The 2013 SCCA Tire Rack Solo National Champions were crowned at Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 3-6, and nine Mazda drivers were among them.
The Solo National Championships are the culmination of the Sports Car Club of America’s Solo program each year that includes ProSolo, Championship Tour and Match Tour events, plus hundreds of regional events throughout the country. Solos are low-speed, precision driving events conducted in parking lots and airfields on courses, marked by traffic cones, that change each event. The National Championships require competitors to master two different courses over two days, with the winner being the driver with the lowest cumulative time.
Leading the way among the new crop of champions with her ninth championship and third consecutive is Kyung Wootton of Austin, Texas. Wootton won Super Street Modified Ladies in an MX-5. At the other end of the spectrum were four drivers who won their first titles. Jim Hunter of Omaha, Neb., won his first SCCA Solo National Championship in C Street Prepared, in a Miata. Charlotte, N.C.’s Eric Sienkiewicz also won his first National Championship, driving a Mazda3 to the Street Touring FWD title. The Mazda3 is Sienkiewicz’s daily driver.
Jeff Hurst found himself behind as Street Touring X – the largest class of the event – moved to the West Course for Friday’s runs. But the Hicksville, N.Y., driver pushed his RX-8 to times 0.6sec quicker than the first-day leader to claim his first National Championship. Jordan Towns of Birmingham, Ala., won STX Ladies, also in an RX-8, for her first title.
Three drivers defended one or more championships to hold or begin a streak. One of those was Carter Thompson in the extremely competitive Super Street Modified class. Thompson, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., kept the title he won in 2012 in his third-generation RX-7 with a 0.265-second margin of victory over fellow RX-7 driver Erik Strelnieks. In addition, Thompson was one of a few competitors to win the Solo Triad Award, which requires a driver to win a Championship Tour event, a Match Tour event and a National Championship, all in the same class. To top it off, a few days earlier he claimed the ProSolo Championship in SSM.
In E Stock, Bartek Borowski of Elmwood Park, Ill., won his fourth consecutive E Stock championship in a Miata, his sixth title overall. E Stock had 20 entries, with all but two in Miatas. Also in a Miata, Drew VanderPloeg of Pflugerville, Texas won this third consecutive D Prepared championship.
In the all-Miata C Street Prepared Ladies, Sue Eckles of Malcom, Neb., won in the same Miata that Hunter drove to the open class title. It was her fourth National Championship.
In addition, Michel Heinitz of San Diego drove his MX-5 to the quickest time in the Road Tire RWD class, but because it was a supplemental class, winners don’t earn the title of National Champion.