248 competitors joined SCCA for the first west coast Championship Tour of the year. The weather was beautiful, with sun all weekend, and temperatures topping out around 80 degrees on Saturday and 75 degrees on Sunday.
As usual, the weekends runs began with the Formula Junior competitors. Three drivers competed in JA and JB, with sisters Erika and Alana McKee taking the wins respectively. Some of our most talented younger drivers have come up through this program, and the McKees very well may step up eventually into the 3rd gen RX-7 that their parents share.
C-Street (CS) was a battle of mostly 2016+ Miatas, with an MR2 Turbo and 350Z thrown in for good measure. Five trophies were given out, with the top four going back and forth in the standings. Day 1 leader, Scott Phillips started strong on Sunday to hold onto the lead. Scott is a newer driver to the sport and is taking to it quite well, winning the Super Challenge at the Fontana Pro Solo. By the time 3rd runs rolled around, it was starting to look like Phillips would be unbeatable. Adding to the pressure for the rest of the class was a red flag that gave him a rerun. He put down a flyer, but coned it away. A hero run would be needed by either Joe Goeke, Brian Coulson, or Andrew Kessel. After issues on his first two runs, Coulson made his 3rd run count to pull off the win by 0.100.
E-Street (ES) drivers showed up running first generation (NA) and and second generation (NB) Miatas, along with MR2 Spyders. The Spyders have been doing quite well over the past year, but ES belonged to a ‘99 Miata driven by Jeff Stuart. Jeff took the win by over four seconds! Also trophying was Dennis Hubbard in another ‘99 Miata.
Street Touring X (STX) is primarily the Street Touring class for the “twins” from Toyota/Subaru, but the RX-8 is showing it can get it done here. Steve O’Blenes has built a great car out of his 2005, and has been sharing it with various drivers over the past year. This event Adrian Cardenas jumped in with Steve and showed what he could do by leading from start to finish, with O’Blenes taking 2nd in this 17-car field!
STR again had a big field, with 12 drivers competing for 4 trophies. As always, it’s a battle of the ND Miata and the S2000 primarily. A few of the top names from the west coast were missing this weekend, with Ron Bauer in the new Miata moving on to BSP, and S2000 drivers James Yom and Kevin Dietz driving other cars this weekend. A new name to the class is appearing to be one of the new top dogs that everyone will be chasing though. Jonathan Lugod has moved from STX over to STR in a 2016 Miata and led the event from the start. Although his fastest raw time each day had a cone, he was able to put down clean times that left him with a 0.247 lead on Saturday that he extended to 1.530 by the end of the weekend. Taking the final trophy spot was Praneil Prasad in his 2016 Miata.
B Street Prepared (BSP) included a traditional car from the old days, one of the new mainstays of the class, and a newcomer. The traditional car was a ‘66 Corvette, while the Portas brought their 2005 Mazdaspeed Miata. New to the class this year is Ron Bauer in his 2016 MX-5 Miata. Anthony Porta would lead the field on Saturday, although Bauer put down a faster raw time, but with a cone. Unfortunately, Bauer would have to sit on this coned run, leaving him pretty much out of the hunt for the weekend. Bauer would end Sunday with fast time, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Saturday’s deficit.
CSP brought drivers out in NA and NC MX-5 Miatas. It was great seeing some faces running the class that hadn’t been seen for a while. Ultimately, co-drivers Matt Zyskowski and Bob Bundy provided a great show. Their first runs on Saturday had them separated by 0.043. They swapped advantages of as much as 0.9 back and forth until Zyskowski finally took the win over day 1 leader, Bundy. Bill Randleman took the final trophy home in his 2006 MX-5.
Other Mazda drivers bringing home trophies were:
- Ron Baker, 1996 Miata – 2nd, DP
- Jake Obniski, 1994 Miata – 3rd, SSM
- Oliver Taylor, 1993 Miata – 2nd, STS
- Craig Naylor, 1995 Miata – 3rd, STS
- Catherine Tran, 2005 RX-8 – 1st, STXL
- Jessica Pao, 2016 Miata – 1st, STRL
- Jodi Fordahl, 1992 Miata – 1st, CSPL
- Andy McKee, 1993/1987 RX-7 Turbo – 1st, XP