LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 31, 2014) – The BFGoodrich Tires Mid-Ohio Super Tour at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Round Three of the Northern Conference Majors Tour, ran eight groups of 30 minute sprint races on Saturday with sunshine beating down on SCCA competitors.
The day started with the conclusion of qualifying for the final three run groups, and then launched directly into racing on the 14-turn, 2.4-mile circuit. The timed races were run for full points and contingency prizes for the Northern Conference Championship.
Highlights from the day included:
Group One: Spec Racer Ford was all Scott Rettich’s show up front, as the Buckeye native took control from the pole on the opening lap and set sail for a flag-to-flag victory in the No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash Spec Racer Ford.
Rettich’s fast pace on his home track spread out the field up front, with Jeff Beck’s No. 31 Lindell/Ryan SRF falling 21.399 seconds back by the finish of the 18 lap race. Even so, Beck was comfortably in front of Jim Gray’s third-place No. 1 machine for the race duration, who had a gap on the battle for fourth between Mark Greb (No. 00 Plaza Auto Auction, Inc. Spec Racer Ford) and Matt Gray (No. 64 Ryan Companies US Inc Spec Racer Ford).
Gray and Greb were elevated one step on the podium when Beck’s machine was disqualified for non-compliance following technical inspection.
Group Two: Jim Drago left the Spec Miata field behind in a cloud of dust, marching his No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata to a 7.034-second win over 17 laps. The two-time defending National Champion started on pole and stayed there for the distance, leading a charge of 17 cars that ran lap times below the existing lap record.
Voytek Burdzy’s No. 41 Advanced Autosports Miata settled in second place behind Drago, and had pressure from behind out of a host of Miatas. Second-starting Justin Hille’s No. 48 Hilltrux/ROUSH Miata was the first to push Burdzy, but a mechanical issue and a spin on lap five, just prior to the entrance of the carousel, required a tow and ended his day.
Jonathan Davis’ No. 16 Miata avoided Hille, and tracked down Burdzy. The two were separated by less than a half second for the duration, but Davis was never in front and stayed in a satisfying third place.
Group Three: Tim Kautz is a two time National Champion in Formula F, but that still doesn’t guarantee a regular season win. On Saturday at Mid-Ohio, it took all of the talent he and his No. 88 Braeburn/Two Dogg/Hoosier Piper DF3D/Honda could muster to snag the checkered flag.
Starting fifth, Kautz trailed the No. 4 Alpine Litho-Graphics/Farley Engines Piper DF-5 of Cliff Johnson for four laps before moving to the lead. Jeremy Grenier’s No. 12 Ski Motorsports/Hoosier Citation Formula F followed, and the two slowly worked away from the front of the field.
The two Honda-powered machines were nearly identically matched, with Kautz slightly faster through the quick turns, and Grenier slightly quicker through the slow corners. Kautz kept Grenier behind him in those corners, and when Grenier moved out of line down the back straight in an attempt to pass, the two cars could only go side by side under power. At the end of the time limit, Kautz and Grenier had completed 20 laps and were separated by just 0.238-second.
Michael Brent’s No. 47 Hoosier Tire/QRE Invader QC1 took the Formula 500 win, catching a break when his nearest rival encountered trouble. With TJ Shaughnessy tightening up the lead, a Formula F machine spun in turn one. Brent went by, but Shaughnessy measured his options between the spinning car and the bridge. With inches to spare on either side, he split the difference in his No. 17 Social Security/QRE/Hoosier Invader QC1 but ran off track and through the gravel trap. Shaughnessy continued in second, but too far back to challenge Brent for the win.
Michael Varacins ran away with the Formula Vee win in his No. 65 Speed Sport/Veetech/Hoosier Speed Sport AM-5.
Group Four: A five car train dotted the landscape at Mid-Ohio early in the Touring 2 race, as the Corvettes and Porsches worked the track like Spec Miatas. At the end, John Buttermore had driven his No. 52 Hoosier/Carbotech/Stoptech Chevrolet Corvette to a class win. Buttermore had fallen back to fourth at the beginning of the race.
Starting to stretch his advantage over Aaron Quine’s No. 97 Hutter Performance/Stupid Fast Tires Chevrolet Corvette anyway, the pair caught a gaggle of cars into the carousel. Buttermore used it to his advantage, working through the slower classes and pulling away for the win.
Sage Marie led early in the No. 64 Honda Racing/HPD/BFGoodrich Tires Acura TL SH-AWD, but going into the braking zone at the end of the backstretch, suddenly felt his pedal go all the way to the floor. When that happened, still in a straight line, the rear brakes locked up and pitched him sideways, allowing David Daughtery’s No. 05 Nissan/Hoosier/Carbotech/Enkei Nissan 370Z to get side by side through the esses.
The pair stayed neck and neck through the next several corners, but Marie just couldn’t keep up with the overheating brakes. Daugherty kept it in front, and hustled to the win.
In Super Touring Lite, Drago earned his second win of the day, but was actually helped by a mistake of his own. Coming out of the final corner on lap eight, Drago’s No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata pitched sideways and second-running Brian Shanfield slowed his No. 66 Honda Racing/HPD/Honda R&D America to avoid thumping Drago’s Miata. That, however, opened the door for third-running Andrew Salzano, who moved his No. 92 Honda of America Racing Team Honda Civic Si around both cars and into the lead.
Both Drago and Shanfield recovered, and Drago snuck back around Salzano quickly. While Shanfield worked to regain his second position, Drago crawled away for his second win of the day.
Group Five: Rettich earned his second win of the day by running away from the Formula Enterprises field in the No. 17 Alliance Autosport/PDI Communications Formula Enterprises/Ford, and Thomas Gaffney snagged a Formula Continental win in the No. 20 AutoExtremist.com Reynard SF88 when Robert Allaer, who had the race seemingly in control, bobbled and slowed on the final lap in his No. 52 Voss/Martini/LTD Motorsports Van Diemen RF02.
In the Prototype 2 class, John Fergus led for the opening 18 laps of the eventual 21 he’d cover in the No. 00 Hoosier Tires/Carbotech Brakes Carbir CS2. By mid-race, however, Richard Colburn’s No. 97 Amari Metals Nostendo had begun to reel in Fergus, and sat squarely in his tire tracks by lap 16.
Sizing him up for three laps, Colburn decided he was going to make his pass attempt in the keyhole. He did, and it worked, leaving him up front for the final two laps on the way to the checkered flag.
Group Six: Jim Daniels’ No. 76 TheRacingInsiders.com Mazda MX-5 pitched sideways coming out of the final corner, but with a large lead prior to the big save and with no apparent parts damages, worked across for the E Production and overall win. Daniels chased Joe Moser’s No. 63 Hoosier/King Motorsports Honda Prelude early, until Moser suffered a mechanical failure early and fell out.
Kevin Ruck, driving the No. 73 Hoosier/Honda Performance Development Acura Integra, scored the F Production win.
Kyle Disque drove his No. 92 Toyota/TRD/Hoosier Tire Toyota Tercel to the RaceGearBox.com GT-Lite Invitational win, featuring special prizes and trophies for the GT-Lite class at the BFGoodrich Tires Mid-Ohio Super Tour.
The H Production battle was a two car fight out front involving Matt Brannon’s No. 2 Midwest-Bayless Italian Auto Fiat X 1/9 and the No. 15 Rana Mort Racing/King Motorsports Honda Civic. The two ran close with Brannon in the lead until lap 14, when the pair caught a slower car in the carousel.
Slowed, Brannon could only watch as Gauper pulled alongside him up the front straight. Gauper used the run to break Brannon’s momentum, then moved into the lead through turn one. With both cars running similar speeds, they stayed in order to the checkered flag, when both crawled out of their respective cars exhausted and happy with the clean fight.
Group Seven: The big bore group featured an overall runaway win in GT-1 by Tom Smith, who drove his No. 62 USA Metal Recycling/Go Hogs Go! Chevrolet Camaro to a huge win. John Kachadurian saw the cushion he had built in the No. 80 Chicago Motor Cars/Grey Fox Racing Porsche 997 GT3 fall to just 1.525 seconds over Tom Patton’s No. 50 Redline Oil/Hoosier Tires Sunbeam Tiger at the finish, but the gap was still wide enough to coast to the win.
In the same group, Buttermore earned his second win of the day in the No. 52 Hoosier/Carbotech/Stoptech Chevrolet Corvette, this time in the Touring 1 configuration. Andy McDermit’s No. 24 WeatherTech/Felice Performance Engines Ford Mustang was tops in American Sedan on Saturday.
Group Eight: The Formula Atlantic, Formula 1000 and Prototype 1 race was interrupted after lap six when the No. 16 Lask Roofing Stohr WF1 of Gary Peck stalled in the exit at station 11, just before the carousel, bringing out a black flag for the track blockage.
The pause in action erased an overall lead held by polesitter Daniel Burkett’s No. 4 K-Hill Motorsports Swift 016/Mazda before the field was released for a two-lap shootout under the green flag. Burkett, with a car that was on edge on short runs, kept the No. 1 Atlantic Creations Swift 016/Mazda just behind him to the checkered flag, earning the win by 0.277-second.
Ralph Provitz, driving the No. 38 V2 Motorsports/George Dean Racing Staudacher S08, and Jeremy Hill, driving the No. 08 Hoosier Tire Photon VD07, took the wins in Prototype 1 and Formula 1000, respectively.
The BFGoodrich Tires Mid-Ohio Super Tour continues Sunday morning with 19 lap or 45 minute races, whichever comes first. Grids, results from Saturday, and more information can be found at www.SCCA.com/MidOhioMajors.
Sunday features live audio, streaming video, notes and timing at SCCA.com/SCCALive.
LEXINGTON, Ohio - Provisional race winners for Saturday’s BFGoodrich Tires Mid-Ohio Super Tour, Round Three of the Northern Conference Majors Tour, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
American Sedan: Andy McDermid, Howell, Mich., Ford Mustang
B-Spec: John Heinricy, Clarkston, Mich., Chevrolet Sonic
E Production: Jim Daniels, Germantown, Tenn., Mazda MX-5
F Production: Kevin Ruck, Delaware, Ohio, Acura Integra
H Production: Greg Gauper, Hubertus, Wis., Honda Civic
Formula 500: Michael Brent, Bethel, Conn., Invader QC1
Formula 1000: Jeremy Hill, Toronto, Canada, Photon VD07
Formula Atlantic: Daniel Burkett, Winnipeg, Canada, Swift 016/Mazda
Formula Continental: Thomas Gaffney, Birmingham, Mich., Reynard SF88
Formula Enterprises: Scott Rettich, Columbus, Ohio, Formula Enterprises/Ford
Formula F: Tim Kautz, Geneva, Ill., Piper DF3D/Honda
Formula Mazda: Brian Lift, Crestwood, Ill., Star Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Michael Varacins, Burlington, Wis., Speed Sport AM-5/Volkswagen
GT-1: Tom Smith, Springdale, Ark., Chevrolet Camaro
GT-2: John Kachadurian, Chicago, Ill., Porsche 997 GT3
GT-3: Joe Kristensen, London, Canada, Acura RSX
GT-Lite: Kyle Disque, Philadelphia, Pa., Toyota Tercel
Prototype 1: Ralph Provitz, Macomb, Mich., Staudacher S08
Prototype 2: Richard Colburn, Northbrook, Ill., Nostendo
Super Touring Lite: Jim Drago, Memphis, Tenn., Mazda Miata
Super Touring Under: John Schmitt, Sunbury, Ohio, Honda Prelude
Spec Miata: Jim Drago, Memphis, Tenn., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Scott Rettich, Columbus, Ohio, Spec Racer Ford
Touring 1: John Buttermore, South Lyon, Mich., Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 2: John Buttermore, South Lyon, Mich., Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 3: David Daughtery, Fortville, Ind., Nissan 370Z
Touring 4: Greg Vandersluis, North Olmsted, Ohio, Ford Mustang