LINCOLN, Neb. — Sunny skies and a cool breeze greeted the first wave of competitors to the 41st Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships on Tuesday, where 36 classes of competitors battled in the world’s largest motorsports event.
Two distinct courses dotted the Lincoln (Neb.) Airpark tarmac. At the Solo National Championships, competitors are afforded three runs on both the East and West course, with each driver’s single best time on each course added together to determine the Champion.
The Sam Strano-designed East Course ran with longer times than many expected, which may go a long way in deciding the National Champions during the second day of runs.
In this morning’s first heat on the course, Chris Haydu, of Dallas, Pa., took the Street Modified FWD lead by just 0.209-second over four-time National Champion Andy Hollis. Haydu’s best time in the PenTeleData Internet Services Honda Civic will allow him to sleep on the overnight lead. Haydu is looking for his first Solo Nationals trophy knowing that Hollis’ GRM/AST/Hoosier Honda Civic is lurking.
Less than a tenth of a second separate the top two Corvettes in the Super Stock Ladies class. Shelley Monfort has won four SSL titles in-a-row, with six National Championships overall to her credit, behind the wheel of the StranoParts.com/Shameless Tea Chevrolet Corvette. Stephanie Reeve, however, sits just 0.065-second behind in her G-Fab Racing Chevrolet Corvette as the class prepares to move to the West course on Wednesday.
Heat Two belonged to the co-driving brother tandem of Bartek and Hubert Borowski. Bartek, a 32-year-old driver from Elmwood Park, Ill., topped his brother and the E Stock class by 1.212-second in their Mazda Miata, while Hubert has an additional 0.911-second cushion over third place. Bartek is looking for his fourth-consecutive E Stock National Championship, and the sixth of his career.
A Stock left the long course with just 0.178-second separating first from fourth in heat three. Co-drivers Josh Puu and Lane Borg, both of San Angelo, Texas, led the way respectively in their shared Goodyear Eagle RS Chevrolet Corvette. Borg, the defending National Champion in the class, is in his second position by just 0.017 over 2012 runner-up Tony Savini and the Stranoparts.com/Evo School Chevrolet Corvette. Brian Coulson’s Hoosier/StranoParts.com/Thanks Newman Corvette is just an additional 0.058-second behind Savini, setting up the Wednesday showdown on the West course.
Two-time defending D Prepared champion Drew VanderPloeg, of Pflugerville, Texas, and Ron Bauer, of Issaquah, Wash., battled down to the wire last year. The pair picked up on Tuesday afternoon where 2012 left off, with Bauer’s Bauerspeed Racing/Tight n Tidy Racing Mazda MX-5 picking up an opening day advantage of 0.194-second over VanderPloeg’s JC Automotive Specialist/FTW Racing! Mazda Miata. Those two are more than a second clear of the rest of the field, and appear set to decide the Championship.