DECATUR, Texas – The SCCA Southwest Division – entitled the Sunburn Grand Prix – turned out to be ironically named this weekend at Eagles Canyon Raceway, where the SCCA Mid-States Majors Tour round four concluded on Sunday on a cool, windy north Texas afternoon following Saturday afternoon’s rains.
The day opened with the Formula F, Formula 500 and Formula Vee drivers running their Saturday 35-minute timed sprint race, which was postponed late in the previous afternoon for thunderstorms.
It was an auspicious start to the day, as the No. 07 Noble Racing Vortech Fast/VW Formula Vee of Bill Allman and the No. 8 Team Texas Racing/CF5 Racing Novacar J9 Formula 500 of Joseph Palmer came together on the opening lap, stalling both and bringing out the first full course caution of the weekend.
On the lap six restart, James Stiehr’s No. 5 Carpe Metam Racing Piper Df5 moved around the polesitting No. 42 Swift DB-1 of David Loken, jumping to the lead with a train of cars behind him. In turn 11 on the same lap, Loken tried to retake the lead under braking, but couldn’t complete the pass. He spun off course and out of contention, and Stiehr stayed in front to the finish.
David Vincent’s No. 73 Elisabeth Vincent/AJ’s Import Garage Kbs Mk7/Rotax led most of the way in Formula 500, hounded constantly by Timothy Friest. At the one to go sign, Friest was pushing hard, and coming down the hill into the fast, right handed turn four, Vincent spun. He quickly continued, but by then Friest’s No. 86 Hoosier/Rodend Supply/XT Racing Kbs Mk7/Rotax was on its way to the checkered flag.
Because of the additional race, Sunday’s feature races were rescheduled as 35-minute timed races.
Third-starting Andrew Robertson moved his No. 24 Trinity River Associates Caterham 7 around polesitting Matt Reynolds No. 71 Reynolds Brothers Racing/Jesse Prather Motorsports Mazda Miata at the start, along with Steven Coleman’s Touring 2 No. 25 RaceAwayCancer Ford Mustang. In front, Robertson ticked off lap after lap, maintaining a gap to the Saturday winner Reynolds and pulling away for an eventual 24-second win.
The B-Spec battle began with Saturday winner Joe McClughan’s No. 36 MAZDASPEED/Hoosier Tires MAZDA2 in front, but James Wilson’s No. 80 Black Armor Helmets MAZDA2 swung around McClughan and into the lead through the fast turn four on lap six. Wilson ran wide in turn 11 on the same lap, falling behind McClughan and the No. 95 Hoosier/Mazda/Carbotech MAZDA2 of Steve Taake.
McClughan stayed just in front of Taake while Wilson hustled to reel them back in, finally catching up again with under two laps to go. In the same turn 11 that cost him earlier, Wilson went late on the brakes and slid past both Taake and McClughan. He couldn’t get his Mazda to stop in the corner, however, running wide and slowing McClughan who was trying to avoid contact. That left a giant hole for Taake, who moved to the lead at the one to go board.
McClughan chased Taake back down on the final lap, crossing the stripe just in front for the win.
Jason Ott swept the weekend in Touring 3 in his No. 09 Bimmerhaus/Hoosier Racing Tire BMW Z4 Coupe, while James Rogerson redeemed his bad Saturday luck with an H Production win in the No. 66 MSR Experience/Over 50 Racing Honda Civic.