TOPEKA, Kan. (July 19, 2018) – The SCCA® U.S. Majors Tour® Southeast Conference has concluded its 2018 calendar. Nearly 700 racers took part in the Southeast Conference’s 14-round season that held court at seven different venues. Drivers who excelled rightfully earned a Southeast Conference championship.
Three Southeast Conference competitors managed to each claim two different class Championships. In GT-2, Preston Calvert earned the top spot by only eight points over Jorge Nazario, both driving Chevrolet Corvettes. And in Touring 2, Calvert managed to eke out another Championship in a Ford Mustang by only three points over the BMW M3 of Buz McCall.
Jacek Mucha was another driver who grabbed two class Championships. He took the Prototype 1 win in his JMS016CP Mazda, besting the Peach Mazda Day-02 of Jim Downing by more than 35 points. Mucha also got the Formula Atlantic victory in his Swift 016 with a 12-point spread on the Swift 014 of Spencer Brockman.
When it came to Formula Enterprises (FE) in the Southeast Conference, Todd Vanacore was cream of the crop. He emerged as the FE Champion with Paul Schneider taking the runner-up spot, both driving SCCA Formula Enterprises Mazdas. And in Formula Enterprises 2, the new class for 2018, it was again Vanacore followed by Schneider, with the winning margin being a slim four points.
Another tight Championship grew from Formula 1000 (FB) racing. Luis Folgueira, driving a Stohr F1000, and Shane Prieto, piloting a Firman RF09, ended up in a dead heat with both gathering up 46 points. And since each driver had one win and one runner-up finish in the Conference, they both share the FB Championship this year.
Then there is American Sedan where the top five competitors all earned 50 points. Ford Mustang drivers Brian Himes and Gregory Eaton, along with Dainton Brooks in a Ford Mustang Cobra and Drew Cattell’s Cadillac CTS-V all were in the hunt for the top spot with two Conference starts and two wins each. But Thomas Ellis, also driving a Ford Mustang, claimed the Championship based on the fact he started a third race. It should also be noted that the sixth-place finisher, Eric Ritchie in a Chevrolet Camaro Z28, was only eight points behind the other five drivers.
The Southeast Conference began its racing season in early January with Round One and Round Two at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Next was a stop at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, an event which also was the opening weekend of competition for the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour. The Conference then rested in February before a second Hoosier Super Tour event in March at Louisiana’s NOLA Motorsports Park, and then Round Seven and Round Eight at Road Atlanta. The season then continued in April with another Hoosier Super Tour event, this one at VIRginia International Raceway, before wrapping up in June with one weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and another at Roebling Road Raceway in Bloomingdale, Georgia.
Conference points are awarded to the top 20 finishers in each class. Winners earn 25 points, and 21 points go to second. Points are then doled out to others starting with 18 and descending to a single point for the 20th finisher. Only the best eight races count towards a driver’s point total. Below are Southeast Conference Champions with Class: Name, Hometown, SCCA Region and Car.
-American Sedan®: Thomas Ellis; Pompano Beach, FL; Florida Region; Ford Mustang
-B-Spec: Jasper Drengler; Shawano WI; Milwaukee Region; Honda Fit
-E Production: Steve Rose; Mebane, NC; North Carolina Region; Mazda RX-7
-F Production: Mark Weber; St. Louis, MO; St. Louis Region; Mazda Miata
-H Production: Michael Miller; Walhalla, SC; Central Carolinas Region; Austin Healey Sprite
-Formula 500: Russell Strate Jr.; Alden, NY; Western New York Region; Scorpion S-1
-Formula 1000 (tie): Luis Folgueira; Miami, FL; Florida Region; Stohr F1000
Shane Prieto; Lake Worth, FL; Florida Region; Firman RF09
-Formula Atlantic®: Jacek Mucha; Highland Beach, FL; Florida Region; Swift 16
-Formula Continental®: Charles Moran; Oakton, VA; Old Dominion Region; Van Dieman RF99
-Formula Enterprises: Todd Vanacore; Ormond Beach, FL; Central Florida Region; SCCA FE Mazda
-Formula Enterprises 2: Todd Vanacore; Ormond Beach, FL; Central Florida Region; SCCA FE2 Mazda
-Formula F: David Livingston Jr.; Nashville, TN; Tennessee Region; Spectrum 14H
-Formula Mazda: Brad Yake; Fort Worth, TX; Texas Region; Formula Mazda
-Formula Vee®: Mitchell Ferguson; Moore, SC; Atlanta Region; Vorscha GB4
-GT-1: Zachary Monette; Milton, GA; Atlanta Region; Ford Mustang
-GT-2: Preston Calvert; Potomac, MD; Washington D.C. Region; Chevrolet Corvette
-GT-3: Jeff Dernehl; Roswell GA; Atlanta Region; Mazda RX-7
-GT-Lite: Charles Leonard; Palmetto, FL; Central Florida Region; Nissan 200SX
-Prototype 1: Jacek Mucha; Highland Beach, FL; Florida Region; JMS016CP Mazda
-Prototype 2: Sherman Chao; Palm Beach, FL; Florida Region; Stohr WF-1
-Spec Miata: Michael Carter; Savannah, GA; Buccaneer Region; Mazda Miata
-SRF3: Robeson Clay Russell; Spartanburg, SC; Central Carolinas Region; Spec Racer Ford Gen3
-Super Touring® Lite: Mike Taylor; Cumming, GA; Atlanta Region; Honda Civic
-Super Touring® Under: Kevin Koelemeyer; Fort Myers, FL; Central Florida Region; Honda Civic
-Touring 1: Hugh Stewart; Milford, CT; New England Region; BMW M3
-Touring 2: Preston Calvert; Potomac, MD; Washington D.C. Region; Ford Mustang
-Touring 3: Steven Jewels; Palm Coast, FL; Central Florida Region; Ford Mustang
-Touring 4: Gresham Wagner; Williamsburg, VA; Old Dominion Region; Mazda MX-5
The U.S. Majors Tour is one pathway to the 2018 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® being held Oct. 16-21 at Sonoma Raceway in California. U.S. Majors Tour drivers qualify for the Runoffs by participating in three U.S. Majors Tour weekends and starting at least three U.S. Majors Tour races in the same car class over the course of the season.
The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both Club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA's activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Chevrolet, the Official Truck of the SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Mobil 1, the Official Oil of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.
Photo: Preston Calvert in his GT-2 Chevrolet Corvette
Photo Credit: Digital Automotive Depictions