’24 St. Louis CAM Challenge Fast Notes

The first Tire Rack SCCA® CAM Autocross Challenge of 2024 took place May 3-5 at the St. Charles Family Arena in Missouri near St. Louis. It was a weekend that saw some rain, a lot of sun, and a ton of #funwithcars.

The Tire Rack SCCA St. Louis CAM Autocross Challenge, executed with much help from SCCA’s St. Louis Region, opened activities under sunny skies Saturday. But conditions changed as the day progressed. Later Saturday afternoon, a halt was called to the action because of inclement weather that included lightning.

Mother Nature couldn’t stop Saturday’s good vibes, however, as the SCCA family simply shifted the party over to the nearby St. Charles Family Arena for the awards ceremony, where food and festivities were served up in the dry. Then came the ice cream at the JXB Performance tent.

Things got rolling again Sunday morning, and any runs lost to the previous day’s conditions were quickly made up thanks to help from everyone on site. Better yet, the weather played nice with temperatures topping out in the low 70-degree range during a beautiful Sunday in the Midwest.

Beyond the competition trophies, two other prizes were earned. Emily and Jacob Mueth were awarded the Rosco Rac’n Spirit of Solo Award, while Eric Brown won the Wilwood Brakes Certificate Raffle.

Class Competition in St. Louis

The Classic American Muscle-Traditional (CAM-T) field was stacked in St. Louis with 26 entrants. Brandon Nelson, driving a 1998 Ford Mustang, took the CAM-T victory after a blistering final run that resulted in a 0.590sec margin of victory over Brian Harvey in a 2000 Chevrolet Camaro SS. Patrick Darling finished third in a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro.

Jake Burton earned the fourth-place trophy in a 1985 Ford Mustang. Sean Aldinger was fifth in a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, and James Geck drove a 2003 Ford Mustang Mach 1 to a sixth-place finish. A 1968 Ford Torino driven by Jacob Meuth was seventh only 0.060sec behind Geck, and the eighth trophy went to Jon Nwanagu in a 1999 Chevrolet Camaro. Tim Nwanagu in a 1999 Camaro and Rick Goshert in a 1995 Ford Cobra rounded out the top 10.

The Classic American Muscle-Contemporary (CAM-C) class was equally impressive with 23 entrants. The winning margin there was a miniscule 0.045sec as Dave Whitworth, driving a 2012 Ford Mustang, ran a quick time Saturday afternoon to emerge victorious over a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro wielded by John Ward. Finishing third just 0.068sec behind Ward was Mike Leeder in a 2022 Chevrolet Camaro.

Fourth went to Chris Hammond in a 2012 Ford Mustang, fifth place was earned by Evan Williams in a 2013 Ford Mustang GT, sixth-place finisher was Eric Brown in a 2024 Ford Mustang, and seventh went to Keith Lamming driving a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. Closing out the top 10 was Dave Becker in a 2023 Camaro SS, Krzysztof Zielinski in a 2018 Mustang, and Robert Gosda in a 2013 Mustang.

With 16 entrants, the Classic American Muscle-Sport (CAM-S) class was won by Ron McManus, who skillfully maneuvered his 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 around a slippery course for a 0.204sec victory over Nikhil Khopkar in a 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Jae Hun Choi, who was sharing a car with Khopkar, finished third.

Fourth in CAM-S went to Brian Regganie in a 2002 Chevrolet Z06, and the fifth and final trophy went home with Jarrod Hix who drove a 2008 Saturn Sky Red Line during the weekend.

Ladies competition in CAM saw three entries each in CAM-CL and CAM-TL. Stacy Herman, driving a 1980 Pontiac Trans-Am, bested Velma Boreen and Judy Goshert in CAM-TL while Cindy Duncan dominated in CAM-CL in a Ford Mustang, beating Samantha and Elizabeth Whitworth.

Xtreme Street A saw a fantastic battle between 14 drivers piloting a hefty variety of cars. How much of a variety? There was a Tesla Model 3, two kinds of Porsches, three Subaru WRXs, a BMW 135i, a Mazda RX-8, a Lotus Evora S, and an Aston Martin Vantage. But it was Kyle Gottschalk who dominated in a 1995 Eagle Talon TSi. His two quickest runs put him 1.172sec over Donour Sizemore’s Evora, with Ryan Miles (Porsche GT4), Daniel Shea (Porsche GT3), and Jonathan Griffith (RX-8) claiming the remaining trophy positions.

A whopping 39 drivers made up the Street Tire class in St. Louis. After five runs, Andrew Salazar ended up at the front of the field in a 2023 Chevrolet Camero. Tom DeYoung was second in a 2023 Toyota GR86, and Mitchell Coughran drove a 2011 BMW M3 to third.

There were 11 trophies distributed to the Street Tire field, with fourth going to Jessica Lewis in a 2011 Lotus Evora. Jason Proksch was fifth in a 2018 BMW i3s, Michael Ball sixth in a 1999 Mazda Miata, and Emilia Wright was seventh in a 2001 Mazda Miata.

Continuing the Street Tire trophy list, David Piel finished eighth in a 2003 Subaru WRX, Matt Miller was ninth in a 2020 Chevrolet Camaro SS, and Olivia Hammac was tenth in a 2020 Lotus Evora. The 11th and final trophy then went to Rich Dao in a 2023 Toyota GR Corolla.

More coverage from St. Louis can be found at the Tire Rack SCCA National Solo Facebook page. A full rundown of class results from the event can be accessed via the red button below.

 Class Results

St. Louis Challenges

History was made in the parking lot of St. Charles Family Arena near St. Louis, MO, when the first-ever Club Spec Challenge took place on Sunday. Jeremy Scotton won that momentous event in a Club Spec MX-5, besting a Club Spec Mustang driven by Martin Montagno.

In the CAM Ladies Challenge, Elizabeth Whitworth won driving a 2012 Ford Mustang in a close contest with Cindy Duncan in a 2024 Ford Mustang.

The Xtreme Street Challenge combined both XS classes and was won by Kyle Gottschalk in a 1995 Eagle Talon. Runner-up honors went to Sean Greer driving a 2019 Mazda Miata.

In the three CAM classes, the CAM-S Challenge went to William Damhoff, driving a 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, over runner-up Jarrod Hix in a 2008 Saturn Sky Red Line. The CAM-T Challenge was won by a 1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 driven by J.J. Mallrich, who bested runner-up Patrick Darling in a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro. And the CAM-C Challenge was claimed by Mike Leeder in a 2022 Chevrolet Camaro, with the runner-up being Dave Whitworth in a 2012 Ford Mustang.

The final CAM Challenge contest came down to Darnhoff, Mallrich, and Leeder. When the dust had settled after two runs, it was Leeder who earned top honors in St. Louis. Mallrich was second, and Darnhoff a respectable third.

A complete rundown of Challenge results can be reviewed at the Tire Rack SCCA St. Louis CAM Autocross Challenge event webpage.

Grissom Aeroplex Next for CAM Challenge

If you missed the fun this past weekend in St. Louis, you don’t have to wait too long for the next Tire Rack SCCA CAM Autocross Challenge. In fact, registration is already open for the May 31-June 2, 2024, Tire Rack SCCA Grissom CAM Autocross Challenge taking place in Bunker Hill, IN, at Grissom Aeroplex.

That event is the last standalone CAM Autocross Challenge on the 2024 schedule, so get registered today so you don’t miss out on the fun.

 Grissom CAM Challenge Registration

Photos by Sarah Miles