The tale of two Match Tours: Last weekend, drivers partied on the East Coast at the Tire Rack Charlotte Match Tour. This weekend, it was the West Coast drivers at the Tire Rack San Diego Match Tour. Known for pizza parties and nice weather, the completion of San Diego means we’re halfway through the Match Tour schedule and headed to Pittsburgh in three weeks.
Edward Tsui’s E Street Toyota MR2 was plagued with camber issues all weekend as the rear camber bolt kept sliding. The entire field rallied to get the car fixed on Saturday and co-driver Leonard Cachola was able to claim a second-place finish behind Dennis Hubbard in a Mazda Miata. Unfortunately, the fix couldn’t hold and slipped again during Challenge qualifying on Sunday morning. On the other end of the E Street grid, TJ Tiu’s Miata had issues, but he was able to codrive with Mark Wolfe on Sunday and qualify for the Under Dog Challenge.
In G Street, Kristen Acharya overcame a huge deficit against Jon Nottage on Saturday afternoon and leapfrogged him to finish third behind husband Kaustav and Derik Romero.
Not far away in H Street, Ron Chapman made a last-minute decision to run the class after taking about a year off. But it was the oldest car in the class, a Honda CRX Si, piloted by James Harnish who took the class win. He’d go on to win the Top Dog Challenge on Sunday.
Match Tours are designed to be the entry-level Tire Rack National Solo event, so it’s only appropriate that Scott Phillips took his Mazda MX-5 to a C Street win and Under Dog Challenge victory. This is after he won the Super Challenge at the Fontana ProSolo two weeks ago.
Sometimes Tire Rack National Solo events are about working together with friends to have fun. That was the case for Jeff and Nicole Wong and John Hogan. Despite the Wongs’ new Chevrolet Camaro SS being mostly in F Street trim, Hogan and Nicole Wong finished first and second respectively in E Street Prepared and Jeff Wong took the victory in CAM-C. All three qualified for the Top Dog Challenge where Hogan knocked out Nicole to advance to the final and Jeff was also just one victory away from advancing.
Car diversity was a marker of the weekend. From an E Street Datsun 240Z to a Nissan Juke in STX. Other honorable mentions include a Jaguar Vandenplas and Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, both driven by ladies.
Full Results from the 2018 Tire Rack San Diego Match Tour can be found here.
Top Dog: Jim Harnish, H Street, Honda Civic Si
Under Dog: Scott Phillips, C Street, Mazda MX-5
Lucky Dog: Mark Hazboun, E Street, Mazda Miata