Wenzel Takes Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo Finale; Barbato Claims Season-Long Title
LINCOLN, Neb. (September 3, 2013) – Kevin Wenzel, of Erie, Colo., captured the Tire Rack ProSolo Finale on Sunday at the Lincoln (Neb.) Airpark, defeating season-long Super Challenge champion Nick Barbato, of Whethersfield, Conn., in the finals. Mirroring the open classes, 17-year-old Rachel Saunders, of Southlake, Texas, topped season-long Ladies Challenge champion Kim Whitener, of Fort Worth, Texas, in the event Ladies Challenge final.
Wenzel qualified the Son of Thor, Not Bruce Volkswagen Scirocco first in the Street/Stock Index 3 category to punch his ticket into the Super Challenge at the season’s toughest ProSolo event.
Vivek Goel (B Stock, Automotive Specialists/FTW Racing Honda S2000), Josh Luster (Street Touring Ultra, AgileAuto.com/StranoParts.com Subaru STI), and Greg McCance (E Street Prepared, Subaru WRX) were Wenzel’s victims in the opening three rounds, boosting the eventual champion into the semifinals.
Barbato followed a similar pattern, taking the top qualifying position in B Stock behind the wheel of the GT Academy Got It Wrong Honda S2000. Barbato topped Alex Schipkov (Street/Stock Index 2, SoloRacer.com/Monoballs.com BMW 330ci), Eric Hyman (Street Modified, Cobb Surgeline/GT-RR Nissan GT-R), and Toledo Super Challenge winner Jason Frank (Street Touring Compact, ProPartsUSA/Team Undercoat Racing Honda Civic) to move to the final four.
Barbato topped Kart Modified’s Paul Russell (Seventh-Gear.com Honda Tony Kart) to advance to the finals, meeting Wenzel after he bested Lane Borg’s Street/Stock Index 4 Chevrolet Corvette.
Wenzel never got a serious challenge from Barbato in the final, as Barbato broke a front sway bar end link in the last matchup and missed out on his third Super Challenge win of the season.
Saunders’ Hoosier LeGrande Mk 25 Dragon was only the third qualifier in the Ladies Class 1, but topped autocross hot shoes Meredith Brown, Christine Grice, and Hilary Andersen to work through the field and into the finals.
With Saunders in the finale, Whitener needed as strong of a finish as she could manage to defend her season-long title in the Texas Track Works/Motion Control Suspensions Honda CRX.
Saunders prevailed in the finals, but the runner-up finish handed Whitener back-to-back season Ladies Challenge crowns by 17 points.
Though the 2013 Tire Rack ProSolo Series is in the books, the action at the Lincoln AirPark continues all week. National Champions will be crowned on both Wednesday and Friday at the 41st Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships as part of the format at the week-long event. Nearly 1200 competitors are on site through the week for the largest motorsports event in the world.