BFGoodrich SCCA Super Tour round two concludes at Hallett
Five Sports Car Club of America Club Racing national groups battled the 1.8-miles of Hallett Motor Racing Circuit and the Oklahoma winds, capping a thrilling day of racing during Round Two of the BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour series. The BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour races were part of the Green Country Grand Prix hosted by the Ark Valley Racing Group, a combined effort of the NEOkla, Oklahoma and Wichita Regions of the SCCA.
The BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour is a select group of six races on the SafeRacer SCCA National Racing Series, complete with additional promotional and celebratory elements to highlight the drivers participating in each of the weekends.
Among the more exciting races on Sunday was the Group 3 race that featured Formula Atlantic, Formula Mazda, Formula Enterprises, C Sports Racing, D Sports Racing, and Sports 2000.
Hans Peter, of Olathe, Kan., started on pole in the No. 66 Swift 016 Formula Atlantic machine and immediately began to stretch his lead, both in his class ahead of John Strickler, driving the No. 22 Mattress City Mazda Pro Formula, and overall ahead of Tom Bootz in the No. 36 Bootz Industries Stohr WF1 in D Sports Racing.
After pulling more than a 12-second lead, Peter slipped into pit lane unexpectedly on lap 12. The stop cost him two positions to Bootz and Strickler, and left him nearly 13 seconds behind Strickler on the track in the class battle.
Peter began a charge, running laps two to four seconds faster than the leaders just past the midpoint of the 25-lap race. After lap 18, Strickler led by 5.101 seconds in Formula Atlantic. One lap later, Strickler's lead was down to 1.769 second. After another 1.8 miles around Hallett, Peter was in the Formula Atlantic lead again with his sights on Bootz and the overall lead.
At the start of lap 22, Peter went to the inside of Bootz going into Turn 1, known at Hallett as Dead Horse Turn, and took the overall lead for the second time in the race. Peter would hold on for the final laps to take a 5.413-second win, averaging 87.449 mph over the 25-lap race.
"My car was over heating, and Mirl [Swan] said to come in and we took the engine cover off," Peter said during the post-race podium celebration. "That kept it cool, and we had enough time to get back out there and catch up. It was a fun race."
Peter was making a return to SCCA SafeRacer National Series racing after a sabbatical. The 2007 National Champion in both Formula Atlantic and C Sports Racing ran just a couple of races in 2008, then stepped out of the cockpit until Sunday's BFGoodrich Tires Midwest Super Tour.
Bootz set a new track record for the DSR class with a fast lap of 1:12.662.
Not to let the open-wheel classes steal the thunder, the Spec Miata class running in Group 4 uncorked a battle that epitomizes Spec Miata racing.
Matt Reynolds, from Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, and Jim Drago, from Memphis, Tenn., staged an epic battle in the class, with the pair swapping the lead nine times officially over the 25-lap race before Reynolds earned the Super Tour win with a 1.648-second final margin of victory.
Reynolds covered the 25-lap race in an average of 70.462 mph behind the wheel of his No. 74 Mazda Miata. Drago finished second in his No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata, with Kyle Jones trying to insert himself into the mix behind the wheel of his No. 65 BVTAmerica Mazda Miata before finishing third.
"Normally on this track, you want to go two wide maybe once a lap and then line back up and get away from the third place guys," Reynolds said. "But we went two wide in three or four corners and it made for a great race. The great thing about this class is that no matter where you are in the field, you're going to be in a race with other cars. One lap you may be fourth, but the next you could be ninth. The cars are so evenly matched, it really makes for great racing. We saw that today."
Reynolds led 14 of the 25 laps, including the last two to take the checkered flag. Drago was credited with 11 laps led on his way to the runner-up finish.
Lisa Noble earned her first BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour win with a thrilling back and forth battle with Bill Johnson in the Formula Vee class.
Johnson started on the pole, but Noble's No. 7 Hoosier Tire/Littlefeat.net Vortech FV moved into the lead early in the race. A mistake by Noble let Johnson's No. 42 Portable Work Tools Vortech FV back into the lead for the middle segment of the race. Noble slipped back past Johnson and moved to a 13.347-second final margin of victory.
Three drivers made it two-for-two for the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour, following up wins at the opening round at Texas World Speedway with victories at Hallett. C.J. McAbee, of Topeka, Kan., earned his double in the Formula 500 class, driving the No. 15 KBS Cyclone; David Koller, from The Woodlands, Texas, piloted his No. 82 Over Fifty Racing Chevrolet Corvette to back-to-back wins in Touring 1; Jack Donnellan, from Chickasha, Ok., equaled the feat in his No. 6 Kechi Energy/Quantum Mechanics Lola 598 in Sports 2000.
The BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour continues with the Southeast Super Tour at VIRginia International Raceway, April 17. The Super Tour festivities will come during Sunday's race at VIR, the second day of the double National weekend.
More information on the SCCA and the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour is available at www.scca.com.
JENNINGS, Okla. - Winners from each class at Sunday's BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour Round Two races on Sunday at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit, with class, winner, hometown, and sponsor/car.
American Sedan: Jim Wheeler, Lenexa, Kan., Hoosier/Rollcamera.net Pontiac Trans-Am.
C Sports Racing: Jason Hickey, Amarillo, Tex., Messenger Racing Swift DB2.
D Sports Racing: Tom Bootz, Evansville, Ind., Bootz Industries Stohr WF-1.
E Production: Jesse Prather, Topeka, Kan., Jesse Prather Motorsports MGB.
F Production: Rick Harris, Derby, Kan., Mazda Miata.
H Production: Chris Albin, Maryland Heights, Mo., VW Golf.
Formula 500: C.J. McAbee, Topeka, Kan., KBS Cyclone.
Formula Atlantic: Hans Peter, Olathe, Kan., Swift 016.
Formula Enterprises: Marshall Mauney, West Bend, Wis., Formula SCCA.
Formula F: Cliff Johnson, Kansas City, Mo., Apine Litho-Graphics/Farley Engine Piper DF-5.
Formula Mazda: Darrell Mease, Jay, Ok., Star Mazda
Formula Vee: Lisa Noble, Manhattan, Kan., Hoosier Tire/Littlefeat.net Vortech FV
GT-3: Richard Allen, Chickasha, Ok., Nissan 350Z
GT-Lite: Kent Prather, Wakarusa, Kan., Mazda Miata.
Showroom Stock C: John Saucier, Oklahoma City, Ok., Mazda3.
Spec Miata: Matt Reynolds, Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, Mazda Miata.
Spec Racer Ford: Grayson Strathman, Topeka, Kan., Spec Racer Ford.
Sports 2000: Jack Donnellan, Chickasha, Ok., Kechi Energy/Quantum Mechanics Lola 598.
STU: Brian Laughlin, Tulsa, Ok., Mazda Miata.
Touring 1: David Koller, The Woodlands, Texas, Over Fifty Racing Chevrolet Corvette.