East Coast RallyCross Winners on High in Maryland
TOPEKA, Kan. (July 12, 2016) – A Maryland hilltop was where nearly 70 competitors came together for the July 8-10 SCCA East Coast RallyCross National Challenge.
Hosted by the Washington DC Region at a location nicknamed “Gravel Mountain” near Frostburg, Maryland, this event was only the second ever RallyCross National Challenge conducted in the revitalized format that aims to mimic the success of the RallyCross National Championship. On Fridays, open “Test & Tune” sessions are held followed by competition Saturdays and Sundays. Each weekend has three unique course layouts, and drivers get at least three shots at each configuration. Runs are timed to 1/1000th of a second with missed “gates” resulting in a 10-second penalty. Class winners are based on the total time of all runs Saturday and Sunday.
Perfect weather greeted racers over the weekend. The facility itself was filled with gravel, which made the surface “grip” substantially different from that of a dirt field where RallyCross events are usually held. The three different course layouts over the weekend flowed well with a variation of sweepers and offsets to challenge competitors.
The largest Class of the weekend, Modified Rear Wheel Drive, was won by Joshua Hickey -- but the top five finishers were only separated by a couple of seconds. The Prepared All Wheel Drive Class produced a close battle between Clifton Kangas and Mark Macoubrie. Kangas claimed a cone on his fourth run Sunday that gave a comfortable gap to Macoubrie, who then went out and set a smoking fast run to secure the win. But the fastest lap of the weekend went to Zbigniew Lorenc who won the Stock All Wheel Drive Class.
Class, winner’s name, hometown and car are as follows:
Stock-Front Wheel Drive: Chang Kim; Maynard, MA; Honda Del Sol VTEC
Stock-Rear Wheel Drive: Logan Altmyer; Smyrna, TN; Nissan 240SX
Stock-All Wheel Drive: Zbigniew Lorenc; Dublin, OH; Subaru Impreza WRX
Prepared-Front Wheel Drive: Dmitry Beliaev; Marlboro, MA; Ford Fiesta ST
Prepared-Rear Wheel Drive: Shawn Roberts; Woodbridge, VA; Mazda Miata
Prepared-All Wheel Drive: Mark Macoubrie; Louisburg, KS; Subaru Impreza WRX
Modified Front Wheel Drive: Andrew Thomas; Adamstown, MD; Toyota Celica GT
Modified-Rear Wheel Drive: Joshua Hickey; Burke, VA; BMW 318i
Modified-All Wheel Drive: James Kimmett; Leesburg, VA; Subaru Impreza
This weekend’s event also included the new package where video of each new course layout is captured using a Garmin VIRB XE and made accessible to drivers for review prior to runs. Along with that, a course map was produced from the camera’s data and supplied to competitors.
As the SCCA’s most widespread and readily accessible form of extreme motorsport, RallyCross is a scaled-down version of a rally stage laid out on a non-paved plot of land where the course is delineated by traffic cones instead of trees or rocks. Participation requirements are considerably less than those associated with other forms of performance rally, so drivers usually only need a mechanically sound, hardtop vehicle and a helmet to come play in the dirt.
Next up on the RallyCross schedule is the August 5-7 SCCA Central RallyCross National Challenge at Colorado Off Road Extreme in Agate, Colorado.
Image: Zbigniew Lorenc set fastest time of the weekend in his Subaru Impreza WRX.
Credit: Perry Bennett