Super Tour Heads West

SCCA Hoosier Racing Tire Super Tour arrives on the West Coast this weekend at Buttonwillow Raceway Park

The SCCA Hoosier Racing Tire Super Tour season is half over, but for the first time it makes its way farther west than Austin. Bouncing from the other side of the country at VIRginia International Raceway, the Super Tour is hosted this weekend by SCCA’s Cal Club Region at Buttonwillow Raceway Park for the sixth event of the season and the fourth race of six in the Western Conference U.S. Majors Tour.

Since California’s race season has been going strong since January, there are some expectations as to how things may go down this weekend, but there are some uncertainties as well. Take E Production for example. Aaron Downey’s RX-3 is a known quantity, and very fast, but Glen McCready has developed his NC MX-5 substantially since last year, and as evidenced by his recent performance at Willow Springs and Thunderhill, he’s a genuine contender. Of course, should either or both falter, there’s a host of other Mazda EP drivers ready to pounce, including RX-7 drivers John Mueller, Brandon Droese and Kale Swifts.

A large Formula Atlantic field is expected at Buttonwillow, with 14 cars entered, the vast majority of which are Mazda powered. Of those, Chris Emanuel has to be the favorite to win in his Swift 016a, especially if Brett Johnston doesn’t show up – Johnston beat Emanuel in both races at Auto Club Speedway in January driving a Pro Mazda. Formula Mazda also has a sizable field, but Mike Anderson is rarely beaten in Southern California. A pair or more of new Formula Enterprises 2 builds are on the entry list, with Thomas Burt and Jim Davenport introducing the cars, equipped with Mazda MZR engines, to the West Coast. 

Mark Drennan won both Spec Miata races at the Willow Springs Majors races last month, but Tristan Littlehale and Austin Newmark were right there with him. Buttonwillow is a very different circuit, though, and Littlehale did well at the track last year. This will undoubtedly be an exciting, unpredictable Spec Miata battle. 

A victory in GT-3 is almost a given for Michael Lewis in Mike Henderson’s RX-7, but he’ll once again be splitting his weekend between that car and his GT-1 machine since both classes race in the same group, leaving one of the days open in the class. Jose Rodriguez is bringing a ’95 RX-7 GT-3 car to the races, but he hasn’t brought it out much so we don’t know how much speed he’ll bring – this could quickly turn into a race.

Also in the almost-guaranteed category is Ross Murray in Touring 4. He and his RX-8 are undefeated so far in 2018, and he knows Buttonwillow well. Ali Naimi will be bringing his Mazda3 down from Northern California to challenge him. 

Look for a full report on the Mazda drivers at the Buttonwillow round of the Super Tour on following the event.