Participants Battle Cold Weather and Wind at Autocross #2
Cal Club SCCA Autocross returned to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA on Sunday, February 19 for the second event of the 2017 Solo season. The threat of rain did not keep competitors away, with 165 racers battling cold weather and wind—many even coming to test the surface of the lot in preparation for the March 31-April 2 Fontana ProSolo. In the first group of the morning session, Street Touring Extreme and C Street took to the course, with the top finishers putting down times that the rest of the field attempted to emulate all day. In STX, it looked as if Jeff Wong was going to take home the victory, but Steve O’Blenes came from behind with an incredibly gutsy 54.995 fourth run to eek out the win by just .078. Terence Chang rounded out the podium finishers just a tenth back of Wong, and Jonathan Lugod finished fourth after coning away both his second and fourth runs, which would have given him the top spot. In CS, Rolex 24 Hour Daytona winner Kenton Koch won the class by seven tenths against Max Hayter, who competed in C Street for the first time in his new NC Miata. Randy Gonzalez enjoyed a 4.2 second victory in A Street, while in D Street, Tom Kenna led from start to finish over the four-person field, earning a sixth-tenths victory against Brett Madsen. Adrian Cardenas led the way in the largest class of the day, California Street Touring (CST), with a 1.3 second victory after utilizing a 54.701 fourth-run to solidify his lead. Michael Bradley moved past Brandon Porambo for second with a 56.041 final lap, while Porambo stood on his third run of 56.187 after coning away a 55.427 fourth run. David Barrish emerged as top finisher in E Street, winning by .338 over Nic Sanchez. In H Street, Silvio Zucchet and Scott McHugh took 1-2 honors with both needing fast fourth runs to stay on top, with Zucchet’s 59.270 ultimately .108 ahead of McHugh’s 59.378. To complete the morning session, Michael Yanase claimed the victory in the seven-person Street Touring Roadster (STR) class, winning by almost a second over Tin Bui. The junior karts took to the course after the lunch break, with Robert Ekstrand winning JA and Shelby Baltazar winning JB. In the historic classes, Brian Howlett enjoyed a 3.9-second win over Cal Woolsey in the seven-person Historic 1 group, while Doug Tuelie won Historic 2 by almost four-tenths. G Street proved to be a thriller as Michael Parker stood on his 58.981 second run to beat Kaustav Acharya, who coned away his 58.980 third run which would have put him in the lead by a mere .001-seconds. George White earned a 1.4-second win in Super Stock R while Kevin Pao likewise enjoyed a 2.5-second win in the five-person Street Prepared Combined class. PAX Ladies was another tight class as the top three finishers were within .297 of each other. Jessica Pao took home the win by utilizing a fast fourth run and leaping ahead of Neelu Yeoh by .281, while Lisa Berry finished just .016 back of Yeoh for third. In the 10-person PAX class, it was a family affair in the top three spots as Tom Berry finished ahead of Marshall Grice by almost eight-tenths, while Christine Grice finished only .113 behind her husband. Berry ended up claiming top overall PAX for the event as well, beating out Steve O’Blenes in STX for the spot. Jason Swindle beat co-driver Casey Quinn by a small .109 margin to win C Modified for the second event in a row, while Tom Tanquary likewise won B Street also for the second event in a row, defeating Mihail Milkov by two-tenths. Street Touring Sport witnessed the top three drivers finish within .334 of each other, led by Peter Loney with a 56.378. He bested Kai Hur by .157 while Craig Naylor came in third just .177 back of Hur. Julian Manolov won the seven-person Street Mod Combined class by a mere .098 against Robert Stangarone, utilizing a fast third run for the victory. Scott Mullens took home the trophy in Classic American Muscle Contemporary, besting Greg Nelson by seventh-tenths in the 12-person class. Jordan Priestley rounded out the podium positions with a 58.365. Chad Ryker won the other CAM class, Classic American Muscle Traditional, earning a 1.1-second victory against Michael Cuthbertson. Cal Club SCCA Autocross next returns to competition on Sunday, March 19 at El Toro Marine Base in Irvine, CA.