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 Championships. 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 took at look at the Street Prepared and Street Modified classes.
The Prepared category has its roots in road racing, with many of the original rules coming directly from the SCCA Club Racing GCR, and at one time it was possible to show up and win with a road racing car. Today, these autocross machines are so specialized that they leave the road racing cars in the dust.
X Prepared has seen some changes in their minimum weights. So far, that does not appear to have completely upset the status quo, but as heavy favorite Fred Zust hasn’t registered, we are forced to look to another. Mazda drivers Andy McKee, Jason Collett, Michael Moran, Zachary Sober, Eric Anderson, and John Hunter will try to stay ahead of Chris Dorsey as he continues to develop his Toyota Corolla GTS. XPL is one of those catchall classes that may end up collecting a number of L-class drivers seeking championship status. Making predictions in that situation is very tough. Kim Bollinger has a real XP car to drive, and that should give her the upper hand.
C Prepared will see a few drivers hop over to the other party category of CAM. Some may not make a decision until September. Others are recovering from mechanical issues, and we definitely don’t know the prognosis for those when we are putting these picks together. Robert Lewis is building a new motor, which can be good or bad. That affects whether or not his co-driver from last year Tommy Pulliam will have a chance to defend his championship. We’ve got a fairly safe bet in Mark Madarash, assuming he doesn’t jump to CAM. Tracy Lewis has managed to compete successfully in CPL despite ever-growing administrative responsibilities. We’re expecting the new motor to work out for her.
Somehow, D Prepared is a Texas thing. The top five finishers last year were Texans. We aren’t sure about the top five, but if we had to guess, we’d put Todd Roberts on the top of this particular heap.
We don’t see a whole lot of the E Prepared drivers during the year. Ben Wagstaff looked quick in New Jersey, and Jason Frank will be driving last year’s winning car in a one-off romp. But we’ll go with a crazy pick: Patrick Washburn in a new car that is still being put together as summer starts.
F Prepared has us rolling a the dice, which is great to see in a class in the Prepared category. Wes Hughson, John Thomas, Josh McCall, Alex Jones, and David Montgomery are all contenders in a variety of fascinating cars, but we’re leaning toward Thomas since he’s already won this event 17 times.
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.