The winners at the SCCA Solo National Championships are only part of the story
The SCCA Tire Rack Solo National Championships and accompanying ProSolo Finale have wrapped up with record numbers of competitors, some challenging weather and a host of first-time champions. When it was all done, a dozen Mazda drivers earned national championships, five Mazda competitors won their class at the ProSolo Finale, Dave Ogburn III won the Super Challenge, and six drivers wrapped up ProSolo championships in Mazdas.
With nearly 1,400 entries, there are as many – or more – stories coming from the Solo National Championships, including Mazda’s participation off the course.
Mazda once again sponsored the Women’s Luncheon to help drive women’s participation in the sport, no matter their vehicle of choice. For Mazda drivers, there was a special dinner on Tuesday night, and Mazda once again had a hospitality tent with snacks and a simulator.
Mazda also brought out a 2019 MX-5 to help set some benchmarks in Street Touring Roadster, a class heavily populated by the latest-generation Miata. The data gathered will be presented to the SCCA for review.
Some other tidbits from the 2018 SCCA Solo National Championships include:
• For the second straight year, New England Region’s Tamra Hunt received the Rothney-Kozlak Cup. This award is named in honor of Lynne Rothney-Kozlak for her leap of faith into Open Class competition at the 1994 SCCA Solo National Championships, as well as decades of sustained competition in Open classes and mentoring other women to advance their driving skills by competing against top Solo drivers. Hunt finished second in D Street Prepared driving an RX-8.
• F Production National Champion Eric Prill won’t be going to the SCCA Runoffs in Sonoma this year, so instead he took his FP Miata, made a few changes such as wider tires, and ran it in D Prepared at the Solo Nationals. His co-driver has a few road racing championships under his belt as well – Jesse Prather has three, all in Mazdas. While they had the right car for the class – the top five finishers, including winner Todd Roberts, were in Miatas – they discovered Solo preparation and driving is quite different from road racing. Prill finished 10th and Prather 17th. Some other road racing national champions were tearing up the course as well. Although Darren Seltzer didn’t win his 2017 T4 title in a Mazda, he chose a 2017 Miata to drive to second place in C Street at the Solo Nationals.
• Finally, although he wasn’t driving a Mazda, a special acknowledgement goes to Randy Pobst, who returned to the Solo National Championships 35 years after his last victory to win F Street Prepared. Pobst is certainly a member of the Mazda family, having won club racing and pro racing championships in Mazdas, and he recently assisted Mazda Motorsports during the testing process for the snew shock for Spec Miata. He was also a special guest at the Women’s Luncheon. Congratulations, Randy!
SCCA Tire Rack Solo National Championships
Lincoln, Neb., Sept. 5-8, 2018
Mazda Solo National Champions
C Street: Andrew Pallotta; Holly Springs, NC; Mazda MX-5; 0.752 (fifth national championship, first in class)
C Street Ladies: Tara Johns; Milton, TN; Mazda MX-5; 0.326 (sixth national championship, first in class)
E Street: Bartek Borowski; Elmwood Park, IL; Mazda Miata; 1.117 (eighth national championship, sixth in class)
Street Touring Roadster: Jonathan Lugod; Gardena, CA; Mazda MX-5; 1.465 (third national championship, second in class)
Street Touring Roadster Ladies: Jessica Pao; Alhambra, CA; Mazda MX-5; 2.032 (first national championship)
Super Street Modified: Randall Wilcox; Bowie, MD; Mazda Miata; 1.576 (second national championship, second in class)
B Street Prepared: Ron Bauer; Seatac, WA; Mazda Miata; 0.800 (third national championship, first in class)
B Street Prepared Ladies: Molly Thore; Greensboro, NC; Mazdaspeed Miata; 0.742 (first national championship)
C Street Prepared: Neal Tovsen; Apple Valley, MN; Mazda Miata; 1.435 (first national championship)
C Street Prepared Ladies: Stephanie Humphries; Elizabeth City, NC; Mazda Miata; 1.104 (first national championship)
X Prepared: Andy McKee; Livermore, CA; Mazda RX-7; 0.565 (ninth national championship, third in class)
D Prepared: Todd Roberts; Austin, TX; Mazda Miata; 1.180 (first national championship)
Mazda Class Champions
C Street: Charles Krampert; Huntsville, Ala.; Miata
Street Touring R; Brian Karwan; Frederick, MD; Miata
Street Touring Sport: David Whitener; Roanoke, TX; Miata
S2: Billy Davis; Orin, MI; Miata
Ladies 1: Tamra Hunt; Middlefield, CT; RX-8
Ladies 3: Kim Whitener; Roanoke, TX; Miata
SCCA Tire Rack ProSolo Finale
Lincoln, Neb., Sept. 1-2, 2018
Mazda Class Winners
Class: Driver; Hometown; Car
C Street: Charles Krampert; Huntsville, Ala.; 2016 Miata
Street Touring Roadster: Ken Motonishi; Trabuco Canyon, Calif.; 2017 Miata
Street Touring Sport: David Whitener; Fort Worth, Texas; 1992 Miata
Ladies Class 3: Kim Whitener; Fort Worth, Texas; 1992 Miata
Street 2: Billy Davis; New Haven, Conn.; 1999 Miata