Seneca Ballet: Spinning With the Weather

On May 21, the Glen Region held its second Solo II of the 2006 season at the increasingly popular Seneca Army Depot in Romulus. 36 drivers showed up to brave the cold, rain and wind in an attempt to conquer the former military runway. While we’re on the subject of weather, let’s just say that we had our fair share of it. First we had rain and wind, then we had sun and wind, then we had rain, sun and wind, and that was just at the starting line. On course the conditions varied by location, dry at the starting line, raining in the middle and dry at the finish, but always the wind. In the end everyone had wet and dry runs, though, and we’re not talking about the kind you get from eating at the local diner, either.

At 9/10ths of a mile the course was a long one, so long that David Callesto ran out of gas trying to complete it. It was also among the fastest courses experienced at a Glen Region solo event since the late ‘70s and that event we’d rather not discuss in polite society. Neither course, however, was probably as fast as event chair’s Pat Scopelliti’s run to the event after oversleeping. Pat has learned that one of the many advantages of marriage is having a spouse to blame for turning off the alarm clock. Nice try, Pat, but we’re not buying it. Anyway and back to the topic, the course started out with gently sweeping, but increasingly narrowing, offset gates that used the entire width of the runway. This was followed by one of Casey’s infamous “Pearly Gates,” where the course passes through in one direction, reverses and passes back through the same gates but in the opposite direction. After these gates the course left the runway, rounded the parking area through some challenging offset gates before returning to the runway, and completing a long slalom to the finish line. This layout not only produced some fast runs, it also produced a number of spins, off courses and one real off course into the grass.

As for the final results, Aaron Boltman stopped spinning his car long enough to garner the fastest raw time of the day (67.617), along with the fastest PAX time in his ’04 Corvette Z06. In A-Stock, Eric Navestad (’00 Honda S2000) had some different competition in the form of one Jimmy Sun (’06 Subaru WRX STi), who was driving in his first event. Eric prevailed though and won the class with a 77.525 time. B-Stock ended up being a return of the flying Tyburski class with father and son Jeff and Brian beating up on the same ’05 Mazda RX-8. It may be Jeff’s car but it was Brian’s win with a 4.6 second cushion over his father.

The largest class of the day was the ever-popular STX with a total of 6 drivers. Josef Bindhammer (’05 Subaru WRX) ended up topping challengers Robert Bradley (’98 VW GTi) and Ken Moyer (’97 Honda Prelude). Nick Torio unfortunately had to leave before even getting ’02 Subaru WRX on course. G-Stock, STS, and F125 Cart all had 4 entries, with Ryan Dunn (’99 Subaru Impreza) winning G-Stock, Thomas Deneka (’98 Honda Prelude) taking the STS win, and Casey Creamer (‘05 MW Chassis Cart) despite getting lost on a course he set up, winning the F125 battle for the second time in as many events. This is how it starts, Casey. First, you’re getting lost on courses you design, then the next thing you’ll know you’ll be able to hide your own Easter eggs. Pat Scopelliti (‘91 Techno Cart) suffered mechanical failure on his last run in F125 cart, also for the second event in a row, but he was still fast enough to beat both members of Team Metcalf, Brian and Matt in their ’00 Interkart. Where’s Tina?

Street Modified saw 3 entries with Michael Traphanglen (’05 Subaru WRX STi) taking home the trophy. There were so many Subarus at the event, that I had this inexplicable urge to buy Birkenstock driving shoes (That’s an Ithaca-joke, folks). There was even a Subaru in H-Stock, but novice driver Taki Isobe’s Subaru Impreza wasn’t as quick as either H-Stock class winner Joseph Austin’s ’02 BMW Mini Cooper or second place Jeff Weaver’s ’01 Ford Focus. If Joseph were to buy Casey’s old Mini Cooper, he’d have an Austin’s Austin Mini Cooper. That’s food for thought.

In the Street Prepared classes Ryan Jones (’99 Mazda Miata) was the sole entry in C-Street Prepared, while the “spec Pierce class”, better known as D- Street Prepared, had only two Pierces present, the win going to Ken in John’s ’87 BMW 325is. C-Prepared had two drivers driving the same vintage ’72 Chevrolet Chevelle with Robert Bragg winning handily as his co-driver decided to drive on a course of his own choosing and to save gas by using human power to get around. Finally, Dallas Zebrowski (’85 Coyote Kart) continued his novice season by taking an uncontested win in Formula Junior. All of the official results can be seen online at

In addition to the Solo II event a drivers' school was also held at the Seneca Army Depot site the previous day. 18 students and 9 instructors kept everyone starting out in the right direction. Like Sunday, the weather Saturday was also cold and windy, so that the only way to keep warm was to remain in the cars. Everyone involved in the school, the organizers, the instructors, and the students, should be commended for their great effort and for a successful school. Our relationship with our neighboring regions (Finger Lakes and Southern New York) was also shown with two of the instructors making the trek from their home regions to assist in the school. It’s nice to see the school back after a year’s absence.

We want to thank all the people who helped organize and run the event on Sunday. Even though the weather was not what was ordered, everyone involved did his job without question. A special thanks to Mike Taves for his help as safety steward for the school (It’s nice to see him around again) and to the Metcalfs for helping Eric return the equipment to its proper home in Beaver Dams. The next event is scheduled for Sunday, June 11 with a return to Avanex Erwin Park just outside of Painted Post. There will also be a “Test and Tune” at the same location on Saturday, June 10 for those interested. More information is available on our website at:

We'll keep the timing lights on for you.