LANDOVER, Md. (April 18, 2012) – The Tire Rack SCCA Pro Solo Series spent April 15 in Washington, D.C., opening the season on the traditional tax day. The biggest prize was collected by Michael Fineberg, from Blue Bell, Pa., earning the Gumout Super Challenge title in the parking lots surrounding FedEx Field.
Fineberg qualified for the Gumout Super Challenge by winning the Street Modified class in the Moton USA/ACD-Tuning.com/JSCSpeed Mitsubishi Evolution at the Washington DC Pro Solo. Fineberg began the elimination round as the sixth seed among 32 qualifiers following class competition.
The 239 competitors, the most at a DC-area event since 2008, ran under sunny skies on a challenging Lee Picone-designed course that challenged drivers with an uphill start, elevation changes, and variable grip due to sealant on the asphalt.
The event was also the first of the year in which participants donated a percentage of their contingency prize winnings to “United Behind Chelsea,” as a way to help raise money for an autocross family in need. The family’s daughter, Chelsea, has an extremely rare combination of conditions that require her to have surgery in Germany later this spring. To help the family raise money, autocrossers from across the country are banding together and pledging their support.
On the course, Fineberg knocked off A Stock qualifier Anthony Savini (Stranoparts.com/Evo School Chevrolet Corvette) in the opening round of the bracket-style competition, and followed it up with a win over Charles Koulik (Joefis Racing Mazda Miata), who earned his qualification from C Street Prepared, in the round of 16. A win over E Street Prepared’s top qualifier and third overall seed, Samuel Krauss (Ankeny Automotive/Dougs Auto Eagle Talon) moved Fineberg into the semi-finals.
The round of four featured Fineberg facing off against No. 7 seed James Feinberg, the top qualifier out of H Stock driving the SoloPro Driving School Mini Cooper. In the bottom half of the bracket, Shane Chinonn-Rhoden, from C Stock, squared off against Eric Campbell, the D Street Prepared class winner. Chinonn-Rhoden’s Agile Automotive Nissan 370Z bested Campbell’s Campbell Disaster Keenup International BMW 330Ci to face Fineberg in the finals.
Feinberg topped Campbell in the consolation round to earn the bronze medal.
Fineberg’s Gumout Super Challenge win was his first in a 12-year autocross career for the Philly Region driver, who’s previous best was the round of eight.
Shelly Monfort, from Saratoga, Calif., was only the third qualifier from Ladies Class 3, but wound her way through the single-elimination bracket to take the Ladies Challenge victory in a Honda Civic CRX over Kandy Johnson.
Veteran Soloist Jadice Toussant won the bonus challenge after falling just 0.319-second short of qualifying for the Gumout Super Challenge in B Stock behind the wheel of the Crown Honda Charlotte/Team CMM Honda S2000. Tousssant, from Charlotte, N.C., has pledged 100% of his contingency prize money from the event to the “United Behind Chelsea” fund.
The Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo moves to the Mineral Wells Airport in Mineral Wells, Texas, this weekend when the Texas Region hosts the Mineral Wells ProSolo, April 20-21.
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