Last Week in Mazda Motorsports

SCCA Hoosier Super Tour at Portland and Champ Tour autocross in New York

When the SCCA Hoosier Racing Tire Super Tour visits the Northwest, rain is expected. But for the most part it held off at Portland International Raceway during the May 18-19 weekend, allowing competitors to experience great racing, and many to claim a pair of victories for the weekend.

Formula Atlantic had an exciting contest on the Saturday, where John Purcell led Jay Horak for more than half of the race. But with five laps to go, the two competitors, each driving a Star Pro Formula Mazda, encountered traffic. Horak, in the No. 37 AutoEnginuity car, got the edge and held on for the win.

“John got caught in traffic,” Horak explained. “It was a drag race down the back straight … and we were three wide, and all three of us are teammates. But I held the pedal in, I braked a lot less than I normally would, so it was a Hail Mary. That put me in the position to win.”

B-Spec racer Cherie Storms, in the No. 16 WCS Motorsports Mazda2, was one of several drivers who earned back-to-back wins on the weekend. However, it came at a price. Cherie and her father, W.C. Storms, were fighting for the B-Spec victory when they both came across a portion of track slicked down by the fluids of another race car.

“We were having a great race … and I was so happy keeping [my father] behind me,” Cherie said. “But there must have been oil down in Turn 12 and my car just took off and hit the wall, and dad took off behind me and we were both in the wall.

“I was able to get out of the wall and finish the race,” Cherie continued. “It was important for me to finish the race, even if they were slow laps. I’m just happy to finish and really happy to race with my dad. Big thanks to my dad – and we’ve got some work to do on these cars after this weekend.”

Other Mazda racers who claimed double victories during the weekend included Thomas Burt in his No. 45 SCCA Formula Enterprises 2 Mazda; Touring 4 driver Derrick Ambrose in the No. 70 CorkSport Mazda Performance/BFGoodrich/Monarch Inspections/G-LOC Brakes Mazda3; Super Touring Lite’s Kristina Etherington in the No. 96 EZ Racing Mazda RX-8; and Whitfield Gregg in Super Touring Under driving the No. 22 TFB Mazda Miata.

Racing continued over the Memorial Day weekend with a Western Conference SCCA Majors race at Pacific Raceways, a Southern Conference Majors at MSR Houston, and a Mid-States Majors at Pueblo Motorsports Park in Colorado.

Finger Lakes Championship Tour

Autocrossers from all around the country converged on the Seneca Army Depot in Upstate New York on May 17-19 for the fifth round of the SCCA Solo Championship Tour, and several Mazda drivers were among the winners.

Brian Karwan took the Street Touring Roadster victory in his 2016 Miata, beating fellow Miata drivers Mark Dudek and William Koscielny for the top spot in a field of 18 cars. Mazda drivers also topped Street Touring Xtreme and Street Touring Sport. Evan Schickel was the STX winner in a 2004 RX-8, while Rich DiMarco won STS in his 1991 Miata.

The Mazdaspeed Miata was a popular choice in B Street Prepared, making up four of the seven entries. Justin Mitchell struggled with the cones on the second day, but one clean run in his Mazdaspeed, along with a nearly one-second lead carried over from the first day, left him with the top trophy. Mike Toombs, driving a 1994 Miata, was the lone entrant in C Street Prepared, and Ryan Field won Super Street Modified in a 1996 Miata. Brian and Tina Reeves were fighting each other for D Prepared honors driving their 1990 Miata, with Brian claiming the win.