SCCA Majors Tour Invades Watkins Glen
Mike Collins had the Touring 4 race wrapped up until the wheels fell off of his No. 75 Meathead Racing Mazda MX-5 – literally. Coming to the checkered flag, Collins lost a wheel and, naturally, slowed dramatically. His big lead evaporated as Jared Lendrum’s No. 71 North Country Subaru Subaru BRZ flew past to take the win; Collins skidded across for second.
Jonathan Stocum won B-Spec in the No. 4 Simmons-Rockwell Ford Fiesta.
The “wings and things” group was chaos from the green flag to the checkers. As the green flag flew, the D Sports Racing duo of Keegan Van Sicklen and Dennis Hanratty touched, spinning Hanratty out on the front straight and causing Van Sicklen to slow and pull off on the opening lap. Just past the start line, in turn one, the C Sports Racing machine of Jacek Mucha, the Formula Atlantic of Bruce Crockett, and the Formula Continental of Kyle Mack came together in a heap of metal. All but Mack were able to resume once untangled by the safety team.
The field went green again on lap four, but Connor Burke’s Atlantic brought out a caution again on lap five when he pulled to a stop on the front straight with a flat tire and brake rotors spread down the front straight.
Jimmy Simpson drove his No. 36 Hoosier Tire/K-Hill Swift 016/Mazda to the overall and Formula Atlantic lead shortly after the lap eight restart, and then pulled off course during lap 12 – as did then D Sports Racing leader Greg Bell’s No. 33 The Door Company/Young Racing Stohr WF-1/Suzuki.
The cars off track, along with debris from the earlier incidents, caused the race to be shortened to 13 laps. Paul Schneider, with a win in Formula Enterprises behind the wheel of the No. 73 Performance MotorCars of Charlotte/Syvel Images/Dangerous Cargo machine, clinched his class title with a fist pump as he crossed the stripe.
The Spec Racer Ford battle ended with class championship leader Cliff White’s No. 58 Thompson White Racing SRF battling Brian Schofield’s No. 61 PM Racing SRF in a match race for the win. Schofield crossed the stripe in front with two to go, but White had the inside line in Turn 1 and took the lead. White held it for the final two laps, taking a firm hold in the Championship battle.
Both White and Tray Ayres, who finished fourth in the No. 7 Ayres Racing SRF, have raced more than the eight point-counting races and are dropping their worst finishes. White clinches with a second or better on Sunday, or if Ayres fails to win; if Ayres wins, and White finishes third or worse, Ayres will win on a tiebreaker.
The final group of the day was a family affair, with Joe Aquilante winning in Touring 1 and overall and niece Amy Aquilante scoring victory in American Sedan. The senior Aquilante nabbed his win in the No. 32 Phoenix Performance/Hawk Performance/Hoosier Chevrolet Corvette, while the younger generation bragging rights came in the No. 50 Tom Aquilante Racing Pontiac Firebird.
David Brand kept his Super Touring Under championship hopes alive with a win in the No. 3 Krugspeed Racing/BGB Esqs Lotus Exige. Brand entered the weekend needing two wins to clinch the Eastern Conference title.