This year’s 46th running of the Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals has reset the event record for number of participants to cross the start line on one of two courses constructed for the Sept. 4-7 event at Lincoln AirPark in Nebraska. The Sports Car Club of America record book will show that 1,375 drivers participated in the 2018 Solo Nationals, beating the previous record set in 2017 by 58 competitors. And of those 1,375 drivers, nearly 240 were first-time competitors at the year-end competition.
After a week of rain and shine, including one day that delivered a record-breaking 2.15 inches of rain to Lincoln, a total of 76 winners were crowned across as many car classes. There were 43 class winners named after the first half of the four-day event, and an additional 33 identified by end of competition Friday. Howard Duncan, SCCA Rally/Solo senior director, said that list of winners includes 25 first-time champions.
“I’ve been involved with the Solo Nationals for 34 years, and each one is slightly unique. As an example, this year we raised the entry cap to 1,400 drivers and rapidly reached that cap,” Duncan said. “Of course, there is always intense competition and some tremendous driving that takes place at this annual event. But this year I felt an even stronger sense of community and camaraderie amongst our participants. People were jumping in to fix the ailing cars of competitors, and some even offered their vehicles to competitors who were having trouble with their cars. It’s always an amazing scene at Solo Nationals.”
Participation at Solo Nationals has experienced growth for several years. Back in 2015, the event reached 1,223 entries. The following year, there were 1,302 participants from around the United States, Canada and even Brazil. In 2017, Solo Nationals set a new participation record with 1,317 entrants. Mike Cobb, SCCA’s president and CEO, said the new record of 1,375 set this year further cements the Tire Rack Solo Nationals as one of the largest motorsport participant events in the world.
“This is certainly a crowning achievement in the history of the Sports Car Club of America,” Cobb said. “But what’s really satisfying is how everyone pulls together to make the week happen. At Solo events, drivers are also required to chip in and ‘work’ for a period of time. That could include setting cones up on course, helping in grid, or working in timing and scoring. So, when the SCCA executes the largest Solo Nationals in history, it is truly to the credit of the Club as a whole because all the competitors and volunteers have played a role in the success. It’s just so great to see so many people come together in one place to all have fun with cars.”
SCCA Solo is a competitive motorsport activity where orange traffic cones are used to create a twisty, miniature course in large parking lots or unused portions of airports. One at a time, competitors traverse the temporary circuit to see who can be quickest without hitting any cones or going off course. Drivers range from those using daily commuter cars to professional racers wheeling purpose-built vehicles. There is even a special class for those competing in race karts.