SCCA Racers Invade High Plains Raceway
BYERS, Colo. – Round seven of the Mid-States Conference Championship for the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour was welcomed with great weather at High Plains Raceway for the Colorado Region May Daze weekend.
Five run groups ran brief practice and qualifying sessions before starting the 20-minute sprint races in the afternoon under partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the upper 70s.
Race one for the Spec Racer Ford and Spec Miata classes featured a split start, with the faster SRFs going first.
Polesitter Denny Stripling got the jump on fellow Texan Keith Verges and never looked back. While he only led by one second through the race’s mid-point, by the finish, Stripling had pushed his No. 4 Lightspeed Motorsports entry to a 3.868-second win over Verges. Richard Stephens finished third.
Matt Reynolds went flag-to-flag for the Spec Miata win by nearly 13 seconds in his No. 74 Reynolds Brothers Racing Mazda Miata. Keith Slankard finished second, followed by Russ Lindemann.
Reynolds had little time to celebrate his Spec Miata win, as he exited that Mazda and walked to the grid to get into his E Production Mazda Miata, where he scored a second flag-to-flag win in race group two.
Reynolds led the second group in a split start. Up front, Michael Pettiford took his first of two wins on the day overall in the No. 42 GO 4 IT Racing Schools/Hoosier Tire/Hawk Chevrolet Corvette, taking a 4.205-second win over Natha Waldbaum.
Bill Hingston (No. 08 Little Bill Racing/Mazdaspeed Mazda Miata) ran away with the F Production class, as did Jerry Oleson in his H Production class Austin-Healey Sprite. Stan Czacki won Touring 4 in his No. 00 Whitehead/DGI/Schaaf Auto/BFGoodrich/HPD Acura RSX, setting a new track record in the process. Jon Goodale ran uncontested to win GT-Lite in his No. 04 Mazdaspeed/Hoosier Mazda MX-5.
Group three polesitter James Stiehr saw second-starting Rick Payne get the jump on the start to take the lead. That lead was short-lived, as Stiehr drafted past and to the point by turn four. As Stiehr slowly pulled away in his No. 5 Carpe Metam Racing/Morgan Adams Piper DF5/Honda, the battle for second place overall and in Formula F was intense.
Payne, David Loken, Reid Hazelton and Bill Kephart battled back and forth for second place for the first 10 minutes before Hazelton took the position for good in his No. 23 Colorado Pen.com Van Diemen. Hazelton turned, at that time, the fastest lap of the race on lap six, but Stiehr answered one lap later by another seven-tenths to build on the gap, which was more than nine seconds at the checkered flag. Kephart finished third in his No. 37 Vestal 10F/Honda.
In Formula 500, Jack Walbran led Tim Friest early, but broke on lap three, leaving Friest to take the win in his No. 36 Hoosier/XTRacing/RodEndSupply KBS Mk VII. Bob Neumeister led flag-to-flag to win Formula Vee in his No. 94 Hoosier Tire Vortech JM.
Robert Prilika led flag-to-flag overall in his No. 25 Porsche of Colorado Springs Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, but was moved to last in class after his car was found to be out of compliance. That promoted Jim Valdez to the victory, overall and in GT-2, in his No. 27 Valdez Motorsports BMW E46.
Every other class in the Group Four race was a flag-to-flag win for the polesitter, including James Cantrell in GT-1; Anthony Simmers in Super Touring Under; Jason Ott in his Touring 3; Jim Wheeler in American Sedan; Bob Schader in Super Touring Lite and Pettiford in his Touring 1 class Chevrolet Corvette.
The final race of the day featured the fastest cars of the weekend, including the Prototype and winged formula classes. Overall and P1 class polesitter Kirk Kindsfater looked to have the race under control until he went off with two laps to go. He rejoined and was able to just old off Christopher Ash at the finish in his No. 32 RillTech Speads RS11/Suzuki.
Jose Gerardo took the Formula 1000 win in his No. 14 General Labels & Printing LLC Stohr F1000/Suzuki after Jake Latham’s Stohr was found to be out of compliance following the race.
Other group five winners included Doug Stout in Formula Continental; Bruce Gurney in P2; Dwight Rider in Formula Atlantic; and Jon Surbeck in Formula Enterprises.