This Week in Mazda Motorsports

NASA in triplicate; SCCA US Majors Tour at Grattan; ChampCar at VIR

Mazda racers across the country are getting in their last opportunities to race this summer to qualify for the national championships. Three National Auto Sport Association chapters were racing this past weekend, and the Last Chance Majors, the final SCCA U.S. Majors Tour event of the year in the Northern Conference, was hosted by Western Michigan Region at Grattan Raceway. Meanwhile, endurance racers had the chance to go twice around the clock with ChampCar at VIRginia International Raceway.

Great Lakes, Central and Florida NASA chapters hosted races this past weekend. NASA Great Lakes was at Autobahn Country Club with a trio of races. In Spec Miata, Ryan Roberson took the Saturday contest and the first race on Sunday, while Jared Thomas won the final race of the weekend. Barry Brooks was victorious in a couple of races in NP01.

NASA Central raced at Heartland Motorsports Park, and there were plenty of Mazda winners. While Quinten Jordan was surprisingly the only entrant in Spec Miata, the Super Touring classes were full of Miatas, and their drivers won in three different Super Touring classes. Team Chameleon Racing took a couple of victories in ST4, while Steve Johnson won a race as well. Brett Westcott won two of the four contests in ST5 in a Miata, and fellow Miata driver Doug Kinde swept the weekend in ST6.

Finally, NASA Florida was in action at Homestead. Jacek Mucha took the overall and Super Unlimited win in his Mazda-powered jms016P. Anthony Zappone won Spec Miata in the first race while Mark Gibbons won races three and four, and Jim Platis was the sole Spec Miata running in the final race. The event also featured a race on Homestead’s 1.5-mile oval. Zappone won Spec Miata in that race, finishing second overall and setting the fast lap.

SCCA U.S. Majors Tour
The final SCCA Northern Conference U.S. Majors Tour was hosted by Western Michigan Region at Grattan Raceway. It presented a final opportunity for racers in the conference to earn points toward the championship and qualify for the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at VIRginia International Raceway, and several Mazda racers answered the call with victories.

Three Mazda-powered drivers swept both races of the weekend. Rob Warkocki doubled up in GT-3 in his RX-7, and both Formula Enterprises classes had sweeps –Scott Rettich in FE2 and Larry Winkelman in FE.

Voytek Burdzy and Clark Cambern split the Spec Miata victories, as did Jason Vinkemulder and Dale Vandenbush in Formula Mazda. There was a sizable contingent of MX-5s in Touring 4, and two different MX-5 pilots left Grattan with wins. Kevin Fryer won on Saturday, with Michael Borden taking victory on Sunday. Doug Weaver laid claim to the F Production win on Saturday in a Miata.

ChampCar at VIR
ChampCar hosted one of its few 24-hour races, this time at VIRginia International Raceway, and two Mazda teams were victorious after a day of racing. The No. 983 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Miata (Natalino Scappaticci, Alex Piku, Jennifer Scappaticci and Jon Yanca) won Class A by four laps over the second-place No. 156 Glazed and Confused Miata (Todd Buras, Alan Cross, Bobby Kennedy and Tom Fowler). Five laps was the margin for the Class B-winning No. 294 Mostly Motorsports RX-7 (Chris Thompson, Brian Reilly, Jerry Thompson, Patrick Jamin, Patrick Thompson and Peter Stofa), with second in class going to the No. 705 Brexit Brigade MX-5 (Nigel Greensall, Chris Kemp, Christopher Milner and Niklas Halusa).