SCCA Solo National Tour Rocks in Cleveland

Holy Moses Cleveland did autocrossers have an exciting time at the June 21-23, 2024, Tire Rack SCCA® Cleveland Solo® National Tour experience at the I-X Center in Northeast Ohio. A site located alongside Cleveland Hopkins International Airport – and just a stone’s throw from NASA’s Glenn Research Center – more than 140 participants joined together and fired things up hotter than a Cuyahoga River blaze.

Friday night’s welcome party, hosted by SCCA’s Neohio Region, was a complete hit thanks to plenty of food and beverages. Plus, a karting competition kept attendees playing well into the night.

Saturday was very hot and humid, with temperatures reaching the low 90-degree mark. But that didn’t slow people down when it came to attacking fun, fast, and flowing courses designed by Jonathan Stagg at the large asphalt site with plenty of paddock and grid space.

Sunday was much cooler, with clouds and a breeze opening the day in what would be considered wet with drying conditions. From there, however, there were some light showers throughout the day, which created changing conditions to challenge competitors.

Megan DePietro, who drove a Porsche GT4 in the Super Street Prepared Ladies class, had a unique experience over the weekend thanks to the SCCA Women on Track Driver Development Program. 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 – which was John Vitamvas last weekend in Cleveland.

This level of coaching is aimed at helping drivers meet their performance driving goals. DePietro put the new skills to work, posting times over two days that would’ve earned her the runner-up spot in the Super Street Prepared class at the I-X Center.

Competitors Rocked ‘N’ Rolled in Ohio

D Street (DS) was the largest class in Cleveland with 17 drivers and provided lots of excitement. Tom O'Gorman, driving a 2021 Honda Civic Type R, took the victory by 1.260sec over runner-up DJ Alessandrini in a 2023 Toyota GR86. Alessandrini’s co-driver, Peter Schnore, finished third. Dave Potocki was fourth in another 2023 Toyota GR86, and Todd Kunze earned the fifth and final DS trophy behind the wheel of a 2024 Hyundai Elantra N.

C Street (CS) was also a nailbiter as Andrew Ferrara, in a 2019 Mazda Miata, made an exciting final run Sunday with the hope of improving on his fourth-place position. He met his goal, ending up the CS runner-up to Andrew Pallotta in a 2023 Mazda MX-5. Kent Weaver got the third and final trophy driving another 2023 Mazda MX-5.

The five-driver D Street Ladies class was equally fun to watch as Emily Brown came home victorious in a 2023 Hyundai Elantra N. Emily Whitaker, driving a 2022 Toyota GR86, claimed the runner-up trophy.

And speaking of ladies, Olivia Hammac excelled in Cleveland by taking the top spot in Super Street driving a 2020 Lotus Evora. That was her very first win in an open class at a National event.

The Street Touring® Hatch contest resulted in one of the closest finishes of the weekend. Driving a 2016 Audi TT, Thomas Kring earned the win by 0.033sec over Andrew Nienhuis in a 2016 Volkswagen GTI.

F Street Prepared, with its eight entrants, saw Caleb Pardus emerge victorious in a 1998 Dodge Neon. He was 0.427sec faster than runner-up Steve Mieritz’ 1986 Honda CRX, who DNF’d on his sixth and final run. Calvin Owens grabbed the third and final trophy in a 2008 Honda Civic Si.

Something unique for the weekend was inclusion of a special class run locally in Northeast Ohio. Neohio’s Leroy Miata Cup (LMC) had 23 drivers, all piloting Miatas of different styles, and the newcomers seemed to fall in love with National-level competition. Bryan Nells won that class, and Ryan McDonald was the runner-up. Ryan Hiler was third, Andrew Mercer fourth, Jonathan Staggs fifth, and Charles White sixth. The seventh and final trophy then went to Joe Murphy.

Want more? Additional coverage from Cleveland can be found at the Tire Rack SCCA National Solo Facebook page. A full rundown of all results from the event can be accessed by clicking the red button below.

Official Results

Looking Toward July 4

SCCA’s Solo program has one more weekend planned at the I-X Center in Cleveland, OH; that being the June 28-30, 2024, Tire Rack SCCA Cleveland ProSolo®. After that, it’s time to celebrate July 4 festivities with SCCA in Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway. That’s where the Tire Rack SCCA Bristol ProSolo takes place July 3-5, 2024; followed by the July 5-7, 2024, Tire Rack SCCA Bristol National Tour.

From there, the Solo carnival heads way west to Washington for another back-to-back weekend in Packwood at Hampton Mills. First there’s the July 12-14, 2024, Tire Rack SCCA Packwood National Tour getaway; followed a few days later by the July 19-21, 2024, Tire Rack SCCA Packwood ProSolo – which is the last ProSolo experience prior to the Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2024, Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo Championship Finale in Nebraska at Lincoln Airpark.

Check out the rest of the 2024 Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Tour schedule by clicking here.

Photos by Megan DePietro