The SCCA National Championships are held each year in Lincoln, Nebraska at the Lincoln Airpark. The Airpark is a massive concrete surface with enough space for two 60-plus second courses, two grids, a practice course, and a huge paddock that supports over 1,200 cars.
This year’s events started on August 30th with the Pro Solo Finale. For those of you new SCCA Solo a Pro Solo is a combination of the best features of drag racing and autocross, with head-to-head elimination races against another driver on the opposite, mirrored course. The racers are signaled to start their run by a drag-race-style ‘Christmas Tree’ and the first driver to the finish wins the match-up.
The top 32 drivers from open class qualifying on Saturday and Sunday morning are seeded in a single-elimination Super Challenge bracket for Sunday afternoon, with the winner of each match-up continuing toward the bracket final. The Ladies Challenge is run similar to the Super Challenge with a maximum of 16 drivers, depending on the number of entrants among the three ladies classes. The Pro Solo Finale is also the culmination of a year long points chase much like the class competition in the KY Region. Drivers are awarded points based on their results from Pro Solo events throughout the year.
There was only one KYR member at the Pro Solo Finale this year. Adam Norton was in a tight competition throughout the year in the Street Rear Wheel Drive class. (In the Pro Solos all of the classes that do not have enough participation for their own class are grouped into larger classes based on PAX. These include Street RWD, Street FWD, and Street AWD for the street class cars; Street Prepared A, Street Prepared B, R1, and R2 for the race tire cars.) After two days of back and forth racing against Corvettes, Porsche GT3s, Mustangs, Miatas, and M3s, Adam finished just one spot out of the trophies in 6th out of 15 competitors. This is a very strong showing for Adam’s first Pro Finale.
After the Pro Finale, the SCCA Solo National Championships kick off that following Tuesday on September 2nd. The event is run like a normal Solo autocross event, but is spread over two days on two different lengthy courses. This year had near record attendance with 1,161 entries from across the US and Canada. Due to the size of this event the classes are broken into heats on either Tuesday/Wednesday or Thursday/Friday.
Adam Norton was the lone KYR member in attendance this year, however he had support from neighboring CKR members Cindy Duncan, Laura Harbour, Justin Harbour, George Schweikle, and Dee Schweikle.
Like any National event the majority of the fun happens off of the race track. This year’s Nationals paddock was no different. Many regions travel in large numbers and take over sections of the paddock for events. These events included a Beer Garden with local brew selections from all over the country, a Pig Roast hosted by the Atlanta Region, Big Wheel Pro Solo in the Texas Paddocks, and a Tacos and Talent Welcome Party talent show hosted by Grassroots Motorsports and the City of Lincoln.
Once the competition kicked off on Tuesday it was four days of back and forth, tight races, sometimes decided by thousandths of a second. The KYR and CKR regions had an awesome showing and took home plenty of hardware.
KYR member, Adam Norton, finished 4th in a very tough field of 29 in the E Street class taking home a trophy in his first ever trip to Nationals.
CKR member Laura Harbour won her second jacket taking home the win in GS Ladies class and Cindy Duncan finished in second place in FS Ladies.
Finally, for those that wanted to stick around for the final weekend the SCCA National Office decided to experiment with bribing back the Solo Trials. Solo Trials events are run like an Autocross except with much larger, open, courses, less cones, and a higher than average speed.
As the season winds to an end lets make a push next year as a region to get more and more people out to National events. KY Region has the size, and we certainly know how to have a good time, so there is no reason there shouldn’t be articles written about the KYR Paddock next year at Nationals. Paddock Bourbon Trail anyone?
Eric Brown – 2014 Ford Focus ST