The BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour crowned winners on Sunday at High Plains Raceway in 23 Sports Car Club of America Club Racing classes, part of the Colorado Region Freedom Sprints double nationals.
A number of races stood out this weekend, highlighted by the Group 3 race featuring Spec Miata. While the final margin of victory stood at 3.018 seconds for Mark Franklin in the No. 25 Rocky Mountain Petrophysics Mazda Miata, the race itself was much closer.
The start of the race featured a three-car battle between Franklin, Tyler Vance in the No. 85 TMG Mazda Miata, and Tyler Dahl's No. 70 Miatacage.com Miata. At the midway point of the 18-lap race, Dahl and Franklin ran side-by-side into Turn 4, and after contact, Dahl ran off course and spun in Turn 5. Dahl needed a push start to get re-fired and fell to the back of the pack.
Franklin and Vance continued to battle, with the 16-year-old Vance taking the lead on lap 12 and leading until Franklin moved back to the point with two to go. Heading to the start of the final lap, Vance made one hard charge and ran off track, falling back to the final margin.
Two more big highlights came in Group Four, featuring D Sports Racing, C Sports Racing, Sports 2000, Formula Mazda, Formula Enterprises, Formula Continental, and Formula 1000.
Sports 2000 was a battle between two-time National Champion Mark Mercer and Ted Guenther, who won the BFGoodrich Tires SoPac Super Tour at Buttonwillow and towed from his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., to compete.
Mercer's No. 34 Ferenco Lola 90/91 started from the pole but couldn't get away from Guenther's No. 12 Swift DB-5. Guenther kept the local favorite in his sites through the race, and then closed up the gap on the final lap. Despite the effort, Mercer kept in front for the Super Tour win in Sports 2000.
Group 4 was dominated all weekend by Steve Ott in the No. 8 Rilltec/Hoosier Speads DSR. The new Alain Clarinval-designed car was the quickest ever at High Plains Raceway during Saturday's first National race with a lap of 1:39.367 at the 2.50-mile circuit. Ott's lap broke the previous record held by Ken Petrie in a March IndyCar. Ott went on to win Sunday's Super Tour race, but couldn't lower the lap record in the 100 degree heat.
Also taking wins in Group 4 were Robert Adams in the No. 13 Radical PR6 in C Sports Racing, Russ Lindermann in the No. 16 Rocky Mountain Tire & Auto Formula Mazda, Tyler Hunter in No. 22 Formula Enterprises Mazda, John Brumder in the No. 60 Van Diemen Formula Continental, and Formula 1000's Christopher Ash in the No. 67 Scanworks Medical/Rilltech Speads RM 11 A.
Hunter set a new track record in Formula Enterprises with a lap of 1:48.146.
Group 1 started the day with smaller bore open-wheel cars, including Formula F, Formula Vee, Formula 500 and Spec Racer Ford. James Stiehr grabbed the FF win in the No. 70 Sholar Architecture Swift DB-6 after a race-long battle with Doug Stout's No. 11 DS Masonry Swift DB-1. Bob Neumeister earned the Formula Vee win in the No. 94 Hoosier Tire Vortech Formula V, while Cliff White snagged the SRF win in the No. 58 Spec Racer Ford. CJ McAbee earned his third BFGoodrich Super Tour win of 2011 in Formula 500.
Stiehr's lap of 1:52.422 and McAbee's lap of 1:54.992 both established track records in their respective classes.
Guy Ruse grabbed the overall win in Group 2 and in E Production, driving the No. 53 Pearl Auto Body Mazda RX-7. Kent Prather swept the weekend in GT-Lite behind the wheel of the No. 2 Prather Racing Mazda Miata after battling Jon Goodale's No. 04 MAZDASPEED Mazda MX-5 both days. Bob Bramlage took the F Production title in the No. 83 Sparkwraps Mazda Miata, with Jerry Oleson driving to an H Production win in the No. 81 Austin Sprite.
Also in Group 2, Logan Kirk drove the No. 28 MAZDASPEED Mazda Miata to a Showroom Stock B win, while James Place did the same in Showroom Stock C piloting the No. 39 Place Rentals Acura GRS. Kyle Watkins took the American Sedan win in the No. 08 Ford Mustang.
The final race of the weekend was a BMW show, with Scott Bove earning the Group 5 overall and Super Touring Over win by 2.481 seconds, placing his No. 22 Team Tech Racing BMW M3 just ahead of Dan Goodman's No. 56 BimmerHaus/SPC BMW M3. Jim Valdez earned the GT-3 win in the No. 27 Valdez Motorsports BMW E46 and ran third overall, while Jason Ott's No. 62 BimmerHaus/Hoosier Tire BMW Z4 Coupe finished fourth overall and topped the Touring 2 class.
Michael Pettiford broke the mold with a Super Touring Under title behind the wheel of the No. 41 GO 4 IT Racing Schools/Hawk Brakes Pontiac Solstice, while James Leithauser added to BMW's win total in Touring 3 Hoosier Tire/BimmerHaus BMW Z4 Coupe.
The BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour featured six races in six SCCA divisions throughout the year, completing the circuit at High Plains Raceway.
More information on the SCCA and the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour is available at www.scca.com.