| Seneca Depot Sprint
BIG. I mean really big. Big enough to land a B-52 bomber big. Big enough for Tedd Hurd to reach top gear in his Mazda big. Okay, big enough for a B-52, Tedd needs more room. But, imagine having 150 by 7,000 feet of prime asphalt plus a big airplane turnaround tarmac hanging off to one side and not a fixed obstacle in sight. As Pat Scopelliti said when he first laid eyes on the site, "I think I've died and gone to heaven." The only flaw in the entire event was selecting our Solo II chair, Mike Taves, as the event chair thus guaranteeing rain. And boy, did it ever rain on our first Solo event ever at the Seneca Army Depot.
The course was a big 8/10 mile long loop, starting out with a quick slalom followed by a couple of 180's, a fast loop through the turnaround tarmac and back to the finish parallel to the start. The course was so long, and with elements so spread apart, that it was easy to run two cars on course simultaneously. We probably could have stretched it to three, but with the rain keeping attendance down to only 34 drivers, there was no need, and everyone got in six runs easily.
Speaking of runs, Steve Yeoh dominated B-Stock in his beautiful '00 Boxter, turning in a blistering 70.9 second run, a full 8 seconds ahead of second place Eric Navestad in a '00 Honda S2000. In C-Stock Tedd Hurd, a novice driver, turned in a respectable 84 seconds in Dad's old RX-7. Some of the closest competition occurred in D-Stock, where three experienced drivers finished within three seconds of each other. Dale Kunze of FLR, in a '98 Integra Type R, not only took the lead, but also the Fastest Time of the Day (FTD) and PAX wins for the event, with a stunning 70.6 run on his last time out. Right behind Dale was Tom Milkulka who took second in his '02 WRX and Tina Reeves ran third in her beautiful new silver '02 Mini Cooper S.
Old standbys Nile Heermans and Rich Chernosky duked it out in ES, with Nile coming out ahead in his 240SX. It was all Mustangs in ESP and FS, with Mike Eames, in his '01 model edging out Lin Hurd in her '98 Cobra for the ESP award, while Mark Lockhart, in his '98 Cobra, took Larry Rhode in his '94. Newlywed Casey Creamer, as always a unique individualist, took care of FSP all by himself in his Mini Cooper S (but think old and green, not the "S" of today). Then comes the flying Tyburskis, pretty much dominating GS in their shared '94 Ford Probe. Brian took 1st, with a 73.1 second run, with brother Mike on his heels about a second back. Alan Smith snuck in there for third in his Neon, while Dad (aka Jeff) Tyburski was close behind in fourth. HS was a fun little tussle between our esteemed chair Mike Taves, in his BMW 318i, who had taken 1st place in class in every event he entered this season, and Pat Scopelliti, driving Robbie Craig's sister's old beat up Honda Civic. Mike started out leading in the first couple of runs, but Pat caught him in number three. After five runs they were only three tenths of a second apart, but Mike got a little greedy and lost it at the first 180 in run six, while Pat kept it in control for his winning time of 79.2 the last time out. A little embarrassing for a bright orange Bimmer to go down to a dirty brown Honda, but hey, just goes to show you what a good driver can do with an ordinary car (or an ordinary driver with a good car ).
Sean Caron defeated his wife Michelle in a shared '96 Eagle Talon to take first in SM (probably the last thing Sean will share with Michelle for a while), with a very fast 71.5 second run. In a hotly contested Street Touring S, Todd Totman in his Plymouth Neon SC edged out Geoff Peterson (VW Golf) and Mike Smith (Subaru Impreza), with only 7 tenths of a second separating the three drivers. And finally, the Pierce family was there in force with their shared BMW 325is, less than 1.5 seconds separating their best times. Ken took the lead, with son Greg close on his heels, and Uncle John right behind Greg. Dad better watch out. Greg has improved dramatically this year and won't be satisfied until he's top gun in the Pierce Racing Team.
Despite the rain the Seneca Depot was a grand experience and a debt of thanks is owed to those folks responsible. First of all, the Glen Solo Board wishes to extend their appreciation to Patricia Jones, Project Coordinator for the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency (SCIDA). Pat was not only wonderful to work with in helping us obtain permission to use the Depot but she even gave up her Saturday to watch the front entrance for us and control access to the site. In addition, significant help came from Solo II colleagues from other regions: Mike Smith (FLR) assisted us in obtaining the site and even "politicked" on our behalf with the SCIDA Board of Directors. Alan Smith (FLR) volunteered for worker chief duties for the event which included using Casey Creamer's pickup truck to shuttle course workers to and from their posts (Did I mention that this site was big??). Finally, Steve Yeoh (WNY) was a terrific help to the timing and scoring crew, with his extensive knowledge of the software system we use.
On a sad side note, Tom also informed a number of us that this was to be his last Glen Region Solo event for the foreseeable future, as he and his wife have taken jobs in Portland, Maine. Tom has been a wonderful competitor (perhaps the most frequent FTD and PAX winner), instructor and contributor to our program for several years, and we are sorry to see him go. The next event is scheduled for Saturday, September 21st at Corning Community College. See you there!