The dual SCCA ProSolo and Championship Tour event in Nebraska was hot, hot, hot
The three-day Memorial Day weekend turned into four or more for many SCCA autocross competitors as they converged on Lincoln, Neb. – home of the SCCA Solo National Championships – for the Spring Lincoln ProSolo and Championship Tour. The event gives autocrossers the opportunity not only to test the Lincoln Airpark concrete before the big show in September, but also allows them to hit two events in one trip – and more than 250 of them took advantage of the opportunity.
For the first time this season, heat became a real concern at an SCCA national autocross event as record temperatures pushed 100 degrees F in Lincoln. Drivers did their best to manage not only their driving, but the temperatures of themselves, their cars and their tires.
The ProSolo crowd got first crack at the blazing concrete. John Hunter is back in a Mazda Miata this season with a C Street ND MX-5, and he took an early lead in C Street in the ProSolo, holding on until the bitter end when Tyler Kvetko cleaned up a slew of dirty left-side runs to take the lead by 0.109sec. Hunter held onto the second position despite standing on his first runs on Friday morning. Dave Ogburn III and Kenneth Baker took home the remaining trophies in third and fourth respectively. Ogburn then went on to perform well in the Super Challenge, reaching the semifinals before getting knocked out.
In the largest class of the weekend, Street Touring Roadster drew 22 drivers to the concrete beach. Brian Karwan led through the first two sessions, but it was Daniel McCelvey who cleaned up his string of dirty left side runs and found time on the right in his last pair of runs to take the win by 0.266sec. Karwan stood on runs from the first session in second. David Marcus, Mark Shrivastava, Ricky Crow, Marcus Pyne and Jacob Ronald – all but Crow in ND Miatas – claimed the remaining trophies. The difference between Marcus and Shrivastava in third and fourth respectively was an amazingly scant just 0.001sec.
After the ProSolo competition on Friday and Saturday, SCCA’s Championship Tour took place on Sunday and Memorial Day. Championship Tours are run in a similar format to the Solo National Championships, so this event makes for good preparation for September.
E Street had an impressive 20 entries, with a deep field of strong drivers in Mazda Miatas and Toyota MR2 Spyders. The sweeping courses appear to have favored the Miata, as Bartek Borowski took home the win in a close battle against Matt Waldbaum, also in a Miata.
An impressive eight ladies came to play in Street Touring Roadster Ladies, but it was a one-woman show with Laura Campbell taking a commanding 3.171-second victory in a Mazda MX-5.
After finishing third in C Street in the ProSolo behind Kvetko and Hunter, Dave Ogburn III came back strong to win the class in the Championship Tour in the ND Miata he shares with Deana Kelley. He edged Kvetko by a tenth over the two courses. Hunter, Kenneth Barker and Dennis Barrett, all in fourth-generation Miatas, completed the trophies.
“C-Street was super close…especially with Tyler Kvetko and John Hunter both bringing the pace out in Lincoln,” said Ogburn. “I finished third in the ProSolo behind Tyler and John. But I did recover with one of my best Super Challenges ever finishing fourth. I missed making the final by only a tenth. For the Tour, I was in second coming into day two – only 0.1sec behind Tyler. After two runs, Tyler had a 0.003sec lead over me, which is absolutely the closest margin I’ve ever had going into final runs of a National event. In the end, I dropped two tenths on my last run to take the win by 0.103sec.
“Overall, it is a great privilege to be able to race on Memorial Day and I appreciate how lucky I am to be able to eat, sleep and breathe cars basically on a daily basis. It would not be possible without the sacrifices our military members make. Thank you to all who have served, are serving and to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”
Several drivers doubled up, winning their classes in both events. They included David Whitener (Miata) in STS; Kim Whitener (Miata) in L3 and STSL; Neal Tovsen (Miata) in S2 and CSP; and Randall Wilcox (Miata) in S1 and XP.
SCCA ProSolo National Series
Lincoln, Neb., May 24-26, 2018
CS: Tyler Kvetko; Arlington, Texas; 2016 MX-5
STR: Daniel McCelvey; Houston, Texas; 2016 MX-5
STS: David Whitener; Fort Worth, Texas, Miata
L1: Tamra Hunt; Middlefield, Conn.; RX-8
L3: Kim Whitener; Fort Worth, Texas; Miata
S1: Randall Wilcox; Bowie, Md.; Miata
S2: Neal Tovsen, Apple Valley, Minn.; Miata
SCCA Championship Tour
Lincoln, Neb., May 26-28, 2018
CS: Dave Ogburn III; San Angelo, Texas; MX-5
CSL: Youmna Zalzal; San Jose, Calif.; Miata
ES: Bartek Borowski; Elmwood Park, Ill.; Miata
STR: Daniel McCelvey; Houston, Texas; 2016 MX-5
STRL: Laura Campbell, Windermere, Fla.; 2016 Miata
STS: David Whitener; Fort Worth, Texas; 1992 Miata
CSP: Neal Tovsen; Apple Valley, Minn.; 2001 Miata
SSM: James Yom; Los Angeles, Calif.; 1996 Miata
XP: Randall Wilcox; Bowie, Md.; 1996 Miata
XPL: Kim Bollinger; Granger, Ind.; 1990 Miata
DP: Stephen Simonds; Rosharon, Texas; 1990 Miata