This Week in Mazda Motorsports

Mid-Ohio Hoosier Super Tour and Spring Solo Action in Lincoln

Among the Midwest races on the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour, the Mid-Ohio Hoosier SCCA Super Tour is second only to the June Sprints at Road America in terms of entries and stature. The track is a favorite among many racers and always attracts big fields, and that’s what makes a win there so special, especially in a spec class like Spec Miata. Double victories, as you can imagine, are even sweeter.

Jim Drago held off a charging Brian Henderson in Spec Miata on Saturday, June 1, with Jared Thomas and Jonathan Davis completing the top-four in a nose-to-tail battle. Drago started on pole and took care of business in the No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata by 0.326sec over the 12th starting Henderson.

Drago swept the Spec Miata weekend in another epic Spec Miata dogfight on Sunday, where Drago started second and chased down polesitter Thomas in the opening laps. Running side by side, Thomas went wide in the Keyhole and ran off the track on lap five, opening the door for Drago. Thomas fell to fifth, and Drago teamed with Michael Carter to move away from the field.

Once in the clear, the pair watched the laps count down. Carter went to the lead on lap eight before Drago found his way back to the front on the 19th lap. Carter challenged again, but Drago held on for the final three laps and the win.

“Jared took the lead and I tried to press him a little bit,” Drago said after the race. “He made a mistake and went off in the Keyhole. Michael and I tried to get it a two-car race. We stayed nose to tail to make sure Jared couldn’t get back into it, because he was really fast today. I waited until I thought it was two [laps] to go, but it was really three laps to go. My handling was really good, but Michael was better in Turn 7 and he’s generally better on the brakes – that’s the worst part for him to be better than me at. We went through and had a little touch at the top of Madness. I enjoy racing with these guys.”

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Owen McAllister swept the weekend in Formula Mazda driving the No. 39 Driven to Find a Cure/Glacier Chill machine. “It was a really spectacular race,” McAllister said on Sunday. “The track conditions were really slippery, which kept things interesting. It was just an all-around great drive and lots of fun.”

Other Mazda double winners include MX-5 driver Breton Williams in E Production, Liam Snyder in Formula Enterprises 2, and Jim Libecco in FE. Sunday saw a few more Mazda winners than Saturday, with Dinah Weisberg scoring the Super Touring Under victory in an MX-5 and Danny Bender winning Touring 3, also in an MX-5. 

The next Hoosier SCCA Super Tour is the June Sprints on June 14-16. 


Lincoln Spring ProSolo and Championship Tour

The past few years, the double “Spring Nationals” event at Lincoln Air Park in Lincoln, Neb. – home to the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships – has been a huge draw for autocrossers eager to not only sample the Lincoln concrete pre-Nationals, but also for the unique aspect of having a ProSolo and a Solo Championship Tour back to back. Several Mazda autocrossers scored wins in both of the late May events, and a couple of them – David and Ken Whitener – scored the trifecta of class wins in both and ProSolo Challenge victories.

Yokohama recently released a new 200-treadwear tire and David Whitener was one of the few drivers using it in the ProSolo on his Street Touring Roadster 2016 Mazda Miata. Whitener led throughout the event over Brian Karwan with a final margin of victory of 0.255sec. Marcus Pyne, Josh Luster and Mark Shrivastava claimed the remaining trophies in the 16-driver all-Miata class.

In the Ladies Challenge, cones and red lights dictated the results, even in the final round where both Ladies 3 winner Kim Whitener and Laney Blume red lit. The victory went to the driver with the least extreme red light, giving Whitener the win in a 1992 Miata. It was like déjà vu when the Super Challenge ended with David Whitener taking the win due to a red light by Brian Karwan.

The Whiteners weren’t the only ones to take wins in both the ProSolo and Championship Tour. Competitors arrived on site Monday morning following the ProSolo to find a very wet site, and standing and flowing waters created challenges for drivers in the first two competition heats. The water was reduced to isolated puddles by the start of heat three and was completely gone for the fourth heat. The drying conditions, especially in heat two, created an advantage for second drivers and shook up the standings.

C Street Prepared brought drama as the 1999 Miata of Billy Davis – the winner in Street 2 at the ProSolo – struck mechanical trouble during third runs on Sunday. Davis had led on day one and was forced to jump into Matthew Hodges’ Miata for the second day of competition. Davis beat the car owner by 0.134sec to take the win by 0.423sec over Hodges. The other double winner was 2019 Miata driver Paul Frey (C Street).

Other class winners in the Lincoln events include Adam Norton (ProSolo, Race Tire Index 2, 1999 Miata), Jodi Fordahl (Champ Tour, C Street Ladies, 2006 MX-5), Eric Anderson (Champ Tour, Super Street Modified, 1996 Miata), and David Colletti (Champ Tour, F Prepared, 2004 RX-8).