MILLVILLE, N.J. – Round Nine of the SCCA Eastern Conference Majors Racing again showed the season-long intensity that the events have become known for, with tight racing throughout the field in the seven 20-lap races held on Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
The opening race of the day was a wild affair amongst both the Formula 500 and the Formula Vee leaders. While Ross Devoe was running away for the Formula F win and overall win in his No. 14 RED Racing Van Diemen FF, the battles were brewing behind him.
Jay Beckley led early in Formula 500 over Tom Shaughnessy but Shaugnessy’s No 17 QRE/Hoosier/Social Security Invader QC1/Rotax moved into the lead on lap 16. Beckley didn’t give up the fight in his No. 62 Scuderia Frenzinta Ra Invader QC-1/Rotax, however, running nose to tail to the start of lap 19. Trying to split a Formula F car as all three worked through the turn, Beckley moved to the front on the inside briefly but the slowed momentum let Shaughnessy back around.
The two were very close together on the 20th and final lap of the race as they battled through Turn Five when both spun, each saying later that no contact occurred. Shaughnessy continued first after the synchronized spins, but slowed on the front straight and Beckley moved into the lead and took the checkered flag with just a couple of hundred feet to go.
In traditional Formula Vee fashion, the Eastern Conference point leader Steven Davis and Richard Shields swapped the lead numerous times.
Though Davis’s No. 80 Hoosier/Butler Engines/Roxannes Head Racer’s Wedge SB-1/VW led early, Shields took the lead going into Turn One on lap 10. The lead swapped again on Lap 13, 16, 17, 18 and finally on the final lap for good, as Davis led for the final time on his way to victory.
Andrew Aquilante beat his father Joe Aquilante to the finish line for the overall and Touring One win in Group Two on Saturday. The younger Aquilante drove his No. 35 Phoenix/Hawk/Hoosier Ford Mustang 302 Boss to a comfortable victory, opening up the lead on the first lap and getting away each lap.
Behind the overall leaders, however, was a battle in Touring 2. David Sanders moved his No. 73 Phoenix Performance Chevrolet Corvette around Kurt Rezzetano’s No. 36 Phoenix Performance Ford Mustang on lucky lap 13. Chasing hard, Rezzetano ran off-course through turn five on the next lap, and Sanders snuck away for the class win.