The 2023 Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA® Super Tour (HST) “regular season” has now come to a close. From January to June, there have been 10 event weekends – 20 races in all – from Sebring, FL, to Portland, OR; and Watkins Glen, NY, to Buttonwillow, CA.
Final races Sunday were part of the 68th consecutive WeatherTech Chicago Region® June Sprints®, conducted June 23-25 in Elkhart Lake, WI, at Road America. Contests were slated to be 13 laps for all but one of the nine run groups around the recently repaved 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit. The only outlier was group eight, which was a 15-lap event for GT, Touring 1 and America Sedan cars.
Sunday morning was nice with moderate temperatures and blue skies. In the distance to the west, however, clouds were building. Drivers, teams, workers and fans alike kept fingers crossed that random storms would shy away from America’s National Park of Speed. Lightning strikes just before lunch dashed those hopes.
Dry and Good to Go: The first three run groups Sunday were treated to lovely conditions. Those races saw a handful of competitors repeat as victors in their class, but a couple new names ended up on the winner’s list.
One such case was Touring 2 where Brett Scroggin, in the No. 51 Homewrecker Racing BMW M2CS, chased down Mark Boden and his Porsche 997.1 early on to take the lead. Scroggin wasn’t really challenged after that on his way to victory. And in the same run group, Touring 3 driver Derek Chan grabbed the lead early and held on for a win in the No. 86 sEquip/POM Autosports Nissan 350Z. On Saturday, Chan led for a bit but couldn’t hold on. So, Sunday was a nice change of pace.
Spec Miata (SM), with nearly 55 starters Sunday, also saw a new name at the top of the scoring sheet when things were done. Lots of drivers were in the hunt throughout the race, but the last lap saw Danny Steyn, Tyler Brown, Charles Mactutus and Matthew Novak stuck together in the lead pack.
The last lap was excellent to watch, as drivers went side-by-side through portions of the circuit. But first to the checkered flag was Brown in the No. 07 Sneaky Moose Motorsports/Custom Wireless Inc. Mazda Miata. Novak was second, and Steyn took third.
“At the start, I fell back a bit … and at that point I wondered if I was ever going to be able to get back up to the front,” Brown said while holding his beautiful June Sprints trophy plaque. “It just kind of worked out that I got back up to Danny.”
Even though Mactutus led a few laps Sunday only to miss out on the victory podium by one position, he didn’t walk away empty handed. He turned a lap of 2:41.571 during the race, which now stands as the new SM track record at Road America.
Not so Dry: The day’s fourth run group – consisting of Production classes, GT-Lite and B-Spec – all left grid on dry race tires. That was the clear and obvious choice until nine laps into the contest. At that point, some droplets of rain came down around portions of the track, followed by a pretty good downpour.
With conditions getting sketchy, and lightning shooting from approaching clouds, the race was ended after only 10 laps. That was a good decision because several competitors had trouble even staying on track during the cooldown lap before lunchbreak.
After lunch, it was Spec Racer Ford Gen3’s turn to hit the circuit with a field of nearly 50 cars. It was spitting rain as that field left the grid, with wet race tires the choice of nearly everyone.
Things got treacherous early as rain came down harder, and a full-course yellow bunched up the field on the fourth lap. At the restart, Brian Schofield had the lead followed by Bobby Sak, Liam Snyder, Denny Stripling, Sandy Satullo and Todd Vanacore.
Schofield, Sak and Shrader set themselves apart at the front as the wet race progressed. The trio diced it up and kept things exciting, but Schofield walked away victorious No. 61 PM Racing sled.
“It was a damn workout,” Schofield said about the race. “I was in the lead, and I was not going to give up the lead. I almost threw it away on the last lap to Caleb. It was a hell of a race.”
Tricky, changing conditions persisted for several other run groups throughout Sunday afternoon. For more insight from race winners, check out post-race victory podium celebration videos at the SCCA Road Racing Facebook page.
Record Breaking Closer: The very last HST contest of 2023 was the ninth run group made up of Super Touring® Lite (STL) and Super Touring® Under (STU) cars. Rain subsided by the time those cars left grid, the track was dry, and conditions turned out to be just fabulous for putting an exclamation point on the season.
After his Spec Miata track record was bested earlier in the day, Danny Steyn drove his No. 19 Ocean Machinery/Nelson Engines/OPM Autosports/G-LOC Brakes/Hoosier Mazda MX-5 to another STL victory Sunday, turning a strategic lap of 2:31.354 along the way. That is now the new track record for the class.
Not to be outdone, a very fast Johan Schwartz won his STU race in the No. 172 PMW Motorsports BMW 330i car on loan from Saturday’s STU winner, Thomas Noble. However, Schwartz turned a lap of 2:24.651 on Sunday, which now stands as the new track record for the class at the venue.
Rolling Towards Runoffs: While the 2023 HST “regular season” has ended, drivers have one last chance to amass points towards the Hoosier Super Tour Nationwide Points standings. That final opportunity takes place Sept. 29-Oct.1 at VIRginia International Raceway during the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
Drivers needing to meet criteria for Runoffs entry have some race options still open. Review the U.S. Majors Tour schedule for possibilities, then come have #funwithcars at the Runoffs!
Sunday Race Winners: Below are provisional race winners from Sunday’s Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour WeatherTech Chicago Region June Sprints at Road America with Class: Name, Hometown and Car. An asterisk (*) denotes drivers with a weekend sweep in the class.
American Sedan®: Kyle Gilbert; Janesville, WI; Chevrolet Camaro
B-Spec: John Phillips; Sealy, TX; Toyota Yaris S
*E Production: Jon Brakke; Milwaukee, WI; BMW Z3
*F Production: Mason Workman; Canal Winchester, OH; Mazda Miata
*H Production: Jesse Prather; Topeka, KS; Mazda 2
*Formula 600: James Weida; West Lafayette, IN; Scorpion W1
*Formula Atlantic®: Jimmy Simpson; Cicero, IN; Swift 016
*Formula Continental®: Michael Varacins; Burlington, WI; Van Diemen F2000
*Formula Enterprises®2: Caleb Shrader; Tigard, OR; SCCA Enterprises FE2 Mazda
*Formula F: Sebastian Mateo Naranjo; Edwards, IL; Mygale SJ13
*Formula Vee®: Andrew Whitston; Neenah, WI; Protoform P2
*Formula X: Jacob Vinkemulder; Spring Lake, MI; Formula Mazda
*GT-1: Dave Ruehlow; Hartland, WI; Chevrolet Corvette
*GT-2: Daniel Bender; Northbrook, IL; Chevrolet Camaro
*GT-Lite: Graham Fuller; Summit Point, WV; Honda CRX
*GT-X: Ray Ramirez; Houston, TX; McLaren 570s GT4
Spec Miata: Tyler Brown; Muskego, WI; Mazda Miata
Spec Racer® Ford Gen3: Brian Schofield; Lakeland, FL; Spec Racer Ford Gen3
Prototype 1: Todd Vanacore; Ormond Beach, FL; Elan DP02
Prototype 2: Mike Reupert; Hubertus, WI; Stohr WF-1
*Super Touring® Lite: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Mazda MX-5
Super Touring® Under: Johan Schwartz; Huntersville, NC; BMW 846
Touring 1: Mark Boden; Winnetka, IL; Mercedes-Benz AMG
Touring 2: Brett Scroggin; DeKalb, IL; BMW M2CS
Touring 3: Derek Chan; Rosemount, MN; Nissan 350Z
*Touring 4: Kevin Fryer; Bloomington, IL; Mazda MX-5
Photo: Brian Schofield, in the No. 61, drove to a wet Spec Racer Ford Gen3 win Sunday at Road America during the WeatherTech Chicago Region June Sprints, part of the 2023 Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour.
Photo by Rick Corwine