At the Rand
What can I say?!? I love their power tools and I love their parking lot. It may be just I, but this marks the second time the Glen Region has hosted an event at the Ingersoll-Rand plant in Athens, Pennsylvania and both times the event has been fantastic. Maybe it was the incredible support given by the Ingersoll-Rand people, who not only offered their lot but cleaned and secured it, as well. Or maybe it was the excellent chairing of the event by Rich Chernosky or even the heroic efforts of the Pierce Clan to keep a stubborn timing system working. Of course it could have been the entertainment provided by Mark Lockhart as he proved it is indeed possible to stuff a Mustang Cobra sideways through a stop box without hitting a single cone. Well, whatever it was the Ingersoll-Rand event is always a great solo II event and July 20th was no exception.
37 drivers, a typical July event turnout, showed up to test the asphalt. With sunny, partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 70s it would have been impossible to order better weather conditions for an autocross. Although a small, uneven lot with several imperfections the course setup committee capitalized on the available surface area by deciding upon two laps of an 1100 figure-8. This layout included some interesting offset slaloms connected to a couple of challenging pin turns. Oh, there were rumors that a certain S2000 driver had designed the course to make the course VTEC-friendly, but in truth the layout was the result of attempts to keep cars shiny side up while simultaneously avoiding the aforementioned asphalt imperfections. More to the point, the course layout was only partially designed by the course setup committee as neighboring cyclists created a Saturday evening course much more to their liking than the Glen Region had in mind. Whatever the explanation, Eric Navestads comment that That was where the cones fell out of the trailer offered only part of the explanation for a course which took about a minute to run and which resulted in very few off-course excursions.
Although the weather and the mood were perfect, the day was not without its problems. Timing equipment failures required a manual start, something many of us have not seen since the days of TAG Heure watches on MG dashboards. As if that wasnt bad enough, George Dohanich was stopped from repeating his Arnot Mall Triple Crown gambit (Class, FTD, and PAX championships), when he broke an axle on his very last run. Mike Sullivan, too, fell prey to bad luck managing to keep his driveshaft this time, but losing his coolant. George was taken completely by surprise, but Mike has been trying to nurse his Leprechaun A-Mod along until his new ride can be readied. At least with a Formula Vee Mike wont need any coolant, but both Mike and George will always need a drive shaft.
The event, itself, had many interesting contests. The more interesting battles seemed to be in Street Touring X, E-Stock, and C-Prepared classes. In Street Touring X, for example, Greg Pierce (87 BMW 325is) got off to an early, commanding lead over the other three STX drivers. In fact, for a brief moment he had an overall FTD going based on his first attempt. As the event progressed Greg managed to do even better, increasing the gap between himself and the other STX drivers. Unfortunately for Greg, fellow teammate and father Ken Pierce (87 BMW 325is) and Anthony Cornish (03 VW Passat Wagon) edged him out on their very last runs. Frustrating isnt it, Greg? In a similar happening, Rich Chernosky (88 Toyota MR-2) led E-Stock from the first run only to see Gary Cole (92 Mazda Miata) squeak by in his final run to triumph over both Rich and Garys teammate and daughter, Rita. As an aside, Athens was only Ritas second autocross and I suspect that Rich and Gary should enjoy their leads while they can. Rita has shown a lot of improvement within a very short time. Finally, in C-Prepared it was a close, seesaw battle all day. With less than a second separating the two contestants, Lin Hurd (98 Mustang Cobra) had to wait until her fourth run to close the door on Larry Rhode (94 Mustang) by a scant half second.
The largest classes of the event were G-Stock and Street Touring S, each of which had seven entrants. In G-Stock, Mike Tyburski (94 Ford Probe) jumped out to an early lead in his first run and never gave it back despite valiant efforts by second place finisher, Tim Andres (99 Subaru Impreza) and third place notable, Nile Heermans (93 Nissan 240SX). In Street Touring S it was an IROC-style battle between two drivers of one car, a 02 VW Golf GTI. After the tire smoke cleared, car owner, Geoff Peterson had squeaked by Bret Bauer for STS class honors with Todd Totman (96 Plymouth Neon) garnering the third place trophy in this Glen Region class of classes.
Street Modified saw three entrants in one car, a 84 VW Rabbit. Guy Fitzpatrick managed to slow the clock the most and take the class trophy. Meanwhile over in A-Modified, John Florence (67 Bobsey) took the title. Finally, Skip Testut (01 Honda S2000) took the Triple Crown with B-Stock, FTD, and PAX honors. The rest of the event results may be viewed at the Glen Region web site: http://www.glen-scca.org/solo/2003/results20030720.asp .
The conclusion of the July event marks the halfway point of the Glen Region 2003 season. It is still far too early to determine who will win the various trophies and plenty of time still exists for oldtimers and newcomers, alike, to show up, run in the remaining events, and claim a trophy or two. For those of you who like to keep track here are the current class leaders:
CLASS LEADERS: (more than one name indicates a tie for first)
A-Modified: Mike Sullivan (00 Chevrolet Powered Leprechaun)
A-Street Prepared: Ed Hurd (87 Porsche 944S)
B-Prepared: Tim OBrien (77 Porsche 930)
B-Stock: Skip Testut (01 Honda S2000)
C-Prepared: Lin Hurd (98 Mustang Cobra)
C-Stock: Tedd Hurd (83 Mazda RX-7)
C-Street Prepared: A.J. Lombardo (95 Mazda Miata)
D-Modified: Scott Nettleship (70 Lotus 7 Series IV)
D-Stock: Dale Kunze (98 Acura Integra R)
Brian Thompson (03 Subaru WRX)
Michael Leach (87 VW Scirocco)
D-Street Prepared: George Dohanich (95 Dodge Neon)
E-Modified: Mike Eames (01 Ford Mustang)
E-Stock: Rich Chernosky (88 Toyota MR-2)
E-Street Prepared: Mark Lockhart (99 Mustang Cobra)
Formula 125: Casey Creamer (Techno Cart)
F-Modified: Brian Ciarlei (88 Red Devil)
F-Stock: Baron Fang (03 Mercedes-Benz C)
Larry Rhode (94 Ford Mustang)
F-Street Prepared: Adam Bruce (84 VW Rabbit GTI)
Patrick Sullivan (97 VW Jetta)
G-Stock: Tim Andres (99 Subaru Impreza)
H-Stock: Andy Sullivan (87 Pontiac Fiero)
Street Modified: Marcus Hill (93 Honda Civic)
Mike Lee (98 Toyota Supra)
Guy Fitzpatrick (84 VW Rabbit)
Super Stock: Phil Michael (93 Mazda RX-7)
John Florence (87 Corvette)
Street Touring-S Todd Totman (96 Plymouth Neon)
Street Touring-X Ken Pierce (87 BMW 325is)
The PAX is a handicapping index applied to drivers raw times. Theoretically, it is an indication of how the the drivers would fare if they all drove identical, A-Modified cars. While most of us question the validity of the PAX, I think all of us have great respect for those who do well in the PAX standings. Take note of how close the PAX leadership is at the mid-season mark:
1. Skip Testut (01 Honda S2000) 387 points
2. Tim Andres (99 Subaru Impreza) 386 points
3. Ken Pierce (87 BMW 325is) 385 points
KONE KILLER AWARD LEADERS:
The dreaded Kone Killer Award is given to the driver who selflessly exposes car parts and paint to prove that Solo II courses are far too narrow. The mid-season standings are, as they might say on Sesame Street, brought to you by the letter P. The current leaders are:
1. Greg Pierce (17 Cones)
2. Jeanne Peterson (14 Cones)
3. Michael Potocki (11 Cones)
So there you have it. The 2003 season is far from over, with four Glen Region and three out-of-region events yet to be held. There are plenty of points remaining and no one has a lock grip on any of the contested categories, including the dreaded Kone Killer Award. Air up those tires, check out those half-shafts, and come out to play with us at the next event on August 17 at the Iroquois Foundry in Waverly. Well keep the timing light on for you.