Cal Club Autocross Wins Big at Tire Rack SCCA Fontana ProSolo
Fontana, CA—Members of Cal Club Autocross participated in the Tire Rack SCCA Fontana ProSolo on March 24-25, 2018 at Auto Club Speedway, earning 10 of 24 class wins and an additional 20 trophy spots. In the challenges, Cal Club Autocross took home more hardware as Lisa Berry of L1 won the Ladies Challenge with Catherine Tran (L3) finishing second. In the Super Challenge, Ken Motonishi (STR) won the third-place battle against Adrian Cardenas (STX), who finished fourth.
The SCCA ProSolo is not your average autocross: it’s an adrenaline-pumping format which pits drivers starting off side-by-side in a drag racing style before attacking mirror-like courses to see who can get back to their respective finish lines first. Each driver gets 12 total runs (comprised of six from each left and right side, split into three separate driving heats) to put together the best run from each side. Class winners are determined from putting the best right and left side runs together for a total time. After class competition, there are three single-elimination challenge rounds. The first is a bragging-rights Bonus Challenge drawn at random, then comes a Ladies Challenge for the top eight performing ladies class drivers, and finally the Super Challenge which pits the top 32 drivers from regular competition into a bracket.
Heading into Sunday’s final heat, most competitors were looking to move up in the standings into a coveted trophy spot to earn year-end points. In A Street, Matt Jones laid down his fastest left and ride side runs to move into the second spot—just .005 behind first—and could have taken first were it not for a cone on his final left side run. Co-driver Danny Gross finished in third place by going faster on the right side on his last run.
James Yom won B Street with a left side run from Saturday morning combined with a right side run on Sunday, while Scott McHugh placed third to round out the trophies. In the 14-driver E Street, Dennis Hubbard and Leonard Cachola earned the last two trophy spots—fourth and fifth—while Max Hayter took second in the new Solo Spec Coupe class.
In Street Touring Ultra, the top finishers battled all weekend for final placement, with Jeff Stuart ultimately finishing second by just .157, with Matt Ales in third. Ales’ car had catastrophic engine failure following Saturday’s runs and hopped into Hal Dorton’s BMW on Sunday morning.
In the 15-driver Street Touring Roadster class, Cal Club Autocross earned four of the five trophy spots including the winner, Jonathan Lugod. Reed Gibson moved up into second place following a fast left side run, while Ken Motonishi was fourth and Bob Endicott fifth.
Adrian Cardenas took home the top spot in Street Touring Xtreme, driving Steve O’Blenes Mazda Rx8 for just the second time this season. Cardenas laid down his fastest runs Sunday morning to earn the win, besting car owner O’Blenes by nearly half a second.
The largest class of the event, Classic American Muscle, witnessed 26 entrants and eight trophy spots with Chad Ryker taking home the gold by .688. Brandon Porambo coned away his fastest runs on Sunday and had to settle for third, while Paul Molina finished sixth and Matthew Ramirez seventh.
In the Ladies classes, Christine Grice was a familiar face atop the L1 charts, topping co-driver and sister Lisa Berry by 1.1 seconds. In L3, Cal Club Autocross again went 1-2 with Jessica Pao moving past Catherine Tran thanks to a fast right side run.
Mike Nakata was the early leader in Street 1 and improved upon his margin of victory with a fast left side run on Sunday to beat co-driver and car owner Stanley Kowalski by almost six-tenths. Tom Berry put on fresh tires Saturday afternoon and leapt to the top of the Street 2 standings before ultimately claiming a .444 victory. Anthony Porta finished third.
After a rocky start on Saturday morning, Jeff Kiesel put it together in the second two sessions to win Race Tire 1 by 1.4 seconds over son Zak Kiesel. In Bump class, Jeff Wong was the early leader and improved his right side run Sunday morning to win by almost one second, while Scott Mullens finished third.