SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (July 13, 2014) – After light rains on Saturday dampened the track and storms soaked the facilities overnight, the sunshine and warmer temperatures brought lots of speed on Sunday at GingerMan Raceway, with a handful of track records falling early in the day for Round Eight of the Northern Conference Majors Tour.
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs-eligible classes were divided into seven race groups for 21-lap races on Sunday.
Group 1: A track record of 1:40.101 put Joe Moser’s No. 63 Hoosier/King Motorsports/Moser Racing Honda Prelude in control of the overall and E Production race on his way to a weekend sweep to open the day on Sunday. Lawrence Loshak, driving the H Production No. 1 ETE Reman/HYPERformance/RWM/Hoosier Honda CRX, and John Heinricy, in the No. 37 Matlick Chevrolet/Hoosier/Hawk Chevrolet Sonic, followed suit in their H Production and B-Spec classes, respectively.
After both he and his father, Joe Walker, failed to make the finish on Saturday, John Walker took his No. 9 Walker Racing MG B to Saturday winner Michael Sturm’s No. 48 Sturminator Design/Hoosier Mazda Miata early on. Sturm led at the beginning, but Walker slipped his MG around the Miata on lap eight. From there, Walker kept Sturm behind him and took the win.
Group 2: When Fabio Castellani’s No. 97 Hoosier/ABRO/Pro-One Swift 014/Toyota pulled off course and out of the Formula Atlantic and overall lead on lap eight, it opened a door for Charles Duncan’s No. 98 Circle D Racing Swift 016/Mazda to shake free of the No. 53 Campbell Ford Lincoln, Inc. Swift 014/Toyota of Doug Campbell and move to the lead.
Duncan’s challenge is with his own car, as an intermittent transmission issue has often plagued him in the opening stages of the session. That caused him to lose touch of Castellani early, relegating him to second place prior to the then-leader’s mechanical issues.
Ralph Provitz battled with the Atlantic leaders for the overall lead, finally settling for second overall and a Prototype 1 win in the No. 38 V2 Motorsports/George Dean Racing Staudacher S08. Tyler Thielmann was mixed up, at times, in that overall battle on his way to a weekend sweep in the No. 6 SO Bright LLC JDR-012. Richard Colburn was the class of the Prototype 2 field all weekend, sweeping both races from the pole in the No. 9 Amari Metals NosTendo 2, while Scott Rettich did likewise in Formula Enterprises driving the No. 17 Alliance Autosport/PDI Communications Formula Enterprises/Ford.
Dale VandenBush’s day wasn’t as dramatic as Saturday, but he had to use his No. 12 Lake Effect Motorsports Formula Mazda to fight off a hard challenge from Jason Vinkemulder’s No. 10 Vinkemulder Financial Formula Mazda. VandenBush got free on lap 12 when Vinkemulder spun, and held on to the end.
Group 3: Last lap contact on Saturday in Spec Miata caused hurt feelings, but Voytek Burdzy removed those on Sunday by driving away to a convincing win in the No. 41 Advanced Autosports Mazda Miata.
Burdzy and Michael Novak’s No. 9 Roush/Caldwell Race Prep Miata pulled away from the field together, nearly from the green flag. Novak took the lead into the last corner at the end of lap seven, with Burdzy to the inside as they raced side by side down the front straight. Burdzy reclaimed the lead through turn one, and the two were once again side by side down the front straight to start lap 11.
Burdzy kept Novak behind, and began to pull away through traffic over the final laps, eventually winning by 12.830 seconds. Novak turned the fastest lap of the race for a new track record in 1:46.919.
Group 4: Scott Rettich won Sunday’s Spec Racer Ford race in his favorite fashion – ticking off consistently fast laps and daring the field to keep up.
Adam Gottlieb did all he could do, putting his No. 7 Spec Racer Ford in front of Rettich for the opening lap with the hope of preventing Rettich from running away from the field. Going through turn one to start lap three, however, Rettich slid to the inside under braking and took the lead.
Rettich ran the first 17 laps of the race within one second of his fastest lap of 1:46.005, never going faster than he did on lap three, but running a consistent pace that was quicker than any other driver could keep pace with. In front, Rettich deftly worked through lapped traffic to get his second win of the day, and fourth of the weekend.
Group 5: John Kachadurian watched Tom Patton and Jonathan Start throw down the gauntlet on Saturday in GT-2, too far back to challenge. A new set of Hoosier slicks and some changes to the set-up, and Kachadurian’s No. 80 Chicago Motor Cars Porsche GT3 was a player in the action on Sunday.
Start led the opening three laps in the No. 51 Kalin Construction/Hoosier/Carbotech Dodge Viper before Kachadurian ran his Porsche by in turn 10, bringing Patton’s No. 50 Red Line Oil/Hoosier Tires Sunbeam Tiger side by side with Start on the back straight before turn 11. Start held him off that time, but less than one lap later and Patton was in second, chasing for the lead.
In the chase, Patton locked up his rear brakes and spun back to third behind Start. Just as he had cut Kachadurian’s lead back under five seconds, it happened again – this time just in front of Start – and Kachadurian had the space he needed to run to the win.
Paul Young pulled to pit lane with a flat tire on his No. 79 Young Racing/Hoosier Tire Ford Probe, handing the win to Ken Nelson’s No. 45 Dodge Daytona. A similar effort played out in Touring 2 when leader Rich Rigda pulled his No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro behind the wall with transmission issues, allowing Gregory Schermer’s No. 149 Posh Racing/Fall Line Porsche GT3 to race to the win.
Group 6: Saturday’s Touring 3 battle resumed on Sunday, with the proverbial blanket over the top two cars for the entire 21 laps. David Daughtery’s No. 05 Nissan/Hoosier/Carbotech/Enkel Nissan 370Z led the opening 15 laps of the race, covered by Mark Boden’s No. 4 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3. Boden finally found an opening going into the final corner of lap 16, then won the drag race to turn one to secure the lead. In front, he was unable to shake Daughtery, but was just quick enough to keep the BMW in front for his second win of the day and a reversal of Saturday’s Touring 3 finish.
Andy McDermid’s No. 24 WeatherTech/Felice Perf Engines/T&A Shocks Ford Mustang wasn’t performing at its peak during the second half of the race, but the cushion he had built in class early on was enough to carry him to a weekend sweep. Rich Walke matched the two class wins in Super Touring Lite when Bruce Anderson’s No. 73 Senson Racing/Auto Technik Racing Mazda Miata pulled out of the lead and behind the wall on lap 17, with Walke’s No. No. 61 Creative Technology Mazda RX-7 holding off Michael Novak’s No. 9 Roush/Caldwell Race Prep Miata at the finish.
Dan Bender’s No. 10 Bravo Trailers/BFGoodrich Tires/Autobarn Mazda Mazda Miata ran a thrilling first lap, running side by side with Greg Vandersluis’ No. 93 Carbotech/BFGoodrich Tires/Ford Racing Ford Mustang for several corners, and then putting Anderson’s STL car between the two early to give Bender space to stretch the lead.
Unfortunately for Bender, on lap 14 his clutch started to go, leaving him stuck in third gear for the remainder of the race. His lap times were quick enough to hold onto second place, but Vandersluis quickly motored his Mustang into the lead and earned the weekend sweep.
Group 7: The final group of the weekend ended with two close battles, even after two class leaders fell out with mechanical issues.
Michael Varacins was the first class leader to go, falling out of the Formula Vee race on lap three with gearbox issues in his No. 65 Speed Sport/Veetech/Hoosier Speed Sport AM-5. That left Jeff Loughead’s No. 8 Hoosier Tire/LL Loughead, DDS Vortech CR04 and Andrew Abbott’s No. 25 Hoosier/Linamar/McLaren Performance Technologies Vector AM-1 to battle for the lead, with Loughead just in front of Abbott.
Abbott was content to follow Loughead around the track, and the two ran nose to tail. Abbott got runs twice going into the final corner, but elected to wait until the pair was coming to the one to go sign to make his move. That backfired, however, when the front end of his car washed out and left him stuck behind the flawlessly driving Loughead, who held on for the win.
Clint McMahan pulled his No. 2 Formula600Racing.com/Satellite Racing Scorpion FDS off course and out of the Formula 500 lead on lap nine, and when Saturday winner James Weida pulled off with mechanical issues of his own on the No. 22 Weida Apartments/Formula X-1 Scorpion/W-1 Rotax just a few laps later, it looked like Novak had the race in hand.
The gap was probably large enough, until Novak’s No. 19 Metalloid/Hoosier/AIM Scorpion F600 ran wide in the exit of turn one. That let the No. 07 Novakar Blade F600 of Calvin Stewart right on his tail, but Novak stayed in front to the checkered flag.
Russell Ruedisueli repeated on Sunday in his No. 20 Van Diemen for the Formula F win.
The Northern Conference Majors Tour continues July 26-27 at Road America with Rounds Nine and 10. More information on the GingerMan races, including results, can be found at SCCA.com/GingerManMajors. More information on the SCCA Majors Tour can be found at SCCAMajors.com.
South Haven, Mich. - Provisional race winners for Sunday’s SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour Round Eight from GingerMan Raceway. 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: Joe Moser, Wilmette, Ill., Honda Prelude
F Production: John Walker, Richland, Mich., MG B
H Production: Lawrence Loshak, Grafton, Wis., Honda CRX
Formula 500: Brian Novak, Dearborn, Mich., Scorpion F600
Formula 1000: Tyler Thielman, Kiel, Wis., JDR-012
Formula Atlantic: Charles Duncan, Broomfield, Colo., Swift 016/Mazda
Formula Continental: Thomas Gaffney, Birmingham, Mich., Reynard SF88/Ford
Formula Enterprises: Scott Rettich, Columbus, Ohio, Formula Enterprises/Ford
Formula F: Russell Ruedisueli, Rochester, Mich., Van Diemen RF-95
Formula Mazda: Dale VandenBush, Green Bay, Wis., Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Jeff Loughead, Darien, Ill., Vortech CR04
GT-1: Tom Stanford, Orland Park, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro
GT-2: John Kachadurian, Chicago, Ill., Porsche GT3
GT-3: Ken Nelson, Novi, Mich., Dodge Daytona
Prototype 1: Ralph Provitz, Macomb, Mich., Staudacher S08
Prototype 2: Richard Colburn, Northbrook, Ill., Nostendo 2
Super Touring Lite: Rich Walke, Hawthorn Woods, Ill., Mazda RX-7
Spec Miata: Voytek Burdzy, Shiller Park, Ill., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Scott Rettich, Columbus, Ohio, Spec Racer Ford
Touring 1: Mark Boden, Buffalo Grove, Ill., BMW M3
Touring 2: Gregory Schermer, Bettendorf, Iowa, Porsche GT3
Touring 3: Mark Boden, Buffalo Grove, Ill., BMW M3
Touring 4: Greg Vandersluis, North Olmstead, Ohio, Ford Mustang