Storylines/Things To Watch For
Super Tour, Version Five: The top level of the Sports Car Club of America's Club Racing program will visit Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, for Round Five of the six-round 2011 BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour. The event, co-hosted by the Ohio Valley Region and Cincinnati Region SCCA, is part of the first-ever double national Race of Champions at Mid-Ohio.
The BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour activities will occur during Sunday's races. Each race winner will be given a victory lap and commemorative checkered flag, and the top three in each class will be treated to victory circle ceremonies after each race. Live Timing is available for those at the track and around the world on all three days of the event at SCCA.com.
Ordinary People, Extraordinary Feats: The racers at this weekend's BFGoodrich Tires Great Lakes Super Tour are a unique mix of talented drivers. Most are "weekend warriors," mixing it up on the track on the weekends before heading home to their day-to-day jobs through the week. Some are youngsters with an eye on a professional driving career, honing their craft while looking to the future. The common theme to an SCCA competition is that these are seemingly ordinary people doing extraordinary things with racecars.
How prolific can these drivers become? Start with the motorsports legends - Bobby Rahal, Mark Donohue, Roger Penske, Michael Andretti, and actor/driver Paul Newman got their start in SCCA Club Racing. More recently, you could have seen current stars Boris Said, Graham Rahal, Sam Hornish or Scott Sharp at a Club race.
The Best In Amateur Racing: SCCA Club Racing is the top level of amateur motorsports. Of the 300 Club Racing events held coast-to-coast, 70 of them are designated as "National" events, meaning they are qualifying events for the National Championship Runoffs® and comprise the SafeRacer SCCA National Racing Series. Of these 70 events, only six were designated as BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour races, bringing the National spotlight to town and making this weekend among a select group of can't-miss events across the country.
At Mid-Ohio, the racing weekend consists of a National races on Saturday, followed by Sunday's BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour races. Points for the BFGoodrich Super Tour will only be earned for Sunday's races, however.
Large Fields: Last season during the June National at Mid-Ohio, 148 entrants participated. With this season's BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour and double weekend, 194 cars were on the entry list early in the race week.
Ohio Drivers Well Represented: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course hosted the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® from 1994 to 2005, and the level of competition that continues to return to the storied facility makes for competitive racing.
Former National Champions abound throughout the field's 28 National classes, a number of those drivers hailing from the Buckeye State.
Justin Pritchard, from Granville, won three titles at Mid-Ohio in open wheel cars, the first in Formula Continental, and a pair in Formula Ford. This weekend, he returns in E Production, driving a Mazda RX-7. That same class features Westerville's Sam Halkias, the 2009 National Champion in class, driving a Triumph TR6.
Tom Sloe, the 2009 American Sedan champ from Novelty, Ohio, has entered his Ford Mustang in the class this weekend.
A pair of National Champion Ohioans lead the Formula Enterprise class, with defending F500 champion Patrick Gallagher, from Thornville, and defending FE champion Scott Rettich, from Camden, prepared to battle it out. Rettich will also race in Spec Racer Ford.
Delaware, Ohio's Kevin Ruck is the defending National Champion in F Production and brings his Acura Integra for the race weekend. 1999 GT-2 Champion Tom Patton, from Hamilton, will tow in his Sunbeam Tiger from the southwest corner of the state, while 2002 GT-3 champion Mike Cyphert will tow his Toyota Celica from his Twinsburg home in the Northeast for the GT-3 race.
John Fergus, a six-time S2000 champion, brings his Carbir CS2/Ford just up the road from his Powell home. Freddy Baker won his first of four National Championships in 1980 at Road Atlanta, and his most recent at Mid-Ohio in 2000. This weekend, the Aurora resident will drive a Porsche 911 Carrera in Super Touring Over. In Super Touring Under, former FP champion Bill Niemeyer, of Loveland, Ohio will race an Acura RSX-S.
Chad Gilsinger, from Marysville, will drive his Honda S2000 in Touring 2. Gilsinger also made his Baja 1000 debut last season after earning the contingency prize for winning a National Championship on BFGoodrich Tires.
Among other notable Ohio drivers, SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series podium finisher Amy Ruman, from Kent, is entered in GT-1 in a Chevrolet Corvette. Corey Fergus, son of John, has won two consecutive poles at the Runoffs in the S2000 class.
Top Drivers From Across The Country: It's not just Ohio that is home to former champions racing this weekend, as a number of drivers have made the drive for the opportunity to race twice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Aaron Ellis, from Farmington, Minn., leads the Formula 500 class as the 2000 National Champion. Formula Atlantic boasts a pair of National Champions from the same Germantown, Tenn. family in David Grant (2008 FA champion) and Keith Grant (2003 GT-4 champion).
While the Formula 1000 (FB) field entry list only shows three cars, two-thirds are former National Champions. Brandon Dixon, who captured the title last year in the inaugural National season for the FB class, comes from Tuscaloosa, Ala., in his Citation F1000. Former F500 National Champion, Brian Novak, is in the FB field in his Piper F1000.
Juan Marchand, from South Haven, Mich., captured the 2009 title in Formula Mazda and is on the entry list this weekend. Jeff Loughead, from Darien, Ill., was the 2004 champion in Formula Vee at Mid-Ohio, and will be challenged by 2009 champion Michael Varacins, from Burlington, Wis., in that class.
Richard Grant, the patriarch of the Grant family, is a 1990 GT-4 National Champion and has entered Chevrolet Corvette in GT-1 this weekend. David Finch ventures into enemy territory from Ann Arbor, Mich., in a Porsche 944 for the GT-2 race.
Mark McCaughey, from Sarasota, Fla., brings his defending Showroom Stock C champion Toyota Celica to Mid-Ohio, while former Showroom Stock B champion Harry Manning competes in a 15-car Spec Miata class.
David Pintaric won the inaugural STO Runoffs race and has entered his Dodge Viper, while Mike Kramer, the 2003 SSC Champion at Mid-Ohio, returns in Touring 3 driving a Saturn ION.
Pirelli World Challenge GT winner Tony Rivera is entered in Touring 2, driving a Nissan 370Z.
Fun For The Family: Fans may attend this weekend's event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a Mid-Ohio VIP Season Pass, or as guests of the SCCA for a $10 fee. The gates open for at 7 AM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission includes a free program and a paddock pass allowing spectators into the garage areas for up close visits with the cars and drivers.
Event/Circuit: BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Great Lakes Super Tour
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
15-turn, 2.4-mile permanent road course
Qualifying: Sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2 qualifying sessions per class for Sunday's races
Races: Sunday, June 12, Six group races, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (EDT)
Race Lengths: Each group runs a 19-lap, 45.6-mile race
Timing/Scoring: Live Timing & Scoring and lap notes via the SCCA® Pit Board are available for all sessions through www.scca.com/sccalive.