SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. – The SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour started its penultimate weekend on Saturday, running six group races for points under the Western Michigan sun at GingerMan Raceway.
Each group qualified on Saturday morning in the traditional time trial format, then held 21-lap races for Majors points.
Opening the day was the Spec Racer Ford, where Adam Gottlieb’s No. 7 Flat Black Racing machine drove away from the field for a 10.296-second win over Jeff Beck’s No. 31 Lindell/Ryan Spec Racer Ford.
The battle in the race was for the final podium position, where Rick Bartuska hunted down and drove past two competitors to take third in his No. 15 M/K Industries ride. Bartuska moved to fifth when the No. 6 Oakbrook Investments machine of Paul Jankovskis pulled off on lap four, then joined a battle between Mark Greb and Steve Kohli on lap six.
Bartuska tried to drive under the No. 71 Plaza Auto Auction Spec Racer of Greb in turn two on lap seven and lost momentum when it didn’t work, but one lap later completed the exact same pass and set to closing on Kohli’s No. 52 machine. Bartuska moved into the final podium position on lap 15, and then held on to the checkered flag.
Tom Sloe splendidly drove his No. 97 Hutter Racing Eng/Hoosier/Russell Auto Center Chevrolet Corvette through the field for the overall and Touring 2 win by 21.524 seconds in the day’s second group, just before the lunch break.
Just as impressively, Voytek Burdzy piloted the No. 41 Advanced Autosports Mazda Miata away from the Spec Miata field to take a 6.345-second win in the spec class.
In the Production group, Lance Loughman made quick work of the finishers in his No. 20 5:01 Motorsports Datsun 240Z to the overall and E Production win, unchallenged at the checkers. Chris Crisenbury survived the H Production battle to take victory in his No. 05 Rascal Racing Triumph Spitfire. Crisenbury trailed John Salisbury’s No. 34 Austin Healy Sprite early until Salisbury encountered trouble, and then held off Aaron Johnson’s No. 8 ReK Racing Triumph Spitfire until he pulled off course on lap nine. From there, the path to the finish was all Crisenbury’s.
The small formula cars also had a breakaway overall leader. Brian Brothers crept away from the pole position in the No. 60 T & R Fabricating TR1 Stinger/Rotax , slowly and steadily building a gap over James Weida’s No. 22 Weida Apartments/Formula X-1 Scorpion W1/Rotax for a 17.619 second lead.