Eight Mazda drivers among those who garnered the most points in Southeast Conference SCCA U.S. Majors races
The Southeast Conference of the 2017 SCCA Majors Championship has wrapped following its last event at Roebling Road Raceway, with eight Mazda drivers earning conference titles – and that includes a spectacularly close Spec Miata battle.
Alex Bolanos and Sellin Rollin actually tied in the Spec Miata points, with 170 each. Each driver also had three wins, meaning the tiebreaker went down to the number of second-place finishes. Bolanos had three to Rollin’s two. The two drivers met head-to-head on six occasions, with Bolanos finishing higher in four races, two rounds each at Homestead and Sebring. Rollin had the edge at the conference finale at Roebling Road, where he finished first and third.
Formula Enterprise was another close battle. Quinten Nelson and Paul Schneider each had victories against the other during the season, but Nelson ended up with one more win and three more points to edge out Schneider, 173 to 170 points. Justin Gordon was 11 points back of Schneider in third. Shane Doles took the Formula Mazda title over Curt Dowis. Carson Weeder won all the Florida rounds, but only competed in two Majors weekends.
Bill McGavic swept the first three Majors weekends to top the GT3 points ahead of two other RX-7 drivers. Jeff Dernehl nearly did the same in the second half, but one bad race with no points left him 25 points shy of McGavic and just a few ahead of Richard Smith. Michael Kamalian won every GTL race he entered in his potent Miata to take that title.
Mazda power was the rule at the top end of the Prototype 1 points, but Jacek Mucha proved almost unbeatable in his Mazda-powered JMS 016 CP. He was joined by Alastair McEwan and Jim Downing at the top of the Prototype 1 points, McEwan in an Elan DP-02 and Downing in his Peach Mazda Day-02.
The top five in Super Touring Lite were all Miatas or MX-5s. Nick Leverone was first or second in every race he entered in his 2000 Miata. On two different weekends, Leverone traded victories with Danny Steyn, but Steyn had some tough luck toward the end of the season. Mike Van Steenburg finished third in the points after taking back-to-back victories at Roebling Road in his Miata. And except for the final weekend, Don Knowles swept his Touring 4 races to take the Southeast Conference title in his RX-8.
SCCA Majors Tour
Southeast Conference Champions
GT3: Bill McGavic, 1995 RX-7
GTL: Michael Kamalian, 1994 Miata
Formula Enterprise: Quinten Nelson
Formula Mazda: Shane Doles
Prototype 1: Jacek Mucha, JMS 016 CP Mazda
Spec Miata: Alex Bolanos
Super Touring Lite: Nick Leverone, 2000 Miata
Touring 4: Don Knowles, 2005 RX-8