Southeast Conference Halfway Report

With eight races down, SCCA’s Southeast Conference U.S. Majors Tour is past the midpoint of its season and points battles are heating up

SCCA’s Southeast Conference comes fast out of the gate each year, this year starting with a pair of races at Homestead and Sebring on consecutive weekends in January. With the NOLA Hoosier Super Tour (a joint event with SCCA’s Southern Conference) and the March Atlanta Majors at Road Atlanta, the Southeast Conference U.S. Majors Tour season is halfway over, and in some cases the fight for a conference title is becoming clear.

In Formula Enterprises, Paul Schneider has several wins under his belt, but some of those have been outside of the conference. Todd Vanacore, however, has run every Southeast Majors event and holds a notable points lead. Schneider has beaten Vanacore each time they’ve met this season, so if Schneider gets some more Southeast races in, he’ll assume the points lead.

Miata racer Mark Weber of St. Louis regularly heads south to get a jump on the racing season. As a result, he’s leading the F Production points with victories at Homestead and NOLA. However, his time in the Southeast and in F Production are over for the Majors season.

“I certainly got a good start,” Weber says. “But I’m switching to E Production for the next three [racing] weekends. I’m going to do Hallett, Heartland Park and Iowa. Winning the [Southeast] points battle would be a bonus, but I’m not going to change my whole schedule to do it.”

It doesn’t get much more competitive than Spec Miata in the Southeast. There are some big names and big personalities in the class, but Michael Carter has been quietly going about his business and getting the job done. He has four victories, one at each stop on the Majors Tour so far. Defending SCCA national champion Preston Pardus isn’t far behind, but both drivers have already accrued eight races. It will be easier for Pardus to improve his position from this point than it will be for Carter.

Jacek Mucha’s Mazda-powered, prototype-bodied Formula Atlantic is ridiculously quick, and he’s used it to good effect this season. Like Carter, he has a win at every venue, plus a double at Road Atlanta. He leads the Prototype 1 points 146-131 over Alastair McEwan.

The next event in the Southeast is a biggie – the Hoosier Racing Tire Super Tour at VIRginia International Raceway on April 13-15. That race not only attracts a huge contingent from the Southeast, but, as a joint event, it’s also the first race of the year for the Northeast Conference. Keep an eye on for a report from VIR.

Southeast Conference Mazda Points Leaders
After eight events
E Production: Don Tucker; Memphis, Tenn.; Mazda Miata
F Production: Mark Weber; St. Louis, Mo.; Mazda Miata (3 wins)
Formula Enterprises: Todd Vanacore; Ormond Beach, Fla.; Mazda Van Diemen FE (2 wins)
Formula Mazda (tie): Aaron Weiss; Delray Beach, Fl.; Star Formula Mazda (2 wins)
Formula Mazda (tie): Bryce Cornet; Norman, Okla.; Star Formula Mazda (2 wins)
GT-3: Jeff Dernehl; Roswell, Ga.; RX-7 (6 wins)
Prototype 1: Jacek Mucha; Highland Beach, Fla.; jms016cp Mazda (5 wins)
Spec Miata: Michael Carter; Savannah, Ga.; Miata (4 wins)
Touring 4: Gresham Wagner; Williamsburg, Va.; MX-5 (3 wins)