Steyn Weathers Storm To Win SM at June Sprints

Seven Mazda racers claim wins at Chicago Region annual tradition at Road America.

The 2016 WeatherTech Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints at Road America is an annual summer tradition in SCCA Majors competition. Apparently, those in charge of the Wisconsin weather didn’t get the “summer” message.

Cool temperatures and a mixture of fog, mist and rain – more reminiscent of the coast of Northern California than the coast of Lake Michigan – added to the strategy for the two races run on Saturday.

The rain was falling just before the Spec Miata race, and tire selection was immediately evident. The front row of Danny Steyn’s No. 39 ADEPT Studios/Rossini/OPM Mazda Miata, and Todd Lamb’s No. 84 Atlanta Speedwerks/East Street/AIM Mazda Miata chose rain tires, while Jim Drago’s No. 2 East Street Racing Miata and Craig Berry’s No. 29 Berry Marble and Granite/East Street Racing Miata were shod with the dry weather Hoosiers. The first time by the stripe, Steyn and Lamb were 10 seconds up on the field, and Drago had fallen to 12th place.

Clear of the field, Steyn and Lamb swapped the lead on several occasions, with Steyn leading at the white flag. Despite looking hard for an opening, Lamb couldn’t get around Steyn, who won by just 0.691sec.

The conditions were a bit different for Formula Mazda. Seventeen-year old Joseph Burton-Harris, a native Australian now living in the States, went out on slicks in the No. 132 GMG Mobility/Sydney Sports Formula Mazda and absolutely pummeled the field, finishing 1:47.669 ahead of second place in class.

On Sunday, Jim Ebben took advantage of contact between Toby Grahovec and Voytek Burdzy to move into the Touring 4 lead, and held on in the No. 1 Mazda/Hoosier/Hawk Mazda MX-5 to complete an Ebben family sweep just down the road from their Appleton, Wis., home. His brother Cliff won the GT1 race.

Unlike in most Majors events which feature two races over the weekend, each June Sprints race counted as two races for points and finishes in the Northern Conference Majors Tour championship race, so several Mazda racers were quite happy to leave with double points, includingKen Kannard (Miata) in F Production; Dudley Fleck (Swift 016/Mazda) in Formula Atlantic; Rob Warkocki (RX-7) in GT-3; and Brenton Williams (RX-7) in Super Touring Lite.

Northern Conference SCCA Majors Tour
WeatherTech Chicago Region June Sprints
Road America
Elkhart Lake, Wis., June 12-14, 2015

Mazda Winners

Class Driver Hometown Car
Formula Mazda Joseph Burton-Harris Sydney, Australia Formula Mazda
Spec Miata Danny Steyn Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Mazda Miata
F Production Ken Kannard East Troy, Wis. Mazda Miata
Formula Atlantic Dudley Fleck Cedar Rapids, Iowa Swift 016/Mazda
GT-3 Rob Warkocki Frankfort, Ill. Mazda RX-7
Super Touring Lite Brenton Williams Clinton, Iowa Mazda RX-7
Touring 4 James Ebben Appleton, Wis. Mazda MX-5v