Alliance Autosport Has Powered Through Tough Times, And Birthday Celebrations and Livery Fun at the Mid-Ohio Hoosier Super Tour

It was the best of times, it… well, starting with Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour, that’s it. The sun came out, the track was completely dry (if not a little green), and nine race groups went racing on what turned out to be a very warm day.

We saw some great things on Saturday, including:

Alliance Still Going Strong
When seven-time National Champion Scott Rettich and Alliance Autosport co-owner passed away suddenly in April of 2022, it would have been easy for the team to shut its doors. If they had, no one would have blamed them.

Instead, they did the opposite. Led by Rettich’s co-owner Suren Tchobanian, the strong crew and customers circled the wagons and, working through their grief, kept the team running.

Just over two years later, the Columbus-based team is at their home track and business is thriving. There are 10 Formula Enterprises 2 cars, a full stable of Spec Racer Fords, and one randomly placed GT-2 car racing this weekend.

The motorsports paddock is fond of saying it’s a family, but that’s easy to say when things are going well and everything is fun. It’s harder through tragedy.

“It was a shock, but we all were doing this because we loved it before,” Tchobanian said. “It brought us all together. It wasn’t a choice, we had to go ahead. It was important to the legacy of the team and to Scott.”

As always, the Alliance Autosport crew has merged long time employees with new mechanics, and have added new customers to their existing base. Not coincidentally, those new driers are part of a noticeable boom in the Formula Enterprises class (Spec Racer Ford, of course, has always been amongst the most popular).

“We’re trying to bring more cars and drivers into SCCA and build both the FE and Spec Racer classes,” Tchobanian said. “There’s nothing better than adding a few more cars and drivers to the community here.”

And it’s not just paid drivers.

“We bring in a couple of young interns every summer as mechanics,” he continued. “We get them memberships and it gets them hooked. They come in green and they come out really good mechanics. All of them are here because they love the sport.”

Most importantly, Alliance Autosport has worked hard to continue the same identity through their grief. While they branch out on occasion, like Ray Mason’s TA2 car, the core of the company remains the Enterprises spec series and their role as Great Lakes CSR.

That’s what keeps their customers coming back.

“This is the team that Scott built, but it’s the same core group of people making the decisions on what we do,” longtime team driver Jim Libecco said. “We’ve always been a family here, and it’s an educational team. It’s a bottom-up team, they’re always taking in new interns from the schools and we’re building them up and we’re building this legacy of mechanics and builders here that are putting together cars that are reliable and fast and out here winning races. We all miss Scott being here, but we’re still that family and still that team that’s out here to win races.”

And win races they do. Libecco took the top spot on Saturday in Formula Enterprises 2, with Adam Jennerjahn just behind.

Celebrate Good Times, Come on!
It’s never a bad day to have a birthday. And it’s never a bad day to be at the race track. So if you can combine the two, it’s probably a pretty great day!

Steve Whitston doubled up in the top five in two different classes, sitting fifth in the 11-car Formula Vee and then finishing fifth again later in the 16-car Formula Enterprises 2 thriller.

Reid Sweeney also celebrated a birthday on Saturday, and scored a third-place finish in a Spec MX-5 thriller. Sweeney turned 18 on Saturday.

Throwback Fun
The B-Spec drivers are known for their fun and have made a habit of taking iconic sports car racing liveries and adapting them to the hatchbacks.

The newest entry into the unofficial contest comes from Eric Yagel, whose recent Honda Fit build is a throwback to one of the all-time great gentlemen racers, Bob Akin.

Akin made the livery famous first, but Yagel copied it almost exactly (well, as exact as you can when take a mid-80s Porsche 962 livery and transfer it to a Honda fit). This includes both the red and white design, and the famous beverage company that is infamous for protecting their trademark and, as such, we won’t mention here to keep Yagel out of any hot water for as long as possible.

But it looks great and is a lot of fun – and that’s what it’s all about.

Race Winners

In all, 27 drivers took home class wins on Saturday at Mid-Ohio. Those class winners, with name and car, are below (all results listed are provisional – official results can be found on the event page here):

American Sedan: Phillip Smith, Ford Mustang
B-Spec: Daniel Conway, Mini Cooper
E Production: Lance Loughman, Datsun 240Z
F Production: Mason Workman, Mazda Miata
H Production: Steve Sargis, Triumph Spitfire
Formula 600: Sven de Vries, Novakar J7
Formula Atlantic: Nicho Vardis, JDR F1000
Formula Continental: John LaRue, Citation Snipe FZ
Formula Enterprises 2: Jim Libecco, Formula Enterprises/Mazda
Formula F: Theodore Burns, Piper DF05
Formula Vee: Andrew Whitston, Protoform P2
GT-1: David Pintaric, Ford Mustang
GT-2: Barry Boes, Ford Mustang
GT-3: Ken Nelson, Nissan 200SX
GT-Lite: Michael Lewis, Mazda RX-7
GT-X: Dan Speer, Chevrolet Camaro
Prototype 1: Todd Vanacore, Elan DP02
Prototype 2: Mike Reupert, Stohr WF1
Spec Miata: Tyler Brown, Mazda Miata
Spec MX-5: Justin Adakonis, Mazda MX-5
Spec Racer Ford 3: Bobby Sak, Spec Racer Ford
Super Touring Lite: Max Gee, Honda Prelude
Super Touring Under: John Schmitt, Honda Accord
Touring 1: Hugh Stewart, BMW M3
Touring 2: John Heinricy, Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
Touring 3: Isaac Beekman, BMW 330ci
Touring 4: Marc Cefalo, Mazda MX-5