Mazda Motorsports will offer greater contingencies for Hoosier Super Tour competitors.
For the 2017 racing season, Sports Car Club of America launched the new Hoosier Super Tour program, an 11-race series that features dates within the U.S. Majors Tour. Each venue will host two Hoosier Super Tour races during a weekend.
Setting the Hoosier Super Tour events apart are features such as segmented timing and scoring, as often seen at pro events; “Super Tour Radio presented by Hoosier Racing Tire” with announcing by Bob Steele, Mike Wolfe and Gregg Ginsberg; and a heightened experience for racers and fans.
The venues chosen – including Sebring, VIRginia International Raceway, Circuit of the Americas, Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Road America and Watkins Glen – were selected for a variety of reasons. Some were chosen for their history, some because they are the top pro tracks in the country offering great amenities, and some because they represent the best of club racing tracks with a “family feel” to the paddock. Some offer a combination of several qualities.
“We look at the Super Tour as as an exciting opportunity for motorsport,” says David Cook, Mazda Motorsports business development manager. “Grassroots is the foundation for Mazda Motorsports, and SCCA is offering a series with 11 of the best tracks that should attract the best competition in the country. To try to support that effort, we are providing more contingency and more promotional support for the Super Tour series than any other program within Club Racing.”
Mazda Motorsports is also paying deeper than it has previously in all its Club Racing programs. That was based on feedback from competitors, even from champions, that it would be better to pay deeper even if it meant a bit less for a win. After each Super Tour race, Mazda will also draw a random Spec Miata competitor that otherwise did not qualify for contingency for a $100 award.
The first Hoosier Super Tour event took place at Sebring International Raceway on Jan. 14-15 and attracted around 400 entries. Double Mazda winners included: Ken Kannard of East Troy, Wis., winning F Production both days in a Miata; Carson Weeder of Winter Haven, Fla., in Formula Mazda; Bill McGavic of Arcadia, Fla., in GT-3 (RX-7); Jacek Mucha in a Mazda-powered Prototype 1; and Don Knowles of Pittsboro, N.C., taking the Touring 4 victories in an RX-8.
Saturday-only Mazda winners included Finn Lazier of Vail, Colo., winning Formula Enterprises; Danny Steyn of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in Super Touring Lite (NC MX-5); and Todd Lamb of Atlanta, Ga. in Touring 3 (ND MX-5 Cup).
The Sebring Super Tour attracted a huge field of Spec Miatas, with 76 taking the start on Saturday. Alex Bolanos grabbed the early lead, chased by Selin Rollan, Jim Drago, Danny Steyn and Todd Lamb. After the contest’s halfway point, Bolanos, Drago and Lamb managed a three-car breakaway at the front. As time ticked down, Bolanos and Drago found themselves in a side-by-side battle at points around the track. Neither driver gave an inch right through the final corners, but Drago, of Memphis, Tenn., emerged victorious in his No. 2 East Street Racing/ Hoosier Mazda Miata.
“I started fourth, but knew I had to catch Alex quick because he’d been fast all weekend,” Drago said. “His car started to go away a little bit before mine, and I got around him. But he started pressuring me again. It was a great race. I feel like I raced against four or five of the best drivers in amateur racing.”
Bolanos, of Miami, Fla., took the SM win on Sunday. Nick Leverone of Mendon, Mass., took the Super Touring Lite win on Sunday in a Miata, and Quinten Nelson was victorious in Formula Enterprises.
“The atmosphere at Sebring was very lively,” says Cook. “The excitement between the competitors, fans and families was electrifying. It was a lot of fun to be a part of it, and especially to see a lot of new competitors.”
The next Hoosier Super Tour event is March 4-5, a joint Southeast and Southern Conference event at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans.
Remaining 2017 Hoosier Super Tour schedule
- March 4-5: NOLA Motorsports Park
(Southeast Conference/Southern Conference; Southwest Division)
- March 11-12: Willow Springs International Raceway
(Western Conference; Cal Club Region)
- March 24-26: Circuit of the Americas
(Southern Conference; Lone Star Region/Southwest Division)
- April 8-9: Hallett Motor Racing Circuit
(Mid-States Conference/Southern Conference; Ark Valley Race Group)
- April 14-16: VIRginia International Raceway
(Northeast Conference/Southeast Conference; North Carolina Region)
- April 28-30: Buttonwillow Raceway Park
(Western Conference; Cal Club Region)
- May 19-21: Portland International Raceway
(Western Conference; Oregon Region)
- June 2-4: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
(Northern Conference; Ohio Valley Region)
- June 16-18: Road America – June Sprints
(Northern Conference; Chicago Region)
- June 23-25: Watkins Glen International
(Northeast Conference, Finger Lakes Region)