A New Order: Upsets Abound at San Diego National Tour SAN DIEGO, Calif. (March 26, 2009) -- The results were as unpredictable as the weather at the San Diego National Tour, held March 21 -- 22, at Qualcomm Stadium. After enduring a brief rain ...
A New Order: Upsets Abound at San Diego National Tour
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (March 26, 2009) -- The results were as unpredictable as the weather at the San Diego National Tour, held March 21 -- 22, at Qualcomm Stadium. After enduring a brief rain shower during the second run group on Sunday, the second stop on the Tire Rack0x00ae SCCA Solo National Tour witnessed some surprising finishes.
The San Diego Region was once again up to the task of hosting a Tire Rack Solo National Tour stop at the infamous Qualcomm Stadium parking lot, which features a rather steep hill. The lot is also beginning to show signs of wear and tear. This forced the chief of the course to make several minor course changes throughout the event, but did not cause any significant delays. Nor did the rain, which swept across Qualcomm Stadium briefly on Sunday, requiring some competitors to grab their rain tires.
As the course began to dry, the changing conditions made for several exciting last-run battles, including a duel for the F Stock win between Mike Wood's Custom Alignment/Stranoparts.com Ford Mustang Shelby Cobra and Jerry Lamb's Ford Mustang Shelby Cobra. Wood, from Alamo, Calif., had a solid lead entering Sunday's competition, but Lamb, haling from Snohomish, Wash., showed what a Pacific Northwest driver could do in the rain, and took over the FS lead after two runs in the wet. Observing conditions carefully, Wood opted to put the dry tires back on his car for the final run. The gamble paid off by a whole five seconds, giving Wood the win over Lamb, who stuck with rain tires.
B Stock missed the rain, but did see Bryan Heitkotter, of Fresno, Calif., storm to a victory in a highly competitive field. Driving a Mazda RX-8, Heitkotter dominated the class, finishing more than two seconds ahead of four-time BS National Champion Jason Isely, of Ladera Ranch, Calif., in a Mazdaspeed/Kumho/PurePower Mazda RX-8.
Another upset unfolded in C Stock, where favorite Ryan Buetzer, of Long Beach, Calif., led the class on Saturday, but had trouble entering a clean run on Sunday in his Evo School/ChaseCam Mazda Miata. This enabled Jeffrey Cawthorne, of San Diego, Calif., to squeak by for the win by 0.070-second in his Mazdaspeed/Hoosier Mazda Miata MSR.
Despite several lead changes, none of the favored drivers came out on top of the dramatic C Street Prepared contest. After his final run on Sunday, it appeared as though George Doganis, of Lakeside, Calif., and his Dinos Mazda Miata had the CSP win in hand, but Bill Schenker, of Corona del Mar, Calif., took full advantage of a re-run to claim victory in his MiataRoadster/HiDefRacing/ChaseCam Mazda Miata.
C Stock Ladies was a tale of two dueling Mazda MX-5s. Pamela Kannan, of Orangevale, Calif., ended Saturday with a solid lead in her Auburn Tire Service/Topolino Racing MX-5, but had Judith Murray, of Temecula, Calif., nipping at her heels on Sunday. Driving a Mazdaspeed/Hoosier MX-5, Murray made an impressive final run, but it wasn't enough to make up the deficit to Kannan, who took the CSL win by 0.914-second.
Once dominant in Street Modified 2, Andy McKee, of San Jose, Calif., and his Garrett/ARE/SiasTuning/Carbotech Mazda RX-7 have discovered that more has changed than the name of the class. The Mazda Miata is now a force to be reckoned with in the re-named Super Street Modified class, as evidenced by co-drivers John Ames and Chris Swearingen, of Colorado Springs, Colo., finishing one-two in their Miata, ahead of McKee and his wife, Teresa.
Not every class at the San Diego National Tour bucked that status quo. In Super Stock, defending National Champion Gary Thomason, of Oceanside, Calif., came away with the win in his Porsche GT3 by 0.564-second over the Chevrolet Corvette of Brian Peters, from Litchfield Park, Ariz. Another 2008 Champ, Fred Zust, of Tempe Ariz., had no problem defending his X Prepared title in a Blackwatch Racing/ChaseCam Lotus Elise, taking a 1.245-second win over Toby Larsson, of Anaheim Hills, Calif., and his EliteTint.com BMW E36.
After back-to-back events, the Tire Rack Solo National Tour now has some time off before the next stop, April 4 -- 5, at Gulf Greyhound Park, in Houston, Texas. Full results from the San Diego Tour and more information on the Houston Tour are available at www.scca.com/solo.
The 2009 Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo National Series begins this weekend, March 28 -- 29, at the El Toro Airfield in El Toro, Calif. Results will be posted to www.scca.com as they become available.