Prepping for Nationals Highlights August Autocross at El Toro
Cal Club Autocross was once again back at the former El Toro Marine Base in Irvine, CA on Sunday, August 12 for its eighth event of the year. As the last competition prior to the SCCA Solo National Championships (which take place the first week of September in Lincoln, NE), many participants made final adjustments and preparations to their cars in the hopes of getting them dialed in for the big show.
To get things started in the first heat, course designer Mike Simanyi won the three-driver Solo Spec Coupe class over co-driver Karl Asseily by 1.4-seconds. A surprise entrant in the 10-person Street Touring eXtreme class after the transmission in his Mazda broke, Jonathon Lugod hopped into a BRZ and went straight to the top of the class, winning by four-tenths. Tony Rodriguez from the San Francisco region joined Cal Club Autocross for the weekend and took second to Lugod, finishing .169 seconds ahead of Derek Punch for the third and final trophy spot.
Edward Tsui won E Street for the first time ever, beating co-driver Leonard Cachola by over six-tenths as five of the six ES competitors coned their final runs and had to stand on third runs. Nicole Wong laid down a fast first run and never looked back, winning F Street by 1.6-seconds over Eric Forbes. C Modified was a real battle as Eric Clements claimed the win by only .112 over Jason Swindle. Both stood on second runs as they either coned or went slower on their third and fourth runs.
Jessica Pao also hopped into the loaner BRZ and made it a perfect two-for-two, winning the six-driver PAX Ladies class on a clean fourth run that put her eight-tenths ahead of Shauna Rios in her Porsche Cayman. After making more modifications to his new 2017 Mazda ND, Michael Parker dropped time in all four of his runs to claim his first class win of the season in C Street, beating Thomas Frecentese by two seconds.
After a brief absence from the sport, Neelu Yeoh drove Reed Gibson’s Fiesta to a near one-second win over Eric Wong in his Chevy Bolt in the six-person H Street class. Gayle Jardine also made her first appearance behind the wheel in years at an autocross event in the family’s 2002 Ford Focus.
It was a family affair for the top two spots in Super Stock R with Brian Strovers taking the win over wife Cathy by 2.8-seconds. Another Brian claimed top honors in Historic 1, as Brian Howlett went faster on each of his four runs to defeat Doug Teulie by .664.
After doing an alignment in paddock, Anthony Porta took advantage of the many transition elements on course to win PAX class for the second time this season by 1.5-seconds against Jeff Wong, with Tom Berry in third by nine-tenths. Porta and Wong would go on to be one-two in overall PAX position for the event out of 131 competitors.
In B Street, Sebastian Rios cleaned up a dirty first run to take the lead in his second run over Tom Tanquary by just 0.08, then extended his lead with a fast fourth run to ultimately win by over one second. Street Mod Combined saw each of the three drivers cone or DNF their first two runs, and it took until third runs for them to get clean times. Stanley Kowalski emerged on top and stood on his third run to win by over three seconds against Matt Davis. Another competitor to win by a large margin was Randy Gonzalez in A Street, taking the crown by over four seconds against Rick Brown.
Michael Yanase had a near one-second lead in Street Touring Roadster heading into final runs until Michael Oest cleaned up consecutive DNFs to get within just .176 of Yanase and leapfrog into second spot, passing both Reed Gibson and Peter Loney. Yanase ended up third overall in the PAX standings with Oest fifth overall.
Adrian Cardenas jumped to the front of California Street Touring on his first run and never looked back, claiming a 1.5-second win over Jacob Abrams, who in turn beat out Scott Hanson for the third trophy spot by 1.3-seconds.
In Novice class, Brandon Warren in his Honda S2000 B Street car got a clean and fast fourth run to take the top spot, while Laura Corodimas in her B Street BMW came in second, nearly half a second back.
Cal Club Autocross returns to El Toro for its ninth event of the season on Sunday, September 30.
A big thank you to all our chiefs and volunteers!
Event Master - Randy Gonzalez
Registration – Kathy Strovers / Matthew Gonzalez
Timing and Scoring - Rick Brown
Course Designer – Mike Simanyi
Workers – Neelu Yeoh
Tech - Vereker Tam
Gate - Kevin Pao
Novice Coordinator - Leonard Cachola
Safety Steward – Tom Tanquary
Youth Steward - Steve Ekstrand