Packwood National Tour Heats up the Mountains PACKWOOD, Wash. (Aug. 19, 2008) -- Record breaking temperatures were the topic of the weekend at Hampton Mills, but neither the sweltering heat nor high gas prices could keep more than 250...
Packwood National Tour Heats up the Mountains
PACKWOOD, Wash. (Aug. 19, 2008) -- Record breaking temperatures were the topic of the weekend at Hampton Mills, but neither the sweltering heat nor high gas prices could keep more than 250 soloists away from the Tire Rack® SCCA Packwood National Tour.
The Packwood event has always been a popular one thanks to the lumber yard location, which provides a vast amount of asphalt, a building for covered parking, and another building for tech impound. The atmosphere of Hampton Mills is enhanced not only by the gorgeous mountain scenery, but by the support of the community, who work with the event to provide volunteers and food, including the Saturday night barbeque hosted by the local fire department with help from Northwest Region members Gretchen Everett and Alyson Moffat.
This year's Packwood National Tour courses were designed by Karen Babb, who's designed courses for the Tire Rack® Solo National Championships many times. That experience showed at Packwood, where the courses were a clever mix of fast and technical sections.
Glen Hernandez, of Marysville, Wash., was able to master Babb's courses in an Evolution/Fordahl Motorsports Lotus Elise, beating Kevin Dietz, of Federal Way, Wash., to the top spot in Super Stock by 0.240-second. It could have just as easily gone the other way, however, if Dietz had not toppled three cones in his final run behind the wheel of a MAXQDATA/Evolution/Chase Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
The 15-car strong B Stock class came down to a battle of the Mazda RX-8s. Zach Heidepriem, of Mountain View, Calif., had a tough start on Saturday with two coned runs, but did get a clean one in on his final attempt. Meanwhile, Mike Wood, of Alamo, Calif., put in clean and consistent runs on both Saturday and Sunday. After coning his opening run on Sunday and falling just short of Wood's day two pace, Heidepriem's last ditch effort on Saturday proved to be his saving grace, as the final score gave him the win over Wood by 0.285-second.
Similarly, C Stock was a battle of the Mazda MX-5s, only this finish was closer still. Despite coning three runs over the weekend in his HiTech Transmissions MX-5, Chris Kannan, of Orangevale, Calif., clocked a miraculous final run on Sunday to beat Mitch Lewis, of Kennewick, Wash., and his Tri-Cities Battery MX-5 by a slim 0.124-second.
Street Touring® S became a rematch from the recent Wendover ProSolo where Andy Hollis, of Austin, Texas, squared off against Kevin McCormick, of Lincoln, Calif. McCormick and his Kumho/Americas Tire/Bilstein Honda Civic Si got the better of Hollis at Wendover, but this time Hollis and his Soulspeed/ART/GRM/PowerCurve Dyno Honda Civic Si had McCormick's number, taking the STS win by 0.491-second.
The Mazda Miata piloted by Scott Fraser, of San Jose, Calif., and Tom Kubo, of Folsom, Calif., was the car to beat at Packwood in C Street Prepared. Not only did Fraser and Kubo go one-two in CSP, but Kathy Wolfskill, of Nederland, Colo., drove the same car to the CSP Ladies win by more than three seconds.
A Street Prepared was a successful class for husband-wife teams. While husband Stacey Molleker, of Granite Falls, Wash., claimed the final ASP trophy spot in the Medallion Healthy Homes Dodge Viper SRT-10, wife Laura was taking the same car to the top spot in ASPL. Laura ended the weekend with a comfortable margin of 3.409 seconds over the Jet City Tuning, D&D Fab Lotus Elise, of Jill Snell, from Puyallup, Wash., who's husband Mark was the ASP open class winner.
Another winner emerged from the ASP class; Matt Lowell, of Brier, Wash., was the Sunday Pace Hot Pursuit Challenge winner. Driving the Matts Greenwood Auto Care Porsche 911 RSA, Lowell's Sunday run times were all within 0.073-second of each other. Saturday's award went to X Prepared winner Keith Brown, of Des Moines, Wash., whose run times in a ChaseRace/Vorslag/Tight n Tidy Racing Mazda Miata were separated by just 0.135-second. Both Brown and Brier are now entered in a year-end drawing to win a new Pace Pursuit® trailer.
Hampton Mills will host the final Tire Rack ProSolo event of the season this weekend, for which the late fee has been waived. The final Tire Rack Solo National Tour stop of the year will take place Aug. 30 -- 31, at the Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City, Mo. For full results from the Packwood National Tour and information on upcoming Solo events, visit www.scca.com/solo.