Spring Nationals 2024 Kicked Off with a ProSolo Not to be Forgotten

If you’re not an SCCA® autocross devotee, Lincoln is the name of a U.S. President. If you’re an SCCA Solo® enthusiast, then Lincoln is Nebraska’s capital city, and where you’ll find Lincoln Airpark – an expansive cement playground for experiencing tremendous #funwithcars.

That second Lincoln (the one in Nebraska) is where 234 entrants gathered to party and rip around cones on May 23-25, 2024, during the Tire Rack SCCA Lincoln ProSolo® made possible with support from SCCA’s Nebraska Region. It’s one half of a Memorial Day weekend tradition now known as Spring Nationals, which also includes a Tire Rack SCCA Lincoln Solo National Tour experience.

Following pre-event tornado warnings, strong winds, and enough rain to float several cones and porta-johns away, drying conditions and wispy clouds in blue skies welcomed competitors during the competition portion of the points-earning ProSolo, with temperatures topping out in the 80s. In other words, the conditions were great for attendees to enjoy the Mike Razny-designed courses.

Laurie McCelvey, driving a 2019 Mazda MX-5 in the Ladies 3 class, was the SCCA Women on Track Driver Development Program recipient for this event. That initiative aids one randomly selected woman at each Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Tour and ProSolo Series event with an opportunity for a one-on-one, 30-minute virtual coaching session with a top-tier driver from the sport.

This level of coaching seeks to help drivers meet their performance driving goals, and coach Andrew Salazar helped McCelvey achieve a seventh-place finish in the 12-driver class.

Lincoln ProSolo Class Contests

Big fields and close competition ruled ProSolo’s Spring Nationals.

The largest class was Street 1 (S1) with 25 drivers. Robert Pendergest won there in a 2005 Mazda RX-8. Only 0.165sec behind was Erik Strelnieks driving a 2001 Porsche Boxster S. The third-place trophy went to Mark Canekeratne in a 2002 BMW 330Ci, and the fourth-place finisher was Craig Wilcox driving a 1999 Honda Civic. Randall Wilcox finished fifth in a 1996 Mazda Miata, and Federico del Toro finished sixth as Strelnieks’ co-driver. Eric Anderson grabbed the seventh and final S1 trophy co-driving with Wilcox.

Street 4 (S4) produced the tiniest winning margin as Brandon Slater, driving a 2022 Subaru WRX, eked out a 0.042sec victory over Mark Shrivastava in a 2013 Nissan GTR. Competition for the three remaining S4 trophies was equally tight, with Chase Gintner finishing third in a 2017 Ford Focus RS just 0.176sec behind Shrivastava. In fourth, only 0.043sec behind Gintner, was Carter Heaton in a 2016 Subaru WRX. The fifth and final trophy was earned by Brent Schneekloth in a 2006 Mitsubishi Evo, who was only 0.164sec slower than Heaton.

Combined, the four different Ladies classes saw 42 entrants. Ladies 2 was the largest with 15 drivers, and Kelsey Karanges emerged victorious there in a 2011 Porsche Cayman. Julie Heaton finished second in a 2016 Subaru WRX, and Cindy Duncan was third in a 2024 Ford Mustang. Fourth was Olivia Hammac in a 2020 Lotus Evora, and the final trophy went to Meghan Lapeta finishing fifth in a 2022 Toyota Supra.

Solo Spec Coupe was ludicrous in Lincoln during the ProSolo thanks to 14 entrants. Matt Morhardt, in a 2015 Scion FR-S, came out ahead by only 0.143sec on runner-up Joey Green driving a 2015 Subaru BRZ. A mere 0.180sec further back in third was Kevin Dietz driving a 2014 Toyota FR-S. Paul Brown finished fourth in a 2016 Scion FR-S, a scant 0.103sec off Dietz’s total time. Rounding out the trophies in fifth was Justin Harbour, who was co-driving with winner Morhardt.

CAM was cool, too, at the Lincoln ProSolo. Atop the 13-entrant field was Mark Madarash in a 1988 Pontiac Trans-Am. Finishing second was Dave Whitworth driving a 2012 Ford Mustang, and third was Terry Neuville wielding a 2021 Chevrolet Camaro ZL. The fourth and final trophy went to Chase Cochrun in a 2020 Ford Mustang.

More ProSolo coverage from Lincoln can be found at the Tire Rack SCCA National Solo Facebook page. Meanwhile, a full rundown of class results from the event can be accessed by clicking the red button below.

 Class Results

Lincoln Challenge Winners

The Ladies Challenge came down to Dee Dietz in a 2013 Scion FR-S, and Kelsey Karanges driving a 2011 Porsche Cayman. Karanges won it all, and Kim Whitener took third in a 2015 Scion FR-S after besting Holly Schwedler in a 1999 Honda Civic.

Then came the Super Challenge, where Mark Madarash and Neal Tovsen faced off for supremacy. After dueling red-light launches between Tovsen and Doug Rowse in the quarterfinals, Madarash and his 1988 Pontiac Trans-Am took the win over the 2022 Toyota FR-S driven by Tovsen. Donour Sizemore, driving a 2011 Lotus Evora, claimed third after besting Rowse in a 2018 Porsche GT3.

Maine Now Main ProSolo Destination

The ProSolo Series’ main focus is producing #funwithcars, and that continues June 7-9, 2024, in Maine at Brunswick Executive Airport. Registration closes in a few days for that event, so it’s best to reserve your spot right now. The registration window is also open for the June 28-30, 2024, Tire Rack SCCA Cleveland ProSolo taking place at the I-X Center in Northeast Ohio.

The Tire Rack SCCA Bristol ProSolo happening July 3-5, 2024, in Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway is sold out, but there is a waitlist you can get on. Hey, it never hurts to try!

Then for West Coast autocrossers, it’s not too long before open registration happens for the July 19-21, 2024, Tire Rack SCCA Packwood ProSolo at what is known as the Hampton Mills site in Washington.

Photos by Kelsey Karanges