2023 Hoosier Super Tour Watkins Glen: Saturday Notebook

A lush beltway with 11 turns across 3.4 miles, Watkins Glen International (WGI) is a course that challenges drivers and makes road racing fun. That’s the situation June 2-4, 2023, during a three-day Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA® Super Tour (HST) stop in the state of New York at an event hosted by SCCA’s Glen Region.

After all eight run groups had two qualifying sessions stretching across Friday and early Saturday morning, contestants then took the track for 25-minute races during the penultimate HST event of the year. Conditions were magnificent with sunny skies, temperatures in the low 70s, and a slight breeze at times.

Keepin’ it Close: Practically anywhere Formula Vee (FV) competes on the Hoosier Super Tour, you’re almost always guaranteed a tight, competitive race – and Saturday’s event was no exception.

Alex Scaler and his Scaler Mk1 were on pole for the FV race, with Andrew Whitston in the No. 12 Rocket Motors/LOA Con/Milio's/Apex Branding Protoform P2 car alongside. It was Whitston who took the lead at the start, but Scaler slipped in right behind him. From there, the duo worked together to put a gap on the rest of the field.

Working the fifth lap, Scaler took the lead. A couple laps later, Whitston was back in front. Then on lap eight, Scaler regained the lead, then actually pulled away a bit from Whitston. In fact, Scaler had a half-second lead when the white flag waived.

That deficit meant nothing to Whitston as he charged back on the last lap to pass Scaler. Then after the final turn, Scaler pulled out from behind Whitston and the two charged nearly side-by-side to the finish. The result was victory for Whitston by 0.073sec over Scaler.

“Alex was flying today,” Whitston admitted. “On the last lap, I got past him going into the Bus Stop, then he got me going into the Turn 6 lefthander. But then I was able to get him in the heel of The Boot, and held on right at the finish line.

“It was a very hard-fought race,” Whitston continued. “Alex almost got away from me a few times in traffic. But I was able to reel him in.”

Spec Miata was another hard-fought race that looked to be coming down to the wire. After the first few opening laps, the field sorted itself out with Charles Mactutus at the front followed closely by Danny Steyn, Elivan Goulart, polesitter Chris Ciufo, and Brian Henderson.

By lap seven, a dominant lead group emerged consisting of Mactutus, Steyn and Goulart. Things looked to be heating up, but a full-course yellow came out and slowed the action. Unfortunately, the race ended behind the pace car with Mactutus claiming victory in the No. 66 OPM Autosports/G-LOC Brakes/Hoosier Tires Mazda Miata.

Bouncing Back: In the third run group, Kurt Rezzetano’s No. 137 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Hawk Ford Mustang was the class of the Touring 2 field. He rushed out to the lead and within only a couple laps had an eight-second gap on the Chevrolet Corvette of Brian LaCroix. A full-course yellow then bunched everyone back up after four laps.

The caution period, however, did nothing to slow Rezzetano’s performance. He charged away again at the restart and ended up with a 6.623sec victory. “The car is feeling great,” Rezzetano said afterwards. “Everything is working great.”

Jaden Lander, in the No. 04 Krugspeed Mazda MX-5, also bounced back in the third run group to take the Touring 3 victory. He led the first several race laps, but Marc Cefalo and his Mazda MX-5 closed in and grabbed the lead just before the full-course caution.

Cefalo looked quick at the restart. But unfortunately, he had a Turn 6 run-in with another car. The contact bounced the front of Cefalo’s car into the air, and it came down hard. He continued on for the last couple corners, then pulled his car into the pits and out of the race. That gifted the lead to Lander, who then spent the remaining laps fighting off the Subaru BRZ of Nick Leverone. In the end, Lander took the win by 0.137sec over runner-up Leverone.

“It was stressful,” a breathless Lander said after the race. “Nick was catching me lap by lap. He caught me and was right on my tail at the end.”

Back-to-Back Victories: If the Hoosier Super Tour gave out an “Ironman” award, Saturday’s recipient would’ve been Charles Russell Turner. He went back-to-back in 25-minute races, the first being Spec Racer Ford Gen3 (SRF3), then the Formula Enterprises 2 (FE2) event right afterwards.

In SRF3, Turner started on pole and immediately took the lead when the green flag waived. His teammate, Denny Stripling, fell in behind him and the two worked together to establish a gap to the rest of the runners. By the sixth lap, things were going good for Turner who had a 0.663sec lead on Stripling in the runner-up spot. That advantage expanded to nearly a full second as Turner went on to victory.

“My teammate was right on me exiting turn one at the start. So, we were able to bury our heads and lay down some great opening laps,” Turner said. “In the middle of the race, Denny made a couple mistakes, and I was able to get away from him. Then I maintained that lead to the end.”

After taking the checkered flag in the No. 23 PCS SCCA Enterprises SRF3 car, Turner parked the vehicle in victory circle, jumped out of the cockpit, and ran over to slide in the No. 32 Southeast Spec Racer/PCS FE2 car already waiting on grid for the next race. He then drove that racecar to victory.

So, that’s practically 50 straight minutes of racing, and two first-place trophies to add to his collection. That isn’t too shabby for a sunny Saturday day at The Glen.

Speedy Conditions: As noted, the weather Saturday at WGI was pretty fantastic. Not only was it an absolutely beautiful day, but conditions were also conducive for resetting some track records.

Kurt Rezzetano lowered the Touring 2 track record to 2:03.168 driving the No. 137 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Hawk Ford Mustang, and Andrew Aquilante did the same in Touring 1 by establishing a new record of 1:58.804 in the No. 33 Phoenix Performance Ford Mustang.

In GT-X, Raymond Davoudi set a new record by turning a lap of 1:54.465 in the No. 11 Lamborghini Super Trofeo, and David Pintaric reset the GT-1 track record to 1:48.662 thanks to his No. 57 Kryderacing/Ave Motorsports/Goodyear Ford Mustang.

And finally, Keith Joslyn reset the Formula 600 track record to 1:59.177 driving the No. 55 Hoosier/ASI Signage Innovations/Mitchell Racing/Formula X-1/QRE/Spirit Motorsports Scorpion Rotax car.

Sunday’s Schedule: We’re not done yet at Watkins Glen International. A second day of Hoosier Super Tour on-track action begins at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time with 35-minute or 14-lap races that run throughout the day for all eight competition groups.

Follow Sunday’s action live, online and for free from WGI thanks to the fantastic Hoosier Super Tour enhanced video and audio broadcast. Larry MacLeod and Gregg Ginsberg will again provide the play-by-play call, and DriversEye Live delivers video from upwards of 12 cameras positioned around the circuit.

The HST broadcast from WGI can be found online at the SCCA YouTube channel and SCCA Facebook page. Post-race video interviews with many winners from Saturday, and Sunday victory podium celebration videos, can also be found at the SCCA Road Racing Facebook page. And as always, live Timing and Scoring is available throughout the weekend at www.scca.com/live.

Saturday Race Winners: Below are provisional race winners from Saturday’s Hoosier Super Tour at Watkins Glen International with Class: Name, Hometown and Car.
American Sedan®: Andrew McDermid; Howell, MI; Ford Mustang
B-Spec: Steve Introne; Windham, NH; Mini Cooper
E Production: John Hainsworth; Vineland, NJ; Mazda RX-7
F Production: Charlie Campbell; Corry, PA; Mazda Miata
H Production: Enrik Benazic; Farmingdale, NY; Honda Civic
Formula 600: Keith Joslyn; Grand Island, NY; Scorpion Rotax
Formula Atlantic®:
Larry Howard; Kansas City, MO; Swift 016
Formula Continental®: Hunter Tatman; Fort Collins, CO; Van Diemen RF06
Formula Enterprises®2: Charles Russell Turner; Montpelier, VA; SCCA Enterprises FE2 Mazda
Formula F: Jonathan Kotyk; Atlantic Beach, FL; Mygale SJ13
Formula Vee®: Andrew Whitston; Neenah, WI; Protoform P2
GT-1: David Pintaric; Canfield, OH; Ford Mustang
GT-2: Kevin Allen; Anderson, SC; Nissan 300ZX
GT-Lite: Wilson Wright Jr.; Stockbridge, MA; Nissan Sentra
GT-X: Raymond Davoudi; Fort Worth, TX; Lamborghini Super Trofeo
Spec Miata: Charles Mactutus; Little Mountain, SC; Mazda Miata
Spec Racer® Ford Gen3: Charles Russell Turner; Montpelier, VA; Spec Racer Ford Gen3
Prototype 1: John Mcaleer; Roswell, GA; Elan DP02
Super Touring® Lite: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Mazda MX-5
Super Touring® Under: Chip Herr; Lititz, PA; Audi A4
Touring 1: James Candelaria; Boca Raton, FL; Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 2: Kurt Rezzetano; Phoenixville, PA; Ford Mustang
Touring 3: Dan March; Boiling Springs, PA; BMW 330i
Touring 4: Jaden Lander; New York, NY; Mazda MX-5

Photo: Andrew Whitston, No. 12, leads Alex Scaler, No. 79, in a very tight Formula Vee battle Saturday during the Hoosier Super Tour at Watkins Glen International.

Photo by Jeff Loewe