Members of the Year: Let’s get it out of the way early – the MVP’s of the weekend were the flagging and communications, pit and grid, tech and other volunteers who spent the weekend, especially Sunday, in the elements to support the Club that they love.
While that’s true of every weekend, it was especially true on Sunday at Road Atlanta. The day opened with temperatures near 40 degrees and a hard rain. And while the rain stopped for the afternoon, the heat didn’t follow. It made for a cold, miserable day, but all stood firm and put on the races.
Reign In The Rain: If rain is the great equalizer, and Spec Racer Ford Gen 3 is a true drivers’ class, then Conner Roberts is the king of the weekend.
Roberts and James Goughery got away from the field, even after a black flag that parked the field on pit lane to retrieve some cars off course, and duked it out for the win in the 24-car field. Roberts turned the quickest lap of the race in 1:51.363 (for reference, the quickest lap in Saturday’s dry race was 1:34.485), which was two tenths quicker than Goughery and two seconds quicker than the third-place time.
Test, Tune and Race: With a Formula 1600 pro race coming up at Road Atlanta in just a couple of weeks, the Hoosier Super Tour is the perfect opportunity to test under intense race conditions. That made for a large field and a great show between three talented, young drivers in the rain.
Porter Aiken got the jump on Sebastian Mateo Naranjo and Ely Navarro following a full-course caution. Though Navarro appeared to be the quickest at the beginning of the race, Aiken came alive as the track began to dry. In the clear when the race went back to green, Aiken got away and topped the field – this week. To be continued in just two weeks’ time…
Welcome Back: Though he was lonely as the sole GTX car in his class, Steve Weber brought his SRO-spec BMW M4 GT4 car to his first SCCA race in 20 years this weekend at Road Atlanta. Weber has plans to run the SRO GT4 America championship, additional SCCA races, and more during 2023.
Tough Decisions: By the mid-afternoon, the track had dried enough to see a line start to develop, and while it was still wet in spots it was enough to at least consider slicks. But in time for the winged open wheel group, the rain had started to fall again.
It was a masterful display up front for overall and Prototype 1 winner Jean Luc Liverato, but the internet darling of the group was Formula Enterprises 2 winner Jason Conzo. A number of Enterprises drivers from across the country had tuned in and made their voices heard in the chat, admiring Conzo’s wet driving abilities as he raced to a 39-second class win.
It was much closer than it appeared, however. Sterling Hamilton and his team made the call to dive to pit lane on the pace lap to put on rain tires, banking on the falling water to make a mess of the track. At one point late in the race, Hamilton was running 10 seconds per lap quicker than Conzo. Somehow, Conzo held it on the track in the difficult conditions, and when the track dried again in the closing laps the gap widened once again.
Runoffs Preview: The Hoosier Super Tour returns to action April 7-9 at VIRginia International Raceway, in what is certain to be the largest field of the season. The VIR round likely will serve as both a preview, an intense race, and a bit of a test session for this season’s SCCA National Championship Runoffs, where National Champions will be crowned this September 23 through October 1.
Below are the provisional race results for Sunday’s Hoosier SCCA Super Tour at Road Atlanta, with Class: Name, Hometown, Car. (* denotes a weekend sweep of both Saturday and Sunday’s races)
*B-Spec: Frank Schwartz, Davisburg, Michigan, Mini Cooper
*E Production: Peter Norton, Pelham, North Carolina, Caterham Seven
*F Production: Mason Workman, Canal Winchester, Ohio, Mazda Miata
*H Production: Will Perry, Sale Creek, Tennessee, Honda CRX
Formula 600: Russell Strate, Alden, New York, Scorpion
Formula Atlantic: Larry Howard, Kansas City, Missouri, Swift 016/Mazda
*Formula Continental: Brandon Dixon, Northport, Alabama, Citation F2000/Ford
Formula Enterprises 2: Jason Conzo, Great River, New York, Formula Enterprises/Mazda
Formula F: Porter Aiken, Alpharetta, Georgia, Piper DF05
Formula Vee: Donnie Isley, Fletcher, North Carolina, Agitator 016/Volkswagen
GT2: Simon Asselin, Sammamish, Washington, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
GT-3: Jeff Dernehl, Roswell, Georgia, Mazda RX-7
*GT-Lite: David Blain, Trent Woods, North Carolina, Mazda Miata
*GT-X: Steve Weber, Saint Petersburg, Florida, BMW M4 GT4
*Prototype 1: Jean-Luc Liverato, Atlanta, Georgia, Elan DP02
*Prototype 2: Lucian Pancea, San Antonio, Texas, Stohr 2013
Spec Miata: Brian Henderson, Fredericksburg, Virginia, Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford Gen 3: Connor Roberts, LaGrange, Georgia, Spec Racer Ford
Super Touring Under: Anthony Piselli, Mauertown, Virginia, Subaru Impreza
Super Touring Lite: Jose Osiris Pena, Miami, Florida, Honda CRX
Touring 1: Tony Ave, Maiden, North Carolina, Mercedes-AMG
Touring 2: James Keown, Virginia Beach, Virginia, BMW M2
Touring 3: Ryan Sprehe, Little Elm, Texas, Ford Mustang
*Touring 4: Marc Cefalo, Swoyersville, Pennsylvania, Mazda Miata