SCCA RunOffs Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana ©2017 Rupert Berrington

Six poles for Mazda drivers at Indy

Miatas take the front rows of E and F Production at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs

Four days of qualifying have concluded at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the SCCA National Championship Runoffs and the polesitters are determined for 28 classes of racing. Among those are six Mazda drivers, including Spec Miata fast qualifier Chris Haldeman.

“It’s actually pretty amazing,” said Haldeman. “I came in knowing I had a good car. I’ve been driving pretty good this year in general and we’ve had some pretty good results. But when you put 88 of the fastest guys in the country with the most well-prepared cars and everybody is out there with the same goals and desires, for me to be at the top of the leaderboard and maintain the fastest lap every single day of the event, it’s a little better than I anticipated.”

After the starting order of the 60 fastest Spec Miata drivers was determined with a qualifying session, 26 drivers took the green flag for a 15-minute last-chance race to determine the final 12 starting spots. Jesse Singer won the race and will start 61st for today’s National Championship race. 

Miatas took the front rows of both E and F Production. In E Production, Matt Reynolds’ fast time from Wednesday held up, even though fellow Miata racer Rick Kavitski went faster on Thursday. Eric Prill led F Prod qualifying for the first two days, but was third after a significantly faster Wednesday session. Times dropped even further on Thursday, and Prill was back on top in his 1990 Miata. Sam Henry will start alongside in his ’93 Miata.

As most expected, Elliot Finlayson claimed the pole for Formula Enterprises, edging Flinn Lazier. The Lazier family has a long history at Indianapolis; Flinn’s father Buddy won the Indianapolis 500 in 1996. His grandfather Bob and uncle Jaques – a former SCCA National Champion in Formula Vee – also competed in the 500. 

Sedat Yelkin won the pole for Formula Atlantic with his Mazda-powered Swift. Mazda powered the top five qualifiers and all but two cars in the field. 

Mazda Motorsports Entertains 800 Guests
On Wednesday night Mazda Motorsports held its annual Runoffs dinner for its racers, their families and crew. Director of Mazda Motorsport John Doonan spoke, and Mazda senior vice president Robert Davis gave a presentation on the history of Mazda. Afterward, hundreds of pieces or Mazda Motorsports merchandise was given away as door prizes.

SCCA National Championship Runoffs
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2017
Mazda Pole Winners
Formula Atlantic: Sedat Yelkin; Austintown, Ohio; Swift 016a
Formula Enterprises: Elliot Finlayson; Yorkville, Ill.; Mazda FE
Formula Mazda: Jarret Voorhies; Kissimmee, Fla.; Star Formula Mazda
E Production: Matt Reynolds; Fair Oaks; Texas, 1999 Miata
F Production: Eric Prill; Topeka, Kan.; 1990 Miata
Spec Miata: Chris Haldeman; McKinney, Texas; 1999 Miata