TOPEKA, Kan. (October 30, 2012) – The Tri-State Challenge Tour in Blytheville, Ark., coming after the Tire Rack Solo National Championships, is the stop on the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Tour that provides a unique format and, often, prototypes for future events.
Last weekend’s event proved successful in that regard, with Clemens Burger taking the Evolution Super Shootout win during Sunday’s bracket challenge. The Evolution Super Shootout format was used at the Arkansas Aeroplex for the first time.
Each of the record 177 competitors took four runs on Saturday – one more than a traditional National Tour event - with those runs adjusted for PAX results to set the initial grid of the top 32 drivers. Sixteen more spots in the 64-car shootout were filled through two Last Chance Qualifier runs on Sunday morning, along with the top four Ladies Class participants not already in the field. The final 12 spots were filled by a random drawing, giving everyone a shot on Sunday.
Berger qualified his LeGrand Mk18 through his four Saturday runs in the B Modified class, cruised through his opening three Shootout rounds, and took down former National Champion Bartek Borowski’s E Stock Mazda Miata to advance to the final four. Once in the semi-final round, Burger met C Modified class winner Tom O’Gorman’s Full Throttle Indoor Karting Van Diemen RF85 for the chance at the final.
Driving hard to meet Burger and win the first Evolution Super Shootout at a Tire Rack National Tour were the other two semifinalists, Andrew Pallotta and Erik Strelnieks. Pallotta’s Lobster Taco Racing/Thanks Dennis Mazda RX-8 was the fastest of the Street Touring Xtreme machines, and topped Strelnieks’ Super Street Modified Hoosier/OS Giken/JC AutoSpec Mazda RX-7 to reach the final against Burger.
O’Gorman was able to best Strelnieks in the consolation round to claim third place.
The Evolution Super Shootout format is one that has been popular on the east coast, and could come on board for select events during the 2013 Tire Rack National Tour season. The class winners from Saturday’s runs will go in the record book as official Tour winners, but Sunday’s runs added an additional element to the event. Doug Gill designed the weekend’s course with assistance from Evo head Mike Johnson and chief instructor Sam Strano to ensure the course was a blend of elements for PAX/RTP index purposes.
More information on the Sports Car Club of America, the Tire Rack National Tour, and all of the SCCA programs is available at www.scca.com.
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