SOLO: ProSolo Atlanta summary

Soggy Hawk Super Challenge Win For Shchipkov at Tire Rack Scca ProSolo in Atlanta Atlanta, Ga. (Feb. 16, 2004) -- The Hawk Performance Super Challenge portion of The Tire Rack® SCCA ProSolo NationalSeries showed much love for one competitor...

Soggy Hawk Super Challenge Win For Shchipkov at Tire Rack Scca ProSolo in Atlanta

Atlanta, Ga. (Feb. 16, 2004) -- The Hawk Performance Super Challenge portion of The Tire Rack® SCCA ProSolo NationalSeries showed much love for one competitor this past Valentine's Day weekend.

For others, Sunday left them feeling less than rosy.

Alex Shchipkov, of New Albany, Ohio, in his D Stock Prepared BMW2002.com/SoloRacer.com 1989 BMW 325i, topped D Stock driver Matthew Grainger, of Florissant, Mo., in his Acura/AutoTire/Hoosier 1997 Acura Integra, by almost a full second to earn his first-ever Super Challenge win. Brian Garfield, of Mount Airy, Md., finished third in his Mini Mania/CG Lock 2002 Mini Cooper S after being defeated by Grainger in the semifinal round.

The Hawk Performance Super Challenge is a bracket event closing out each The Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo NationalSeries event, pitting the event's top drivers against one another to crown one final winner.

Shchipkov showed that steady was the way to go throughout the weekend as his BMW consistently made clean runs in drenched conditions, including the right-side course, dubbed "Lake Gwinnett," as running water meandered through the pylons and pooled at the bottom of a hill near the halfway point of the run.

Shchipkov made the Super Challenge field after emerging victorious from DSP, qualifying 11th in the 32-strong Hawk Super Challenge bracket that saw the top eight seeds upset in the first two rounds.

Top-qualifier Hector San Nicolas, of Hollywood, Fla., didn't make it out of his first round match-up in his Super Stock Corvette against last man in Jeff Jacobs (H Stock Mini Cooper). Joining Nicolas in the paddock after round one included Kiko Seibt, of Coconut Creek, Fla. (Subaru WRX STi); Ian Stewart, of Tallahassee, Fla. (Mazda Miata); and Mark Chiles, of Rocky Mount, N.C. (Mini Cooper). They qualified fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.

Weather was the story from the very beginning of the first SCCA ProSolo event of 2004, as rains moved in overnight Friday and pestered teams and workers with off-and-on showers until ending for good just prior to the start of the Super Challenge on Sunday.

With the unusual sloped parking lot's layout, the left-side course, at the top of the hill, dried out much faster when rains would back off, leaving competitors the decision to run dry or wet tires -- if they brought them.

Rain wasn't supposed to be a factor for the event as forecasts as late as Wednesday (about the same time teams from other states began their towing trip to Atlanta) showed, at maximum, a 40 percent chance of precipitation. Based on that information, many teams showed up with no wet tires of any sort, leaving the door open for those who did make provisions to shine.

Denise Cashmore, of New Berlin, Wis., had Hoosier Dirt Stocker rain tires at her disposal and won her first-ever Ladies Challenge in her Inacom Info System 1993 Toyota MR2. Corey Ridgick, of Allentown, Pa., took home the first Honda Street Challenge award of 2004. The prize, $250 for the top finishing street class competitor in the Super Challenge, went to Ridgick after he advanced to the quarter-final round in his Redshift Motorsports 2000 Subaru Impreza RS before being knocked off by Shchipkov by just 0.06-second.

Round Two of The Tire Rack® SCCA ProSolo NationalSeries is slated for March 13-14 in San Bernadino, Calif., at the Norton Airport. For more information about The Tire Rack® SCCA National Solo Program, visit www.scca.com.

Class winners:
Super Stock -- Hector San Nicholas, Hollywood, Fla.
A Stock -- Larry Fine, Addison, Pa.
B Stock -- Mark Sipe, Montgomery, Ala.
C Stock -- Steve Telehowski, Novi, Mich.
D Stock -- Matthew Grainger, Florissant, Mo.
E Stock -- Jeff Cashmore, New Berlin, Wis.
G Stock -- Brian Garfield, Mount Airy, Md.
H Stock -- Mark Chiles, Rocky Mount, N.C.
A Street Prepared -- Rod McGeorge (CSP bump), Richmond, Va.
B Street Prepared -- Kiko Seibt (STU bump), Coconut Creek, Fla.
D Street Prepared -- Alex Shchipkov, New Albany, Ohio
E Street Prepared -- Sam Strano, Brookville, Pa.
F Street Prepared -- Mark Pilson, Knoxville, Tenn.
Modified Index -- Benny Dement, Bonnerdale, Ark.
Street Touring S -- Jason Tipple, Galloway, Ohio
Street Touring X -- Mike King, Jacksonville, Fla.
Street Modified -- Neal Tovson, Tampa, Fla.
Street Modified 2 -- Ian Stewart, Tallahassee, Fla.
Ladies 1 -- Denise Cashmore, New Berlin, Wis.

-scca-

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