Elkhart Lake, Wis. (June 15, 2013) – The first four races of this weekend’s WeatherTech Chicago Region June Sprints are in the books from Road America on Saturday, part of the SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour schedule.
Following qualifying for all eight of the weekend’s run groups in the morning at the historic 14-turn, 4-mile road course, the afternoon of racing got off to a blazing start.
Spec Miata opened their 13-lap race with a train of seven cars sneaking away from the 48-car field early. Polesitter Danny Steyn’s No. 39 ADEPT Studios/ROSSINI/OPM Mazda Miata led the first three laps, with Jim Drago’s No. 2 East Street Racing Miata and Craig Berry swapping the lead through the next few laps.
Berry’s No. 29 Berry Marble and Granite/East Street Racing Miata opened up a full second lead on lap 9, but on lap 10 the No. 41 Advanced Autosports Miata of Voytek Burdzy took the lead under braking in Turn Five.
Berry and Burdzy stayed on the point, with Burdzy in the lead, until Berry moved to the front as they crossed the stripe with one to go. They were quickly joined by the second pack, with Steyn reclaiming the lead through Turn Six in a pack of five that also included Erik Stearns’ No. 97 East Street Racing Miata and Chris Halderman’s No. 72 Complete Dent Repair/X-Factorracing.com Miata.
Suprisingly, however, Justin Elder’s No. 19 Elder-Jones General Contractor Miata was the first car to the checkered flag. The leaders came together in Turn 12, scattering all five cars off track with just two corners to go. Stearns and Haldeman finished on the podium, with Berry falling to sixth, Burdzy to ninth, and Steyn not rejoining and finishing 40th, a lap down.
A crash blocked the track near the kink to bring out a full course caution in the C Sports Racing, D Sports Racing, Formula 1000 and Sports 2000 group on the third lap, and while under yellow an engine blew and oiled down the track from turns six through 10. The field was brought to pit lane for a lengthy red flag for cleanup.
Back in action, Sheboygan Fall’s Jason Miller got the jump on Lee Alexander’s No. 40 Factory 48 Motorsports/APE Raceparts Stohr WF-Zero on the restart, and then pulled his No. 0 Kohler/Millenium WynnFurst away for a home C Sports Racing win.
Lawrence Loshak, a Grafton, Wis. resident, held off Steve Ott in the closing laps to win Formula 1000 in the No. 2 JDR/ETE Reman/Moon Super Cycle JDR F1000.
In the same group, hometown driver Bart Wolf, who lives in Elkhart Lake, fell behind Michael Bautz on the restart and trailed until the final lap. Bautz’ No. 42 Hoosier/Julios Polishing Crib Lola T90 suffered misfortune on the final lap, elevating the No. 28 Goodyear/Lake Street Carbir CS2.8 of Wolf to the popular win.
It took Doug Peterson three laps to get his No. 87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette clear of Cliff Ebben’s No. 36 McMahon Group/Stumpf Ford/Lamers Racing Ford Mustang, and from there it was smooth sailing to the GT-1 win.
Rob Warkocki stole the GT-3 win by closing his No. 78 TRO Manufacturing/Goodyear/Mazda Mazda RX-7 within a couple of seconds of leader Mike Cyphert with one to go, and then inheriting the win after Cyphert’s No. 76 Toyota Motorsports/TRD/RedLine/Hoosier Toyota Celica spun and hit the wall.
The day ended with a very deep Spec Racer Ford field of 45 cars battling in a lead pack eight deep for 13 laps. Five drivers – John Greene, Scott Rettich, Keith Verges, Denny Stripling and Jeff Beck - officially led laps in the race as the field raced nose-to-tail around Road America.
With one lap of the four-mile circuit to go, Rettich’s No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash machine, the No. 1 Reid Johnson Racing SRF of Jim Gray, and the No. 41 Lightspeed Motorsports SRF of Denny Stripling had separated just enough from the pack to decide the battle themselves.
Unlike the Spec Miata battle earlier in the day, the three did make it to the finish. Gray moved in front of Rettich in Turn Five, but Rettich reclaimed the lead by six and led coming out of the final corner.
That’s not always a guarantee of victory at Road America, as the draft up the hill to the checkered flag has determined a number of races in the track’s 58 seasons. Rettich held on, however, crossing the stripe just 0.079-second in front of Gray and just 0.377-second in front of Stripling as the three jockeyed for the final position.
The remaining four race groups will run on Sunday morning, beginning at 8:00 a.m. at Road America. In the afternoon, the four race groups from Saturday will run a second bonus race of the weekend.
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 Saturday and Sunday at www.scca.com/SCCALive.
Elkhart Lake, Wis. - Provisional race winners from Saturday’s SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour races at the WeatherTech Chicago Region June Sprints at Road America. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
C Sports Racing: Jason Miller, Sheboygan Falls, Wis., WynnFurst
D Sports Racing: David Locke, Lafayette, Ind., Stohr WF-1/Suzuki
Formula 1000: Lawrence Loshak, Grafton, Wis., JDR F1000
GT-1: Doug Peterson, Rochester Hills, Mich., Chevrolet Corvette
GT-2: Trent Hindman, Asbury Park, N.J., Porsche 911 GT3
GT-3: Rob Warkocki, Frankfort, Ill., Mazda RX-7
Spec Miata: Justin Elder, Lakeville, Minn., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Scott Rettich, Camden, Ohio, Spec Racer Ford
Sports 2000: Bart Wolf, Elkhart Lake, Wis., Carbir CS2.8/Ford
Touring 1: John Buttermore, Wixom, Mich., Chevrolet Corvette
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