SCCA Northern Tour Wraps Busy Weekend

Matt Brannon grabbed a victory in the H Production class during Sunday's SCCA Northern Conference Majors tour event at Michigan Int'l Speedway. (Red Line Photo)
Matt Brannon grabbed a victory in the H Production class during Sunday’s SCCA Northern Conference Majors tour event at Michigan Int’l Speedway. (Red Line Photo)

BROOKLYN, Mich. – The SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour capped their Memorial Day weekend opener on Sunday on the road course at Michigan Int’l Speedway, crowning winners in 24 Runoffs eligible classes.

Grids for Sundays races were set based on short qualifying races held first thing in the morning, adding additional quality track time to the weekend. Those races didn’t award Conference points, but dramatically improved the qualifying stock of a handful of racers.

Ralph Provitz opened the feature races with an overall win in his D Sports Racing No. 08 V2 Motorsports S08, but the drive of the day came from Brian Novak. Novak put himself in a tough position with an early race spin while battling eventual Formula 1000 winner Jeremy Hill’s No. 00 Hoosier Tire Photon VD07, falling all the way to the end of the field. Novak put his head down, picking off one car at a time in the No. 72 Hoosier Tire/AiM Data Nova Piper F1000, to crawl back to third overall and second in class behind Hill.

The Spec Miata field again featured a barnburner of a race, with David Bednarz’s No. 68 Dynomax Exhaust Mazda Miata, Bruce Andersen’s No. 77 Senson Racing Group/Autotechnik Racing Mazda, and Michael Novak’s No. 9 Roush Caldwell Racing Prep Miata pulling away from the field at the start.

Just as mechanical issues sent Andersen to the paddock on lap five, Kyle Webb’s No. 99 Kiss My Grass Racing/East Street Racing Miata joined the lead battle, and the three resumed their battle. A mistake by Novak allowed Bednarz to pull out a nearly two second lead, but the draft and hard driving brought the back pair up to his bumper in just a handful of laps.

Bednarz and Novak swapped the lead, with Novak appearing to hold the advantage through the infield, and Bednarz the quickest around the banking. Webb, trying to keep pace, spun on lap 18 and continued, staying in third.

The straight-line speed served Bednarz well, as he entered the final lap in the lead and held it through the finish, sweeping the weekend in Spec Miata.

Polesitter Adam Gottlieb’s No. 7 Spec Racer stayed in front of the field and paired off with Scott Rettich’s No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash Spec Racer Ford. Working together, the two broke away from the field to decide the race finish.

For four laps, Rettich hounded Gottlieb’s mirrors until, on Lap 15, Gottlieb spun trying to stay in front as the pair went through turn two.

Gottlieb recovered and didn’t quit, even though he was chasing a former National Champion that now had a few second lead. Picking away at the gap, Gottleib had closed to 1.2-seconds behind Rettich. Still hustling, Gottleib closed to Rettich’s gearbox on the banking but couldn’t get past.