Southern Conference Preview

The SCCA Majors Tour Conference centered around Texas and Oklahoma gets its start at MSR Cresson this weekend

The Southern Conference of the SCCA Majors Tour gets underway with a bang over the next few weeks with the season-opening Winter Festival Majors hosted by SCCA’s Texas Region at MotorSport Ranch Cresson this weekend, followed in two weeks by one of the biggest Hoosier Super Tour events of the year, the Polar Prix at Circuit of the Americas, hosted by SCCA’s Lone Star Region. That event, being the most centrally located Hoosier Super Tour of the year, often attracts top racers from both coasts. 

The Southern Conference is a hotbed of Mazda racers. Classes such as Super Touring Lite will be primarily Mazdas, and most of them Miatas. Tyler Quance will be playing in both STL and Touring 4 with his NC, running STL at MSR and T4 at COTA. At COTA, STL will be populated mostly by NB Miatas, but will also include Houston’s James Goughary and his well-prepared NA. Goughary and Quance had a tough fight for STL supremacy in 2018. At COTA he’ll be joined by 2017 National champ Danny Steyn, making the trip from Florida with his NC.

The conference is home to a couple of Mazda national champions. In 2018, San Antonio resident Matt Reynolds captured his third E Production SCCA national championship title with his Miata and looks to have little competition in his quest for a conference title. He could also end the season with a double title with some good luck in his Spec Miata. From Southlake, Texas, comes Formula Enterprises champ Mark Snyder, joined by his twin brother Liam, who was the runner-up in FE2 at Sonoma last year. They’ll be accompanied by a solid group of FE and FE2 competitors in the Southern Conference. In Formula Mazda, national champ Bryce Cornet doesn’t appear on early entry lists for either event, although he may be waiting to start his season near home in Oklahoma. Travis Renegar, Brad Yake and WIlliam Snyder may end up battling for the FM title.

Texas is home to a good contingent of Mazda Formula Atlantic racers, but for the most part, they’re not in MZR-powered Swifts. Instead, the Southern Conference FA title will likely be decided among a good field of Elan Pro Formula Mazda drivers. Dave Zavelson was last year’s conference champ in FA, and is looking to repeat, but he could have a strong fight on his hands from David Burkett. 

Defending conference and Hoosier Super Tour points Spec Miata champ Chris Haldeman appears to have moved on to other racing endeavors for 2019, throwing the Southern Conference Spec Miata fight wide open. Indeed, several of the top five from last year are either concentrating on other classes or are living in other parts of the country. That leaves Nils Musaeus with a good shot at the conference title, depending on how many races Reynolds decides to contest.

After COTA, the Southern Conference visits its only stop outside Texas, the historic and popular Hallett Motor Racing Circuit for a dual event with the Mid-States conference at the end of March. In May, racers will get a taste of the newly rebuilt Eagle’s Canyon Raceway, followed later in the month by the first of two stops at MSR Houston. That track also hosts the conference finale on Labor Day weekend.