The Southern Conference is the last to wrap up its SCCA U.S. Majors Tour season, with multiple Mazda champions being crowned
The final conference to wrap up its SCCA U.S. Majors Tour season, the Southern Conference (which encompasses Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana) completed the year with a triple event at Motor Sports Resort Houston. With the points tallied, seven Mazda drivers earned championships in the conference.
Spec Miata racer Chris Haldeman got his three events out of the way early, hitting the first three Majors weekends of the year in the Southern Conference. He swept two of those weekends, at COTA and Hallett, then sat back and waited. Several drivers got close, but none could catch Haldeman’s four wins and a second. Nils Musaeus tried to do it on volume, competing at every Majors event in the conference. Tyler Quance made 12 starts but ended up third despite a win and two second-place finishes in the final triple Majors weekend at MSR Houston. Justin Crickenberger and Joseph Boyd rounded out the top five, each scoring at least one win during the year.
Quance double-dipped and was in the thick of the battle in Super Touring Lite, where the top cars were all some form of MX-5. In the end, it was a close fight between Quance’s 2006 MX-5 and James Goughary and his ’94 Miata. Goughary had his best outings at MSR Houston, scoring a win and then five straight second-place finishes in the two triple Majors weekends to squeak by with the conference championship. In the end, he had a five-point gap over Quance, who swept the second triple weekend.
L. Huston also swept a triple weekend at MSR and was the only Touring 4 driver to complete six races or more in his MX-5. That gave him the conference title by a wide margin. The same was true in GT-Lite, where Larry Svaton drove his MX-5 to seven unchallenged wins, plus a couple of seconds to claim the title.
Bryce Cornet won the first six Majors races of the season in Formula Mazda, but Travis Reneger entered every event and took the title by two points. Karl Markey also had eight races to score points with, finishing third, five points behind Cornet. Jarret Voorhies had four wins and a pair of seconds, all in the two triples at MSR, to finish three points behind Markey.
Robert Vanman had a third and a second in the first two Formula Enterprises races of the year at Circuit of the Americas, which isn’t bad; but he ended up dropping those two events from his conference points title as he won every race he entered after that, which was two at Hallet and six at MSR Houston.
Pro Formula Mazdas seem to be the hot ticket in Formula Atlantic in the Southern Conference, as the top two in the FA points were driving the Elan-built cars. David Zavelson never finished off the podium in eight races, winning five, to claim the conference title.
With all of the SCCA Majors races wrapped up for 2018 and the conference title decided, all eyes turn toward Sonoma Raceway and the 2018 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, which run Oct. 16-21.
SCCA Majors Tour
Mazda class champions
Class: Driver; Hometown; Car
Formula Atlantic: David Zavelson; Austin, Texas; Star Pro Formula Mazda
Formula Enterprises: Robert Vanman; Allen, Texas; Elan Mazda FE
Formula Mazda: Travis Reneger; Edinburg, Texas; Star Formula Mazda
GTL: Larry Svaton; Alvin, Texas; Miata
Spec Miata: Chris Haldeman; McKinney, Texas; Miata
Super Touring Lite: James Goughary; Houston, Texas; Miata
Touring 4: L. Huston; Friendswood, Texas; MX-5