Mud Wrestling at Ithaca College

I don’t know what it is about the Glen Region and Ithaca. Maybe it’s because Ithaca is technically located outside our geographic region or maybe it’s just our karma, but of all the events we’ve held there since the late ‘90s only once has rain not been a problem. We’ve changed dates and even sites to South Hill from East Hill but to no avail. The bad weather just follows us. This year, adding insult to injury, blustery cold joined the fray. More than one of us sat in the car, heater going full blast, in an attempt to dry out wet socks and shoes and our bad luck didn’t end with the weather, either. The college created a through-road along one side of the lot since last year and, despite a diligent effort by the Ithaca College campus police, cars dared to park on “our lot,” cutting the available area to 3/4 of the usual size. This, coupled with an incredibly muddy pit area made for a challenging day. In spite of it all, 37 drivers registered for the honor of testing their wet track capabilities at Ithaca College’s Terrace Parking Lots on June 1st.

Fortunately for the drivers, the course setup committee has had to deal with lot limitations before and put together a challenging setup. It consisted of two clockwise laps after a 90 degree entering kink and ending with a 270 degree exit turn into the stop-timing area just wide enough for say, a Techno Cart. Whether the driver was continuing for the second lap or attempting an automotive pirouette through the timing lights, that “decision point” had more orange than Marshall Street in Syracuse a month or so ago. It amazed me that so few cones went down. Apparently, like the United States Post Office, neither rain nor dark of night nor parked cars, through streets, or errant joggers kept us from our duly appointed rounds.

Besides the rain, the mud, and a highly unusual “decision point,” the other notable characteristic of the June event was a battle of the clans. In G-Stock, for example, the Tyburskis decided to return to the Glen Region, all three of them in their ‘94 Ford Probe. They weren’t the only family in G-Stock, however, as the Andres, Tim and Lou, and the Bacalles, Tony and Lee, joined the G-Stock lineup. Fact is, Nile Heermans was the only unrelated driver in the group (Think adoption, Nile, maybe the other families are onto something). In the end, there were few surprises as Brian, our original Tyburski, won first in class and the PAX trophy at the same time. He was followed by brother Mike and Tim Andres (‘99 Subaru Impreza) to round out the top three places.

In D-Stock another family reigned supreme as the Thompsons made the class their own. When the mud cleared it was Bryan (‘03 Subaru WRX) who earned the best time over Dan and Amy. Finally, let’s not forget Street Touring X, the Pierce Family Class. This time it was an all Pierce battle after the Pierces unanimously voted to adopt Anthony Cornish. Apparently, the Pierces were getting tired of Anthony breaking up an all-Pierce trophy stand. The result was another win by Ken Pierce (BMW 325is) followed by Anthony Cornish (Cornish-Pierce?) still driving his wife’s ‘99 VW Passat, and John Pierce nailing down third.

It may not have been a family effort, but A-Modified has surprised all of us this season by consistently being a multi-driver class. Five drivers competed for class honors at Ithaca College running very diverse drive trains including a Yamaha motorcycle engine, a small block Chevvy, and a VW air cooled pancake four. In the end it was Mark Juncosa (‘03 ARG03) who took class and FTD honors, while the next two positions went to teammates, Dominik Ntama and Chris Rohrback. It should be noted that Mike Sullivan lost his bearings but still remained on course and I believe expressed a willingness to trade a Leprechaun driveshaft for season’s use of the Cornell ‘SAE’ Car, if the Cornell gang is willing. Bearings included.

In Street Touring-S Steve Moshier (‘96 Dodge Neon) ran just ahead of Geoff Peterson (‘00 VW Gti), while Todd Totman (‘96 Plymouth Neon) ran incredibly close to Geoff. B-Stock had a new entrant in Chris Morton (‘01 Honda S2000), who easily handled Skip Testut (‘01 Honda S2000) and Eric Navestad (‘00 Honda S2000). I don’t know about you, but I got tired of Skip whining about leaving his competition tires home that day.

Over in H-Stock Andy Sullivan (‘87 Pontiac Fiero) continued his winning ways by taking first place. Andy’s success so far this season has led me to ponder if Andy’s success is the REAL reason Mike Taves is not showing up this season? Just a thought... Andy managed to trump Pat Scopelliti (‘91 Honda Accord), Nicholas Nazanemo (‘00 Ford Focus), and Carolyn Scopelliti in her ‘96 Dodge Neon. Pat, I think you need to change the name of your sponsor as it reflects a previous relationship. Just thought you’d like to know.

Finally, Tedd Hurd (‘83 Mazda RX-7) squeaked by perennial competitor Shawn Koelemeyer (‘74 Porsche 914) for C-Stock honors. Shawn was having difficulty finding second gear and Tedd took full advantage with some great driving.

The rain may have dampened the track but not the spirits of the competitors. All of the results can be found on the Glen Region web site if you’re curious.

In current Glen Region Solo Program news, we need more volunteers for the Van Committee. Please contact Eric Navestad at or 607-937-6065 if interested. Eric would love the company and the rest of us would appreciate it as well. In fact, if any of you out there in Glen Region land are interested in assisting the Solo program we’d love to hear from you. Just contact Mike Taves (607-387-4974 or for further information.

In a gone but not forgotten vein, Paul Schelling and Kate Hughes have surfaced as topics of Glen Region chatter, once again. For you newbies who may not know, Paul and Kate have done everything from serving as Solo chair (Would either of you like that job again??), instructing novices, collating event results, serving as a PA system, or attempting to squash Stanley® brand thermoses with their SUV. They, in short, have been Solo II exemplars. In fact,their gear head credentials are impeccable as they’ve run at Divisionals, at Nationals, and they’ve even done a little ice racing during the winter months. Paul and Kate have been all that we aspire to be. That is until this reporter heard unconfirmed rumors that Paul and Kate have purchased... a minivan. Now we Glen Region folks like all kinds of vehicles. Among our collections past and present are everything from Fiats to LTD wagons to genuine, mud jumping Chevvy 4X4s and 300,000 mile Hondas, but never, ever a minivan. Oh sure, I understand through my sources that there is talk of coil overs, lowering kits, possibly even some ground effects, but in the end, Paul and Kate will have to yield to the dark side. Their only face saving option will be to have a bumper sticker which reads “We’re the proud parents of an honor roll student at Skip Barber.” Leopards just don’t change their spots and a soccer mom’s still a soccer mom, if you know what I mean and I believe you do. That’s all I have to say on the subject.

That’s it for now. The next event is to be held at the Ingersoll-Rand plant in Athens, Pennsylvania on Sunday, July 20th. Hope to see all of you there!