SCCA – Double-Header at Heartland Park Topeka

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IndyCar wasn’t the only racing series doing a double-header last weekend, the Kansas City Region and the Kansas Region of the Sports Car Club of America held a joint double-header event at Heartland Park Topeka. While the Kaw Valley Race Group played on the road course, we held a Solo event on Saturday and Sunday on the south lot, a nice wide-open swath of asphalt that was a nice departure from the confining orthogonal grid layout at our usual site. This joint event was also our Military Appreciation Weekend where members of the armed forces were invited to come out and join us at a discounted entry fee. The Kansas City and Kansas Regions shared in the administrative duties with Kansas City Region member James Cahill chairing the Saturday event and Kansas Region member Frank Weitharn chairing Sunday’s event.

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There was a good turnout with 69 contestants on Saturday and 78 on Sunday. Over the two days, there were 90 unique drivers that came to compete from the two regions. In addition to the competitors, there were also a few spectators, and Heartland Park was kind enough to provide a section of bleachers overlooking the large sweeper corner on the East end of the circuit. It also turned out to be a nice vantage point from which to view the club racers that were competing on the road course that weekend. On Saturday, we had chamber-of-commerce weather with broken skies and temperatures in the upper 60s. Sunday started out rather different with overcast skies, stiff winds, and temperatures in the 50s. As the day progressed, the skies cleared and the temperatures rose back into the 60s, but for the Heat 1 folk, the surface was cold and slick.

“The event was a great one. A real joy to be out on a big autox pad where we can really exercise the true ability of our cars. From big offsets, to long slalom, to many large sweepers. HPT gives us something we can’t get at MCC.

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It is a must try for people who are looking for a taste of a true national level site with great course designs by Ron Williams. I was truly impressed with the course this weekend. The best course I have seen at HPT and even more fun than some of the National courses I have raced. It really flowed well in both directions. The Mini felt really well and everyone in heat 1 was raving about the excitement the big open course was able to deliver. Finally I got a Podium PAX finish. And I believe against some of the hardest people I have faced on a big national course. I was very pleased all around with the course.” — Jeremy Salenius, Dare2Dream Motorsports, SCCA Reporter for

Saturday: Event #4 Summary

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When the last run was taken on Saturday, it was Ron Williams sitting on top of the PAX times in his BSP 1992 Corvette. His raw time of 51.686 sec was bested only by Todd Hesskamp who completed the circuit in his shifter kart in 49.964 sec, the only sub 50-sec time of the day. Second place in PAX was taken by Greg Reno is his Road Tire H-Stock 2010 MINI posting a strong raw time of 57.046 sec. Rounding out the PAX podium for Event #4 was Doug Hitchcock in his new blue 1998 BMW 328is, aka Shifty, with a raw time of 55.119 sec.

Event #4 PAX Results

Pax Pos. Pos. Class # Driver Car Model Total Factor Pax Time Diff. From 1st
1 1 bsp 97 Ron Williams 1992 Chevrolet corvette 51.686 *0.858 44.346 0.000 0.000
2 1 rtfrths 36 Greg Reno 2010 Mini Cooper 57.046 *0.784 44.724 0.378 0.378
3 1 stx 110 Douglas Hitchcock 1998 BMW 328is 55.119 *0.827 45.583 0.859 1.237
4 1 es 9 Dan Wheeler 1991 Toyota MR2 55.236 *0.828 45.735 0.152 1.389
5 2 stx 10 Bob Buxbaum 55.526 *0.827 45.920 0.185 1.574
6 2 rtfrtds 99 Jeremy Salenius 57.290 *0.805 46.118 0.198 1.772
7 1 stc 3 David Avard 1989 Honda Civic Si 55.986 *0.824 46.132 0.014 1.786
8 1 prostu 45 Mark Hill 2006 Mitsubishi E-voh IX 54.928 *0.846 46.469 0.337 2.123
9 2 procs 66 Rodney Giebel 2007 Mazda MX-5 MS-R 55.968 *0.834 46.677 0.208 2.331
10 1 rtrrtcs 34 Christian Els 1999 BMW M Coupe 57.445 *0.813 46.702 0.025 2.356

Sunday: Event #5 Summary

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Sunday’s results were a little different, with the challenge of running the course in the opposite direction as Saturday. It made a number of elements that were straightforward on Saturday, a bit trickier. Ron and Greg still claimed the top two spots, although they did switch places. Greg topped the PAX charts for Event #5 with a raw time of 56.185 sec and Ron secured P2 with a raw time of 51.647 sec. Ron’s time on Sunday was a 0.041 sec improvement over his Saturday time, but Greg improved by nearly a full second, making up enough time to put him ahead of Ron. OpenPaddock’s own Jeremy Salenius improved his time dramatically on Sunday, running a second and a half faster in his Road Tire D-Stock 2008 MINI, to finish the day on the PAX podium in P3.

Event #5 PAX Results

Pax Pos. Pos. Class # Driver Car Model Total Factor Pax Time Diff. From 1st
1 1 rtfrths 36 Greg Reno 2010 Mini Cooper 56.185 *0.784 44.049 0.000 0.000
2 1 bsp 97 Ron Williams 1992 Chevrolet corvette 51.647 *0.858 44.313 0.264 0.264
3 2 rtfrtds 99 Jeremy Salenius 2008 Mini Cooper 55.787 *0.805 44.908 0.595 0.859
4 1 rtrrtcs 34 Christian Els 1999 BMW M Coupe 55.883 *0.813 45.432 0.524 1.383
5 1 prostu 45 Mark Hill 2006 Mitsubishi E-voh IX 53.959 *0.846 45.649 0.217 1.600
6 1 ss 84 David Green 2003 Chevrolet Corvette 53.247 *0.859 45.739 0.090 1.690
7 1 stx 110 Douglas Hitchcock 1998 BMW 328is 55.428 *0.827 45.839 0.100 1.790
8 2 ss 63 Frank Wietharn 2001 Chevrolet Corvette 53.371 *0.859 45.845 0.006 1.796
9 2 stx 111 Charles Wilson 2008 Chevrolet cobalt 55.830 *0.827 46.171 0.326 2.122
10 1 stc 3 David Avard 1989 Honda Civic Si 56.452 *0.824 46.516 0.345 2.467

Championship Standings

We’re nearing the halfway point in the championship with five of twelve events in the books. In the new PRO class, Mark Hill in his Jayhawk Motorsports STU 2006 Mitsubishi “E-voh” IX overtakes Craig Wilcox for the lead, posting class wins in both Event #4 and Event #5. Hill now leads Wilcox 420 to 300 with Greg Cheney sitting in third with 280 points. Hill also leads the overall PAX championship with 487.37 points, just slightly ahead of Salenius with 485.51 points. There are tight battles all throughout the various classes, especially in the new Road Tire classes. The Road Tire RWD battle is especially tight as Rygh Galloway and Christian Els are having their own private knife fight at the top, the two separated by only 10 points after five events. For the full rundown of the championships click here for the PAX Championship and here for the Class Championships.

Next up is the Solo School this coming Saturday at the Metropolitan Community College Precision Driving Center, and Event #6 at MCC on Sunday. It will be a fun weekend of dodging cones! Come out and join the fun!

Photos from Event #4 and Event #5 at Heartland Park Topeka

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