’23 New Jersey ProSolo Fast Notes

The Tire Rack SCCA® ProSolo Series made its fifth stop of the 2023 season with the Tire Rack SCCA New Jersey ProSolo in East Rutherford, with 188 drivers recording runs in the competition. Friday’s 90-plus degree F practice starts were completed just as a thunderstorm rolled in; in contrast, Saturday welcomed competitors with cool temperatures reaching into the mid-60s under cloudy skies. Sunday stayed mostly cloudy in the upper 60s. In other words, competition days were comfortable and fast.

Northern New Jersey Region hosted the event at the familiar New Meadowlands Sports Complex. It was the second time in as many years at that facility that lightning amended the welcome party, with Perry Aidelbaum giving competitors the full city treatment by delivering sandwiches by car. But once on course, the fantastic layout used the grippy asphalt and ample paddock space to create fun, open ProSolo courses designed by Mark Labbancz and Eric Simmons.

Jenna Farkas and Brian Tanis participated in this event courtesy of the Howard Duncan Greenlight Fund. Named for the SCCA Hall of Famer and SCCA staffer credited with growing the ProSolo program, the Howard Duncan Greenlight Fund is supported by the SCCA Foundation and offers free entries to select, first-time ProSolo entrants. Farkas went all-in, competing in the CAM class, while Tanis jumped into the deep end with a Mazda-powered Exocet in the Race Tire Index class.

Donations to the SCCA Foundation can be earmarked to go toward the Greenlight Fund via the Foundation’s website.

They weren’t the only successful first timers at the event this weekend – as we’ll learn in the Challenge reports.

Class Competition

Here’s a shocker – C Street, filled with Mazda Miatas, was a close battle. Christian Kolmers edged Will Teller by just 0.046sec to take that class win, despite Teller’s late comeback attempt.

If there was a question about the popularity of the Subaru BRZ or the Toyota GR86, a handful of classes eliminated that at the Meadowlands. Case in point, Mark Daddio squeaked his BRZ past Ken Roller by just 0.029sec in D Street.

The index classes appeared to be spot on this weekend. In Street 2, Doug Rowse in an SSP Porsche GT3 topped Grant Reeve in an SSR Corvette by just 0.031sec, while David Marcus’s B Street Toyota Supra slid past Sam Strano’s F Street Ford Mustang by a scant 0.043sec.

Check out the class results below.

 Class Results

Challenge Time

First-timers ruled during the Meadowlands Challenges, as two of them were topped by first-time ProSolo entrants – and the third by one of the queens of the sport.

Bonus Challenge: Nerves? What nerves? Derek McKane dropped to the bottom of the Bump Class in his Porsche Cayman S, but when he drew into the Bonus Challenge, he made the most of it. Matching up head-to-head, he topped Shaun Hallam, Jojo Corrales-Kern, and Ryan Lower in order to take the title and spray the Mazza Sparkling Wine.

Ladies Challenge: Shelly Monfort swept the weekend, taking the Ladies Class 3 win by an impressive 2.8sec in her F Street Ford Mustang. She then rolled through the eliminations in the Ladies Challenge for the win – topping Ashley Weaver in the finals.

Super Challenge: The Bump Class was difficult this weekend, as Logan Davis – also making his ProSolo debut – finished third in the class in a Solo Spec Coupe Scion FR-S (they’re very popular!). The Middletown, MD, native qualified for the elimination rounds, then beat Eric Peachey, Mark Daddio, and Jon Caserta through the bracket to claim the title in his rookie appearance.

Off to Oklahoma

The Tire Rack ProSolo’s nationwide tour marches back to Oklahoma in just two weeks, running at Frederick Regional Airport (which doubles as the home to the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team Foundation) on June 23-25.

Registration for that event is now open. You can also pull up to the starting line for all 2023 ProSolo events on the schedule by visiting the ProSolo webpage.

Photos by Jake Namer