On Sept. 3-6, 2019, some 1,300 competitors will gather in Lincoln, Neb., for the ultimate autocross showdown: the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championship. Each year SportsCar magazine’s crack team of prognosticators take shots in the dark in a futile attempt to predict who will win this storied event.
Yesterday we looked at the Street category, today we shift up to high-strung Street Touring machines, as well as looking at SCCA’s first spec Solo class – Solo Spec Coupe – which looks to crown its second pair of champions.
Street Touring Ultra saw a shakeup last year due to rain. We don’t expect STI driver John Hale to have that misfortune two years in a row. Bill Zerr has recently upgraded his 370Z and will be joined by Evo drivers Talha Sadik and Jimmy Au-Yeung, along with M3 driver Kai Jones and maybe Chris Mayfield. Rumor has it that Tasha Mikko will not be in Lincoln to defend her STUL title. That opens up the pick for Eileen Blando in the Au-Yeung Evo.
Street Touring Roadster will be well-attended with lots of talent. Chances are the top tier of trophies will all be in ND Miatas, so not much in the way of course or weather dependencies to consider. That leaves this to a battle of car prep and driving talent – and that’s a good recipe for a fun class to watch. Mark Shrivastava, Mark Dudek, and William Koscielny are all contenders, but we expect this to be a close battle between Brian Karwan and Texans Daniel McCelvey and David Whitener. For STR Ladies, this year’s field is anyone’s guess. As such, we’ll let you guess the results.
Street Touring Xtreme seems to have settled down to two different car choices: either a twin (FR-S/BRZ) or an RX-8. The latter will be represented by Adrian Cardenas, and Evan Schickel; the former will be driven by Kyle Herbst, James Tatad, Raymond Dsouza, and possibly Brian Karwan. Our expectation is that Bryan Heitkotter will be in Teddie Allexandrova’s BRZ, and we just aren’t going to pick against him. STXL should be fun to watch, leaving us guessing between Cat Tran in the Cardenas RX-8 and Kate Fisher in an FR-S.
Street Touring Sport is an interesting conflict between old front-drive Hondas and old rear-drive Miatas along with the odd mid-year MR2. Somehow, that results in very close competition, especially when we get to the high-grip Lincoln surface. Adam Barber has a CRX and seems likely to defend his title. Chris Bailey and Andrew Canak have the yellow MR2 working well. As far as the Miata contingent, co-drivers Gerry Terranova and Kim Whitener will join Rich DiMarco.
Street Touring Hatchback may epitomize the diverse class model. Thomas Thompson is quick in his re-motored TT. We will say the same thing about Jason Tipple and his Civic. Without a whole lot of head-to-head action during the year, we have to guess on this one between Brian Flanagan or Chris Thorpe in Golfs, or Alex Piehl in his WRX.
Solo Spec Coupe has a long list of names, but at least we know there are not course or tire dependencies to consider. We have not seen much of last year’s winner Adam Benaway, while Tony Savini, Kinch Reindl, Matt McCabe, Chris Hammond, Dave Schotz, Jimmy Vajdak, and Mike Lawson have been chasing each other at events all around the country. But we expect this to come down to either Andrew Pallotta or Kevin Dietz. We have to flip a coin to pick SSCL, since co-drivers Jennifer Bedell and Chris Peterson seem to swap wins at every event. If we knew who would come out ahead at the ProSolo Finale the weekend before the big event, we’d pick the other one here.
And don’t miss the Solo National Championship action as it happens via SCCA’s live timing and scoring plus video streams, both of which can be found here.
This content appeared in the September 2019 issue of SportsCar magazine.