CENTENNIAL, Colo. (September 3, 2002)-- Beginning this weekend, the Sports Car Club of America's Tire RackÂ® Solo IIÂ® Nationals begins its 30th anniversary celebration, as competition commences at Forbes Field, Topeka, Kan. Featuring nearly...
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (September 3, 2002)-- Beginning this weekend, the Sports Car Club of America's Tire Rack® Solo II® Nationals begins its 30th anniversary celebration, as competition commences at Forbes Field, Topeka, Kan.
Featuring nearly 1400 entries for the weeklong extravaganza of finesse and speed, the Tire Rack Solo II Nationals and SCCA Tire Rack ProSolo® National Series combine to make the largest motorsports event in North America, and possibly the world. Autocrossers from across the continent gather each year to crown their National Champions in both the race against the clock Solo II and head-to-head ProSolo formats. Autocrossing is the most popular form of automobile racing in North America, with over 100,000 active participants, more than half of which compete in SCCA Solo events.
Many of America's top road racers began their careers on domestic parking lots and airports, including Peter Cunningham, Michael Galati, Randy Pobst and Neal Sapp. While those drivers used their success to launch outstanding professional road racing careers, many participants return each year to the format that rewards outstanding car control and finesse.
"SCCA Solo racing is the quickest way to get involved in a motorsports competition event because there are classes for cars ranging from stock configuration to purpose-built vehicles in our Modified category," said Steve Johnson, SCCA President and CEO.
The roots of SCCA's Solo program date back to the early years of SCCA in the 1940s. Through time, the program evolved into what it is today, and held its first-ever National Championship event in Wentzville, Mo. in 1973, hosting a total of 224 cars in 15 separate classes. Through the next ten years, the event was hosted at a variety of locations before landing in Kansas for good in 1983 at Salina. At that point, the event drew over 500 competitors in 36 classes. After a 12-year run in Salina, the event was brought to Forbes Field in Topeka in 1995, and signed The Tire Rack as its title sponsor. The Solo II Nationals eclipsed 1000 competitors in 2000 (1073) and reached an all-time high of 1087 last year, despite many competitors not making the trip due to the September 11 terrorist attack.
This year, 1155 drivers from across the United States are registered to compete in the Tire Rack Solo II Nationals, with an additional 230 entries in the Tire Rack ProSolo finale September 6-8.
Held at Forbes Field, less than two miles from the Heartland Park Topeka drag and road racing facility, the Solo II Nationals occupies a total of 100 acres of tarmac-an area that could hold more than 75 football fields.
With nearly 1400 competitors, following each storyline is a difficult task, but here are some to keep in mind:
* John Thomas (Meridian, Miss.) goes for his unprecedented 10th-consecutive title in E Prepared. No other driver has won more than six consecutive events in an open class.
* Karen Babb (Renton, Wash.) goes for her unprecedented 17th SCCA Solo II National Championship this year in her D Modified Ladies class Lotus Elan. She and her husband, Ron, combine for an amazing 20 National Championships.
* Ten drivers celebrate their 30th Solo II National Championship appearance, having run each event. They are: Phil Alspach (Grove City, Ohio), Susan Anderson (Florissant, Mo.), Claire Ball (Buffalo Grove, Ill.), Dick Berger (Roeland Park, Kan.), Charlie Clark (Roeland Park, Kan.), Rocky Entriken (Salina, Kan.), Bill Lane (Kenmore, N.Y.), Rick Ruth (Schaumburg, Ill.) and George and Dee Schweikle (Lexington, Ky.).
The 30th Tire Rack SCCA Solo II Nationals begin with a parade Monday, Sept. 9. Competition begins in the 60 classes on Tuesday, with the final day of competition set for Friday, Sept. 13. For more information on the Tire Rack Solo II Nationals, visit its website at www.scca.org/amateur/solo2/nationals. The SCCA Tire Rack ProSolo Championship also concludes at Topeka, running from Friday, Sept. 6 through Sunday, Sept. 8. The Tire Rack ProSolo Championship is a yearlong points Championship also including the Peavey® Super Challenge. For more information on the ProSolo Tour, visit its website at <www.scca.com/amateur/solo2/prosolo/index.html>.
Founded in 1944, the Sports Car Club of America, Inc. is a 65,000-member motorsports organization, which incorporates all facets of autocross, rally, and both club and professional motorsports events. It annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 109 regions and professional subsidiary. Landmark events for the Club include the Club Racing Valvoline Runoffs® National Championship races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the Tire Rack Solo II® Nationals at Topeka, Kan. and Tire Rack ProSolo® National Series, the ProRally® Championship and the United States Road Rally Championship, in St. Louis, Mo. For more information, please visit www.scca.org