‘24 Cleveland ProSolo an Electrifying Experience in Ohio

Cleveland, OH, is a competition town. It boasts three top-level pro teams: NBA’s Cavaliers, NFL’s Browns, and MLB’s Guardians. Now that SCCA® has made a home in the city for the past two years, perhaps SCCA Solo® should be added to that illustrious list.

The second half of another back-to-back Solo adventure in 2024, SCCA autocrossers joined together June 28-30 for the Tire Rack SCCA Cleveland ProSolo® at the I-X Center in Northeast Ohio. The previous weekend’s Tire Rack SCCA Cleveland Solo National Tour experience saw more than 140 participants. Add to that this weekend’s ProSolo experience sporting an additional 207 drivers, and you’ve got a crew of competitors that far outnumbers starting squads of all three aforementioned Cleveland teams combined.

After Friday night’s welcome party hosted by SCCA’s Neohio Region – which featured plenty of food, drink, and karting action that stretched way into the evening – Saturday greeted contestants with dry conditions. That changed substantially in short order as the rain came, then lightning delayed the fun for about two hours. When competition resumed, things started to dry out again, and all runs where completed before sunset.

Clouds stuck around Sunday, but the rain stayed away with temperatures topping out in the mid 60-degree range. That gave drivers the chance to enjoy asymmetrical courses designed by Alex Piehl that wrapped around each other for a unique layout the utilized the I-X Center’s large asphalt lot to the max.

Emily Brown, who competed in Ladies Class 3 (L3) driving a 2019 Mazda Miata, was the SCCA Women on Track Driver Development Program recipient at the Cleveland ProSolo. This 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 Donour Sizemore last weekend in Cleveland.

This level of coaching is aimed at helping drivers meet their performance driving goals. Brown finished fifth in the highly competitive L3 class, and even went on to win a bracket faceoff during the event’s Bonus Challenge stage.

We should also mention that Lisa Staggs and Luke Shockley got a helping hand in Ohio thanks to complimentary first appearances made possible through the Howard Duncan ProSolo Greenlight Fund. Staggs finished just outside the Ladies Class 3 trophies in a 2019 Mazda MX-5, and Shockley drove a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic in the Street 5 class.

Donations made to the SCCA Foundation can be earmarked specifically for the Greenlight Fund here.

ProSolo Class Contests in Cleveland

A whopping 22 entries made up C Street (CS), which was the largest class at the Cleveland ProSolo. On Saturday, several drivers were within striking distance of leader Jack Crissey in a 2019 Mazda Miata. Crissey held tough, though, and came away with a win by only 0.02sec over runner-up Andrew Ferrara in another 2019 Mazda Miata. Steven Matchett finished third in a 2022 Mazda MX-5, and 0.042sec further back in fourth was Andrew Pallotta driving a 2023 Mazda MX-5. Fifth went to Will Teller in a 2023 Mazda Miata, and sixth was Christian Kolmers driving a 2019 Mazda Miata. The seventh and final trophy was earned by Rick Cone in yet another 2019 Mazda Miata.

Street Touring® Roadster (STR) saw Billy Davis ahead in the 15-entrant class Saturday, but Josh Luster was not far off the pace. When class competition concluded Sunday, Davis still had the top spot. Luster finished second but was only 0.259sec behind. A miniscule 0.06sec further back in third was Marcus Pyne, and fourth went to Trevor Blackwell. The fifth-place finisher was John Ryan, and all five trophy winners were driving 2019 Mazda Miatas.

Ladies Class 2 (L2) saw several lead changes before Laura Marcus ended Saturday atop the 12-entrant field, followed by Cindy Duncan and Shelly Monfort. Duncan made a strong showing Sunday in her 2024 Ford Mustang and won L2 by 0.631sec over Shelly Monfort driving a 2018 Porsche Cayman GTS. Marcus ended up third in a 2021 Toyota Supra, only 0.113sec behind Monfort, and the final trophy went to fourth-place finisher Olivia Hammac driving a 2020 Lotus Evora.

The final results in Ladies Class 1 (L1) were even closer. Co-drivers Jennifer Bedell and Chris Peterson did battle there, sharing a 2016 Scion FR-S. Bedell came out victorious by 0.112sec over Peterson in the six-driver class.

With 15 entrants, D Street had a healthy showing in Cleveland during ProSolo’s visit. Mark Daddio had the lead by Saturday night, with DJ Alessandrini in second and Ken Roller third. Daddio held on for a 0.57sec win in a 2022 Subaru BRZ. Roller, also in a 2022 Subaru BRZ, improved Sunday to finish second. Alex Piehl took third in a 2022 Toyota GR86, and Alessandrini had to settle for fourth in a 2022 Toyota GR86 just 0.044sec behind Piehl. The fifth and final trophy went to Peter Schnore, who was co-driving with Alessandrini.

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

Class Results

Cleveland Challenge Winners

The Super Challenge came down to a battle of Honda vs. Mazda. Duston Grubbs, driving a 2019 Honda Civic Si, ended up taking the win over Bartek Borowski in a 1999 Mazda Miata. In the runoff for third place, Jon Caserta and his 2015 Scion FR-S fell to David Marcus in a 2021 Toyota Supra.

Shelly Monfort and Laura Marcus were the final two women left standing in the Ladies Challenge. Monfort ended up taking the crown in a 2018 Porsche Cayman GTS, and Marcus was runner-up in a 2021 Toyota Supra. The third finishing spot went to Jordan Towns in a 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata after she bested Cindy Duncan and her 2024 Ford Mustang.

Then there was the Bonus Challenge. Shaun Hallam, in a 1990 Mazda Miata, won the final pairing in that contest by beating a 2020 Lotus Evora driven by Olivia Hammac.

Interestingly, this was an inaugural ProSolo experience for both Grubbs and Hallam, which obviously also made these ProSolo victories their very first, too. Monfort, on the other hand, is certainly no stranger to a Ladies Challenge triumph.

Looking Forward to July 4th Festivities

Get them buns and wieners ready because it’s time to celebrate Independence Day with SCCA in Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway. That’s where the Tire Rack SCCA Bristol ProSolo takes place July 3-5, 2024; followed immediately by the July 5-7, 2024, Tire Rack SCCA Bristol Solo National Tour.

After that, National Solo competition travels 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 Solo National Tour excursion; 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.

More info on SCCA ProSolo can be found here. Also, follow the Tire Rack SCCA National Solo Facebook page for the latest news.

Photo by Sarah Miles