The Northern Conference wraps up its season and a host of Mazda racers earned championships
The Northern Conference of the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour wrapped up its season with the Last Chance Majors at the 2-mile Grattan Raceway Park, a few miles from Grand Rapids, Mich. When all of the points were tallied, only one Mazda driver repeated a class championship: David Bednarz, of Ann Arbor, Mich., once again claimed the F Production title in his Miata, taking three wins and three more podium finishes in eight starts. That included opening the year with a double victory at Blackhawk Farms over Miata driver Michael Sturm, who was his closest competitor in the championship.
In E Production, Ron and Rick Olsen battled all season in their RX-7s, almost always finishing one behind the other. But more often than not, it was Ron who finished in front, and that, plus making eight starts, earned him enough points to beat brother Rick by only 11. Jon Brakke scored four EP wins in his Miata, but making only six starts meant he wasn’t able to defend his championship. Having only a handful of races didn’t hurt Rob Warkocki much, however, as he brought his GT-3 RX-7 out for the final two events of the year and clinched that title.
Scott Rettich continues to be a dominant player in spec racing, claiming the Formula Enterprises title by eight points over Becker Reardon. Rettich won all but two of the eight Northern Conference races he started. Rhett Barkau wasn’t as dominant in FE2, but five wins helped him to the conference championship over Max Grau. Formula Mazda has a smaller turnout in the Northern Conference, so Steve Johncock’s four wins in four starts was enough for the championship.
Eighty-nine drivers started a Spec Miata race in the Northern Conference, but few started as many as Voytek Burdzy. Burdzy started 10, which meant he could drop two races, leaving only one non-podium finish that counted in his points – the rest were a win at GingerMan, seconds or thirds. Impressively, Burdzy cleared his next closest competitor, Tom Brown, by 40 points. Other Spec Miata race winners aside from Burdzy included Danny Bender with three, plus Kyle Greenhill, Jason Knuteseon, Tyler Brown and Michael Carter Jr. with one each.
Mazda drivers scored a rare double in the Super Touring classes. Bruce Bannister had six wins and two seconds in his Miata to claim the Super Touring Under title, and John Elder was at the top of four Miata racers heading STL – wins at GingerMan and the CAT Majors at Road America were a big part of his championship. Finally, Richard Dickey had three wins in his RX-8 at Road America to take the Touring 4 title over MX-5 racer James Ebben, who scored double wins at Blackhawk Farms and GingerMan.
One other SCCA conference just wrapped up its season – the Mid-States Conference finished up at High Plains Raceway this past weekend – and the Southern Conference will end its season this weekend at MSR Houston.
SCCA U.S. Majors Tour
Mazda Class Points Leaders
Class: Driver; Hometown; Car
GT-3: Robert Warkocki; Frankfort, Ill.; RX-7
E Production: Ron Olsen; Barrington, Ill.; RX-7
F Production: David Bednarz; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Miata
Formula Enterprises: Scott Rettich; Columbus, Ohio; Van Diemen FE Mazda
Formula Enterprises 2: Rhett Barkau; Freeport, Ill.; Van Diemen FE2 Mazda
Formula Mazda: Steve Johncock; Bellevue, Mich.; Star Formula Mazda
Spec Miata: Voytek Burdzy; Shiller Park, Ill.; Miata
Super Touring Lite: John Elder; Bloomington, Minn.; Miata
Super Touring Under: Bruce Bannister; Novi, Mich.; Miata
Touring 4: Richard Dickey; Columbus, In.; RX-8