AVONDALE, La. (February 27, 2016) – While much of the country is still in a winter stupor, the weather Saturday in Southern Louisiana was simply flawless for racing. Temperatures hovered in the 60s throughout the day without a cloud in the sky. The racing matched the perfect weather with close competition and fast laps. Eight track records were set thanks to the prime conditions for speed.
The eight entries in Formula Mazda were given the opportunity to race solely amongst themselves thanks to a split start in Group 2. From the green, 15-year-old Jacob Loomis dominated the class. He was able to lead flag to flag and take home a win at the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour.
SCCA’s spec classes are a favorite for spectators because of the close racing provided by even car performance. Today’s battle in SRF3 delivered on this expectation. This class represents the third generation of Spec Sports Racers built by SCCA Enterprises. The third generation features minor changes from the second, most notably lighter minimum weight and a larger engine. These upgrades keep the same close racing that is expected from the Spec Racers, with higher speeds and greater agility.
The race started with Brian Schofield leading the pack to the green flag in his PM Racing Spec Racer Ford. Schofield led for two laps officially before Denny Stripling took over the top spot in his Southeast Spec Racer/Planting Seeds CC Spec Racer Ford. Schofield stayed close at hand as the top four in class ran as a tight group for the entirety of the race. Stripling gave up the lead after two laps to the Ayres Racing Spec Racer Ford of Tray Ayres. Ayres continued to lead for five laps. With three to go, Stripling regained the lead -- but it would be short-lived. Ayres made a last-lap pass to lead the only lap that really counts and won the race.
The fifth group of the day held the most diversity with ten car classes being represented in the Production, Street Touring, and Touring categories. Being the lowest-powered class did not keep the B-Spec drivers from putting on a great race. Teammates Chi Ho and Darren Seltzer passed the lead back and forth in their BFGoodrich/HPD/Dynasty Auto Honda Fits, with the win finally going to Ho following side-by-side racing through much of the last laps.
Meanwhile, the Super Touring Lite race raged on farther forward in the pack. Brian Laughlin dominated most of the race in his Tulsa Radiology Associates/Mazda/Hoosier Mazda Miata. Throughout the late stages of the race, Bruce Andersen closed the gap in his Senson Racing Grp/Autotechnik Racing Mazda Miata. He caught Laughlin on the last lap and was able to execute the pass, only leading the final lap but taking home the checkered flag.
U.S. Majors Tour racing continues tomorrow with round two of the Mid-States Conference and round six of the Southeast Conference. More information can be found at SCCA.com/majors. Follow along at SCCA.com/live.
AVONDALE, La. – Winners from Saturday’s 25-minute SCCA U.S. Majors Tour races at the 2.75-mile NOLA Motorsports Park circuit, with class, driver, hometown and car.
American Sedan, Tom Himes, Slidell, La., Ford Mustang
B-Spec, Chi Ho, Orlando, Fla., Honda Fit
E Production, Matt Reynolds, Fair Oaks, Tx., Mazda Miata
F Production, Mark Weber, Saint Louis, Mo., Mazda Miata
Formula 500, John Pickle, Fortson, Ga., Red Devil
Formula Enterprises, Paul Schneider, Charlotte, N.C., SCCA FE
Formula F, Meg Sauce, Arlington, Tx., Swift Db-6
Formula Mazda, Jacob Loomis, Denton, Tx., Formula Mazda
Formula Vee, Charles Hearn, Houston, Tx., Volkswagen Vortech
GT-1, David Fershtand, Fort Worth, Tx., Chevrolet Corvette
GT-2, Tom Patton, Hamilton, Ohio, Sunbeam Tiger
GT-3, Alan Marshall, Bulverde, Tx., Mazda RX-7
GT-Lite, Peter Shadowen, West Palm Beach, Fla., Honda CRXsi
H Production, Andrew Wright, Murfreesburo, Tenn., Triumph Spitfire
Prototype 1, Jim Downing, Atlanta, Ga., Peach Mazda Day-02
Prototype 2, Michael Crowe, Jamestown, Ky.
Spec Miata, Chris Haldeman, McKinney, Tx., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford, Scott Rettich, Columbus, Oh., SCCA Enterprises SRF2
Spec Racer Ford 3, Tray Ayres, Gainesville, Ga., SCCA Enterprises SRF3
Super Touring Lite, Bruce Andersen, Sarasota, Fla., Mazda Miata
Super Touring Under, Brad McCall, Boca Raton, Fla., Scion FR-S
Touring 1, Buz McCall, Boca Rotan, Fla., Porsche Cayman S
Touring 2, James R Smith, Alvin, Tx., Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 3, Derek Kulach, Albuquerque, N.M., Nissan 350Z
Touring 4, Dave Ogburn III, San Angelo, Tx., Mazda RX-8
Image: Jacob Loomis put together a consistent race to lead the FM class from flag-to-flag.
Credit: Mark Weber