Hot Weather Tests Drivers at Autocross #5
Fontana, CA—Over 100 competitors enjoyed beautiful (albeit hot) weather on Sunday, May 21 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana for the fifth Cal Club Autocross event of the 2017 season. Kicking off the morning runs, Brian Howlett in his 1966 Morgan Plus 4 earned a 3.3 second victory in the five-driver Historic 1 class. Byron Goodman led wire-to-wire in B Street and claimed the eight-tenths win over Curt Luther, while Rick Brown won SSR with a slim .302 advantage over Cathy Strovers. Eric Clements led the five-person C Modified class after the first set of runs, but Jason Swindle took the lead after the second run and held on for the nine-tenths win. Likewise, Craig Naylor had the lead after the second run in Street Touring Sport but saw Stephen Yeoh move up into the top spot with a faster third run to win the class. For the first time this season, 17-year-old Neelu Yeoh came out on top in the hyper competitive PAX Ladies class, earning a one second win over Theresa Berry (who in turn bested daughter Lisa Berry by a mere .100 for the second spot). It should be noted that Neelu’s raw time was a tenth faster than her father, Stephen, who won STS. In PAX, there was a shakeup at the top as Scott McHugh in his Honda Accord took home the victory by .070 over Derek Punch in his Scion FRS. Tom Berry in the Evo finished nearly two-tenths back in third place while Jeff Stuart in another Scion FRS was .073 out of the podium finish. Street Prepared Combined was an all Honda S2000 class on Sunday with Reed Gibson taking home the 1.4 second win, while Travis Sackwar was dominant out of the gate in Street Touring FWD, winning the class by over two seconds. Julian Manolov won the five-driver Street Mod Combined class (comprised of SSM, SMF, and SM) by besting Jordan Filip by 1.3 seconds. CAM-T proved to be the biggest battle of the Classic American Muscle classes as Chad Ryker’s fourth run staved off a surging Efrain Diaz, who chopped off six-tenths on his last run to close the gap to just two-tenths. Paul Molina led from start to finish in CAM-C, winning by almost half a second over Greg Nelson. Two more run groups took to the course after the lunch break, with Randy Gonzalez leading the way in A Street with a 1.2 second victory and Chris Holmes winning D Street by 1.8 seconds. Brandon Porambo won the largest class of the day, the 10-driver California Street Touring class, by standing on his second run. He held off Jonathan Hartendorp who improved his times in each run to finish in second place by just .370. Mike Curtis secured his first-ever trophy in the class with the third and final trophy spot. Ben Cohen also stood on his second run in E Street to take the .842 victory over David Barrish, while Thomas Frecentese was the victor in C Street defeating Ho Frankie by eight-tenths. In Street Touring Roadster, Bob Endicott used a fast fourth run to extend his lead over Sebastian Rios, winning the seven-person class by .349. Ken Motonishi finished third just .080 back. Top finisher of the day went to Steve O’Blenes, who won Street Touring eXtreme by 2.4 seconds over Anthony Scopelli. O’Blenes’ time was half a second ahead of second-place overall finisher Scott McHugh from PAX. Cal Club Autocross returns to El Toro Field in Irvine, CA for the sixth event of the 2017 season on June 11.