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 previewed the Street Touring category, today we focus on the Street Prepared and Street Modified classes. These classes take modifications to another level, with sizeable power increases, sophisticated suspension, very sticky R compound competition tires.
Super Street Prepared seems likely to come down to either Ryan Johnson in his Lotus if the courses don’t favor power, or Joe Tharpe in his Corvette if they do. Our money is on Matthew Braun in the Delgado GT3, no matter what the course is like. That said, if we were to pick a winner in this field of dream cars based purely on the awesomeness of the ride, Eric Hyman in a Lamborghini Huracán Performante would certainly be our choice.
A Street Prepared is almost sure to rejoin the annual battle between the Evos of Aaron Miller and Tom Berry. Also, could this be Christine Grice’s year?
B Street Prepared should be another easy win for Ron Bauer in his reconstituted ND Miata.
C Street Prepared has one of the best duels going. If all goes well, Neal Tovsen and Billy Davis will put on a great show in NB Miatas and demonstrate that the PAX still can’t keep up with them. Mechanical misadventures have been a big part of CSP for the past several years, which could play to Todd Cochran’s advantage. We picked Katie Lacey last year and she didn’t show. We saw her at Spring Nationals this year, so we’re going to pick her again over Stephanie Humphries.
D Street Prepared seems to have become the land of the RX-8. Steve O’Blenes continues to improve his car, but Tamra Hunt has her own. She’s been awfully close the past two years, and we think she’ll be even faster this year.
We don’t see anyone giving Jeff Wong a serious challenge in E Street Prepared. He’s got the Camaro working incredibly well. P.J. Corrales will bring his fast Infiniti. ESPL is likely to look a lot like the Open class, as Nicole Wong pilots the Camaro. JoJo Corrales-Kean will keep her honest in the Infiniti.
F Street Prepared seems to hide all year before showing up in Lincoln. We don’t hear any rumors of a return of Randy Pobst, so we’re leaning toward Jay Bonvouloir in the CRX. Geoffrey Zimmer may have picked up enough from Pobst last year to push him over the top in his Rabbit. Greg Anthony and his Neon should contend. Susan Anderson is a 100-percenter and could win yet another championship in the Schweikle FSPL Alfa Romeo.
Other than one recent year, Super Street Mod has belonged to Randall Wilcox in the Eric Anderson Miata. Matt Glagola has a fast Lotus. Ryan Field and Joey Sim are not familiar names yet, but that could change in September. SSML may just make a class. If so, it looks like an interesting matchup between Deana Kelley in the Anderson Miata and Wendy Gulick in a Boxster.
We see a triple Evo threat with Dallas Cutler attempting to repeat in Street Modified, Marshall Grice returning to the Berry Evo after years in AM, and Andy Smedegard. We see John Vitamvas as being on too good a trajectory with his RX-8 development. Maybe we are hedging bets again, this time going against the all-wheel-drive cars.
Craig Wilcox bought the Tipple Civic to run in Street Modified FWD and has been very fast in it all year. Chris Haydu is not a newcomer to the class and will use that experience to full advantage. SMFL has made championship status for the past five years, so there’s a reason to expect that to continue. With the Jordansoff to HS, that leaves a pretty easy path for Kristell Janusz to take another jacket.
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.