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James Cathers proved he had more than just beginners luck after winning the Tire Rack Wilmington ProSolo. (Perry Bennett) James Cathers proved he had more than just beginners luck after winning the Tire Rack Wilmington ProSolo. (Perry Bennett) View Full Size

 

WILMINGTON, Ohio (July 29, 2014) – James Cathers, of Signal Mountain, Tennessee, took home the winners hardware by becoming the Top Eliminator in the Tire Rack® SCCA ProSolo® Super Challenge this past weekend at Wilmington Airport. Laura Campbell, of Madison, Alabama, was the sole driver remaining at the conclusion of competition in the Ladies Challenge bracket.

The Wilmington competition site is one of the most highly prized of any on the National Tour calendar. A smooth concrete surface with loads of grip is one thing that makes the competitors come out in droves. The Sam Strano-designed course was a hit among the drivers, with some deeming it the best they had experienced in years. It was well balanced making the course entertaining and challenging for many classes and types of cars.

The 267 entrants were treated to unseasonably cool temperatures, as Friday’s high in the low 80s proved to be the warmest of the race weekend. Rain was a threat for Sunday, but held off until the entire event was completed.

Aside from a great course and good weather, the meet was also very well run. The even chairs, Shari McCoy and Nathan Roberts, had never even seen a ProSolo event before. However, with the help of Cincinnati Region members, the entire meet went off without a hitch including the customary Friday night welcome party.

Cathers (SP/SM Index A, Chevrolet Corvette) was a class winner before heading into the single-elimination Super Challenge bracket. As a result of his margin of victory in that portion, Cathers was the fifth seed overall.

In round one, Cathers drew first blood by beating Mike Kline (Kart Modified, 15th Row?! Honda CRG Road Rebel). In the second round, Cathers met Chris Raglan (Race Tire Index 2, Westers Garage/Mode Racing Pontiac Solstice). Cathers ended Raglin’s day after eliminating him from the Super Challenge bracket.

In the quarter-finals, Cathers lined up against Mark Andy (C Street, Mazda RX-8). Cathers was able to take the win over Andy, allowing him to move to the semi-finals where he met Chris Harvey.

Cathers extinguished the hot streak that Harvey (C Street, Tire Rack Mazda MX-5) had compiled. Harvey was the CS class winner, but now could do to better than third in the Super Challenge.

Mike Johnson (Street Index RWD, Evolution/BFGoodrich Tires/MCS Chevrolet Corvette) was the other Super Challenge finalist. In the third round of the bracket competition, Johnson beat Grant Reeve (Super Street R, iRacing.com/G-Fab Racing Corvette Z06). Johnson then ousted Andrew Pallotta (Street Touring X, Slevinparts Scion FRS) to punch his ticket to the final matchup.

In the final, Cathers proved to be too much for Johnson, as Cathers was the first to cross the line in the head-to-head duel. That left Harvey and Pallotta to battle for third. In that instance Pallotta had enough to outlast Harvey, which allowed Pallotta to claim the final podium position.

This was the first ProSolo win for Cathers. In fact, he has started making an impact in the national Tour events just this season. Earlier in the year, he was the class winner at the Toledo ProSolo meet.

Campbell (Ladies Class 3, Outdoorsolutions4u.com/MINIUSA.com Honda S2000) started the Ladies Challenge in an enviable position as the top qualifier. Campbell kicked off her challenge-winning tear with a win over Tara Johns (Ladies Class 1, Tweakit/ABC Plumbing Mazda Miata) in the opening round.

In the quarter-final round, Campbell dispatched with Holly Schwedler (Ladies Class 3, Stranoparts.com/Thanks Don! Scion FR-S). That win moved her to the semis where she met, and defeated, Jackie Mutschler (Ladies Class 3, Chevrolet Camaro).

The win over Mutschler put Campbell into the final matchup where she met the formidable Shelly Monfort (Ladies Class 1, Strano Performance Parts BMW 330 Ci).

Monfort’s path to the Ladies Challenge final started with a win over Heidi K. Ellison (Ladies Class 2, JWRacing Mazda MX-5). She then took out Rachel Baker and Chris Peterson during the next two rounds of the bracket, in that order.

When it came down to the final, Campbell proved she had what it took to win by downing Monfort. Mutschler completed the podium positions after beating Peterson in the third-place runoff.

Crissy Weaver (Ladies Class 1, FattBoyz of Dayton/Muffler Pros Chevrolet Corvette), of Beavercreek, Ohio, took home top honors in the Bonus Challenge. Like Cathers, this was Weaver’s first bracket win at a ProSolo event.

The Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo season wraps up at the ProSolo Finale scheduled for August 30-Sept. 1, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Information on the Wilmington ProSolo event, including full results, can be found here. More information on the entire Tire Rack SCCA Solo program is available at www.scca.com/Solo.

Follow SCCA on Twitter @SCCAOfficial and like the Club on Facebook at Facebook.com/SCCAOfficial.

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