Northern Conference Majors Takes the Green

Sunshine and rain mess with racers at Blackhawk Farms as the Northern Conference Majors Tour begins its season in Illinois.

On a weekend where the  Southeast Conference was crowing its champions, the Northern Conference season was just starting at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in Illinois. Not starting until May ensures no snow, and in this case picture-perfect sunshine set the stage for the SCCA Majors Tour Northern Conference opener. Each of the Runoffs-eligible classes ran 20 minute races for championship points. Unfortunately that weather didn’t hold through the feature races on Sunday, and some classes had to turn to their wet setups after qualifying in the dry.

In Spec Miata, Touring 4 National Champion Dan Bender led early. Justin Hille gave chase with Michael Novak just behind. On lap three, Hille and Bender went two wide into Turn 7, where Bender ran off the track. Hille slid into first in his No. 46 Hilltrux/Roush Miata and was pushed by Novak to the finish.

On Sunday, things became very interesting in Group 4, with sprinkles while the Production classed cars were on the grid. Some chose to put on rain tires and others remained on the slicks, and the skies opened up at the midway point of the race. The downpour was so sudden and hard that officials elected to checker the race on lap 17 for safety. When they did, Jon Brakke was at the front of the E Production field to become the only double Mazda winner for the weekend.

The Northern Conference returns to action May 29-31 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in a joint event with the Northeast Conference.

SCCA Northern Conference Majors Tour
Blackhawk Farms Raceway
South Beloit, Ill., May 1-3, 2015

Saturday Mazda Winners

Class Driver Hometown Car
E Production John Brakke Fargo, N.D. Mazda Miata
GT-Lite Jim Dentici Oconomowoc, Wis. Mazda RX-7
Spec Miata Justin Hille Canfield, Ohio Mazda Miata
Super Touring Lite Rich Walke Hawthorne Woods, Ill. Mazda RX-7
Touring 4 Daniel Bender Northbrook, Ill. Mazda MX-5

Sunday Mazda Winners

Class Driver Hometown Car
E Production John Brakke Fargo, N.D. Mazda Miata
F Production Michael Stern Grafton, Wis. Mazda Miata
Spec Miata Kyle Webb Centerville, Ohio Mazda Miata
Super Touring Lite Brenton Williams Clinton, Iowa Mazda RX-7
Touring 4 Voytek Burdzy Shiller Park Ill. Mazda Miata