Flying at the Speed of Light II: John's Luck Continues
The 2005 Solo II season has officially begun and in true Glen Region fashion: miserably damp weather but with great camaraderie. 36 drivers couldn't bear to miss the chance to baptize the new season and for you fundamentalists, this was full immersion baptism we're describing here, not just a little sprinkling. Rain or not, the drivers were there to play at the Avanex Erwin Park facility. Nestled atop the hills southwest of Painted Post (or is that northwest of Gang Mills?), the Avanex lot is a great place to be, with panoramic views of the Chemung Valley and well-maintained grounds. It's a little isolated, so much so that the Security guards warned us of deer and wildcats. I looked but never did see any Buicks anywhere, not even on the course, so I guess they must come out at night. Speaking of the course, it bore a slight resemblance to last August's Avanex event, but with some modification. Unlike last year's launch into a double-90 box, this year we launched into a left angled slalom followed by a hard right turn which took us around a box and down a second slalom, more boxes, rights, lefts and, well, you get the general idea. Let's just say that there was enough turning for everyone.
The largest class of the day was the ever-popular G-Stock with six entrants. Alan Smith ('95 Dodge Cummins-Powered Neon) came all the way from the Finger Lakes Region to do the honors and do it up well he did. Coming in second place was last season's Glen Region G-Stock champ, Barry Butterfield ('03 BMW Mini Cooper S), followed by Lee Bacalles (2003 Honda Civic Si). As I was watching the G-Stockers it struck me that G-Stock has long been a family affair in the Glen Region thanks to the Bacalles, Tony and Lee, the Butterfields, Barry and Janelle, and the Tyburskis (although only Jeff made it to this event). Alan, take note. If you're going to come back to a Glen Region event, bring your family, real or imagined.
The next largest class was H-Stock with four entrants. It was also a battle royal between Jeff Weaver ('90 Toyota Celica GT) and Kim Lockhart ('02 Ford Focus). Jeff started out in the lead, but Kim quickly took it back until the second heat when Jeff managed to slip ahead and stay there. Jeff's probably thinking how glad he is that he swapped his '91 Toyota Corolla for the Celica he ran with Andy last September. In any case, great driving, all of you, especially Kim, for whom this was her first solo event, I think.
The newly reconstituted A-Stock (the Glen Region class formerly known as B-Stock) picked up where it left off last season with three entrants. Southern NY RE Nick Brewster walked (swam?) away with first place in his '01 Honda S2000. Eric and I shared Eric's '00 Honda S2000, but I committed a serious breach of etiquette and edged Eric out for second place in my last run. In my defense it's Eric's fault as he pointed out that I was being overly aggressive on one section or the course. I was merely following Eric's sage advice. Eric and I have decided that if Nick can bring his own crew and heated pleasure palace, the least we can do is form our own A-Stock Solo-IROC. The next event it'll be my S2000. The 'pleasure palace' will have to wait until next year.
E-Street Prepared also saw three entrants, but they kept it all in the family, the Bullock family. Okay, the Bullock family minus Zoren. I don't know what the scoop is but I'd like to think that maybe Zoren was cut from the family because of his new hairstyle or maybe more likely the fact that he's no longer driving a Camaro, but it's probably something less interesting. If it is, I don't want to know about it. Just give me the good stuff. I'm into post-modernism this season. Oh yeah, the other Bullocks were all driving the same car, a 1980 Chevrolet Camaro (Not Zoren's old one, either). In the end it was Eben over Glen and Cameron for the trophy. Street Touring T also saw three entrants, but unlike E-Street Prepared it required three different cars and a lack of relatives. Jacob Massey ('91 Nissan Sentra S-ER) captured the lead in his second run and never gave it back, leading Tom Deneka ('98 Honda Prelude) and Todd Acker ('99 Honda Civic) to the podium.
There were several two-driver classes, including D-Stock, D-Street Prepared, E-Prepared, Street Touring X, and for those who just don't get enough of chainsaws, the F125-Shifter Cart class. In D-Stock, Mark Lockhart ('01 BMW 330ci) got out to an early lead and never let it go, while in D-Street Prepared, John Pierce made it two in a row by edging out brother Ken both driving the legendary Piercemobile, an '87 BMW 325is. E-Prepared saw a battle of the Yugo (a.k.a., Malcolm Bricklin's Revenge) and the simultaneous return of Bill Barkely. Bill made a successful return by grabbing the gold in his '87 Yugo GV.
It might not have been as classy as a blue and yellow Yugo, but Ken Moyer's '87 Honda Prelude was up to the challenge in Street Touring X as he held off Matt Lockhart ('01 BMW 330i) for first place there. Finally, in F125, it was a battle of old versus new as Casey Creamer in his new '05 MW Chassis Cart initially, you might say, choked, but still managed a win over his old '91 Techno Cart driven by Pat Scopelitti. Speaking of Pat, I've known Pat for almost 10 years now and it amazes me the number and the variety of cars I've seen him drive during that time. From old Hondas to a Ferrari, old formula cars to carts, Pat's about covered the spectrum. In fact, I'm not so sure but what a Kia Spectrum might not be an improvement. Anyway, I'm not sure what the commonality is (four wheels?), but Pat's automotive taste is definitely eclectic. Pat have you met Bill Barkely?
There were several single driver classes, as well. If you'd like to see what they did and the official results check them out online at http://www.glen-scca.org/solo/2005/results20050430.asp.
On behalf of the Glen Region I extend a special thanks to the good people at Avanex Erwin Park facility for the loan of their lot. It's a great location, even in the rain. Also, kudos to the course design committee, especially to guest course designer Aaron (I only run in single car classes) Boltman. Thanks also to Mark Lockhart for an outstanding job of both securing the site and chairing the event, to Dan Hightower and to Lin Hurd for showing up just to help, to Eric Navestad for getting the van to the site and back, and finally, to Becky Tinker for keeping the Solo II program functioning so well. There are a lot of other helpers out there, too, and I'll try to save a line for you in future articles. The Glen Region wouldn't survive without its cadre of dedicated volunteers and it's comforting to know that listing them all takes up a lot of space. Thanks folks, for everything. The next event is scheduled for Sunday, May 22nd at Arnot Mall. Stop by to do some soloing and maybe a little shopping. We'll keep the timing lights on just for you.