Southeast Conference Preview

The first Hoosier Super Tour of the year and second race of the Southeast Conference takes place this weekend at Sebring

The SCCA Southeast Conference U.S. Majors Tour season kicked off at Homestead during the first weekend of 2019, but there is still high interest in the first Hoosier Super Tour event of the year at Sebring International Raceway this weekend. With entries nearing 300 two weeks prior to the event, many are eager to get a jump on the coming racing season. And with the 2019 SCCA National Championship Runoffs taking place at VIRginia International Raceway in October, excitement for the Southeast Conference Majors season is boiling over.

Of note is that the last two winners of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout have come not only from the Southeast, but specifically Southeast Conference Spec Miata. This area of the country seems to have a penchant for breeding top-flight Spec Miata racers, and 2019 should be no different. Not only are Southeast regulars such as Danny Steyn, Jim Drago, Preston Pardus, Todd Buras and Jonathan Goring entered for Sebring, but being the first Super Tour of the season, it’s bringing drivers from all over the East Coast, such as Nick Leverone and Elivan Goulart. And lest Spec Miata racers think that 2018 MRT24 Shootout winner Michael Carter is out of their hair – well, he’s entered at Sebring as well.

The 40-plus-entry Spec Miata field aside, Mazda will be well represented across the board in the Southeast this season if Sebring is any indication. NC MX-5s make up a good chunk of the Touring 4 field with Mike Burke, Thomas Hart and Steve Strickland representing. In that same group will be another NC, as Danny Steyn starts his defense of the Super Touring Lite championship.

F Production should be quite entertaining for Mazda Miata fans, with Doug Weaver, Mark Weber, Richard Gallup, Weber Manning, Ken Kannard and Michael Kamalian all looking to score the first Super Tour win of the season. 

Formula Enterprises 2 has a bumper crop of entries in its second season. That includes 2018 Runoffs runner-up Liam Snyder, Scott Rettich, Mark Schneider and Todd Vanacore. Runoffs FE champ Mark Snyder – Liam’s brother – begins his title defense in Florida. And Mazda is well represented in Formula Atlantic, with David Grant and Spencer Brockman using Mazda powerplants in their Swifts, with a couple of Pro Formula Mazdas entered as well.

All the Mazda racers at Sebring will enjoy support from Mazda with Josh Smith and David Cook on hand to help racers and answer questions, as well as Mazda’s parts truck which will be on site. In addition, Penske Racing Shocks will be providing support for the new Spec Miata shock absorbers – look for them near Mazda’s support trailer in the paddock.

After Sebring, the Southeast Conference U.S. Majors Tour includes Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in March, a joint venture with the Northeast Conference at the home of the 2019 Runoffs, VIR, in April, then a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway before concluding the Conference’s season at Roebling Road at the end of June. The next Hoosier Super Tour, meanwhile, will be at Circuit of the Americas on Feb. 8-10.