Sedan in his No. 42 Auto Re-Nu-It Auto Body/Hoosier Tire Ford Mustang, Daniel Richardson was entertaining the fans on the front straight of New Jersey Motorsports Park. Each time Richardson crossed under the bridge and onto the front straight, the rear end of the No. 15 Performance Auto Works/Auto Gear/Hayworth Racing Brakes Chevrolet Camaro stepped out wide in a four-wheel drift as he hustled to stay in second place. The hard driving left Richardson with a silver medal in the race.
Cliff White, of Huntsville, Ala., made the day look easy in Spec Racer Ford. White fell behind at the start as the field went three or four wide into the first corner, but caught back up quickly in the No. 59 Cottage Senior Living Spec Racer Ford. Once in the lead, White checked out and the defending National Champion cruised to a double-digit second win.
The GT-1 class was highlighted by one driver who has made a name for himself on the East Coast this season. Dillon Machavern, of Charlotte, Vermont, turned 18-years-old last week and picked up his fourth win of the season in his No. 29 Heritage Automotive / UniFirst / Crane Ford Falcon. Machavern led the opening lap, and then fell behind the No. 02 McAleese & Associates / Jetco Engineering Chevrolet Corvette of Jim McAleese. The Falcon chased the Corvette, moving to the inside under braking in the first corner of lap 16. Once in front, Machavern was able to pull away for the race win.
Kyle Disque, of Philadelphia, Pa., never trailed in the GT-Lite race, but also never broke away from Bobby Lentz II. Just when it seemed that Disque’s No. 92 Patience and Bourbon Toyota Tercel was going to break away, Lentz’s No. 60 FGR/Hoosier Nissan Sentra came screaming back to fill Disque’s mirrors. Disque was just quick enough, however, crossing the stripe 0.224-second in the lead.
Alex Bolanos, of Miami,Fla., moved his No. 5 Autotechnik/Momo/Apex Alignment Mazda Miata into the Spec Miata lead in Turn Five of lap five, and those numbers were worth the pot of gold at the finish. Giving chase, the No. 06 S.A.C. Racing Mazda Miata of Matt Ferris ran wide and off track two laps later, slipping to third and running there to the finish behind Elivan Goulart’s No. 74 S.A.C Racing/SCDA1.com Mazda Miata.
Brian Price earned a class-leading sixth win this season in the No. 51 RP Performance/Unlimited Auto Body/Hoosier Mazda Miata, taking the group’s overall and Touring 4 class win.
The only full course caution of the day came in the final Group Seven for Wings and Things. That caution lasted just long enough to bunch up the field, after a spinning car came to a stop in Turn 1, then refired.
The bunch field didn’t hinder the No. 79 Company Motorsport Swift 014a of Connor Burke, however. Burke got into the lead early in the race, got a great restart, and cruised to a 16.080-second win.
The battle came down to the wire in Formula Enterprises. Justin Huffman, of Herndon, Va., moved his No. 41 Jamison Formula Enterprises/Mazda to the inside going into Turn 1 with two laps to go, moving around the No. 57 Pencils Plus/Motion Dynamic Formula Enterprises of Joseph Sammut for the lead. Huffman held the lead for the final two laps, finishing just 0.142-second ahead of Sammut.
Round 10 of the Eastern Conference Majors Tour takes place on Sunday at New Jersey Motorsports Park, with short 8:30 a.m. warm-up sessions followed by the seven 22-lap 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.
Millville, N.J. - Provisional race winners for Saturday’s SCCA Eastern Conference Majors Tour Round Nine at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
American Sedan: Michael Lavigne, Hooksett, N.H., Ford Mustang
B-Spec: Jonathan Stocum, Horseheads, N.Y., Ford Fiesta
C Sports Racing: Steven Durst, Medford, N.J., Ball Brothers Special
D Sports Racing: Garrett Kletjian, Hingham, Mass., Stohr WF1/Suzuki
Formula 500: Jay Beckley, Marlton, N.J., QRE Invader QC/Rotax
Formula 1000: Alex Mayer, Harleysville, Pa., Elon DP-04
Formula Atlantic: Connor Burke, Rumson, N.J., Swift 014/Toyota
Formula Continental: Todd Marrical, Havertown, Pa., Van Diemen RF97/Ford
Formula Enterprise: Justin Huffman, Herndon, Va., Formula Enterprises/Mazda
Formula F: Ross Devoe, Middletown, N.J., Van Diemen FF
Formula Mazda: Andrew Charbonneau, Delray Beach, Fla., Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Steven Davis, Danielsville, Ga., Racers Wedge SB-1/VW
E Production: Chris Dryden, New Freedom, Pa., BMW Z3
F Production: Jerry Hinkle, Catonsville, Md., Lotus Seven
H Production: Kevin Brydebell, Gainesville, Va., Nissan 510
GT-1: Dillon Machavern, Charlotte, Vt., Ford Falcon
GT-2: Jim Goughary, Houston, Texas, Nissan 350Z
GT-3: James Ashe, Prospect, Conn., Mazda RX-7
GT-Lite: Kyle Disque, Philadelphia, Pa., Toyota Tercel
Spec Miata: Alex Bolanos, Miami, Fla., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Cliff White, Huntsville, Ala., Spec Racer Ford
Sports 2000: Chistopher Mosley, Rumson, N.J., Shannon S093/Ford
Super Touring Lite: Bob Beede, Greenwich, Conn., Honda Civic Si
Touring 1: Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., Ford Mustang
Touring 2: David Sanders, Exton, Pa., Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 3: Rob Hines, Arlington, Va., Nissan 350Z
Touring 4: Brian Price, Middletown, Va., Mazda Miata