Celebrating Independence Day with Fast Times

The Bristol Championship Tour featured a host of Mazda winners in the first weekend of July

Competitors converged on Bristol, Tenn., for four days of Tire Rack SCCA National Solo Competition over Independence Day weekend. Situated between Bristol Motor Speedway and Bristol Dragway, 265 drivers took to the Tire Rack Championship Tour courses designed by Chris Harp. Though forecasts predicted intermittent rain for the duration of the event, only one heat was impacted by precipitation. Heat 2 on Saturday started as rain fell but finished in drying conditions, which favored second drivers. Otherwise, daytime precipitation was limited to scattered sprinkles with little impact to the competition.

As the rain poured down, C Street took to the course. First runs were nearly irrelevant as the rain subsided during second runs and the course became all but dry. On his third run, Andrew Pallotta in a 2016 MX-5 set the fastest time of any first driver at 44.478, but that wasn’t enough as later drivers saw better conditions. Mark Shrivastava knocked Pallotta down to second with a 44.437 run. On Sunday morning, dry conditions leveled the field and allowed Pallotta to regain the top spot with a commanding 43.624-second run. Shrivastava finished second. Ryan Kowalewski was third for a Mazda sweep of the top three.

Despite few changes in the leader board between days one and two, Street Touring R provided exciting competition at the top of the ranks. Brian Karwan led the pack with two blazing second runs in his ND Miata. David Marcus followed, just 0.715sec back in another Miata. Nathan Young bested Marcus’ day two time, but came up 0.241sec short of overcoming his day one deficit. Darrin DiSimo was the third Mazda driver in the trophies.

Mazda drivers swept the trophies in Street Touring Sport, with Kelly Huffman claiming the top spot, followed by Justin Harbour and A.J. Snyder. A Miata was guaranteed to win C Street prepared, as those were the only cars entered. Co-drivers Michael Kline and Kevin Henry battled it out, with Kline taking the fast time both days to come out on top.

The penultimate Tire Rack Championship Tour of the season takes place this weekend, July 8-9, in Packwood, Wash.

Bristol Championship Tour
Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol, Tenn., June 30-July 2, 2017
Class: Driver; Hometown; Car
C Street: Andrew Pallotta; Holly Springs, N.C.; 2016 MX-5 Miata
Street Touring Roadster: Brian Karwan; Frederick, Md.; 2016 MX-5 Miata
Street Touring Roadster Ladies: Laura Campbell, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; 2016 MX-5 Miata
Street Touring Sport: Kelly Huffman; Lincolnton, N.C.; 1992 Miata
Street Touring FWD: Daniel Gross; Frederick, Md.; 2008 Mazda3
C Street Prepared: Michael Kline; Glen Burnie, Md.; 1999 Miata