The Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA® Super Tour is conducting its sixth race weekend of the year, July 17-19, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during an event hosted by SCCA’s Ohio Valley Region. Built in 1962 as a location for weekend sports car racing, Mid-Ohio is often called the most competitive road course in the United States. The circuit, which has hosted SCCA’s National Championship Runoffs® on several occasions, is set on 330 acres in the rolling hills of Lexington, Ohio, and features a permanent road-racing circuit with two primary track configurations. The 2.4-mile, 15-turn “Club Course” will be the challenge this weekend at Mid-Ohio, which is a switch from last year’s layout.
Club vs. Pro -- Last year, the Hoosier Super Tour at Mid-Ohio was conducted on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Pro Circuit that eliminated the pre-Keyhole “bus stop” chicane. That was necessary because Keyhole “work and grading” was underway for an ARX Americas Rallycross event taking place at Mid-Ohio the weekend following Hoosier Super Tour activities. But things are back to “normal” this time around with competitors facing the classic 2.4-mile, 15-turn “Club Course.”
Which circuit is better? That really comes down to personal preference. But longtime racer Tom Patton, who is from the Cincinnati area, certainly has his favorite. Patton, who drives the No. 50 Hoosier Tires/Redline Oil/Carbotech Sunbeam Tiger in the GT-2 class, has been racing at Mid-Ohio for four decades. He remembers when Mid-Ohio didn’t even have a “Pro” circuit. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that the “Club” layout is his favorite.
“I was bummed out when we had to run the Pro course last year,” Patton admitted. “The run up to the Keyhole on the Club course is just classic. Going up through the Keyhole on the Club course is much more fun for me.
“Mid-Ohio is my favorite racetrack,” Patton continued. “Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen and VIR are top tracks, but Mid-Ohio is home for me. I feel comfortable coming here. It’s always great to come to Mid-Ohio.”
Back to Business -- Facial coverings, social distancing and repetitive hand washing couldn’t dampen the glee many had for being out again at Mid-Ohio. For some, getting out on track is a form of therapy and helps people feel as if life is returning to normal. For others, getting back to the track is a matter of business. Take for example Scott Rettich, owner of Alliance Autosport. This weekend’s Hoosier Super Tour is the first time Rettich, a Columbus-area SCCA racer for 15 years, has competed in 2020 at Mid-Ohio.
“It’s great to be back at the track, we’re having a great time and it’s a great weekend so far,” Rettich said.
Alliance Autosport is supporting 15 cars entered at Mid-Ohio across three different classes, those being Spec Racer Ford Gen3, Formula Enterprises 2 and GT-2. In all, Alliance Autosport has a stable of around 35 cars and serves nearly 40 racers each year from throughout the country. Now in business almost a decade, Alliance Autosport can be seen at about two dozen events a year, employing four full-time personnel and a bunch of part-time help.
“These Mid-Ohio weekends are critical to our business,” Rettich noted. “Having multiple races canceled was certainly pretty rough on the business. But we’re working on getting caught up. All our drivers are anxious to race.”
Toasty Weekend -- Friday was a beautiful summer’s day in Lexington, Ohio with temperatures peaking in the upper 80-degree range and a light breeze that made things nice. Saturday and Sunday are looking to also be pretty nice, but with temperatures a little higher in the 90-degree range -- and just a slight chance of showers. Tim Gilvin, Hoosier Racing Tire’s Circuit Racing Product Manager, said the toasty temperatures predicted for race days could impact how cars perform on track.
“The weekend is going to be pretty hot,” Gilvin said. “That really changes the track conditions. Besides being tough on the drivers, the temperatures can be tough on the tires. Racers will probably need to be a little more tidy with their driving, and a little more patient, and maybe not abuse tires so much.”
And if it rains? “Hoosier is ready. Best rain tires around,” Gilvin said with a smile.
Because of government COVID-19 concerns, spectators are NOT allowed at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend for the Hoosier Super Tour event. Fans can, however, still follow all the action online from Mid-Ohio with live timing/scoring, video, Super Tour Radio presented by Hoosier Racing Tire and more at www.scca.com/live.
Results and more information available at the Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour Mid-Ohio event webpage.