PATTERSON, Calif. (June 17, 2014) – Following a nearly 20-year hiatus, SCCA Solo® competition made it return to Crows Landing Airport, near Modesto, California, for this past weekend’s Tire Rack® SCCA Solo Championship Tour event.
The airfield, which was built as a World War II Naval Air Station and later used as an alternative landing site for the space shuttle and Moffett Field, played host to the sixth of eight meets leading up to the National Championships that all use class-based competition.
The Chris Cox-designed course, set up on the unused runways, featured many slaloms and other challenges to drivers of differing still levels. The weather added to the success of the weekend with highs in the high 80s and low 90s, following the previous weekend where Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo drivers endured temperatures that soared over 100 degrees at the same location.
Of the 286 entries, Blair Reid (Kart Modified, GP Honda), of Boise, Idaho, recorded the fastest time of the two-day competition. Following three runs on Saturday and another three on Sunday, Reid finished with a composite time of 106.121 seconds.
Close racing was the result of the favorable conditions. None was closer than the margin of victory in Street Touring FWD. Joseph Austin (STF, MINIUSA.com/On a Dime Racing Mini Cooper), of Newburgh, New York, walked away as the eventual winner over Travis Sackwar. Heading into the overnight break, Austin was the clear class leader with 0.7-second in hand. However, Sackwar make a race of it, posting a Sunday time that fell just 0.076-second short of Austin’s two-day total.
Street Modified was one of the larger classes in the competition, which featured 16 entrants. Eric Hyman (SM, Cobb Surgeline/GT-RR Nissan GT-R), of Fall City, Washington, slept on a scant 0.036-second lead over Joshua Salvage (Rich Jones Racing Mitsubishi Evo 9) following Saturday’s runs. On Sunday, Hyman was able to stretch his lead after putting down what became the winning lap, during his first run of Sunday. Salvage came close to equaling Hyman during his last run on Sunday, but ended up 0.207-second short of taking home the win.
In D Modified, another close battle emerged but was eventually decided by bad racing luck. Steve Goldine (DM, BigWheels.net/Dave Henry Caterham Superlight), of San Jose, California, established himself as the favorite, after setting the fastest lap on Saturday. Sunday was another story as Mark Huffman put down two runs that would have sewed up the win for himself if he had not taken out a cone on each of those laps. On his third run, Huffman’s Elan suffered a mechanical issue that guaranteed the win for Goldine.
High drama was also the name of the game in Super Street Prepared. After day-one runs, Ryan Johnson led the class following a quick first lap coupled with two scratch runs. Joel Villarreal (SSP, La Mexicana/Maier Racing Chevrolet Corvette), of Livermore, California, proved to have the necessary speed to take the class win by erasing his deficit with a clean second run - his only clean lap of the day. Villarreal ended up with a 0.299-second margin of victory after Johnson hit a cone on his last run.
Street Touring Xtreme was not only the events largest class, but also the deepest. Mack Tsang and Stephen Yeoh sat first and second after the class’ opening runs, but it didn’t stay like that for long. Eventual winner Steve OBlenes (STX, FRSport.com/OS Giken/RSR Subaru BRZ), of Garden Grove, California, stepped it up on this third Saturday run to take the lead, after hitting a total of four cones during his first two laps.
OBlenes shone on Sunday by setting a class-winning time during his first run. With the win all but decided, OBlenes swung for the fences, and connected, extending his lead to an eventual 0.898-second margin of victory. Bryan Heitkotter was left clinging to second ahead of Mack Tsang.
The Tire Rack SCCA Solo Championship Tour Series next heads to the Hamilton Lumber Plant, in Packwood, Washington, July 5-6. More information on The Tire Rack SCCA Solo Program is available at www.scca.com/solo.
More information, including full results, from the Tire Rack Solo Crows Landing Championship Tour is available here.
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