’24 Hallett Hoosier Super Tour Saturday: Pro Driver, Onsite MD, Perfection Ongoing

The rolling Osage Hills of Northeastern Oklahoma is where the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA® Super Tour (HST) is at April 20-21, 2024, for two days of excitement hosted by SCCA’s Ark Valley Race Group around Hallett Motor Racing Circuit’s (HMRC) 1.8-mile, 10-turn course.

The weekend in Jennings, OK, begins the second half of HST’s 10-event calendar for 2024. Saturday opened with 20-minute qualifying sessions for each of seven competition groups in cool and mostly sunny conditions. That was followed by 25-minute contests under overcast skies.

Professional Driver

As SCCA’s top level of amateur road racing, HST weekends often include some professional racers looking for additional seat time at a racetrack, or a bunch of drivers honing their skills to perhaps become paid professionals in the future.

R. Paul Evans doesn’t fall into either of those two categories. Instead, he’s a professional driver of another sort.

“I drive wealthy folks around in bulletproof Cadillac Escalades and Chevrolet Suburbans,” he said. “Gamblers from Japan, oil tycoons from the Middle East, and even a movie star on occasion.

“I fly all over the world as a fill-in driver for when a client’s regular driver is on leave or on vacation,” Evans continued. “I never really know who I am driving. Although, I do get paid double when I get shot. So, that’s fun.”

A former stunt driver who later taught evasive driving courses after a stint in the Marines, Evans has been an SCCA member on and off since 1979. With driving being his workaday task, one might wonder why he gets back behind the wheel during his off time.

“It keeps me honed,” Evans said. “But to me, also, it’s fun. I’ve always enjoyed this stuff.”

At HMRC this weekend, Evans planned on hoofing the No. 34 Panoz GT-S in the GT-2 class and the No. 27 Datsun 510 in H Production. It’s a difference of 400hp to 96hp from one to the other, but both are just as interesting on Evans’ #funwithcars meter.

Unfortunately, the engine blew up in the Panoz on Saturday, forcing Evans to park the car for the rest of the weekend. And just to be safe, Evans sat out the HP race Saturday. However, he’ll be back in the saddle for Sunday’s HP event.

The Doctor is In ... Race Group 6

SCCA’s Hall of Fame is filled with medical professionals, many of which were pretty great drivers, too. For starters, there’s Dr. Dick Thompson. Known as The Flying Dentist, he was inducted into SCCA’s Hall of Fame in 2018. Then there’s Dr. Frank Falkner, a pioneer in pediatric growth/development inducted into SCCA’s Hall of Fame in 2019. And 2012 saw Dr. Peter Talbot enter SCCA’s Hall of Fame, a man who explored safety both externally at track facilities and internally with driver conduct.

Dr. Bob Hubbard, a biomechanical engineer, entered SCCA’s Hall of Fame in 2014 with Jim Downing thanks to their development of the HANS device. Then there’s Dr. George Snively, an SCCA racer and sometime track physician who became a member of SCCA’s Hall of Fame in 2015. His research on head protection led to creation of Snell Foundation helmet standards used to this very day.

At Hallett this weekend we’ve got Dr. Brent Steward, driver of the No. 67 SCCA Enterprises SRF3 car. He’s been a racecar fan since he was old enough to walk, but jokes that no Formula One team discovered him sitting on his dad’s tractor in years past.

“I’m a general surgeon in Bartlesville, OK, and the medical director of Hallett’s track emergency service,” said Steward, an SCCA member for five years. “Hallett is my home away from home.

“It’s roughly my 16th year of racing something, from ChumpCars to WRL,” Steward continued. “I’m convinced Spec Racer Ford is the greatest amateur race car in existence. Nothing else offers the performance, value, competition, field parity and safety of this class. It’s the total package and I’d love to see it grow even more.”

Jokingly, Steward refers to himself as the MOAT – Mediocre-est of All Time – and he’s not holding his breath as far as being inducted into the Club’s Hall of Fame. Then again, it’s likely the doctors in SCCA’s Hall of Fame probably said the same thing.

Steward finished 20th Saturday in the Spec Racer Ford Gen3 race won by Tyler Stephens in the No. 105 Hallett Race Shop car.

Ongoing Perfection

Perfection is the goal of every racecar driver. They slide into a car, belt up, and attempt to execute a perfect lap each and every time around a circuit. Changing conditions and circumstances, however, often foil that search for perfection – a fact that also makes road racing an ongoing challenge and so much fun.

Surely, 36-year SCCA member Michael Pettiford will admit to a never-ending search for perfect laps. Yet, the former trampolinist has achieved absolute perfection another way. Since the very first event in 2017, Pettiford has won every single Touring 1 (T1) HST race at HMRC. That’s two races each year for a total of 14 straight victories in the No. 41 GO 4 IT Racing Schools/Hoosier/Hawk/Emich Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Additionally, he has logged plenty of Touring 3 (T3) HST wins at HMRC in the No. 42 GO4IT Racing Schools/Hoosier /Hawk/Emich Pontiac Solstice GXP.

Pettiford, proprietor of Go 4 It Racing Schools in Colorado, pushes himself and others to perfection. However, he was surprised to learn of his HST mark at HMRC in the T1 class.

“I didn’t know that,” Pettiford said about his ongoing victory sweep. “But we never go to a race to finish second, ever.”

The objective for Pettiford each year is to win the Mid-States Conference, and doing well at the Hallett Hoosier Super Tour is step one in that plan. Hallett, though, is no joke and can’t be underestimated by drivers.

“Hallett is a sinister track,” Pettiford said. “At 1.8 miles … from a corner apex to exit, it’s off camber. Corners are blind, and it’s a menacing little track that is pretty cool.”

The streak continued Saturday with Pettiford claiming another T1 victory. He also won Saturday’s T3 race.

Hallett’s Sunday Schedule

Another day of Hoosier Super Tour action from HMRC begins at 8 a.m. Central Time on Sunday with 15-minute qualifying sessions for all seven run groups. Then at 10:55 a.m. local time, competition commences once again with 35-minute or 27-lap contests for each race group.

Follow Sunday’s action live, online and for free thanks to the Hoosier Super Tour broadcast produced by DriversEye Live and anchored by announcers Brian Bielanski and Larry MacLeod. Coverage will again be streamed via the SCCA Official YouTube channel and SCCA Inc. Facebook page. Sunday victory podium celebration videos can be viewed at the SCCA Road Racing Facebook page.

As always, live Timing & Scoring will be found throughout the weekend at www.scca.com/live.

Saturday Race Winners

Below are provisional race winners from Saturday’s Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit with Class: Name, Hometown and Car.
American Sedan®: James Stevens; Swansea, IL; Chevrolet Camaro
B-Spec: Chris Taylor; Elroy TX; Mazda 2
E Production: Tyler Ladd; Clearwater KS; BMW Z3
F Production: Cliff Ira; Kansas City, MO;
Honda Civic
H Production: Jesse Prather; Topeka, KS; Mazda 2
Formula 600: Jason Martin; River Grove, IL; Novakar J10
Formula Atlantic®:
Jarret Voorhies; Kissimmee FL; Formula Mazda
Formula Continental®: Bill Johnson; Leawood, KS; Van Diemen RF01-2
Formula Enterprises®2: Darryl Wills; League City, TX; SCCA Enterprises FE2 Mazda
Formula F: Nathan Down; Thornton, CO; Swift DB6
Formula Vee®: Mark Richardson; Washington, IL; Vortec
Formula X: Broch Evans; Austin TX; Formula Mazda
GT-2: Mark Kirby; Shawnee Mission, KS; Dodge Viper
GT-Lite: Roy Lopshire; Blue Springs, MO; Toyota Tercel
GT-X: Michael Staab; Claremore OK; Datsun B110
Spec Miata: Logan Stretch; Arlington, TX; Mazda Miata
Spec MX-5: Justin Adakonis; Ridgefield CT ; Mazda MX-5
Spec Racer® Ford Gen3: Tyler Stephens; Bixby, OK; SCCA Enterprises SRF3
Prototype 2: Jack Donnellan; Chickasha OK; Carbir SR P2
Super Touring® Lite: William Knight; Tulsa, OK; Mazda MX-5
Super Touring® Under: David Fiorelli; Coppell, TX; Ford Mustang
Touring 1: Michael Pettiford; Louisville, CO; Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 2: Charlie Peter; Olathe, KS; BMW M2
Touring 3: Michael Pettiford; Louisville CO; Pontiac Solstice
Touring 4: Marc Cefalo; Swoyersville, PA; Mazda MX-5

Photo: R. Paul Evans in his No. 34 Panoz GT-S before its engine blew up in Saturday’s GT-2 race.

Photo by Tim Turner / Hallett Foto Shoppe