SCCA VIR Super Tour Recap: Mazda-focused

The Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour was at VIRginia International Raceway April 8-10, 2022, for the fifth event of the season. More than 400 entries across eight race groups took on the twisty, fast and challenging 3.27-mile circuit, which will also be the site of the 59th SCCA National Championship Runoffs later this year.

Weather conditions Saturday presented mostly cloudy skies with a slight wind and temperatures topping out in the mid 50-degree F range. What came from that was a day of fantastic action during races scheduled to be no longer than 25 minutes in length.

Spec Miata Swarm: With nearly 70 cars, Spec Miata (SM) had the largest field at VIR’s Hoosier Super Tour this weekend. In that throng was defending SM National Champion Preston Pardus, as well as a host of other Runoffs winners that included Todd Buras who triumphed in 2019 at VIR.

Polesitter Danny Steyn led the group to the green flag Saturday, but several cars got together at the rear of the field while exiting turn one and a full-course yellow came out. Steyn held the front spot at the restart, but hot on his tail were Raiden Nicol, Jim Drago, Chuck Mactutus (pictured above), Brian Henderson, Todd Buras, Nick Leverone, Todd Lamb and Pardus.

As the minutes ticked away, Drago fell back in the pack while Mactutus pushed forward. With only a few laps remaining, Steyn drove down pitlane and into the paddock. That gave Mactutus a lead that Nicol desperately wanted. In the final few corners, Nicol tried valiantly to execute a pass, but Mactutus held tight in the No. 66 OPM Autosports/G-LOC Brakes/Hoosier Tires Mazda Miata to claim a 0.086sec victory.

“I had a decent restart, but missed a gear coming out of two and dropped back to fifth,” Mactutus said with a giant grin across his face after the race. “I fought my way back up … and was going to work with Danny, but then his engine started misfiring. After that, I hooked up with Raiden, and he’s a good partner to work with. Then I was able to hang on during the last lap.”

Lead Battles in Race Group 5: The Group 5 race consisted of E Production, F Production, H Production (HP) and GT-Lite (GTL) cars. An incident on lap four caused an extended delay for track cleanup, but what came after kept the focus of trackside onlookers.

In GTL, the Honda CRX driven by Graham Fuller had a substantial lead on the rest of the class prior to the full-course yellow. Afterwards, however, James Gregorius and his No. 9 Livonia Redemption Center Mazda RX-7 launched a charge that resulted in victory. A victory, Gregorius admits, perhaps not possible without the full-course yellow.

“I just hoped that I could stay up with him and make a move. I was hoping we could get to his bumper and at least give it a little shot,” Gregorius said about the restart. “It just worked out. I caught him in a draft and made a nice pass after Oak Tree Curve. That’s all it took.”

A Note on Race Group 3: The third race group of the day — consisting of Formula Atlantic, Formula Continental, Formula Enterprises 2 (FE2), Prototype 1, Prototype 2 and Formula X cars — was checkered without completing a full racing lap under green conditions. A couple FE2 competitors tangled in turn one at the start, which brought out a full-course yellow. A major effort was then needed to deal with oil on the racing surface. The cleanup process was time consuming, so that race was checkered with no further laps under green.

Sunday’s Schedule: A second day of competition took place Sunday at VIR with 35-minute or 14-lap races commencing at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

Saturday’s Mazda Race Winners: Below are provisional race winners from Saturday’s Hoosier Super Tour at VIRginia International Raceway with Class: Name, Hometown and Car. Full results can be found online at the VIR event webpage.
E Production: John Hainsworth;
 Vineland, NJ; Mazda RX-7
Formula Enterprises 2: Owen McAllister; Mooresville, NC; SCCA Enterprises FE2 Mazda
Formula X: Billy Smith; Prosper, TX; Formula Mazda
GT-Lite: James Gregorius; Lakeville, NY; Mazda RX-7
Spec Miata: Charles Mactutus; Columbia, SC; Mazda Miata
Super Touring Lite: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Mazda MX-5
Touring 4:
 Marc Cefalo; Swoyersville, PA; Mazda MX-5