Carter Thompson captures his second Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championship (Rupert Berrington)
Perfect temperatures and afternoon blue skies shown on 32 newly crowned National Champions Wednesday at the 41st Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships during the second day of competition at the Lincoln (Neb.) Airpark.
Competitors are afforded three runs on both the East and West course at the event, with each driver’s single best time on each course added together to determine the Champion.
The first set of 2013 National Champions were crowned in a drama-filled opening heat on the West Course.
In B Stock, James Yom, of Los Angeles, closed the gap on his first run to opening-day leader Marc Pfannenschmidt. Yom’s Evasive Motorsports Honda S2000 began Wednesday in third place, but jumped into the lead on his second run.
Three drivers had a shot at Yom on their third, and final, trip around the course. Pfannenschmidt’s Gods Blessings Honda S2000 improved, but fell 0.205-second short. Ryan Clark, who started the day in second place, improved on his third run but only moved to fourth.
The last car on course before Yom’s final run was Nick Barbato’s GT Academy Got It Wrong Honda S2000. Barbato turned the quickest time of the day, raising hopes of the spectators as it flashed on the scoreboard, but the quick math revealed that he was just 0.135-second behind.
The National Championship was Yom’s first.
The suspense was just as high for the Street Modified FWD class as four-time National Champion Andy Hollis, of Austin, Texas, chased opening day leader Chris Haydu, of Dallas, Pa. Hollis took the lead in his GRM/AST/Hoosier Honda CRX on the opening run, but a slipping clutch was becoming more and more of a hindrance with each run. Haydu’s Pen TeleData Internet Services Honda Civic reclaimed the lead on the second run, and Hollis, now launching in second gear from the start, stayed locked in the runner-up position.
Three-time National Champion Jinx Jordan will leave Lincoln with thoughts of what might have been. Jordan, fighting a mechanical issue on Tuesday, posted a best time that included a pair of two-second cone penalties and fell to eighth. Jordan’s Hoosier/Karcepts/OS Giken Honda Civic set Wednesday’s fast time in class by more than a half-second, elevating him to fourth but still 3.294-seconds out of the top spot.
The final car of heat two decided the F Modified Ladies National Championship. Michelle Quinn, of Dublin, Ohio, started the day in second place and had fallen even further behind Tonya Langley, of Umatilla, Ore., on her first and second runs in the Thanks Jeff! KBS Mk 7. Quinn crossed the stripe on the final run 1.3-seconds faster than her best time to win her fourth consecutive National Championship by 0.182-second.
John Hunter, of Omaha, Neb., held his overnight lead to claim a 0.247-second margin of victory for his first National Championship in the 949 Racing/Meyers Auto/ProEFI Mazda Miata.
Tony Savini, of Chochranville, Pa., posted the best A Stock time of the day in Heat Three on his second run to move from third on the opening day to the lead in his StranoParts.com/Evo School Chevrolet Corvette, then watched as one challenger after another failed to go low enough to knock him off the throne.
Savini’s final assault on his second National Championship came from the final car to run, the Goodyear RS Eagle Chevrolet Corvette of Lane Borg. Borg needed a time of 54.520 on his final run to claim the title, but as he tripped the timing lights the scoreboard displayed a 54.665. It was a 0.8-second improvement over his best Wednesday time, but still 0.145-second shy of the win.
Darren Seltzer, of Orlando, Fla., posted a memorable first visit to the Solo Nationals, running away with the F Modified National Championship. Seltzer took a big first day lead in his Raptor F500, then expanded to an exceptional 3.419-second margin of victory in a class that is almost always close.
For the second day in-a-row, all eyes were on the Super Stock class. Thirty-seven cars made up the largest class of the early session, with the ProParts USA Dodge Viper of Gary Thomason, of Oceanside, Calif., starting the day up front. Despite the best efforts of Solo superstars Sam Strano, in the StranoParts.com Chevrolet Corvette, and Mark Daddio, in his Chevrolet Corvette, Thomason held the lead after his third and final run on the West course.
Strano hit a cone in his final attempt at topping Thomason, and Daddio also fell short. That left defending champion G.J. Dixon, of Scarsdale, N.Y., to top Thomason in his Monticello Motor Club/Grand Prix New York Porsche GT3. Starting his final run, Dixon knew his time to beat was a 53.168; he snuck under the wire in 53.150 seconds to defend his title.
Those drivers who started Day One on the West Course moved to the longer East Course where 18 championships would be decided. In Heat One, G Stock was the most competitive class at the top of the standings. Only 0.346 seconds covered the top three positions, and Michael Moran, of Fairfield, Penn., was able to clinch his first National Championship in only his second trip to the iconic meet. Driving the teamziptie.com Toyota Celica GT, Moran eeked out the 0.004-second win over first-time Nationals participant Gordon Maciulewicz. The margin of victory was the third-closest in event history.
The heat was slowed by one extended period cleanup period after the X Prepared Mazda RX3 machine, driven by Tom and Matt Ellam, overheated. The increased pressure in the cooling system caused the safety relief cap to open, dropping coolant on the course. While the drivers didn’t want to see the extended delay, as it gave the freshly warmed tires a chance to cool, making sure the course was clear and safe was of top priority.
For Brian Burdette, of San Antonio, Texas, it was lucky number 13 in F Stock. Driving the StranoParts.com Ford Mustang GT in his 13th Nationals appearance, Burdette can finally go home with the trophy and title in hand. However, Kevin Youngers (Youngers Insights Ford Mustang GT) didn’t make it easy for Burdette. Still looking for his first National Championship in his 20th anniversary at this event, Youngers set a faster time than Burdette on the East course, but was unable to overcome the lead Burdette carried into the second day of competition. After adding the best runs from each driver together, Burdette pulled out the victory by a scant 0.063-second margin.
Christine Grice, of Redondo Beach, Calif., took home her second-consecutive National Championship in A Street Prepared Ladies. Among the competition was her sister and co-driver of the Berry Family Racing/Chase Cam/BFGoodrich Mitsubishi Evo IX, Lisa Berry, who ended up in third.
Grice’s title was the first Solo National Championship for BFGoodrich Tires since 2001.
In Heat Three, Carter Thompson, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., backed up his 2012 National Championship performance with an encore. In the KAAZ USA/LMS-EFI.COM/HPP Mazda RX-7, Thompson took the title with a 0.265-second margin over Erik Strelnieks. It wasn’t an easy win, as Strelnieks pushed hard to jump to the top during his last run, but Thompson’s lead was just too much to overcome.
Aaron Miller, of Auburn Hills, Mich., won his second-consecutive National Championship in A Street Prepared. He drove his Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS to the title over some stiff competition provided by the likes of Tom Berry and Marshall Grice.
In the final heat of the day, Bryan Heitkotter, of Fresno, Calif., made the improbable a reality. Driving a BMW 325 IS which he had never seen or driven before Tuesday, Heitkotter secured a 0.407-second victory over the field, to claim a National Championship in D Street Prepared. The title adds to his previous four titles, which he collected over his, now, eight SCCA Solo National Championships appearances.
With the National Champions crowned today, another wave of competitors takes to the courses on Thursday and Friday. Follow the action through live timing at sololive.scca.com, live audio and video from the east course at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/solo-nationals-east and from the west course at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/solo-nationals-west, or on Twitter @SCCAOfficial.
More information on the Tire Rack SCCA National Championship is available at http://www.scca.com/solo.
LINCOLN, Neb. The National Champion in each of the 32 classes (plus four supplemental classes) competing Tuesday and Wednesday in the 41st Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships at Lincoln Airpark with class, leading driver, hometown, car, and total number of National Championships. Bold and ** double asterisk denotes change in lead from Tuesday.
A Modified: Dan Wasdahl, Massillon, Ohio, BBR/Phantom DVS-1, second-consecutive AM Championship, fifth overall.
A Stock**: Tony Savini , Cochranville, Pa., Chevrolet Corvette, second National Championship.
A Stock Ladies: Meridith Brown, Los Alamos, N.M., Chevrolet Corvette, second-consecutive ASL Championship, fifth overall.
A Street Prepared: Aaron Miller, Auburn Hills, Mich., Mitsubishi Evo 8 RS, second-consecutive ASP Championship, second overall.
A Street Prepared Ladies: Christine Grice, Redondo Beach, Calif., Mitsubishi Evo IX, second-consecutive ASPL Championship, sixth overall.
B Stock**: James Yom, Los Angeles, Calif., Honda S2000, first National Championship.
B Street Prepared: Robert Thorne, Littleton, Colo., Honda S2000, second National Championship.
B Street Prepared Ladies: Amanda Hahn, Littleton, Colo., Honda S2000, first National Championship.
C Street Prepared: Jim Hunter, Omaha, Neb., Mazda Miata, first National Championship.
C Street Prepared Ladies: Sue Eckles, Malcolm, Neb., Mazda Miata, fourth National Championship.
D Prepared**: Drew VanderPloeg, Pflugerville, Texas, Mazda Miata, third-consecutive DP Championship, third overall.
D Prepared Ladies: Anne Robinson, Highland, Ind., Toyota MR2, third National Championship.
D Street Prepared: Bryan Heitkotter, Fresno, Calif., BMW 325 IS, second consecutive National Championship, fifth overall.
E Stock: Bartek Borowski, Elmwood Park, Ill., Mazda Miata, fourth-consecutive ES Championship, sixth overall.
F Modified: Darren Seltzer, Orlando, Fla., Raptor F500, rookie National Champion.
F Modified Ladies**: Michelle Quinn, Dublin, Ohio, KBS Mk 7, fourth-consecutive FML Championship, fourth overall .
F Prepared: Tom O’Gorman, Mason, Ohio, Porsche 914/6, first National Championship.
F Stock: Brian Burdette, San Antonio, Texas, Ford Mustang GT, first National Championship.
F Stock Ladies: Kandy Johnson, Glen Allen, Va., Ford Mustang GT, first National Championship.
G Stock**: Michael Moran, Fairfield, Pa., Toyota Celica GT, first National Championship.
H Stock: Greg Reno, Lawrence, Kan., Mini Cooper, second consecutive HS Championship.
Street Modified: David White, Chicopee, Mass., Nissan 240 SX, second SM National Championship.
Street Modified FWD: Chris Haydu, Dallas, Pa., Honda Civic, first National Championship.
Street Modified Ladies: Jenna Corrales, Rocky Hill, Conn., Nissan 240 SX, first National Championship.
Street Touring Compact: Jason Frank, Racine, Wis., Honda Civic, second National Championship.
Street Touring Compact Ladies: Nicole Nagler, Moorpark, Calif., Honda Civic SI, third consecutive National Championship.
Super Stock: G.J. Dixon, Scarsdale, N.Y., Porsche GT3, second-consecutive SS Championship, third overall.
Super Stock Ladies: Shelly Monfort, Saratoga, Calif., Chevrolet Corvette, fifth consecutive SSL Championship, seventh overall.
Super Street Modified: Carter Thompson, Murfreesboro, Tenn., Mazda RX7, second consecutive SSM Championship.
Super Street Modified Ladies: Kyung Wootton, Austin, Texas, Mazda MX-5, third consecutive National Championship, ninth overall.
Super Street Prepared: Joe Tharpe, State Center, Iowa, Chevrolet Corvette, second-consecutive SSP Championship, second overall.
X Prepared: Fred Zust, Tempe, Ariz., Lotus Elise, fifth XP National Championship.
Road Tire AWD (Supplemental Class): Ron Williams, Topeka, Kan., Audi TT, supplemental class win.
Road Tire FWD (Supplemental Class): Jack Burns, Hamilton, Ohio, Mini Cooper, supplemental class win.
Road Tire FWD Ladies (Supplemental Class): Barbara LeRoy-Boehme, San Diego, Calif., Mini Cooper, supplemental class win.
Formula SAE (Supplemental Class): Trent Strunk, Silver Lake, Kan., Jayhawk Motorsports FSAE, supplemental class win.