The fun kept coming in Nebraska over Memorial Day weekend as the Tire Rack SCCA® Solo National Tour held its fifth event of the year May 28-29, 2023, at Lincoln Airpark in the state’s capitol city.
Coming hot on the heels of the Tire Rack SCCA Lincoln ProSolo that wrapped up the previous day at the same venue, conditions were great for the event’s more than 330 entrants. Of course, there’s always a great turnout for “Spring Nationals” in Lincoln, as it offers competitors a chance to familiarize themselves and their vehicles with the grippy concrete surface home to the annual Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships.
Have some drivers gained an advantage from their participation this weekend in advance of the Sept. 5-8, 2023, 50th Solo Nationals? Let’s take a look at how the autocross action went down over Memorial Day weekend.
Lincoln Competition Recap
Twenty-two drivers made up Solo Spec Coupe (SSC), making this the largest class of the weekend. Sunday was led by Andrew Canak, who managed to establish a 0.071sec advantage on Matt Waldbaum in second. That lead was extended on Monday as Canak came home a winner by 0.230sec over runner-up Waldbaum. Jimmy Vajdak was third in SSC, Aaron Politsky fourth, Dan Costello fifth, Aldo Flores sixth, and Robert Beaver closed out the trophies in seventh.
Street Touring® Sport (STS) had a good-sized field with 19 entrants, and also had a raucous battle at the front of the class. Sunday had Andrew Salazar, in a Mazda Miata, with a 0.087sec lead on a Honda CRX Si driven by Adam Barber. But that all went away on Monday as David Whitener and his Mazda Miata stormed back to take a 0.133sec victory over Salazar. Riley Heaton (in another Miata) finished third, and Barber held on for fourth. The final two trophy spots went to Mason Herrick in a Honda Civic Si, and Miata driver Nathan Witt.
Fifteen ladies mixed it up Sunday and Monday in the Ladies Street Tire Bump class. Laurie McCelvey emerged victorious in a Mazda MX-5 by only 0.477sec over runner-up Theresa Walton in a Mazda Miata. Emily Brown was third driving a Scion FR-S, and Ali Wilson claimed fourth in a Miata. Sue Eckles rounded out the trophies driving a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 to fifth.
Ladies Bump classes – which were introduced to the Solo National Tour this year – will continue through the season as the staff monitors feedback and considers future adjustments.
The contest in C Street turned out mighty tight amongst the 11 drivers in that class. William Keese led the field by 0.047sec on Sunday, with Christian Kolmers a close second. That gap shrank Monday, but Keese still held on for a 0.034sec victory over runner-up Rick Cone. Kolmers slipped to third, and Mason Smith took the fourth and final trophy. All of the drivers who took home a trophy were in Mazda Miatas.
The eight X Prepared contestants kept things interesting, too. The gap between first and second on Sunday was only 0.006sec, with Randall Wilcox and his Mazda Miata holding the slight advantage over a Porsche 914 driven by Dave Montgomery. Wilcox expanded that lead on Monday to a whopping 0.587sec and took the win over Montgomery. Fred Zust finished third in a Lotus Elise.
The Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Tour isn’t even at its halfway point for the year, but the 2023 Solo National Tour points chase is already heating up. Competitors score points for a specific class during each Solo National Tour event from March to November, with the opportunity to also earn points at the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships in September. An individual’s three best-scoring performances in the same class during the year count toward the season total.
Points at Solo National Tour events are awarded on a performance-based scale using a specific formula. That points formula is: 100 - (900 x ((Entrant’s Time - Class Winning Time) / (Class Winning Time)).
Participation in the same class at the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships is required in order to qualify for the season-long points title. To resolve a points tie, finishing position at the Solo National Championships will be used to decide the winner.
Click here to learn more about the scoring system and check out current class leaders.
Moving East of the Mississippi
The three upcoming Tire Rack Solo National Tour events for 2023 all take place east of the Mississippi River. Next on the calendar is the Tire Rack SCCA Charlotte Solo National Tour taking place June 9-11 in Concord, NC, at zMAX Dragway. That will be followed by the June 16-18 Tire Rack SCCA Peru Solo National Tour in Indiana at Grissom Aeroplex, and the July 1-2 Tire Rack SCCA Bristol Solo National Tour in Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Online registration is already open for these events. Be sure to check the Solo National Tour webpage for more information.
Photo by Hilary Anderson