LANDOVER, Md. (June 11, 2012) – Nick Barbato, of Wethersfield, Conn., completed an East Coast sweep with a win in last weekend’s Tire Rack SCCA Washington, D.C., ProSolo Super Challenge, held in the parking lots surrounding FedEx Field. Victoria Benya, of Phoenixville, Penn., also stood atop the field, winning the event’s Ladies Challenge.
While the rainy weather from early in the weekend was not a factor in the Super Challenge rounds, the course proved to be tricky for the drivers to master. The traditional elevation changes and track surface variations were just a few of the factors that make the course, staged in the parking lot of the home to the NFL’s Washington Redskins, uniquely challenging.
Barbato, behind the wheel of the GT Academy Got It Wrong Honda S2000, advanced to the 32-car Super Challenge bracket after snatching the top spot of his B Stock qualifying class by a 1.249-second margin.
On the way to the round of eight, Barbato took wins over Bryan Hertwick (Road Tire 2WD class, Porsche Cayman S) and Sam Strano (Super Stock class, Stranoparts.com Chevrolet Corvette). Barbato was forced to bring everything he had early in the competition.
“Anyone going into a Super Challenge round with Sam [Strano] is an underdog,” Barbato said. “I felt Sam would be the fiercest competition, and he proved that by running me to the tenth.
“The talent and sportsmanship that Sam has displayed for years is what this great sport is built upon, and I want to continue that trend.”
In the quarterfinal round, Barbato disposed of Josh Luster (Street Touring Ultra class, AgileAuto.com Subaru STI) to advance to the final four.
In the semi-final showdown, Barbato kept rolling, moving to the finals by beating Aaron Shoe (JSCSpeed.com/Office Furniture Solutions Mitsubishi Evo) head to head. Shoe qualified fastest in Street Modified.
Kraig Klipple, driving the Stranoparts.com Mazda Miata from Street Touring Sport, earned his way to the Super Challenge final from the middle of the bracket. Klipple knocked off Ryan Leach (H Stock class, JSCSpeed.com Mini Cooper) in the semi-finals.
Barbato would not be denied, though, taking the overall win against Klipple. Shoe topped Leach in the consolation bracket to take the bronze medal.
Benya (Ladies Class 3 OSGiken/Honda Racing Honda S2000) was the best in her qualifying class during Saturday’s runs. She continued her run of strong performances, beating Shelly Monfort (Ladies Class 2 MBW 330ci) and Kathy Grunewald (Ladies Class 3 T-Bones Home for Wayward Women Honda Civic), advancing to the finals.
In the finals, Benya took the win over her in-class competitor, Teddie Alexandrova, in the Blue Torqueless Ricers Club/Thanks Tory! Honda S2000, while Grunewald took home third, winning the consolation bracket.
Bob Davis, of New Haven, Conn., drove his Stock/Street Index 1 Miataroadster.com Mazda Miata to victory in the Bonus Challenge.
Information on the Washington, D.C., round of Tire Rack ProSolo Series can be found at http://www.scca.com/events/index.cfm?eid=5474. More information on the entire Tire Rack SCCA Solo program is available at www.scca.com/Solo.
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