Sunday’s Solo Event #2 for the Kansas City Region of the Sports Car Club of America was a tale of two heats with weather affecting Heat 2 significantly more than Heat 1. Normally, there are three heats per event with total entries often topping 100 among all classes. Sunday’s forecast of thunderstorms, however, kept many of the less dedicated racers away. With fewer contenders, the event officials reduced the normal three-heat format to two heats so that each heat would have enough course workers to keep things running smoothly. The upside of the on-the-fly change and lower turn-out was that instead of the standard four runs, every driver was able to take five timed runs.
no images were foundAl Hermans, the Solo Chairman for the region, was this weekend’s Event Chair and designed a great course for a day of changeable conditions with a lot of medium-speed, momentum-based elements. The rain started early as drivers made their way to the Blue River Precision Driving Center in Independence, MO, soaking those who needed to swap street rubber for race rubber. With the early rain, there was a lot of talk about tires. Most drivers agreed that unless there was a Malaysian-esque downpour, that the 200TW tires for the ST classes and r-Comps for the other classes that allow them was the right choice. There were a few who stayed on deep-tread street tires, and others who made the decision to go to r-Comps late and were swapping tires hurriedly in grid.
no images were foundSticky rubber turned out to be the right decision, especially for Heat 1. While the first couple of runs were on a damp track, it didn’t take long for the racing line to dry. Late during fourth runs, the rain started again, although it wasn’t intense. The steady drizzle was enough to compromise the grip levels, and most drivers had their fast times set in their third and fourth runs. The late drizzle meant that Heat 2 would be starting on a damp track. Like with Heat 1, the racing line dried quickly, although not completely by everyone’s second run. Everyone in Heat 2 got at least one partially dry run in, but by third runs, the rains came in earnest. The drizzle from before was merely a precursor to heavier rains that persisted through the remaining three runs for Heat 2.
Here’s a video of my two best runs of the day. Being stuck in Heat 2, I was able to get a singular dryish run which was my best time of the day, but was only good for P19 overall out of 78 entries. The video also shows what the Heat 2 drivers had to endure for their last three runs.
no images were foundWith two events in the books, we can start looking at championship points and how the different classes are shaping up. The three strongest classes this season look to be H-Street, populated by most of the economy hatchbacks on the market, but dominated by the base MINI Cooper. MINIs occupy the top three spots with Mike Hill leading the way.
With many newer hatchbacks being equipped with turbocharged powerplants, G-street has exploded both in popularity and diversity. There are a couple of the new Fiesta STs joining the traditional crowd of VWs and Hyundais. Todd Hesskamp takes the early lead in G-Street, showing the flexibility and diversity of his driving skills by finishing P2 in class in Event 1 driving a RWD Hyundai Genesis, and then winning the class in Event 2 with a FWD VW Jetta.
no images were foundThe largest class so far this season is the Street Touring Extreme (STX) class. Although the class is deep, everyone is really just driving for P2 as after two events, it seems that no one can come close to Craig “The Alien” Wilcox. In Event 2, he cleared the field by over three seconds on a 50-second course! That’s massive! It’s obvious that he’s not human, or perhaps he’s the new Stig and just slummin’ with us weekend warriors.
Full event results and season standings can be found at http://www.kcrscca.org/our-racing/solo-racing/solo-racing-2014-schedule-and-results/
Photos from KCRSCCA Solo Event #2
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