Sweeps In Fontana

In the first SCCA Majors tour race on the West Coast, a Cal Club event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., seven Mazda racers swept the weekend in their respective classes. The Majors events include a 30-minute race on Saturday, and a 17-lap (or 40 minute) race on Sunday.

A drafting contest in Spec Miata influenced the race winner on Saturday. Clement Lee and Elliott Skeer got in front of the field and ran nose to tail for most of the race, swapping the lead on occasion but pairing up in front of the 33-car field.

At the one-to-go board, Lee’s No. 33 RM Autosports Spec Miata crossed the stripe in front with Skeer’s No. 77 Rush Motorsports Miata on his bumper. Skeer used the tow through NASCAR Turns 1 and 2 to take the lead under braking as the pair dove through the left-right complex into the infield. Skeer held on through the long back straight and led the duo onto the banking and the run to the checkered flag.

The pair made light side-to-side contact on at least two occasions as Lee’s red Miata moved to the outside of Skeer’s bright yellow car. Lee pulled slightly ahead just before the line, winning by a nose and 0.035s.

On Sunday, Lee and Mark Drennan’s No. 10 NoWifeNoKids/Hooverspeed/Riverbed Mazda Miata steadily and systematically worked away from a lead pack that was as high as nine cars at one point during the race. Each led throughout, with Lee moving into the lead on the banking as the final lap began. Drennan looked for an opportunity to reclaim the lead, but Lee had enough of a gap as he entered the banking to stay in front at the checkers.

The battle for third was as large as seven cars with just two laps to go. Ken Sutherland claimed the final podium spot in the No. 94 MiataCage.com/Wyatt Fire Protection Miata, followed by Mark Lange’s No. 14 Parallel Technology/RM Autosports Miata and Brian Ghidinelli’s No. 12 RaceHero.io/MotorsportReg.com/TFB Miata.

In GT-3, Mike Henderson’s No. 21 Mazda/Red Line Oil/Goodyear Mazda RX-7 led early on, but faced a stiff challenge from Wolfgang Maike’s Toyota Paseo. Maike shadowed Henderson, and on lap 12 tried to take advantage and move to the lead down the backstraight. Maike spun in the transition from the right to the left-hander, which Henderson just avoided, and Henderson was able to continue to the checkered flag unabated. Maike recovered to finish second. Henderson repeated on Sunday.

Josh Carroll rode away with the E Production wins in the No. 17 Endsight Mazda RX-7, leading flag to flag.

Bob Schader drove his No. 5 Hoosier Tire/MiataCage.com Mazda Miata to a 10.870-second win in Super Touring Lite on Sunday to complete a flag-to-flag weekend sweep in the class. Derrick Ambrose was a two-time B-Spec winner to open the season, grabbing trophies in the No. 71 CorkSport Mazda Performance/Monarch Inspections/BFGoodrich Tires MAZDA2.

The Western Conference Majors Tour returns to action for rounds three and four at Inde Motorsports Ranch in Wilcox, Ariz., on Feb. 22-23. The next U.S. Majors Tour action is the Mid-States opener at NOLA Motorsports Park on Feb. 7-9, for the BFGoodrich Tires NOLA Super Tour.

SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour
Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.
Jan. 18-19, 2014

Round 1 Winners

Class Driver Hometown Car
B-Spec Derrick Ambrose Vancouver Wash. MAZDA2
Formula Mazda Dutch Schultz San Clemente Calif. Formula Mazda
E Production Josh Carroll Danville Calif. Mazda RX-7
F Production Jesse Heitman Portland Ore. Mazda Miata
GT-3 Mike Henderson Alpine Calif. Mazda RX-7
Spec Miata Clement Lee San Diego Calif. Mazda Miata
Super Touring Lite Bob Schader Longmont Calif. Mazda Miata

Round 2 Winners

Class Driver Hometown Car
B-Spec Derrick Ambrose Vancouver Wash. MAZDA2
Formula Mazda Dutch Schultz San Clemente Calif. Formula Mazda
E Production Josh Carroll Danville Calif. Mazda RX-7
F Production Jesse Heitman Portland Ore. Mazda Miata
GT-3 Mike Henderson Alpine Calif. Mazda RX-7
Spec Miata Clement Lee San Diego Calif. Mazda Miata
Super Touring Lite Bob Schader Longmont Calif. Mazda Miata