SCCA Racers Rock Pikes Peak
Front row starters John Longwell and Guy Ruse got a surprise, when Rick Kosdrosky’s No. 77 Caterham 7 came from fourth on the grid to take the early lead. Longwell and Ruse battled for five laps before Ruse’s No. 53 Big Choice Brewing Mazda RX-7 pulled off with a mechanical. Kosdrosky pulled out to a comfortable margin over Longwell, but as Longwell’s No. 38 LEDfoot Motorsports BMW 328is was coming on strong in the final 10 laps while Kosdrosky’s car slowed dramatically. Once out front, Longwell, of Kittredge, Colo., cruised to victory.
F Production was more contentious, with polesitter R. Inness Eisele watching the No. 08 Little Bill Racing/Mazdaspeed Mazda Miata going to the lead in Turn One at the start. For the first 20 laps, the pair was never more than a dozen car lengths apart, swapping the lead numerous times.
On lap 21, Hingston led Eisele’s No. 13 LEDfoot Motorsports BMW 318i as they encountered traffic. Going into Turn Five, they went three-wide with another car, and Hingston’s car ultimately went off on the exit. After a rough ride on the rumble strips, the car began to smoke heavily and his day was done, allowing Eisele to cruise to the win. Stan Czacki, of Truth or Consequence, N.M., won Touring 4 in his No. 00 Whitehead/DGI/BFG/Summit/HPD/Cobalt Acura RSX over three other drivers. Jonathan Goodale and Jerry Oleson scored uncontested wins.
Group Six saved the best for last, with a spirited race-long battle between polesitter Anthony Simmers’ No. 45 Volkswagen GTI and Pettiford’s No. 41 GO 4 IT Racing Schools/Hoosier Tires/Hawk Brake Volkswagen Jetta GLI for the overall and Super Touring Under win. Already a winner in Touring 2, Pettiford took the lead on the opening lap but Simmers was never far behind, taking the lead on lap five.
Simmers held the lead by the slimmest of margins for the next 16 laps before Pettiford made it by on lap 22. The pair went side-by-side through Turns One and Two the next lap, until Pettiford, of Louisville, Colo., finally was able to pull out a gap of more than a second through traffic. From there, he slowly pulled away to a 3.367-second win.
In Spec Miata, second-starting Bill Tolley got the jump early in his No. 69 Speedracers Mazda Miata, with polesitter Steven Powers, of Mesa, Ariz., in tow. Like STU, the lead changed on lap five, but in Spec Miata, it was for keeps, with Powers taking the win in his Amerifirst Financial/Miatacage.com/East Street Mazda Miata.