SOLO: SCCA National Tour - Rome summary

Tire Rack SCCA National Tour makes fifth stop in Rome New York. ROME, NY The Northeast Division welcomed top drivers from the East coast for the fifth stop on the Tire Rack SCCA National Tour. Despite a very soggy practice course on Friday, ...

Tire Rack SCCA National Tour makes fifth stop in Rome New York.

ROME, NY The Northeast Division welcomed top drivers from the East coast for the fifth stop on the Tire Rack SCCA National Tour. Despite a very soggy practice course on Friday, conditions remained dry for Saturday and Sunday with cool temperatures both days. Through the efforts of Tina Reeves and first time event chair David Stehlik, the event ran smoothly from start to finish.

The courses were typical of an airstrip site and provided as much challenge for course workers as drivers. All totaled 255 drivers combined to hit 636 cones not counting those hit on runs scored with a DNF. Formula Jr. was the cleanest class with two cones between 5 drivers. Both were a series of transitional maneuvers going to and coming back from a turn around. The Saturday course was the tighter and more technical of the two giving a distinct advantage to smaller cars.

Sunday offered a more flowing course that allowed drivers to set a rhythm early and carry it to the finish. Special mention should go to course designer Eric Kroth. Kroth managed to combine the feel of a northeast course design with the expectations of a National Tour course.

Rome saw E-Stock driver Jim Hall and F-Stock driver Junior Johnson each claim their first National Tour win. Hall squeaked out a 39 thousandths win over co-driver and car owner Jim Pastorius. Johnson emerged as the man to beat in F-Stock after posting a third run on Saturday a half second better than the rest of the class. From there Johnson stretched his lead to a second and a half win.

GH Sharp and Mark Chiles had the most dominating performances of the weekend posting some of the fastest stock class times in G and H-Stock cars. Sharp, driving the Frank Toyota Celica, boasted a 2.1 second win in G-Stock while Chiles piloted his new H-Stock Mini Cooper to a 3.3 second win over co-driver Jeff Jacobs who had an additional 1.6 over the remainder of the class. C-Stock provided the closest competition of the weekend with Tim Aro, Matthew Braun and Steve Telehowski at the front of the class with just over a tenth between the three.

Fastest Street Prepared times came from C-Street Prepared with 2001 Solo 2 Nationals runner up Allen Kugler leading the way. Wife Denise showed why she left Topeka with a champions Jacket with a win in C-Street Prepared Ladies just off the trophy pace in the open class. D-Street Prepared saw James Sheridan's BMW 323is win for the second time in as many weeks this time with Ron Katona behind the wheel. Katona came from behind to post a six tenth win over Saturday leader Mike Neary.

E-Prepared was the largest of the Prepared Classes and not surprisingly posted the fastest times in the category. Richard Hunter survived a pair of dirty runs each day to take the win in his Honda Civic over Volkswagen driver Daryl Beck. Beck had raw times quick enough to win the class by just over a half a second but failed to post a clean run on Saturday. The Northeast continues to enjoy large Modified fields with roughly a fifth of the total entry for the event subscribing to the category. Fast time of the weekend went to B-Modified winner Bill Gendron driving the now for sale 97 Dragon SR1. Brad Fish took second place in B-Modified but did post fast time of the day on the more open Sunday course.

A-Modified enjoyed it's largest field of the season thus far with 8 drivers. Tyson Sawyer and Bernard Cooley, each driving a variation on an early '70s Super Vee, proved to be the class of the field with Sawyer ending up on top. Jeff Blumenthal took the win in F-Modified, the largest of the Modified Classes with 13 drivers.

Street Touring S was the second largest class of the weekend with 17 drivers, just one less than G-Stock. The top six drivers all show potential to win the class, all posting times within two tenths of each other on their Sunday's second runs. On third runs only two of the six could improve upon their pervious mark. That gave the win to Nissan Sentra driver Joe Oliveira with Honda Civic Driver Nathan Whipple in the second spot.

The Tire Rack SCCA Solo 2 National Tour takes National Solo on the road to various locations around the country. These events average over 250 drivers from a wide geographical area though most of the competitors come from nearby states. The drivers come together to get a taste of the "Nationals" experience of competition and camaraderie found at the Championships. Each event is presented in a format similar to that found in Topeka during The Tire Rack Solo 2 National Championships.

The Sports Car Club of America Inc. is a 67,000-member motorsports organization, which incorporates all facets of autocross, rally, and both club and professional motorsports events. It annually sanctions nearly 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 2 Nationals and Tire Rack ProSolo National Series at Topeka, the ProRally Championship and the United States Road Rally Championship, in St Louis, Mo.

For additional information about SCCA Solo competition:
SCCA Solo 2: www.scca.org/amateur/solo2
SCCA ProSolo: www.scca.org/amateur/solo2/prosoloThe Tire Rack SCCA
National Solo Program: www.scca.org/amateur/solo2/nationalsolo.html

-scca-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Junior Johnson