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Apr 02, 2014 - 06:14 AM
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Tire Rack SCCA Solo Championship Tour Takes On Texas
Posted by: newsla on Apr 02, 2014 - 06:10 AM
Sports Cars
Tire Rack SCCA Solo Championship Tour Takes On Texas


The Tire Rack SCCA Solo College Station Championship Tour, held on the Texas A&M University campus, was the second of the eight events leading to the Tire Rack Solo National Championships in September. All Championship Tour meets use the traditional class-style competition that will be utilized to decide National Champions at the Lincoln (Neb.) Airpark.

 

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Like the two previous National Solo events already in the books, extreme weather conditions had an influence on the weekend’s results. While the weather was palatable during competition on Saturday and Sunday, conditions became downright inhospitable late Friday afternoon as course designer Viveck Goel transformed his visions into reality.

Strong winds picked up dust, dirt and any other small items not tied down. Rain drops and hailstones then fell on anyone that had not already sought shelter. In addition to the already marked course, the atmospheric outburst left standing water on the course for drivers to navigate during Saturday’s opening runs.

One member of the Texas SCCA Solo community who was missing was Tommy Saunders, who passed away in mid-March. During Saturday night’s traditional cookout for competitors and volunteers, Casey Weiss led the group in prayer for the Saunders family and a toast in honor of the 12-time SCCA Solo National Champion.

The big-block, high-horsepower muscle cars of C Prepared were part of the first run group to venture out on the rain-soaked course Saturday morning. While the damp conditions forced drivers to take a conservative approach during early runs, the times quickly fell. The result was a slim 0.138-second margin of victory, the smallest of the entire two-day competition.

The eventual class winner, Robert Lewis (CP, Sledge Hammer Racing/MCS Ford Mustang), of Tallahassee, Fla., ended Saturday’s three runs sitting in second behind Todd Farris but ahead of 2013 Driver of Eminence Mark Madarash. On Sunday, luck shone down on Lewis as was the recipient of several re-runs during the day. The best time of his three completed runs allowed him to leapfrog Farris for the class win.

With 19 drivers, Street Touring Roadster was the largest class during the meet. The large numbers resulted in stiff competition, proved by the aggregate times of the top-four cars being covered by just over one second. Robert Irish (STR, MR Irish Contracting Honda S2000), of Austin, Texas, was able to hold the class lead after his three runs from Saturday. While he was not the fastest driver on Sunday, Irish had banked enough of a gap to hold off challenges from Jon Pomrenke, Jeff Warden and other drivers to take the win by 0.306-second.

X Prepared also produced a nail-biting finish, which was decided by only 0.218-second. Vitek Boruvka (XP, AXWare Systems Mazda MX-5), of Austin, Texas, would end up the winner, but Thomas Thompson certainly made things interesting. Boruvka was the over-night leader in the class with a best time of 66.130. While he only ran the second-quickest time during Sunday’s three runs, Boruvka was able to hold his lead.

Stefan Waller (Street Touring Xtreme, Corr-Performance/Bad Panda Motorsports), of Lafayette, La., emerged as the victor in STX. Waller trailed Christy Carlson after three runs on Saturday, but was able to set down a scorching time during his final run on Sunday. The time, which was almost a second quicker than that of Carlson, was enough to vault Waller to the lead with a 0.375-second gap.

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