Hoosier Super Tour COTA 2023: Sunday Notebook

Day two of the Feb. 11-12, 2023, Hoosier Racing Tire Super Tour continued a fantastic weekend, with sunny and slightly chilly conditions leading to another day of amazing racing for more than 250 SCCA members who made their way to Austin, Texas, to compete at Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

Sunday’s schedule extended the action from the prior day’s battles, pushing the length of each of the seven race groups to 14 laps or 35 minutes, whichever occurred first. Those races once again took place on the circuit’s 3.41-mile, 20-turn full course, with live coverage viewable on SCCA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Group 1: T2, T3, T4, STU, STL, GT-3
Group 1’s Sunday race saw a continuing streak for Mark Boden, when he locked up his fourth Touring 2 win of the 2023 Hoosier Super Tour season – an impressive feat considering COTA was only the second double-header race weekend of the season. Also notable is that second place in all four of those T2 races has gone to Scotty B. White.

Other weekend repeat performances in Group 1 included Danny Steyn in Super Touring Lite, David Fiorelli in Super Touring Under, Ross Murray in Touring 3, and Sergio Zlobin in Touring 4.

GT-3 told a different story, as Michael Lewis bettered his qualifying position to start on Sunday’s pole, where he immediately set the race pace over Saturday race winner Tony Rivera. Come the final lap, Rivera dropped yet another position as the pack sliced through traffic, with Joe Kristensen earning silver.

Group 2: SRF3
Forty Spec Racer Ford Gen3s took the green flag on Sunday, with Charles Russell Turner, Saturday’s race winner, sitting on the pole position. Turner was followed by Denny Stripling, David Ogburn, Liam Snyder, Bobby Sak – all qualified within half a second of each other – but it was Texas native Ogburn who was most aggressive after the green, snagging the point not long into the opening lap. Concluding that lap, Ogburn was closely followed by Stripling, Snyder, and Turner. Being that this is SRF3, the pack shuffled again within moments, putting Ogburn in third and Stripling up front.

Challenges for position continued nonstop, with Stripling eventually leading a two-car breakaway with Sak in tow, putting about 1.5sec on the second grouping of Snyder, Turner, and Ogburn. Then with three laps to go, Sak and Stripling appeared to make contact, with both retiring from the race. That meant the chase for third to fifth was now the battle for the podium, led, once more, by Ogburn.

In an unexpected turn of events, this race ended up going 15 laps instead of the prescribed 14, meaning the final lap didn’t actually count. But the 15th lap podium order concluded the same as the 14th, with Ogburn taking the win over Snyder and Turner.

“[SRF3 races] are always crazy – they’re so hard to win,” Ogburn said during the podium celebration. “I got the lead on lap three or four and thought I’m going to make one [or] two qualifying laps and see if I can keep the car fighting. That didn’t work – the car started to get worse. I tried to save the tires a little bit, and then immediately thought I saved a little bit too much and I have ruined my race.

“Bobby [Sak] and Denny [Stripling] got out front. I feel bad for both of them – they drove a great race. I thought we were going to be racing for third with Russ [Turner] and Grant [Vogel] and Liam [Snyder], and then [Sak and Stripling] weren’t there anymore, and it was like OK, elbows out. And it was clean and hard and difficult, but a lot of fun. So yes, it was awesome.”

Group 3: EP, FP, HP, B-Spec, and GT-L
A split start once more with EP, FP, HP, and GT-Lite in the first group and B-Spec in the second, Group 3’s start was clean and fast, with F Production racer Sam Henry taking command of the field, followed once more by Michael Lewis in GT-Lite and Perry Simonds in FP. This time, however, the bad luck Lewis suffered on Saturday stayed at bay, allowing him to control his class and swap the overall lead with Henry through to the checker.

Come lap 14, FP racer Sam Henry scored gold for the second time during the weekend, as did Neil Verity in HP and Steven Pounds in B-Spec. In GT-L, Mike Lewis managed redemption from the day prior, while Larry Svaton cruised to the E Production gold.

Group 4: FA, FC, FE2, FX, P1, P2
Sporting a split start similar to Saturday, Sunday’s race began differently with the first grouping of P1, P2, and FA racers having their start waved off, affecting the second grouping of FC, FE2, and FX cars. Once the green did fly, it was Prototype 1 and overall group leader Chip Romer charging into Turn 1, but contact in that front pack sent some racers sideways, with P1 racer John Mcaleer facing the wrong direction. All cars continued, allowing FE2, FC, and FX to take the green.

That opening lap melee put a couple Formula Atlantics ahead of the group, with Larry Howard leading Jimmy Simpson, followed by P1 racers Romer and Jim Devenport. It didn’t take long, however, for the P1 cars to jump back into the group’s top spots.

Nearing the halfway point, Prototype 2 racer Tony Ave was just a few tenths ahead of Lucian Pancea, with Charles Russell Turner fending off Adam Jennerjahn in the Formula Enterprises 2™ class. Barely one lap later found those two class leaders in second instead of first.

Then came a full-course caution, resetting the field for what turned into a two-lap shootout that concluded with Romer dropping from the P1 race, giving Devenport breathing room on his way to the win.

“We tangled up in the first corner – I’m not sure what all happened there, but we had quite a bit of contact – I was just looking at my car and I’ve got a broken wheel, so it’s amazing that it all held together,” Devenport said of the opening lap. “Chip [Romer] kept going too, and we traded the lead back and forth several times – got runs back and forth down the back straight. And then eventually, I don’t know what happened to him, he may have blown a motor or something; he stopped down by one of the hairpins on the back straight.”

The win was a welcome one for Devenport. “It’s my first weekend of the year, he said, “and I’m happy to get a Super Tour win. It always feels good. They’re hard to come by.”

In FE2, Turner regained the lead and held the position to the checker, Pancea won out over Ave in P2, and Robert Wright earned a tight win in Formula X over Mark Russell. Formula Continental® and Formula Atlantic, meanwhile, saw dominating wins by Trevor Russell and Jimmy Simpson, respectively.

Group 5: SM
Saturday’s Spec Miata race winner Brett Kowalski started third in the field, following polesitter Tyler Quance and P2 qualifier Nick Leverone. Behind him sat Danny Steyn, Jim Drago, Sam Craven, Travis Wiley, and more, all fully capable of winning Sunday’s run to the checkered flag.

Similar to Group 4, the start was waved off – but that didn’t distract anyone when the green did come out. Into Turn 1, Steyn found himself backwards, with a couple of other drivers making contact as a result. While all cars continued, the contact put an end to Steyn’s day – and though Quance was still on track, he rejoined the scrum in ninth. That set the field with Sam Craven in the lead, followed by Kowalski, Drago, Taylor Ferranti, and Wiley in a breakaway pack.

Thirteen laps of slicing and dicing later, Drago set the pace with a comfortable gap to a battling pack of Kowalski, Jonathan Neudorf, and Quance. At the stripe, it was Drago with an impressive 1.27sec margin of victory over Kowalski and Neudorf.

Group 6: FF, FV, F600
Saturday’s Formula 600 winner James Weida led the 23-car group to the green flag, with Formula F polesitter and Saturday class winner Myles Rowe to his right. Behind the FFs and F600s, Formula Vee® polesitter Andrew Whitston led a split start with the Vees.

Rowe was unable to complete the opening lap, leaving Russell to take the class lead followed by FF racer BJ Shaw, with Weida staying solidly ahead of the other F600s in his class – positions they’d all hold through the checker.

In Formula Vee®, Zachary Whitston and Hunter Phelps-Barron battled their way past Andrew Whitston. When a vehicle lost a wheel with seven laps to go, the emergency crew was able to jump into action for the second full-course caution of the race. That race restart led to a four-lap FV battle with the top five drivers all within striking distance.

“Yesterday was a blast – Zach [Whitston] was absolutely flying, kind of teaching everybody how to get around the track,” Andrew Whitston said during the podium celebration. “Today, I think there were five of us in the action and just back and forth the whole time and trying to figure out where to be at the right time.”

At the stripe, it was Andrew Whitston in the right place, beating Steve Whitston by 0.633sec, with Zachary Whitston just 0.171sec further back.

Group 7: GT-1, GT-2, GT-X, AS, T1
Marking a solid end to the Hoosier Super Tour weekend at COTA, the big-bore final run group put on an impressive show. Fourteen laps later, Michael Lewis scraped out a GT-1 win over Thomas Herb, Barry Boes took the GT-2 win, and Jon Fields celebrated the GT-X win. Meanwhile, Paolo Salvatore took his second victory of the weekend in Touring 1, as did Sam Daniels in American Sedan.

Race Winners

You can rewatch all of the action on demand on SCCA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Below are the provisional race results for Sunday’s Hoosier SCCA Super Tour at Circuit of the Americas, with Class: Name, Hometown, Car. An asterisk denotes a weekend sweep.

American Sedan: Sam Daniels, Northlake, TX, Chevrolet Camaro
* B-Spec: Steven Pounds, Cypress, TX, Mini Cooper
E Production: Larry Svaton, Alvin, TX, Lotus Caterham 7
* F Production: Sam Henry, Republic, MO, Mazda Miata
* H Production: Neil Verity, Grey Forest, TX, MG MGB
* Formula Atlantic: Jimmy Simpson, Cicero, IN, Swift 016/Mazda
* Formula Continental®: Trevor Russell, Tucson AZ, Van Diemen
Formula Enterprises 2: Charles Russell Turner, Montpelier, VA
Formula F: Trevor Russell, Tucson, AZ, Ford F1600
Formula Vee®: Andrew Whitston, Neenah, WI, Protoform P2
Formula X: Robert Wright, Vilatie, NY, Elan DP08
* Formula 600: James Weida, West Lafayette, IN, Scorpion, W1
GT-1: Michael Lewis, Poway, CA, Jaguar XKS
GT-2: Barry Boes, Austin, TX, Ford Mustang
GT-3: Michael Lewis, Poway, CA, Mazda RX-7
GT-Lite: Michael Lewis, Poway, CA, Mazda RX-7
* GT-X: Jon Field, Nashville, TN, Radical SR10
Prototype 1: Jim Devenport, Alamo, CA, Elan DP02
* Prototype 2: Lucian Pancea, San Antonio, TX, Stohr
Spec Miata: Jim Drago, Memphis, TN, 2005 Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford Gen3: David Ogburn, San Angelo, TX
* Super Touring Lite: Danny Steyn, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Mazda MX-5
* Super Touring Under: David Fiorelli, Coppell, TX, Ford Mustang
* Touring 1: Paolo Salvatore, San Antonio, TX, Ford FP350S
Touring 2: Mark Boden, Buffalo Grove, IL, Porsche 997.1 C2
* Touring 3: Ross Murray, Marina del Rey, CA, Ford Mustang
* Touring 4: Sergio Zlobin; Houston, TX, Mazda MX-5

Photo of Touring 2 winner Mark Boden by Jay Bonvouloir