LINCOLN, Neb. (September 5, 2013) – With National Champions crowned in half of the classes on Wednesday, another round of competitors took to the track on Thursday at the 41st Tire Rack SCCA® Solo® National Championships.
The Lincoln (Neb.) Airpark tarmac hosts two very different courses. At the Solo National Championships, competitors are given three runs on both the East and West course, concentrating on one course each day. A driver’s single best time on each course are added together to determine the Champion.
Like the ambient temperature, the Street Touring X class action was hot for the first thing in the morning. Following two of three runs on the east, less than 0.1-second separated the top four places in the class. Neal Tovsen, of Apple Valley, Minn., led the way in the Apruve.com/SoloPro Driving Schools/The Alignment BMW 325i, followed in a blink of an eye by Jeff Hurst, Lance Keeley and Andrew Pallotta.
On the long East course, the question was who could break into the 77-second range for the run. Hurst, of Hicksville, N.Y., was the first to do it in raw time, but a clipped cone in the ANZE Suspension Mazda RX-8 cost him the lead. Keeley, of Brookfield, Wis., couldn’t improve in the Bartuned Scion FRS.
Pallotta, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, tripped the lights in 77.890 seconds on his final run in the StranoParts/Moto-East Scion FR-S, catapulting to the overnight lead by 0.347-second, followed by Tovsen, Hurst and Keeley.
In D Stock, defending champion Mark Smith, of Denver, Colo., and James Feinberg, of Fuquay Varina, N.C., walked away from the class in the first day, leaving the 15-car field with long odds to overtake them. Smith’s 3Zero3ms.com/SPE-ED/Customcraft Audi TT turned his quickest time on the third run to move into a 0.204-second lead over Feinberg. Feinberg’s SoloPro Driving School Audi TT sits 1.2-second ahead of third place, however, as the class shapes up into a two-man race.
Houston’s Daniel McCelvey drove his JFA Racing/TrackTime Performance Nissan 370Z to a 0.790-second advantage over defending champion Ryan Buetzer. Conventional wisdom is that Friday’s West Course will suit Buetzer’s ChaseCam/Albin Bowling Supply/The Dent Guy Pontiac Solstice. It will be up to McCelvey to minimize the damage and hold on for his first National Championship.
The Street Touring Sport class is up for grabs entering Friday’s final runs, where nine drivers are within a second after the Thursday. Ian Baker, of Herndon, Va., shot his Toyo Tires/StranoParts/SSC Tint Honda CRX Si to the top of the charts with a 0.408-second cushion. Baker will sleep tonight dreaming of his first National Championship, but knowing that defending champ David Whitener, of Fort Worth, Texas, leads the challengers in his Texas Track Works/Motion Control Suspensions Honda CRX.
The 50-car Street Touring R class is supposed to be dominated by the Mazda MX-5 and the Honda S2000, but, if that’s true, no one told Brian Peters, of Litchfield Park, Ariz. Peters moved to the top of the charts with a quick second run in the ProPartsUSA Nissan 350Z, and then tried to increase his lead with his third and final trip around the East course. He improved slightly, but clipped a cone in the early segments to incur a two-second penalty and stand on his second run. Colin Fieldler, of Pewaukee, Wis., sits second in the Evasive Motorsports Honda S2000, just 0.125-second behind Peters.
The West Course, in contrast to the long, flowing East layout, has proven to be tighter and shorter, with more margin for error.
The battle for supremacy in F Street Prepared Ladies is one to watch heading into Friday’s final runs. Lisa Krueger-Burgess, of Midland, Mich., holds onto the top position in the standings, as she leads Jamie Yost by a narrow 0.090-second margin. To notch a ninth National Championship, Krueger-Burgess will need to make some clean runs on the longer, high-speed East Course in her Mike’s Cat Ranch Volkswagen Rabbit.
Paul Russell, of San Diego, Calif., proved to be quickest in Kart Modified following his three runs on Thursday. Jared Langefeld, in second, and the 26 other drivers in the field, will have to wait until Friday to best Russell in his Tony Kart Honda. Russell currently holds the advantage by 0.436-second, but has little room to relax during Friday’s final runs if he hopes to win a fifth-consecutive National Championship.
In C Modified, Branden Lavender, of Indianapolis, Ind., leads a class that features some extremely close competition toward the top of the standings. The top-seven positions can be covered by a second, including a dead heat between Nick Myers and Jon Clements for the fifth position. Lavender, driving his Van Diemen RF85, was the only driver to break into the 48-second range, with a time of 48.966 on his second run. The time puts him 0.345-second ahead of his closest competition, Donald Elzinga.
Heat Three produced two notable story lines on their opening day of competition. In B Modified, Clemens Burger, of Noblesville, Ind., leads after day one of competition, but even more shocking was that 2011 National Champion Brianne Corn failed to register a time. Burger put his best time in on run two behind the wheel of his LeGrand Mk 18, putting him just 0.044-second ahead of Corn’s co-driver, 17-year-old Rachel Saunders.
After three DNFs, Corn is out of the running to add a third National title to her name. She strayed from the designated course in run one, then the Janco/Hoosier Le Grand Dragon she was driving had a left-front suspension failure during run two. Corn borrowed the Dragon SR2A, driven by Soter Slomski and Bill Gendronk, and strayed from the course in a slalom section, disallowing the sub 50-second lap she recorded.
Following Heat Four on Thursday, Michael Heinitz, of San Diego, Calif., leads the Road Tire RWD class. He leads the largest class at the 2013 Solo Nationals, with a 0.572-second gap over Trevor Jones. A field of more than more than 55 competitors will be gunning for Heinitz, in his Mazda MX-5, come Friday afternoon.
The muscle cars of C Prepared finished the day on the West as dark clouds threatened. The skies opened up just enough to potentially slow those runs already in progress, but cleared just as quickly. Defending champion Michael Maier, of Livermore, Calif., put his Maier Racing Ford Mustang in the lead by 0.771-second.
Heat one on both courses returns to action at 8:00 a.m. (CDT) on Friday morning.
Follow the action through live timing at www.sololive.scca.com, live audio from the east course at www.ustream.tv/channel/solo-nationals-east and from the west course at www.ustream.tv/channel/solo-nationals-west, on the SCCA Facebook page at Facebook.com/SCCAOfficial, or on Twitter @SCCAOfficial.
More information on the Tire Rack SCCA National Championship is available at www.scca.com/solo.
LINCOLN, Neb. - The top two runners in each of the 35 classes competing Thursday and Friday in the 41th Tire Rack® SCCA Solo National Championships at Lincoln Airpark with class, leading driver, hometown and car; second place driver, hometown, car and gap behind first place. *Denotes Supplemental Class.
B Modified: Clemens Burger, Noblesville, Ind., LeGrand Mk 18; Rachel Saunders, Southlake, Texas, Le Grand Dragon, -0.044.
C Modified: Brandon Lavender, Indianapolis, Ind., Van Dieman RF85; Donald Elzinga, Waterford, Mich., Reynard FF1600, -0.345.
C Prepared: Michael Maier, Livermore, Calif., Ford Mustang; Robert Lewis, Tallahassee, Fla., Ford Mustang, -0.771.
C Prepared Ladies: Brianne Maier, Livermore, Calif., Ford Mustang; Tracy Lewis, Tallahassee, Fla., Ford Mustang, -0.044.
C Stock Ladies: Learic Cramer, Columbia, Md., Nissan 370Z; Lynn Collins, Berlin, Mass., Pontiac Solstice, -1.279.
D Modified: Jeff Cashmore, New Berlin, Wis., Minardi; Mark Huffman, Litchfield Park, Ariz., Lotus Elan, -0.582.
D Modified Ladies: Denise Cashmore, New Berlin, Wis., Minardi; Ericka Pieracci, Livermore, Calif., Cateram Superlight, -0.860.
D Stock: Mark Smith, Denver, Colo., Audi TT; James Feinberg, Fuquay Varina, N.C., Audi TT, -0.204.
D Stock Ladies: Gwen Baake, Bahama, N.C., Audi TT; Jocelin Huang, Edina, Minn., Audi TT, -0.270.
E Modified: Jeff Kiesel, Poway, Calif, KFR Turbo Sprite; Mark Kiesel, Poway, Calif., KFR Turbo Sprite, -2.491.
E Modified Ladies: Shawn Kiesel, Poway, Calif, KRF Turbo Sprite; Karen Eickhoff, Kansas City, Mo., Toyota MR2, -5.327.
E Prepared: Christopher Dorsey, Littleton, Colo., Toyota Corolla GTS; Jeremy Briggs, Troy, Ohio, Acura RSX Type S, -2.757.
E Prepared Ladies: Deanne Caraballo, Patterson, Calif., Toyota Starlet; Denise Kugler, Springtown, Pa., Honda CRX, -0.623.
E Street Prepared: Jadrice Toussaint, Charlotte, N.C., Ford Mustang Boss; Mark Madarash, Red Oak, Texas, Pontiac Trans Am, -0.028.
E Street Prepared Ladies: Mandy Owen, Phoenix, Ariz., Subaru WRX; Lorien Feighner, Howell, Mich., Ford Mustang, -1.465.
F Street Prepared: Kevin Wenzel, Erie, Colo., Volkswagen Scirocco; Tim White, Cayce, S.C., Volkswagen Rabbit, -0.644.
F Street Prepared Ladies: Lisa Krueger-Burgess, Midland, Mich, Volkswagen Rabbit; Jamie Yost, Windsor, Colo., BMW, -0.090.
G Prepared: Allen Kugler, Springtown, Pa., Honda CRX; Bryan Rawlins, Techumseh, Mich., Honda CRX, -2.048.
G Prepared Ladies: Chris Cutrer, Lenexa, Kan., Fiat X1-9; No other competitors.
Kart Modified: Paul Russell, San Diego, Calif., Tony Kart Honda; Jared Langenfeld, Olathe, Kan., Honda, -0.436.
Kart Modified Ladies: Kate Regganie, Joliet, Ill., Honda; Suzanne Segal, Las Vegas, Nev., Honda Tony Kart, -0.872.
Street Touring FWD: Eric Sienkiewicz, Charlotte, N.C., Mazda3; Chris Perry, Chicago, Ill., Ford Focus, -0.502.
Street Touring FWD Ladies: Katelyn Johnson, Plano, Texas, Toyota Corolla; Sarah Tooth, Houston, Texas, Mini Cooper, -1.369.
Street Touring R: Brian Peters, Litchfield Park, Ariz., Nissan 350Z; Colin Fielder, Pewaukee, Wis., Honda S2000, -0.125.
Street Touring R Ladies: Annie Gill, Renton, Wash., Honda S2000; Victoria Benya, Phoenixville, Pa., Honda S2000, -1.405.
Street Touring Sport: Ian Baker, Herndon, Va., Honda CRX Si; David Whitener, Fort Worth, Texas, Honda CRX, -0.408.
Street Touring Sport Ladies: Kim Whitener, Fort Worth, Texas, Honda CRX; Mary Cutrer, Austin, Texas, Honda CRX, -4.598.
Street Touring Unlimited: Geoff Clark, Monroe, Wash., Mitsubishi Evo; Josh Luster, Elkton, Md., Subaru STI, -0.417.
Street Touring Unlimited Ladies: Gretchen Everett, Kent, Wash., Mitsubishi Evo; Diane Bollenbeck, San Diego, Calif., Mitsubishi Evo, -0.890.
Street Touring Xtreme: Andrew Pallotta, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Scion FR-S; Neal Tovsen, Apple Valley, Minn., BMW 325is, -0.347.
Street Touring Xtreme Ladies: Gretchen Austin, Minneapolis, Minn., Mazda RX-8; Katie Lacey, Apple Valley, Minn., BMW 325is, -0.803.
*Road Tire RWD: Michael Heinitz, San Diego, Calif., Mazda MX-5; Trevor Jones, Onalaska, Wis., Subaru BRZ, -0.572.
*Road Tire RWD Ladies: Elizabeth Whitworth, St. Louis, Mo., Ford Mustang; Teddie Alexandrova, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Honda S2000 CR, -0.078.
*Kart Junior A: Zak Kiesel, Poway, Calif, Tony Kart Nelson Special; Tom Regganie, Joliet, Ill., Margay, -0.867.
*Kart Junior B: Trey White, Glen Allen, Va., Invader Kart; Kimsoo Gopnik, Maynard, Mass., CRG Kart, -4.969.