Danny Steyn's OPM built Spec Miata rolled off the trailer at Road America ready for battle. The June Sprints is one of the most prestigious events in the SCCA calendar, and this year it would be part of the SCCA Majors Championship and a double header to boot. Steyn won a rain soaked June Sprints back in 2010 and was anxious to repeat.
In both qualifying sessions, Steyn was able to work with the East Street drivers Craig Berry and Eric Stearns and nailed down the pole on both qualifying sessions.
In Race 1, Steyn got through Turn1 in the lead and was able to open up a sizeable lead in the first lap as the field behind him went through the corners two-by-two. Steyn held his lead for the first three laps until the pack behind started working together and reeled him in. Steyn slotted into 3rd place behind Berry and Stearns, with Drago Burdzy, and Brown in the lead pack.
Then Steyn got knocked off track in Turn 13 after contact with Stearns but was able to resume and rejoin the race in 6th place. Steyn started closing in on the leaders as they started jostling for the lead, and as they entered the last lap Steyn was back in a distant 4th place, but somehow regained the lead as they exited Turn 5. Steyn held the lead through Turn8 and the carousel, but back marker skunked Steyn?s run through the kink, allowing Berry and Burdzy to come alongside ad they charged towards Canada Corner (turn 12).
Unfortunately for Steyn, neither Burdzy nor Berry were able to control their cars and both spun out, taking Steyn out with them. Justin Elder got by for the win ahead of Stearns and Chris Haldeman. Both Berry and Burdzy were able to restart but Steyn was stuck in the sand trap and unable to continue.
Watch the 2013 June Sprints from inside Danny Steyn's Spec Miata - the last lap begins at 24:07
In Race 2 Steyn was able to contend for the lead throughout the race, and managed to end up 2nd.
2013 June Sprints Spec Miata poidum Race 2. Eric Stearns, winner, Danny Steyn 2nd and Craig Berry 3rd.
As the points leader in the Majors Eastern Conference Championship, Danny Steyn travelled North to attend the Double Majors race at Summit Point, the 4th race in the Championship. Steyn had only raced at this track once before in an SSM car and was unsure of how he would do in the Spec Miata class.
Steyn qualified on outside pole for both races alongside Todd Lamb, the 2010 NASA National Champion. behind him was the 2012 NASA National Champion, Yiannis Tsounis, as well as the Landy brothers and a host of fast local drivers.
In Saturday's Spec Miata Race 1, Todd Lamb put on a racing clinic and led flag to flag. Behind him Steyn and Sebastian Landy had an epic tussle with Steyn edging Landy for 2nd place, picking up valuable points in the championship.
IN Sunday's Race 2, Steyn took the win in convincing style with a 7 second win over Yiannis Tsounis after Todd Lamb had dropped out with mechanical failure. Rossini team mate Ralle Rookey finished in 3rd place!
In the Eastern Conference Majors Championship, Steyn now has a commanding lead over 2nd place driver Alex Bolanos. So far Steyn has been on the podium in 7 out of the last 8 races with 3 race victories and four 2nd place finishes.
For the 2013 season YTD, Steyn is leading the Majors Championship, the National Spec Miata points race and the SE Division National Championship.
Summit Point Majors podium Race 2 - Danny Steyn (center), Yiannis Tsounis (l) and Ralle Rookey (r).
Different perspective - Rearward camera from Yiannis Tsounis's car showing the last two laps of STL Race 1
Steyn's great 2013 season seemed to come apart in Race 1 qualifying when he went wide in turn 3 at VIR and got stuck in the mud from the previous day's rain storm. Steyn's qualifying time for Friday would only be good enough for a 16th place on the grid and the incredibly deep field, chances of Steyn getting to the front were absolutely Zero.
However as it turned out, in a an amazing display of patience, Steyn slowly worked his away through the field first into a Top 10 place, then a Top 5 and then to defy all odds, Steyn found himself in the lead. In possibly one of his best drives ever, Danny Steyn converted his 16th place qualifying spot into a 1st place finish in Race 1 over Andrew Charbonneau and Dan Tiley.
Danny Steyn celebrates Race 1 victory on the podium with Andrew Charbonneau and Dan Tiley.
Steyn redeemed his poor qualifying for Race 1 with a pole position for Race 2. In Race 2 Steyn led for the first 4 laps until Tiley passed him and then ran in 2nd for most of the race. Two slight mis-shifts were all that it took for Steyn to get passed by the chasing group, and then Steyn faded to finish in 5th place behind Cliff Brown, Alex Bolanos and Andrew Charbonneau and Dan Tiley. The top twelve drivers had lap times within 1 second of Cliff Brown who set the new track record. What an amazingly deep field Spec Miata is!
2013 VIR Majors Race 1 - Danny Steyn moves up from 16th place to win, and sets new lap record!
Steyn's 2013 season continued in fine fashion with Steyn nailing down four poles! Steyn got both STL, one ProIT pole and one Spec Miata pole that was under the existing Spec Miata Road Atlanta lap record. The field included four Spec Miata National Champions, Jim Drago, Steve Gorriaran, Yiannis Tsounis, and Todd Lamb.
In Race 1 Danny Steyn and Jim Drago had an epic battle. Steyn and Drago worked together to gap the field, and Steyn led every lap except the last lap, when Drago got by to edge Steyn by 12/100ths on the final lap. Fellow Rossini powered driver Andrew Carbonell finished third.
In Race 2 Carbonell got to the front, with Yiannis Tsounis, Stefan Tisseront, Jim Drago and Steve Gorriaran and Steyn in close contention. There were several changes for position, but eventually Carbonell and Steyn broke away from the group behind. On the last lap Carbonell was able to draft by Steyn for the win with Dillon MacHavern in 3rd.
Andrew Carbonell makes the last lap pass on Danny Steyn at the Road Atlanta Double Majors Race 2!
Road Atlanta SCCA Majors Podium Spec Miata Race 2 - Carbonell 1st, Steyn 2nd and MacHavern in 3rd.
Steyn's in car camera showing the great race over the last two laps between Carbonell and Steyn!
For the first time, SCCA club drivers had the opportunity to drive the already legendary Circuit of the America's Formula 1 track, commonly referred to as COTA. The event was part of the SCCA Majors BFG Super Tour.
Danny Steyn's OPM built, Rossini powered Spec Miata at the COTA Double Majors / BFG Super Tour!
More than 85 Spec Miata drivers signed up to run the first ever Spec Miata race at the Circuit of the Americas. The field included almost all of the top national contenders. Steyn was up to speed quickly, putting down the 2nd fastest in the first semi-dry session, and then followed up with a 4th place qualifying time in the dry.
In Race 1, Steyn hung on to the leaders Drago, Berry, Charbonneau and Haldeman, only to fall back to 5th. In a bizarre twist, the race marshals gave the drivers the one-lap-to-go sign twice, and the final last lap race to the checker flag was disallowed, which robbed Craig Berry and Chris Haldeman of the positions they deserved.
Check out this amazing video from inside Danny Steyn's Spec Miata showing the frantic last lap scramble with all five drivers going 5-wide into Turn 13 with seven corners to go. Racing does not get more intense than this!!!
In-car video of the "GREATEST LAST LAP THAT NEVER HAPPENED"! Spec Miata Race 1 at COTA!
In Race 2 Steyn led briefly and was sidelined after contact on the restart.
Danny Steyn took full advantage of the wet qualifying conditions to put his Spec Miata on pole by over two seconds over fellow Rossini driver Andrew Carbonell. In the wet conditions Steyn also picked up a second pole and put his SM car on the overall pole for Group 7 ahead of 200+ HP E Prod and 160+HP cars in STL!
In Sunday's dry Spec Miata race, Steyn drove away from the field to pull a 2-3 second gap on Chip Van Vurst and Stefan Tisseront. Steyn held the gap at 2 seconds for 22 of the 23 lap race, but on the 2nd last lap made a small error allowing Van Vurst and Tisseront to pass him. Steyn recovered and finished 3rd behind Van Vurst and Tisseront. Steyn ran the fastest race lap at 2:21.9.
In the STL race, Steyn drove to a 2nd place finish behind Tisseront.
During the wet test day sessions Steyn put on a display of rain driving that had the pit crews cheering from the side of pit lane! Check out his in-car video below....
Steyn exploring the limits at Roebling Road in his Spec Miata with worn rain tires
Rossini drivers Chip van Vurst and Danny Steyn dominated the double National at PBIR this past weekend. Steyn qualified for Race 1 on pole, and after an exciting race with several lead changes, Steyn emerged victorious over Van Vurst and 3rd place finisher Selin Rolan.
For Race 2, van Vurst qualified on pole ahead of Steyn, led most of the race, fought of a stiff challenge from Alex Bolanos, and held off to easily win the race. Steyn had a great fight for 2nd place with Bolanos, losing by 4/100ths of a second.
Two poles, both wins, a 2nd and a 3rd. All in all a dominating weekend for Rossini powered drivers.
Chip Van Vurst and Danny Steyn share wins and poles at PBIR Double National.
In one of the deepest national fields in Spec Miata, featuring at least 15 potential winners as well as the top 5 from the Runoffs, Danny Steyn had one of the best starts to a season that you could ask for.
In Race 1, Steyn, Buras, Van Vurst and others all led the race at different times. With a few laps to go Steyn moved to the lead ahead of Buras and held the lead coming into the last lap. However Buras had a great run out of turn 16 and pulled alongside Steyn coming into turn 17. Buras and Steyn went sided by side through Turn 17 and Buras managed to eke out ahead and beat Steyn by 4/100ths of a second. The first four finishers were with in 0.4 seconds.
Steyn's Sebring Double Majors Race 1 in car video from last 7 laps
In Race 2 Buras and Steyn had gapped the field when the Full Course Yellow came out on lap 3. They had a restart on lap 5 and Buras missed a shift on the exit of Turn 7 allowing Steyn to take the lead. Steyn held the lead for the next lap when the race was stopped for a serious accident in Turn 17. Starting the 2013 season with a first and a second place finish in a deep national field is always a good feeling!
Danny Steyn leads Craig Berry, Jim Drago and Stefan Tisseront at Sebring International Raceway
Race 1 winner Todd Buras celebrates with his kids his victory over Danny Steyn and Andrew Charbonneau