Futrelle Among Sebring SCCA Sweepers
SEBRING, Fla. – A foggy Florida morning cancelled final qualifying and led to an auspicious start to the final day of the BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour, but fantastic racing from six group races turned the tide and established the leaders in the Eastern Conference Majors Tour and SafeRacer SCCA National Racing Series on Sunday afternoon at Sebring Int’l Raceway.
The grids for Sunday were set based on Friday’s afternoon qualifying session, and when the fog lifted and the sun appeared, the Spec Racer Ford class cut right to the heart of the action. The No. 61 PM Racing polesitting machine of Brian Schofield, the No. 17 Meco Inc. Spec Racer of Saturday winner Franklin Futrelle, and the No. 58 Cottage Senior car of defending National Champion Cliff White turned up the heat. Joined by Tray Ayres’ No. 07 Ayres Racing Spec Racer Ford and tailed by Richie Stanley’s No. 66 PelicanWater.com entry, the five broke away from the field to sort out the podium.
White, Futrelle and Schofield all took turns at the front of the field, mixing it up in an encore performance of Saturday’s show.
With one to go, Schofield and White crossed the line in a virtual dead heat. White led in the run through the Gurney Bend but couldn’t fend off the draft of Schofield and Futrelle into Turn 7, falling to third. Schofield led Futrelle down the back stretch and into Sebring’s final corner, but Futrelle got just enough of a run to the checkered flag to inch in front for his second win of the weekend.
The final margin was so close that transponder placement in those two machines actually showed Schofield in the lead, though Futrelle was visibly in front at the stripe.
During Saturday’s races, the No. 40 Hoosier Tire/Hasselgren Engineering Swift 014a/Toyota of Keith Grant dominated the Formula Atlantic field through a host of full course cautions. Though Grant was passed near the finish after the final yellows flew, race officials corrected the final results, and awarded Grant the victory.
On Sunday, Grant left little doubt again, racing off to the overall and class win during the Group Five race to sweep the weekend’s pair of races, grab the pole, and take the Eastern Conference Majors Tour point lead in the Formula Atlantic class. Grant took an 11.838-second win over Jimmy Simpson, who finished runner-up two days in-a-row in the No. 01 RacePro Marketing Swift 008/Toyota.
Among the closed-wheel machines, Greg Ira had an impressive showing in E Production. Ira swept the weekend in the No. 2 Starbrite Startron Datsun 240Z. In that same Group Three race on Sunday, Peter Shadowen’s GT-Lite class No. 72 Road N Race Automotive/Goodyear Honda CRX Si held off the No. 71 Nissan Sentra piloted by Paul Mevoli by just 0.250-second to take the win. Mevoli chased Shadowen through the entire race, with both running in the top five overall throughout.
The busiest man of the BFGoodrich Tires Sebring Super Tour was Andrew Charbonneau. Charbonneau, of Delray Beach, Fla., ran six races over the weekend with the doubleheaders in Spec Racer Ford, Super Touring Lite, and Spec Miata.
The Spec Racer Ford races didn’t go as planned for Charbonneau, who started from the rear of the field on Saturday but still made it up to 18th place in the 54-car field. That would be his best finish of the weekend in that class, as his car experienced mechanical issues after just one lap on Sunday and ended his race prematurely.
His No. 01 Jeffy Boy Racing Mazda Miata swept the weekend in Super Touring Lite, and impressive third and fourth-place finishes, respectively, in the 52-car Spec Miata field capped the weekend’s performance.
Sunday’s SCCA U.S. Majors Tour winners at Sebring (Fla.) Int’l Raceway:
American Sedan: Jeffrey Werth, Silver Spring, Md., Chevrolet Camaro
B-Spec: Robbie Davis, Irving, Texas, Mini Cooper
C Sports Racing: Jacek Mucha, Laval, Quebec, Swift JMS 01
D Sports Racing: Jim Hallman, Kitchener, Ont., Stohr WF1/Suzuki
Formula 500: Cory McLeod, Charlotte, N.C., Red Devil F500/Rotax
Formula 1000: Glen Cooper, Roswell, Ga., RFR F1000/Suzuki
Formula Atlantic: Keith Grant, Germantown, Pa., Swift 014a/Toyota
Formula Continental: Christopher Miller, Edina, Minn., Van Diemen/Ford
Formula Enterprises: Scott Rettich, Camden, N.J., Formula Enterprises/Mazda
Formula F: Lewis Cooper III, Grosse Point, Mich., Van Diemen/Ford
Formula Mazda: Carson Weeder, Winter Haven, Fla., Star Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Steven Davis, Danielsville, Ga., Racer’s Wedge/VW
E Production: Greg Ira, Plantation, Fla., Datsun 240Z
F Production: Don Ahrens, Gainesville, Fla., Mazda Miata
H Production: Bradley Davis, Summerville, S.C., Mini Cooper
GT-1: Simon Gregg, Ponte Vedra, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette
GT-2: John Kachadurian, Chicago, Ill., Porsche GT3 Cup
GT-3: Mark Ward, Loxahatchee, Fla., Toyota Paseo
GT-Lite: Peter Shawdowen, Loxahatchee, Fla., Honda CRX Si
Spec Miata: Danny Steyn, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Franklin Futrelle, Augusta Ga., Spec Racer Ford
Sports 2000: Bart Wolf, Elkhart Lake, Wis., Carbir CS2/Ford
Super Touring Lite: Andrew Charbonneau, Delray Beach, Fla., Mazda Miata
Super Touring Under: Jim Taggart, Cary, N.C., Lotus Exige
Touring 1: Joe Aquilante, Chester Springs, Pa., Ford Mustang
Touring 2: Albert Nocerine, Forty Fort, Pa., Ford Mustang
Touring 3: Brian Kleeman, Baltimore, Md., Nissan 350Z
Touring 4: Lance Stewart, Coconut Grove, Fla., Ford Mustang