LINCOLN, Neb. (May 27, 2014) – The Tire Rack SCCA Solo Championship Tour made its mid-season stop at the Lincoln Airpark for this past weekend’s Spring Nationals.
The 273-entrant field was large for a regular-season meet. Aside from big turnouts, the field was stacked with talent. Former National Champions Kim and David Whitener, Meredith Brown and Sam Strano were just some of the heavy-hitters competing. Many of these drivers were present with the thought of getting some experience at the site which will host The Tire Rack SCCA National Championships in September.
In addition to utilizing the same patch of concrete on which to compete, Championship Tour meets use the traditional class-style competition that will be utilized to decide National Champions. That was part of the advantage that drivers would hope to gain in using this as a tune-up for Nationals.
The stacked entry list resulted in some close racing across all classes, with five class winners being decided by less than 0.4-second.
The closest of those finishes came in Super Stock R, when Jeff Janzen (SSR, Automotive Specialist/eagle Transportation Chevrolet Corvette) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, eeked out a 0.048-second the victory over Andrew Pallotta (SSR, Stranoparts/Newmans 200TW Tire Chevrolet Corvette). At the end of day one, Janzen was in control and held the class lead. Pallotta made things interesting on day two by setting a faster time than Janzen, but was unable to overcome the deficit in the end.
Another close battle was the result of the four-driver shootout in Kart Modified. Jared Langenfeld (KM, Honda Mike Wilson), of Olathe, Kansas, emerged as the winner, beating Mike Kline (KM, T.S. Garp 2nd Gear Racing CRG Honda) by 0.055-second. Langenfeld left the competition site following day one with plenty to think about, sitting second after completing his lone clean run. On day two, Langenfeld turned things around, roaring back by setting the fast time in class that allowed him to leapfrog to the top of the standings.
G Street set the scene for a close battle between Trevor Jones (GS, Defyant Motorsports/Buschur Racing Ford Focus ST), of Onalaska, Wisconsin, and Andy Weigel (GS, Ford Focus). Jones was the eventual class winner, but that picture was not very clear following the first day of competition. On day one, Jone’s quickest lap came on a run where he incurred a two-second penalty for hitting a cone. Following the overnight break, Jones reached his true potential by setting a best time more than one second quicker than Weigel. That ensured the class win for Jones.
Preston Jordan (Street Touring FWD, Vision SpeedWorks Ford Focus), of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the favorite to take the class victory after day one, but David Hedderick (Street Touring FWD, Team Minardi/BC Racing NA Mazda 3) kept him honest throughout. After day one, Jordan’s advantage was only 0.02-second. On day two, Hedderick tried to keep pace but ended up falling 0.205-second short when the best times from both days were added together.
Mark Hill (Street Touring Ultra, Jayhawk Racing Mitsubishi Evo), of Lawrence, Kansas, took home the winner’s hardware in Street Touring Ultra. He ended day one as the class leader, and was able to sustain his position on day two in spite of not setting the fast time of the day. Scott Steider (STU, Nissan 350Z) finished in second place, 0.398-second behind Hill.
The Tire Rack SCCA Solo Championship Tour Series heads on to Crows Landing Air Facility, in Crows Landing, California for its next installment. The meet near San Francisco, set for July 14-15, will be the sixth of 10 scheduled in 2014
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