It’s time to get Dixie-Fried! Are you ready? We are. Here’s everything you need to know about the Tire Rack Dixie Championship Tour. See the full entry list here.
SSR (5 entries) is set to be an all Corvette affair this year and should provide some of the tightest and most hard fought battles on the grid. Perpetual favorites and former National Champions Sam Strano, Matthew Braun, and Tony Savini will be joined this year by 13-time SCCA Runoffs Champion John Heinricy. Big names, big tires, and big power make this one of the premiere classes to watch.
AS (14 entries) would also be an all Chevrolet playground if not for one Teutonic interloper in a Porsche 996. Could German engineering win out? Or will the overwhelming number of Corvettes swing the odds in their favor?
DS (9 entries) sees the BRZ and the TRD-less FR-S moved into the playground of the WRX. Last season, the WRX had a stranglehold on the class and 2016 National Champion Dennis Sparks will probably be intent on showing its dominance again over the lighter but far less powerful twins. Course dependency may rear its head, but the fight in DS is well worth watching.
ES (21 entries) packs small convertibles into the largest class at Dixie. Last year at Nationals, the Toyota MR2 Spyder took 8 of the top ten spots in ES, but missed out on the top step of the podium. Look for 2014 Triad winner Eric Peterson or Sean Minehart vying to put a Toyota into the lead.
FS (11 entries) was once the undisputed home of American muscle, but the Germans are starting to muscle their way in. With the entry split between 4 M3s, 4 Camaros, and 3 Mustangs, FS should provide an interesting mix. Whether the BMWs have anything to say or not, Terry Tabor in a Mustang and Courtney Cormier in a Camaro should put together a classic Ford vs Chevy fight.
STX (20 entries) is the second largest class and the mix of RX-8s, BMWs, MINI Coopers, and "twins" always manages to create a close and entertaining battle. Can the Appelbaums in their MINI put a FWD car on top? Will Gregg Henderson or Phil Bedard get a twin into the lead? Or can Jason Stroud harness the power of spinning Doritos in his RX-8 for the win?
STR (17 entries) has been dominated by the Honda S2000 basically since its inception, but as the aftermarket for ND Miatas grows they'll be looking to take the crown away. 2015 STX National Champion David Marcus and co-driver Darrin DiSimo will no doubt be looking to take the fight to Jed Peterson and Ricky Crow, both in S2000 CRs.
SM (8 entries) entrant Mike Aversa may claim the crown of "longest tow" as he brings his Subaru down from Canada for some early season action in a class otherwise stacked with Southeastern Subarus. Aaron Shoe and Josh Luster break the Subaru mold with a 2006 Lancer Evo and will bring a fight to an all turbo, all AWD class.
FP (5 entries) sees the return of 18-time National Champion John Thomas in his Nissan 240Z. But, Jesse Waymire is pretty good in that S2000. It's going to come down to how rusty John is (pro-tip: he's NOT!)
CAM-C (12 entries) is for those into V8 grunt and American Muscle. CAM has exploded in popularity since its introduction, and this year brings 12 entries to Dixie in a mix of Ford, Chevy, and Dodge cars.
Ladies Heat, the newest ladies initiative from the SCCA Solo Program will debut in Dixie. All Ladies Class entries will run in the same heat. In addition to traditional scoring and awards, they will also be scored in a Ladies Index. You can read more about this initiative here.
Are you excited yet? I am. See y'all there!