Cal Club Autocross returned to the runways at El Toro Marine Base in Irvine, CA for its third event of the 2017 season. Utilizing what’s left of the space (which is slowly being turned into homes), autocrossers enjoyed a quick and challenging course that left many wondering where and when to shift gears. With nearly 190 entries in over 30 classes, Sunday’s event proved to be the largest yet of the season, with many competitors tuning and prepping for the Fontana ProSolo to be held March 31-April 2.
After the morning fog lifted, runs were underway on the Reed Gibson designed course. Stephen Yeoh took home top trophy honors in Street Touring Sport, boasting a 1.3 second win over Kai Hur with a fast third run of 53.710. In the seven-person Street Mod Combined class (which consisted of Street Modified, Super Street Modified, and Street Modified FWD), Marco Cruz cleaned up his act after coning his first two runs, coming in with a 51.574 to beat Robert Stangarone by 1.1 seconds.
The Classic American Muscle classes had great turnout in the morning, and were heard from afar utilizing all their horsepower to scream down the runway between elements. Greg Nelson won CAM-C after using a fast second run to edge out Scott Mullens by eight-tenths, while Michael Cuthbertson likewise won CAM-T by eight-tenths over Kevin Reidy. Rick Jung won CAM-S by over five seconds over Bill Chin Jr.
Kenton Koch won the eight-person C Street class for the third event in a row, cleaning up two straight DNF’s before getting a clean third run for the win. Tom Frecentese finished second at 1.8 seconds behind, while Leonard Cachola rounded out the podium. Honorable mention goes to Adam Tarnoff, who would have placed second had he not coned all three of his runs.
One of the largest classes of the day, Street Touring eXtreme, was a close race as Jeff Wong ultimately came out on top by claiming the three-tenths win over Steve O’Blenes with a 52.846. Jonathan Lugod finished third as his best run was dirty, followed by Nicole Wong for the final trophy spot in fourth. Thomas Kenna earned a two-tenths victory in the eight-person D street class over Brett Madsen, who coned away his third run for what would have been the win.
Julius Bernardo led from the gate in another large class of the day, California Street Touring, posting a 53.257 first run—which no one in the class could match. His third run of 53.157 increased his lead over Jonathan Hartendorp, who used a 53.273 second run to claim runner up. Michael Bradley came in third while Alex Valencia finished the trophy spots in fourth.
After lunch, seven junior karters competed in the three Junior classes. Robert Ekstrand won JA after Cyan Kalman coned her fastest run (which would have won), while Shelby Baltazar earned the win in JB.
In Street Touring Roadster, Jason Munchhof drove a flyer in his third run, 52.045, to defeat class favorite James Yom by sixth-tenths to take home first place. Bob Endicott was .276 behind Yom for third, while Michael Yanase was a close fourth just .025 back. In E Street, Nic Sanchez was the only person out of 10 competitors in the class to post a clean run in the 58’s. That secured him the victory over Ben Cohen by three-tenths, while Thomas Gallagher finished in third place, another three-tenths back.
Three of the afternoon street classes saw winners claim victories by over a second. In F Street, Myles Wakayama won by 1.4 seconds, Michael Parker won G Street by 1.1 seconds, while Tom Tanquary earned a 1.6 second victory in B Street. Meanwhile, Scott McHugh won H Street by sixth-tenths over Silvio Zucchet, while Cathy Strovers won her first event of the season in Super Stock R by one second.
Brian Howlett continued his winning streak in Historic 1 with a 3.5 second victory, while Jason Swindle and Rocco Pedreira likewise won their third events in a row in C Modified and Street Touring FWD respectively. Stanley Kowalski improved in each of his three runs to take home the Prepared Combined class crown, with Chris Ashton earning the Street Prepared Combined win by sixth-tenths over Kevin Pao.
PAX Ladies was a tight battle as all six competitors were within 1.2 seconds of each other. Jessica Pao claimed top honors by .198 over Theresa Berry, who finished .104 ahead of third-place Catherine Tran. In PAX, Tom Berry won for the second straight time, besting daughter Christine Grice by eight-tenths in the eight-person field.
Cal Club Autocross next hosts the 2017 Tire Rack SCCA Fontana Pro Solo on March 31-April 2.