TOPEKA, Kan. (Sept. 21, 2018) – The SCCA® U.S. Majors Tour® Southern Conference brought to a close its 2018 racing season Labor Day weekend. Nearly 490 competitors participated in the Southern Conference’s 12-round season that popped in at four different tracks. Drivers who collected the most points in each of 28 different classes have grabbed Southern Conference championship titles.
The Southern Conference proved unique this year in that a total of 32 drivers actually managed to claim championships across 28 classes due to a handful of ties. In Formula Continental®, Robert Wright and his Radon Rn10 chassis share the class championship with Charles Moran. For Moran and his Van Dieman RF99, this is the third conference championship of the year as he also claimed top honors in the Northeast Conference and Southeast Conference. And the GT-3 battle in the Southern Conference managed to end in a four-way tie with Mazda RX-7 drivers Doug Sherwood, Jeff Dernehl and Michael Lewis all earning 50 points along with Graham Baker in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. This is Sherwood’s second GT-3 title for the year as he earlier won the class championship in the Mid-States Conference, and Dernehl also claimed another GT-3 championship in the Southeast Conference this year. Additionally, B-Spec ace John Phillips is a multi-conference champion this year after driving his Honda Fit to the top of the Southern Conference and Mid-States Conference.
While not a tie, the Southern Conference Formula Mazda (FM) championship was decided by only two points. There, Travis Reneger emerged the victor with Bryce Cornet right on his heels. Karl Markey finished third in FM only seven points behind the champion, and Jarret Voorhies was only 10 points off the top spot. Speaking of top spots and 10 points, Chris Haldeman claimed the Spec Miata Southern Conference Championship by only 10 points over Nils Musaeus in a class containing 80 racers this year.
There were a few other tight championship battles in the Southern Conference. In Prototype 1 (P1), Bryan Putt and his Elan DP02 won out over Jacek Mucha’s JMS016CP Mazda by only four points, and Kirk Kindsfater, in a Speads RS11, was only eight points back in third. The Super Touring® Lite conference championship went to James Goughary, driving a Mazda Miata, who earned five more points than Mazda MX-5 racer Tyler Quance. And in Touring 2, seven points was the winning margin for James Smith over Bill Collins, both driving Chevrolet Corvettes.
The Southern Conference racing calendar got off to an exciting start back in February with a Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour event at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. A second Hoosier Super Tour weekend followed in March at NOLA Motorsports Park just outside of New Orleans. And in April, the Conference had a third Hoosier Super Tour event at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Jennings, Oklahoma. Motor Speedway Resort Houston in Texas then hosted the season’s last two race weekends with one in May and the other in August.
Conference points are awarded to the top 20 finishers in each class. Winners earn 25 points, and 21 points go to second. Points are then doled out to others starting with 18 and descending to a single point for the 20th finisher. Only the best eight races count towards a driver’s point total. Below are Southern Conference Champions with Class: Name, Hometown, SCCA Region and Car.
-American Sedan®: Brian Himes; Slidell, LA; Delta Region; Ford Mustang
-B-Spec: John Phillips; Sealy, TX; Houston Region; Honda Fit
-E Production: James Rogerson; Angleton TX; Houston Region; BMW Z3
-F Production: Ryan Brehm; Borne, TX; Alamo Region; Triumph Spitfire
-H Production: Christopher “Riley” Salyer; Longview, TX; Houston Region; Honda Civic
-Formula 500: John W. "Jack" Walbran; St. Louis, MO; St. Louis Region; Scorpion 2006
-Formula 1000: James Michael; Fort Worth, TX; Texas Region; Stohr F1000
-Formula Atlantic®: David Zavelson; Austin, TX; Lone Star Region; Star Pro Formula Mazda
-Formula Continental® (tie): Charles Moran; Oakton, VA; Old Dominion Region; Van Dieman RF99
Robert Wright; Valatie, NY; Mohawk Hudson Region; Radon Rn10
-Formula Enterprises: Robert Vanman; Allen, TX; Texas Region; SCCA FE Mazda
-Formula Enterprises 2: Jim Devenport; Modesto, CA; San Francisco Region; SCCA FE2 Mazda
-Formula F: Randy Acock; Corpus Christi, TX; South Texas Border Region; Van Diemen RF98-Honda
-Formula Mazda: Travis Reneger; Edinburg, TX; Texas Region; Formula Mazda
-Formula Vee®: Charles Hearn; Houston, TX; Houston Region; Volkswagen Vortech
-GT-1: David Fershtand; Fort Worth, TX; Texas Region; Oldsmobile Cutlass
-GT-2: Don McMillon; Texarkana, TX; Texas Region; Chevrolet Corvette
-GT-3 (tie): Doug Sherwood; Longmont, CO; Colorado Region; Mazda RX-7
Graham Baker; Houston, TX; Houston Region; Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Jeff Dernehl; Roswell, GA; Atlanta Region; Mazda RX-7
Michael Lewis; Poway, CA; San Diego Region; Mazda RX-7
-GT-Lite: Larry Svaton; Alvin, TX; Houston Region; Mazda MX-5 Miata
-Prototype 1: Bryan Putt; Venetia, PA; Steel Cities Region; Elan DP02
-Prototype 2: Dennis Cox; Austin, TX; Lone Star Region; Radical SR3
-Spec Miata: Chris Haldeman; McKinney, TX; Texas Region; Mazda Miata
-Spec Racer Ford 3: Colin Clark; Spring, TX; Houston Region; SCCA Enterprises SRF3
-Super Touring® Lite: James Goughary; Houston, TX; New England Region; Mazda Miata
-Super Touring® Under: Angelica Sprehe; Coppell, TX; Texas Region; Subaru Impreza
-Touring 1: Eric Ritchie; Katy, TX; Houston Region; Chevrolet Corvette Z06
-Touring 2: James R. Smith; Friendswood, TX; Houston Texas; Chevrolet Corvette
-Touring 3: Namy Tran; Houston, TX; Houston Region; Honda S2000
-Touring 4: Lowell Huston; Friendswood, TX; Houston Region; Mazda MX-5 Miata
The U.S. Majors Tour is one pathway to the 2018 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® being held Oct. 16-21 at Sonoma Raceway in California. U.S. Majors Tour drivers qualify for the Runoffs by participating in three U.S. Majors Tour weekends and starting at least three U.S. Majors Tour races in the same car class over the course of the season.
The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA's activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Chevrolet, the Official Truck of the SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Mobil 1, the Official Oil of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.
Photo: Chris Haldeman, the Southern Conference U.S. Majors Tour Spec Miata Points Champion
Photo Credit: Mark Weber