“Goodbye to El Toro” Event Draws Nearly 200 Autocrossers
Irvine, CA—Close to 200 people competed in what could be the last ever event at El Toro Marine Base for Cal Club Autocross on Sunday, October 24. The 10th event of the 2017 season witnessed a fun and challenging course designed by Reed Gibson, with some close finishes in multiple classes to heat up end-of-year championship battles. One of the tightest wins of the day came in the first run group as Anthony Porta edged out Tom Berry by just forty-thousands to claim his first PAX win of the season. Marshall Grice finished third in the 11-driver class. Trevor Brown won Street Prepared Combined by two-tenths over Kevin Pao. In C-Modified, the top two drivers went faster with each consecutive run, and it came down to last runs as Jason Swindle returned to the top podium spot, earning his fifth win of the year with a .677 defeat over George Schilling. Not one woman drove all four runs clean in PAX Ladies, and ultimately it was Jessica Pao who emerged in the top spot by beating out Neelu Yeoh by .356. Both Kristen Acharya (3rd) and Theresa Berry (4th) coned their fastest runs and would have moved up the standings. Classic American Muscle combined for 25 drivers split between the three classes. Chad Ryker won for the sixth time this season in CAM-T, earning a 1.7 victory over Michael Cuthbertson, while Efrain Diaz rounded out the podium spot only .151 behind. Thomas Kamman and Brian Peters won CAM-S and CAM-C respectively by two seconds over their competitors. The race for second place in CAM-C came down to just .007 with Paul Molina gaining the upper hand over Greg Nelson. Kai Hur won STS for the first time this season by using a clean third run to move past Pete Loney (who stood on his first run) by .285. Michael Yanase switched from STR to STX on Sunday, and immediately went straight to the top, winning the 12-driver class by a second. Derek Punch placed second with Steve O’Blenes in third just a tenth back. After the lunch break, five juniors took to the course with Samuel Barrish earning his second win of the year in JB, defeating Shelby Baltazar by two seconds. Another class that came down to the wire was A Street, as Danny Castillo improved in each run to edge out Ron Flaherty by .077, with Randy Gonzalez in third just .011 behind. May Hayter made it five in a row in D Street, taking a 2.3 second victory over Kaustav Acharya. Julian Manolov and Marco Cruz continued to battle it out in Street Mod Combined, as the duo have won every event this season but one. Manolov used a fast fourth run to take the win by one second over Cruz, with Matt Davis in third only .021 back. CST was another close race as Jonathan Hartendorp’s fourth run was enough to beat Brandon Porambo by .089 (Porambo coned his two fastest runs). Another incredibly tight class was STR, as Matt Ales’ clean third run was fifty-thousands ahead of Reed Gibson. Bob Endicott placed third with James Yom in fourth just .052 behind (Yom was dirty in all four runs and had the raw time to win). A few of the afternoon street classes saw favorites earn the win. Tony Rodriguez won the 10-driver E Street class by eight-tenths over Edward Tsui, with Dennis Hubbard in third. Tom Tanquary won B Street for the eighth time this year by nearly six-tenths over Mihail Milkov, while Silvio Zucchet had a two-second victory over Bill Martin in H Street. Finally, Brian Howlett remained undefeated in Historic 1, taking the class by five seconds. Cal Club Autocross continues the 2017 season on October 21-22 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.