Nearly 250 of SCCA Club Racing's best drivers took to VIRginia International Raceway for Sunday's BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour Round Three event, part of the North Carolina Region Oak Tree National.
In all, 27 drivers took checkered flags, earning a Super Tour win and taking the first step toward winning the coveted SCCA Super Sweep award at the end of the season. Of the six race groups, several races stood out with outstanding performances.
Jason Byers, of Livonia, Mich., won the first race by 37 seconds in his Formula Atlantic K-Hill Motorsports Ralt RT-41. While the victory margin may have been substantial, the first few laps were not easy. Byers' chief protagonist in Formula Atlantic, Keith Grant, spun in Turn One and fell to the back of the 37-car field. Grant would slice through the field, turning the race's fastest lap en route to finishing second. Lawrence Loshak, of Fox Point, Wis., took the overall lead in his D Sports Racing class ETE Reman/MoonSuperCycle/Goodyear Stohr on the opening lap but spun in Turn One on the second lap. He fell to last as well, handing the overall lead to Byers, who cruised to victory.
Loshak made a furious charge through the field but admitted he likely would not have caught leader Michael Crowe had he not retired on lap 10. Nonetheless, he made it back up to the front of DSR, turning a record 1:47.339 (109.671 mph) in the process.
Jacek Mucha (Phoenix-Innotech JMS 016 cp) won C Sports Racing, his second Super Tour win of the season after taking the Texas World Speedway race in March. Brandon Dixon won in Formula 1000 in his Citation Engineering/Hoosier Tire Citation F1000. Revere Greist had a flag-to-flag run in his Waypoint Health Innovations/Arms-Up Van Diemen. Scott Rettich topped a race-long battle with Patrick Gallagher to win Formula Enterprises in his Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash entry.
Race Group Two featured a nose-to-tail battle for the overall and Touring 2 lead between polesitter Travis Washay's Krugspeed/Dalis Motorsport/PPR Ford Mustang, Don Knowles' Phoenix/Hawk/Hoosier Ford Mustang and Joe Koenig's Trim-Tex/Fall-Line Porsche 996. For the first half of the race, Washay led the three-car train, but Knowles took the point and pulled away in traffic to take the win.
Spec Miata provided one of the most thrilling races of the day, with Chip Van Vurst and Andrew von Charbonneau trading the lead several times on the final lap. In the end, Van Vurst edged ahead by 0.039-second at the stripe of the race that also saw Cliff Brown and Alex Bolanos lead. Danny Steyn finished third.
Touring 3 polesitter John Heinricy's Chevrolet Cobalt ran into mechanical problems, which opened the door for Mike Kramer to take the win in his BFGoodrich/Red Line Oil/Carbotech Saturn ION Red Line.
FE winner Rettich played a major role in the Spec Racer Ford Group Three race, but it was defending National Champion Brian Schofield who edged him out for the win in his PM Racing Spec Racer Ford. Polesitter and early leader Richard Spicer recovered from an incident in which his car shut off, dropping him to ninth, to finish third, just one second behind Schofield.
Race Group Four featured small formula cars and the expected battle in Formula Vee did not disappoint. Ed Womer (Goodyear/Autowerks/Womer Racing Womer EV3), Stevan Davis (Goodyear/Butler Engines/Valvoline Racer's Wedge SB-1) and Daniel Oseth (Vortech) traded the lead throughout, with Womer emerging victorious over Davis by 0.069-second.
Darryl Wills (Hillenberg Motorsports Star Mazda) won the Formula Mazda portion and overall in Group Four. William Valet (Loynings Engines Swift DB-7) emerged victorious in Formula F after a great battle with Lewis Cooper III, the pair trading the lead several times before Cooper spun in the final corner with a couple laps remaining.
In Group 5, defending Touring 2 National Champion Marty Grand changed to STU with his AMS Performance/TRE/Hoosier/Carbotech Mitsubishi Evo IX but had the same result as last year's Runoffs, with an overall win. It wasn't easy, though, as he battled Joel Weinberger's Continental Audi of Naperville Audi A4 the entire way. It was a three-way battle before John De Barros' All Out Auto USA/Hoosier MAZDA6 retired with damage after seven laps. De Barros' problem brought out a full course caution, but only for one lap.
On the restart, early overall leader Greg Ira gave way to the STU lead pair in his E Production First Coast Auto Sales Datsun 240Z, but still cruised to the EP victory, finishing third overall. David Bryson took the F Production win in his Roadster AutoSport/RaceSports/Goodyear Mazda Miata, passing early leader Don Kraftson after the restart. Bobby Lentz won GT-Lite in his FGR/Auto Expectations/Goodyear Nissan Sentra SER. Ron Bartell won H Production in his Hoosier Tire MG Midget. Michael Scornavacchi came out on top of Showroom Stock B in is Hoosier/Carbotech/Angry Sheep BMW Z4 after a battle with Tim Myers' Ford Mustang. Mark McCaughey won SSC in his Hoosier Tire/McCaughey Racing Toyota Celica GTS.
Simon Gregg drove his GT-1 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette to a flag-to-flag win in the final race of the weekend. Unlike Saturday's race, in which Gregg cruised to victory, Gregg had to fend off the Alegra Motorsports/Vitalz Jaguar XKR of Carlos de Quesada, who dogged Gregg for much of the race before falling back in traffic at the finish.
Jim Goughary battled Tom Patton in GT-2 before taking control of the class lead and the win in his Nissan 350Z. Similarly, Jeff Dernehl battled Chad Bacon in GT-3 early before taking control and the win in his Roswell Outback Auto/RRE/Hoosier Tire Mazda RX-7.
The American Sedan race had several different leaders, including polesitter John Heinricy and Jeff Werth, but it was the Auto Re-Nu-It Auto Body/Hoosier Tire Ford Mustang of Michael Lavigne that took the victory over the similar machine of Tom Ellis.
Jerry Onks (Wilwood Brakes/VetteSport/Hoosier Chevrolet Corvette) and Andrew Aquilante (Phoenix/Hoosier/Hawk Chevrolet Corvette) dominated Super Touring O and Touring 1, respectively.
The BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour next travels across the country to Buttonwillow Raceway, in Buttonwillow, Calif., April 30-May 1.
Image: Lawrence Loshak en route to the D Sports Racing win and a new track record. F&S Enterprises image.
ALTON, Va. - Winners, by class, from Sunday's BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour race, part of the SafeRacer National Racing Series, from VIRginia International Raceway, with class, driver name, hometown and car. All races were 14 laps, 45.78 miles in length.
American Sedan, Michael Lavigne, Hooksett, N.H., Ford Mustang
C Sports Racing, Jacek Mucha, Laval, Quebec, JMS 016 cp
D Sports Racing, Lawrence Loshak, Fox Point, Wis., Stohr WF1
E Production, Greg Ira, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Datsun 240Z
F Production, David Bryson, Clemmons, N.C., Mazda Miata
Formula 1000, Brandon Dixon, Tuscaloosa, Ala., Citation F1000
Formula 500, Michael Brent, Bethel, Conn., Invader QC-1
Formula Atlantic, Jason Byers, Livonia, Mich., Ralt RT-41
Formula Continental, Revere Greist, Madison, Wis., Van Diemen DP07
Formula Enterprises, Scott Rettich, Camden, Ohio, Formula Enterprises
Formula F, William Valet, Holbrook, N.Y., Swift DB-7
Formula Mazda, Darryl Wills, Deer Park, Texas, Star Formula Mazda
Formula Vee, Ed Womer, Suitland, Md., Womer EV3
GT-1, Simon Gregg, Pointe Verda, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette
GT-2, Jim Goughary, Houston, Texas, Nissan 350Z
GT-3, Jeff Dernehl, Roswell, Ga., Mazda RX-7
GT-Lite, Bobby Lentz, Chantilly, Va., Nissan Sentra SE-R
H Production, Ron Bartell, Madbury, N.H., MG Midget
Showroom Stock B, Michael Scornavacchi, Manheim, Pa., BMW Z4
Showroom Stock C, Mark McCaughey, Sarasota, Fla., Toyota Celica GTS
Spec Miata, Chip Van Vurst, Pompano Beach, Fla., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford, Brian Schofield, Lakeland, Fla., SCCA Spec Racer Ford
Super Touring O, Jerry Onks, Murfreesboro, Tenn., Chevrolet Corvette
Super Touring U, Marty Grand, Manassas Park, VA, Mistubishi Evo IX
Touring 1, Andrew Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 2, Don Knowles, Pittsboro, N.C., Ford Mustang
Touring 3, Mike Kramer, Lewisburg, Tenn., Saturn ION Red Line