A Berry Challenging Weekend in El Toro El TORO, Calif., (April 2, 2009) -- The Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo National Series kicked off at the El Toro Air Force Base, just south of Los Angeles, on March 28 -- 29. Under the sunny California skies,...
A Berry Challenging Weekend in El Toro
El TORO, Calif., (April 2, 2009) -- The Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo National Series kicked off at the El Toro Air Force Base, just south of Los Angeles, on March 28 -- 29. Under the sunny California skies, it was the course designer himself, Tom Berry, who walked away with the top prize.
The AMCI Drive Center facility at the El Toro Air Force Base gave Berry more than enough room to work with when laying out the first ProSolo courses of the season. Drivers were blessed with long challenging runs in the 40-second range, but more than a few competitors were caught out by Berry's tricky cone sections.
Berry, however, was on fire. After just nipping his own teammate, Michael Grice, of Los Angeles, for the Bump Class 2 win, Berry, of Alta Loma, Calif., piloted the Berry Family Racing/Hoosier Mitsubishi Evo 9 to the Super Challenge final. Initially, it appeared that Berry would face Erik Strelnieks, of Cedar Park, Texas, and his Jungle Cat Racing/Hoosier/7-parts Mazda 3-Rotor R in the final after Loren Muller, of Newark, Calif., tipped a cone on the first half of his run. But miraculously, Muller made up for the two-second penalty in his Just Ducky Racing Ford Focus on the other side and advanced to the final. Muller's luck ran out versus Berry though, who was unstoppable in his charge to the Super Challenge win.
Berry's daughter, Christine, also saw success in the Berry Family Racing/Hoosier Mitsubishi Evo, winning Ladies Class 2 by a slim margin over Annie Bauer, of Renton, Wash., in a Surgeline Tuning/COBB/Fordahl Motorsport Subaru WRX STi. The younger Berry's weekend would end there, however, after being eliminated in the first round of the Ladies Challenge. Instead, it was Ladies Class 1 winner Leslie Cohen, from Cardiff by the Sea, Calif., who took the Ladies Challenge crown driving her C2 Motorsports/Leslie Cohen Design Honda Civic Si R
In the ChaseCam Bonus Challenge, Bump Class 2 competitor Chris Darquea, of Las Vegas, Nev., and his MillionDollarBody.com Ford Mustang beat out the Index Class 2 Infiniti G35 of Kurt Rahn, from Sierra Madre, Calif.
Ken Montonishi, of Orange, Calf., was unstoppable in the Team Toyo Honda Civic Si. After taking the class win in Street Touring, Montonishi won the Honda Tuner Challenge and then successfully faced off against H Stock winner Will Kalman, of Northridge, Calif., in his L&W Enterprises/Redshift Honda Civic to take the Honda Challenge Top Eliminator prize as well.
The class competition leading up to the Challenge rounds was just as intense as the Challenges themselves.
Matthew Braun, of Northville, Mich., hit the jackpot with a borrowed PowerPlug Porsche GT3, winning Super Stock by 1.734 seconds over Brian Peters, of Litchfield Park, Ariz., and his Chevrolet Corvette. Unfortunately, the Porsche broke a camshaft in the final runs on Sunday and Braun was forced to borrow another car to compete in the Super Challenge.
Andrew McKee, of San Jose, Calif., bounced back from a disappointing San Diego Tour to spend the weekend battling Erik Strelnieks in Super Street Modified. Though clean runs were few and far between for McKee in the Garrett/ARE/SiasTuning/Carbotech Mazda RX-7, he pulled off the win by a scant 0.278-second.
Formula 125 had a large and competitive showing in El Toro. All 10 drivers had difficulty nailing clean runs, but by the end of the weekend, Paul Russel, of San Diego, Calif., came out on top in his SeventhGear.com TonyKart Honda.
It's nearly a month until the next round of the Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo Series, which will take place April 25 in Wendover, Utah. For full results from the El Toro ProSolo and more information on the Wendover ProSolo, visit www.scca.com/solo.