More SCCA Solo Champions Crowned
LINCOLN, Neb. – After crowning one set of National Championships on Wednesday at the 40th Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships, a second run of competitors have posted times and only one day of action remains at the Lincoln Airpark.
G.J. Dixon, of Scarsdale, N.Y., rocketed to a 0.694-second advantage in the 41-car Super Stock field in his Grand Prix of New York/Monticello Motor Club Porsche 911 GT3 on the West course. The driver in second, Steve Telehowski, of Shelby Twp., Mich., was a bit of a surprise, as it’s the two-time C Stock Champion’s first Nationals since 2005. In fact, his sponsor denotes his absence with the “It’s been how long?” Chevrolet Corvette. Behind them, it’s a who’s who of stalwarts, including defending Champion Matthew Braun, Gary Thomason and Sam Strano, among others.
Coming off his win in the Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo Finale and the Gumout Super Challenge, Joe Tharpe, of State Center, Iowa, carried that momentum into the first day of Super Street Prepared runs with his R&S Racing/Loctite Chevrolet Corvette. He holds a sizeable .831-second lead over multi-time Champion Ryan Buetzer in Mike “Junior” Johnson’s Evolution/ChaseCam/Motion Control Suspension/OS Giken Chevrolet Corvette. Katy Nicholls, of San Diego, Calif., sits third and could be a threat to be the fourth-ever woman to win in an open class with her Three Wheel Racing Lotus Elise.
One duel to keep an eye on through the final day is the X Prepared class battle between former National Champs. Fred Zust, of Tempe, Ariz., has dominated the class during his four-consecutive National Championships in the Blackwatch Racing Lotus Elise. To keep that streak alive, however, Zust is going to have to make up some ground on Andrew Mckee, of San Jose, Calif. Rather than defend his Super Street Modified, title, McKee moved his Mazda RX-7 to XP and is the clubhouse leader going into Friday by .330-second.
Dan Wasdahl, of Massillon, Ohio, leads the charge toward the Small Fortune Racing FTD trophy for the fastest time of the event. After Nick Roberts ran the first sub-50-second time (49.957) in Formula SAE earlier in the day on the West course, the challenge was on to see if anyone could top it, or if the honor would go to FSAE for the second-straight year. Wasdahl rose to the occasion, turning a blistering 47.659 in his Wing Shop/Hooper BBR/Phantom DVS-1 to lead A Modified by more than three seconds.
There’s a family rivalry afoot in F Modified, as defending Champion Jeff Colegrove, of Rochester, N.Y., leads brother Stefan, of Fairport, N.Y., by just 0.082-second. The pair shares the Mitchell Racing Services/Berg Racing Red Devil F500. Jeff has finished one spot ahead of younger brother Stefan each of the last two years, topping him for the title in 2011 by .148-second.
Thursday’s runs also marked the debut of the Road Tire Category as supplemental classes at the Tire Rack Solo National Championships. New at the National Level for 2012, the Road Tire classes get the full treatment as every class, but will not be recognized as National Champions as they are in their infancy. Within the category, Stephen Hui, of Bellevue, Wash., leads the Road Tire RWD class with an indexed time that is just 0.051-second ahead of Lance Keely, of Brookfield, Wis. Hui’s Honda S2000, Keeley’s Hyundai Genesis, and the rest of the category are given an indexed time based on their full-class counterparts.
Thursday morning was also the first of two Gumout Use Your Motorhead All-Star Challenges this week. Top PAX Index drivers from each heat from Tuesday and Wednesday runs all went head-to-head in the Gumout/Black Magic/BFGoodrich Tires/Hawk Volkswagen Golf. Street Touring X National Champion Bryan Heitkotter posted the fastest time and claimed the $500 grand prize, with Jeff Cashmore (D Modified) and Mark Smith (D Stock) completing the top three.
Some of the sport’s highest honors were handed out at Wednesday night’s banquet honoring the newly crowned National Champions. The Solo Cup, given to the person who has made an outstanding contribution to the Solo Events Program, went to former SCCA Board member and Solo Events Board Chairman Marcus Merideth, of Westland, Mich. A shocked Sam Strano, of Knoxdale, Pa., was awarded the Solo Driver of Eminence, given annually to the Solo driver who has consistently demonstrate excellence behind the wheel and an exemplary degree of sportsmanship. The Johnson Spirit of the Sport award was given to Danny Kao, of North Potomac, Md., for his enthusiasm for Solo.
In Wednesday’s National Championship release, the G Stock National Champion was incorrectly identified. William Loring, of Osceola, Ind., is a repeat winner in G Stock after coming from behind during the second day of runs in his Hoosier Tire/Tire Rack Toyota Celica GT.