By ROB HAMILTON
Cars took to the raceway during the weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course’s Mechanics Bank Vintage Grand Prix, where a total of 21 races were held over the three-day event.
For this year’s Vintage Grand Prix, the 55th anniversary of the Mini Cooper marque was celebrated. On Sunday, in the Mini Challenge race, a total of 47 cars took the track with Joe Huffaker of Sonoma, Calif. winning. Nick Swift of Grimsby, Ontario took second and Chris Kopley of Easton, Conn. finished third. The top 18 finishers in the race all completed 10 laps.
Also on Sunday was the Hawk Performance Historic GT/GTP Enduro. While most of the weekend’s races were slotted into 30-minute time slots, this endure lasted for 90. Robert Gewirtz won, completing 54 laps — two more than the second- and third-place finishers in the 25-car race. The duo of Ben Peotter and Scott Heider finished second, while David and Andrea Robertson finished third.
The rest of the races were individual group competitions, where drivers competed in races on both Saturday and Sunday.
For Group One, Saturday’s race was won by Ralph Salomon of Katonah, N.Y. Derek Chima of Akron took second and Steve Konsin of Roswell, Ga. ran third. On Sunday, Salomon and Chima took the top two spots again, with Shea Brown of Myrtle Beach, S.C. placing third.
Groups Two and Five competed together. On Saturday, Tom Shelton of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. won, with Doc Bundy of Gainesville, Ga. taking second and Graham Adelman of Free Union, Va. placing third. While only five cars ran on Sunday due to afternoon weather conditions, Bundy was able to win, while David Jacobs of Boulder, Colo. finished second and Lilo Zicron of West Toluca Lake, Calif. placed third.
In Saturday’s race for Groups Three and Four, Max Heilman of Kenton took first place, while Chris Thompson of Denver, Colo. was second and John Higgins of Dayton ran third. On Sunday, Thompson ran first with Heilman second and Vic Skirmants of North Branch, Mich. taking third place.
Group Six’s Saturday winner was J.B. Mattison of Macomb, Mich. Michael Origer of Barrington, Ill. took second, while Shannon Ivey of Rogers, Minn. placed third. Ivey took first in a smaller Sunday race, with William Foster of Aurora and Colby Hillman of Roseville, Calif. finishing second and third, respectively.
In the first Group Seven-A race, John Kramer of Chicago, Ill. won, while Robert Sherwood of St. Louis, Mo. was second and Owen Adelman of Free Union, Va. ran third. Adelman claimed the checkered flag on Sunday, though, with Mark Coombs of Chicago, Ill. finishing second and Kramer going third.
In the Saturday race for Groups Seven-B and Nine, Henk de Boer of Torrance, Calif. finished first, while Shelby Mershon of Springfield was second and Gaston Kearby of Corpus Christi, Texas took third. On Sunday, de Boer repeated as a winner, as did Mershon in second and Kearby in third.
On Saturday in Group Eight, Craig Chima of Akron won, while Thomas Grudovich of Palm Beach, Fla. finished second and Kurt Fazekas of Fishers, Ind. went third. Grudovich won the Sunday race with Fazekas placing second and Tom Briest of Tarpon Springs, Fla. running third.
Group 10’s Saturday race was won by Debbie Cloud of Wellington, while Dick Greer of Columbus took second and John Wolff of New Albany placed third. The next day saw Greer earn the win, while Don Soenen of Saline, Mich. finished second and Wolff was third.
Finally, for Group 11, Jacek Mucha of Laval, Quebec claimed Saturday’s checkered flag, while Phil Lasco of N. Venice, Fla. was second and Robert Gewirtz of Columbus was third. Mucha won again on Sunday, while Gewirtz moved up a spot to second place and Andrea Robertson of Ray, Mich. ran third.
Rob Hamilton may be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1805.