SCCA National autocross events in California and Pennsylvania featured close finishes and several Mazda victories
SCCA autocrossers had to brave challenging weather at recent events at opposite ends of the country, fighting winds in California and rain in Pennsylvania as the Solo season heats up. The Tire Rack Championship Tour attracted competitors to Crows Landing and its former NASA facility, while Pittsburgh International Race Complex hosted the Tire Rack Match Tour. Many Mazda autocrossers found success at both.
Crows Landing Tire Rack Championship Tour
C Street saw an impressive performance from Brian Coulson in an ND MX-5. One week after winning the ProSolo at Crows Landing, Coulson took first again at the Championship Tour by a final margin of 1.6sec. He was pursued by Maurice Velandia and Jeff Bandes, also in MX-5s.
The expected STR faceoff between National Champion James Yom (Honda S2000) and Ron Bauer (Mazda MX-5) started with a 1.2-second lead for Bauer on Saturday that was too much for Yom to overcome on Sunday.
STXL only had four drivers, but the competition between Catherine Tran (Mazda RX-8) and Jessica Pao (Subaru BRZ) was fierce. Pao led after Saturday runs by a slim 0.4sec, but Tran came back on Sunday to win by 0.5sec on her last run. Tran’s total time was low enough to land her second in the Ladies Overall Index results, where C Street Ladies winner Deana Kelley finished on top after winning in her MX-5.
Pitt Race Tire Rack Match Tour
Intermittent rain made conditions tricky, and tire choice critical, at the Pitt Race Match Tour. That led to some last-minute setup and even car swaps as drivers looked for the best opportunity to come away with a win.
Brian Karwan jumped into Danny Kao’s Mazda Miata in Street Touring Roadster and trailed Eric Simmons after the morning runs. However, Kao’s wet tire setup seemed to agree with Karwan as he blasted into the lead, with Kao finishing third.
Johnny Rose drove a 2016 Miata to victory in C Street, and Joe Brennan took the Super Street Modified win in a 1995 Miata M.
Tire Rack Championship Tour Winners
Crows Landing, Calif., April 29-30, 2017
Class: Driver, Hometown, Car
B Street: Brian Coulson, Idaho Falls, ID, 2016 MX-5
C Street Ladies: Deana Kelley, Sierra Vista, Ariz., 2016 MX-5
E Street Ladies: Cat Rice, Redding, Calif., 1994 Miata R
Street Touring Roadster: Ron Bauer, Seatac, Wash., 2016 MX-5
Street Touring X Ladies: Catherine Tran, Fountain Valley, Calif., 2005 RX-8
X Prepared: Andy McKee, Livermore, Calif., 1993 RX-7
D Prepared: Ron Baker, Carson City, Nev., 1996 Miata
Tire Rack Match Tour Winners
Pitt Race Complex, Wampum, Pa., April 29-30, 2017
Class: Driver, Hometown, Car
C Street: Johnny Rose, Ypsilanti, Mich., 2016 Miata
Street Touring Roadster: Brian Karwan, Frederick, Md., 2010 MX-5
Super Street Modified: Joe Brennan, Kingstone, Pa., 1995 Miata M