VIR Sunday’s Notebook

For Saturday’s Mazda-focused feature, go here

Sunday at VIRginia International Raceway saw mostly sunny skies in the morning before it became completely sunny in the afternoon with a slight breeze and temperatures hovering in the low 60-degree F range. Pretty good conditions as drivers across all eight race groups went out for 14-lap or 35-minute contests.

The Steyn Way: At 64 years old, Danny Steyn, pictured above, could be in his prime as far as auto racing is concerned. The reigning Super Touring Light (STL) National Champion swept STL with wins Saturday and Sunday at VIR. But Sunday’s race got a bit hairy.

Driving the No. 19 Ocean Machinery/Nelson Engines/OPM Autosports/G-LOC Brakes/Hoosier Mazda MX-5, Steyn was in control out front for the first half of the race with Olivier Jean Francois, in a Toyota 86, not too far off his bumper. But about five laps into the race, Steyn was launched into the air a bit when he made contact with a B-Spec car. Francois was able to shoot by for the lead, but Steyn got the position back before a full-course yellow came out.

After the delay, the race went green again for a two-lap shootout. Steyn, however, wasn’t playing around and stormed away for the victory. Then two race groups later, Steyn was back on the top step of the victory podium after winning Sunday’s Spec Miata (SM) race in the No. 39 Adept Studios/Rossini Engines/OPM Autosports/G-LOC Brakes Mazda Miata. However, he triumphed in SM by only 0.099sec over Charles Mactutus.

“This is a shoutout to all the grandads. Here I am, standing on top of the podium, kicking the kids’ asses,” Steyn joked while holding his winner’s trophy. “Trying to stay relevant at this age is difficult. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment. But I’ve got such respect for the young kids because they are so ‘on it’ and they are making me work harder and harder.”

GT-3 Challenge Round Two: The second round of the 2022 GT-3 Challenge presented by MPI championship was part of the Hoosier Super Tour weekend at VIR. Supported by Mazda, Max Papis Innovations, Hoosier Racing Tire, Goodyear Tire and AiM Sports; the initiative continues to bolster participation in the GT-3 class.

The GT-3 winner Saturday was Tony Ave in the No.44 Acura RSX. While he won the race, Ave noted that fellow GT-3 driver Jeff Dernehl was pretty fast, too, and probably had something left to show for Sunday’s race.

Dernehl, the 2019 Runoffs winner at VIR and inaugural GT-3 Challenge presented by MPI champion, indeed had a little something more in his Mazda RX-7 and led the first eight laps of Sunday’s race before Ave got by and went on to victory. So that’s a GT-3 sweep for Ave at VIR, which puts him in a fantastic position as far as the GT-3 Challenge standings.

Next on this year’s GT-3 Challenge presented by MPI schedule is the May 14-15 Hoosier Super Tour at Portland International Raceway in Oregon. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is then the venue June 11-12 for GT-3 Challenge’s fourth round before an eventual 2022 champion is found after SCCA National Championship Runoffs racing concludes at VIR.

Post-Race Winner Interview Videos: Want to hear exactly what VIR Hoosier Super Tour winners had to say after the race? Then check out the SCCA Road Racing Facebook page. There you’ll find some one-on-one interviews from Saturday, as well as victory podium celebrations and interviews from Sunday’s event.

Hallett Next on Hoosier Super Tour Schedule: Jennings, OK, and Hallett Motor Racing Circuit is next on the Hoosier Super Tour schedule. The April 23-24, 2022, event will be the sixth of 10 Hoosier Super Tour weekends on this year’s calendar. Driver and worker registration is open for that event, so plan now to be part of the action at that 1.8-mile, 10-turn circuit found in the rolling Osage Hills of Oklahoma.

Sunday Race Winners: Below are provisional race winners from Sunday’s Hoosier Super Tour at VIRginia International Raceway with Class: Name, Hometown and Car. An asterisk (*) marks those who swept both Saturday and Sunday races in a class. Full results can be found online at the VIR event webpage.
Formula Enterprises 2: Charles Russell Turner; Montpelier, VA; SCCA Enterprises FE2 Mazda

*Formula X: Billy Smith; Prosper, TX; Formula Mazda
Spec Miata: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Mazda Miata
*Super Touring Lite: Danny Steyn; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Mazda MX-5
Touring 4:
 Christopher Windsor; Thurmont, MD; Mazda MX-5