The Fall Fling: A Great Event and a Great Triple Prime Burger at Ruby’s

What an incredible day for the last event of the 2006 Glen Region solo season. I’m not just saying this because of the post-event triple prime burger at Ruby’s, either. After tropical storm Ernesto’s dump at our last event all of us needed and deserved the bright sunny skies and just plain right temperatures which embraced us at the Arnot Mall, Sunday, September 17. Between the ideal weather and the fact that this was the last chance in 2006 to go a’ Glen Region soloing, 40 drivers did their level best to repave the Arnot Mall lot with rubber. Even the continued presence of snowblowers in the “barbecue section” at Sears failed to bring us down. Best of all, Casey, Pat and Eric, the gurus of course set-up, used the same clockwise, three lap hourglass configuration of the August 20 event as though they knew we wanted one last chance to better our seasonal efforts. There was one difference in the two courses, though, far fewer cones. Instead of the 10 or so cones used in August at the “Pearly Gates” at center track, only two were left standing and left standing they were. This small difference not only made worker station #3 much happier, but opened up the track and reduced kone-killage and times, alike. What a great way to end the season.

Two classes shared the honor for largest of the event: H-Stock and Street Touring (Tire) with five entrants each. It doesn’t seem like that many years ago that H-Stock routinely enjoyed high attendance at our events, but for the past couple of years if it was H-Stock and it was also a Glen Region event H-Stock was pretty much a father and son act, á la Jeff and Andy Weaver. Not so this time, ‘though the results were largely unchanged. Jeff still took the class title over son, Andy, both while driving the same ’01 Ford Focus. Newcomer Taki Isobe (Subaru Impreza) of the Ithaca College Sports Car Club did his best to come between the Weavers, but 2/10th of a second kept him in third. It was much the same in Street Touring Tire, as Tom Deneka gave returned his wife’s car and used his very own ’98 Honda Prelude to score best in class. Admittedly, it was pretty much a toss up in the first heat between Tom and Kyle Kubick (’94 Volkswagen Corrado), but Tom opened the gap in the second and final set and that was that, as they say. The same thing could also be said about Greg Pierce (’87 BWM 325is) versus the other D-Street Pierce class members, Ken and John. Except that only 15/1000ths of one second separated Greg from Ken. Pat Scopelliti claims that this is about six inches… I don’t want to know how he knows this but will take his word for it.

It was more than six inches separating the drivers in Street Modified. James Sherrick (’99 Audi Avant A4) staged the revenge of soccer moms everywhere with his decisive victory over Tom Sterling and Tom’s ’97 “stealth” Neon. Right on Tom’s perforated bumper was newcomer Louis Caligiuri (’97 Nissan 240SX) of the Ithaca College Sports Car Club who gets the most improved driver award for bettering each and every run, picking up more than eight seconds in the process. Believe me, I think we’ll see Louis back in the spring, but probably with new tires as Louis left his old ones all over the Arnot lot.

Brian Ballet (’03 Nissan Altima) staged a repeat of his performance at the August 20 event at Arnot Mall by winning the ever-popular G-Stock class from second place Ezekiel Wright (’06 BMW Mini Cooper S) of the Ithaca College Sports Car Club and third place Richard Ayers (’02 Honda Civic si). It was also a repeat performance in the 125 Shifter Kart class, as Casey Creamer (’05 MW Chassis World Formula Kart) ran away from Pat Scopelliti (’90 TechnoKart) and newcomer Sandra Kimmel (’01 Trick Olympic). Sandra’s kart was prepared by Bill Barkely, who has prepared many a nice autocross ride not to mention some Yugos. This is one writer who’s hoping that Sandra (and Bill) will be back next year to up the ante, so to speak.

Other classes competing at Arnot Mall included A-Stock, where yours truly got away from Eric Navestad in our “IROC du jour,” my ’01 Honda S2000. The real big news in A-Stock, however, is the rumor that a certain Crossfire driving novice bought a new Honda S-2000 as we were going to press (or web). What this will mean for next season remains to be seen. In B-Stock, meanwhile, Aaron Boltman ditched his garage queen to borrow a ride from Jeff Tyburski. Showing that he’s definitely not a one trick pony, Aaron repaid Jeff for his kindness by winning not only the B-Stock trophy, but by also taking the PAX trophy along the way with some really nice driving. Speaking of nice driving, and I was, all of the autocross stars must have been aligned in Street Touring X (STX) or at least for Ken Moyer (’97 Honda Prelude) as Ken not only took first place, but never hit a cone or went off course and just plain drove the tires off of his car for a best in class finish. Kyle Mangiagli (’02 Nissan Sentra) had to be satisfied with second this time.

Over in the MR2 class, E-Stock, Nile Heermans (’91 Toyota MR2) had a grand day, repeating his trophy winning performance of the last Arnot Mall event by completing the course ahead of Rich Chernosky (’88 Toyota MR2). Actually, Rich’s performance was good, better than his August 20th performance, in fact, but just not sufficient to keep up with Nile. Repeat after me, Rich, “Next year, next year, next year… .“

A-Street Prepared saw a battle between a Glen Region old timer and a newcomer. Thak Chaloemtiarana had not competed at a Glen Region event since June of ’01, the last time he had a car on which he could depend (and it wasn’t all that dependable, folks). Throwing caution to the wind and still lacking a dependable ride, Thak brought out his ’72 Series IV Lotus 7 to do battle with newcomer Garth Dennis (’89 Porsche 944). Garth led at the half, but Thak, as tradition dictates, managed a last run that nicked Garth by 2/5 second (Pat, how many inches is that?).

In C-Street Prepared, Brian Bell (’95 Mazda Miata) managed to beat Ryan Jones (’99 Mazda Miata) in four of six runs, but it wasn’t good enough to beat Ryan’s best time for yet another split-second decision and class trophy to Ryan. I’m just wondering what Brian is planning for next year.

If you’d like a more complete run down as well as the official event results head to the ‘net: While you’re there you just might want to check out the unofficial season standings and the Cone Preservation Society standings

Thus ends the Glen Region 2006 Solo II season. A big thanks from the Glen Region to the folks at Arnot Mall and Sears for the loan of their lot three times this season. It’s been great being your guest. As always a vote of appreciation to Eric Navestad for getting the van to our events and to Casey Creamer, Pat Scopelliti, and Eric for setting up the courses. The same goes to the Pierce family for their work in timing and scoring and for all of their help behind the scenes. Although we didn’t have a working PA system at this event, my thanks to Pat and Casey for being our very own version of Speed. The event’s always better with you two at the mic. Thanks also to all of you who served as Event Chairs, Safety Stewards, Assistant Safety Stewards, and tech inspectors during the season. We couldn’t do it without you. Last, but certainly not least, a big vote of appreciation to our Solo II Program Chair, Ken Moyer, without whose help we couldn’t have functioned this season. Hopefully, we’ll all be back for another season in 2007. In the meantime, those timing lights are on just for you.