Road & Tach: The Reno SCCA Newsletter
2021 Rounds 3 and 4 Wrap Up by Colleena McHugh
A party-like atmosphere permeated the grid today. Steve Mclaughlin designed a great, fun track that threw lots of challenging elements at everyone! From a free-for-all flying start, there was almost a 90 degree right hander as soon as you popped up on the concrete pad. A huge sweeper led to an angled, long slalom across the pad, right to a couple of eyebrows, then a hard right to a short straight interrupted by “Winky Dinks” or “Dinky Winky” cones and a right-hand sweeper to the finish Tunnel. 60 racers got five laps around Steve’s exciting course, partly because it was so fast and easy to read and remember. There were only eleven DNF’s all day!
Cameron Drudge did not hold back on his first lap, his STI had good acceleration in the short straight, and he hit third gear in the finish chute! Confident into the course, he kept good speed through the sweeper on lap two, for a slight improvement, but on lap three, it looked like he blew it. On the contrary, he whipped around every turn, barely hanging on after the sweeper and, after going wide into the chute, he finished with a 34.1 for 1st in TSM and 8th overall.
Father/son team Chris & Christian Kannan once again brought out their zippy little Miata to challenge each other for the ES win. Dad forced the sports car, “Inspired by classic roadsters of the 1960’s” to lean into the turns, hopping at least one rear wheel around every corner. On his third lap, he took first in PAX and that wasn’t even his fastest lap! Of course, that was before the Death Match guys had their shot and Chris’ PAX rating fell to 9th when they did, but he was up there for a while!!! Son, Christian, was careful on his first lap, then he went too deep after the slalom, like many did. Chris’ fastest lap was smooth, he carried good speed into the chute, bringing it down to a 35.9 1st, while Christian’s 37.3 took 2nd.
Jason Lewis started out, like many, with his Civic R racing through the slalom and coming out of the small sweeper with a big push into the eyebrows. But he missed the first cone for one of the rare DNF’s. Second lap wheel-hop looked like fun, but the gigantic winged, grey shark looked like it was trying to gobble up the whole course! It pushed him into the chute, swam too deep after the slalom and the sweeper, and even hit a cone into the chute (it was laying down), but his time was in the top twelve overall! In the meantime, co-driver Tori Speicher was taming the beast, turning in some decent times of her own, and she kept it off the cones!! On lap three, Jason got tidy after the slalom (almost tagged the same cone), and slowed a bit, then good speed in straight and at the exit, awarded him with a 34.6 for 1st in XSA. Tori swung in for 2nd with a last lap 36.1.
I’m always watching Travis Hisken in his Tesla 3, because, as a muscle car junkie, I just can’t get past the silence! At least the tires squeal so you know he’s out there! Earning the “Best Wheel Bling'' today, Travis treated his winning SS car to a Plasti Dip, chrome delete, but instead of using a black out treatment, he used white!!! So sleek and surprising and to top it off, he dipped the lug nut covers in blue!! Every lap, he was so close to the eyebrows, it seemed the new wheel treatment was cone repellant, but on lap three, he was just too fast into the course, and he tagged one. I wasn’t the only one watching! I looked around and he had his own cheering section, his uncle Curtis and cousin Meyer came out for Travis’s birthday! Not new to racing, his grandfather, Andrew, on his mom’s side, had a Cobra and a Ferrari. His grandfather, Rod, has 100 tractors and they organize tractor square dancing (just like Mater's Square Dance at Disneyland) and his dad, Roger, autocrossed an MGB in ‘68! Travis scored 1st in SS with a 35.1.
I love BMW’s and Kelly Martensen brought out a 325i whose middle name is Lean! He managed to keep his speed up like he was in a Miata and a 36.9 claimed 1st in GS.
Ed Reichley was in a Miata when he came flying up the hill. He looked awfully busy in the ****pit as the car got sideways everywhere! The Mighty Miata was wiggly as Ed steered with the throttle, almost losing it at every turn and every lap getting faster! A wheel lock-up into the sweeper, sideways into the chute and pounding the Revlimiter at every exit is what it took to win 1st in TSSM (33. and 3rd overall. As Patricia and Nate Berlant fought over 3rd, Nate found the pavement transition in the back sweeper troublesome. He felt the Z06’s rotation at the pavement change, but he ignored it, as he was trying to better a good first lap. Oversteer, a lift in the exit chute and a cone into the sweeper gave Trish an opening, but that first lap 35.7 stood for 2nd. Trish took her time and worked it down after the Corvette’s rear stepped out on lap one. After that, good, smooth car transitions and speed in the sweeper helped her turn a lap in 38.2 seconds for 3rd.
Steve Mclaughlin was so confident today, he took a passenger, and, out of the whole entry list, only competitor Roger Petch beat him that lap!!! With huge acceleration before the start, it didn’t look like Steve would manage to slow the 350z down to make the right hander, but deft braking kept him on track. He was the first in the new Death Match class to hit a 33, and a 33.1 took 1st in Class, 1st in PAX and 1st overall. Roger Petch’s Mustang flew onto the course, and everyone was thinking, “There’s no way he made that first cone!” But watching carefully, you could see he just barely touched it, then tucked it in at the last second without penalty. Then he pushed out of the sweeper and clobbered two! He got 2nd in PAX from Aaron with a 34.0 second lap, taking 2nd in class and 5th overall as well. Aaron Renner wasn’t giving up easily, he hung the rear end of his Trollrolla out everywhere, “I’ve got to keep the aggression but get rid of the Slidey”. Keeping the slip to a minimum, a slight slip at the exit of the sweeper caused him to tag a pointer cone in the chute for one of the rare DNF’s. On his fourth run, even crossed up in the slalom, he finished with a 3rd in DM, 3rd in PAX, 7th overall (34.2)! Oh, and keeping with the party theme, he had sparkle numbers! I know Boris Vujasinovic walked the course, but he threw his GTO so fast onto the pad, there was no way he could slow down for the practically 90-degree right hander! He tagged cones on three laps in that turn, by having too much fun at the entry! Run three was almost perfect and ended with a 34.1, 4th in class, 4th in PAX and 6th overall. Kevin Weiss is used to winning everything, all the time, but he’s got his work cut out for him in the Death Match class!!! He’s got some real competition now, and the new class is proving to be very entertaining for spectators!! His Blue Beast went too hot into the course on lap 3, pushed and aimed right at a cone, and he squiggled out of it, but it cost him a bit of time. His last lap looked slow, but he was perfect everywhere and crossed the finish line in 33.1 seconds for 5th in class, 5th in PAX and 2nd O/A. You could see Maggie Elorza muscling her BMW around like she was Arnold Schwarzenegger! She turned all clean laps, took 6th in class and 7th in PAX with a 35.1. Bryce Redinger is always fluid in his Corvette, which he is quick to point out isn't a Z06. His Hoosiers did a nice job keeping him tight in the slalom and when he turned his second lap 33.9, he had the top time of day! Trying to best that, he hung the rear of the Vette out at the exit of everything but earned a 7th in class and 4th overall lap two! Nick Johnson’s first two laps looked very precise, but lap three was another story. The TowRolla’s rear did a huge swing-out into the chute (he almost didn’t make it), got sideways into the small sweeper, then, got sideways back into the chute, taking many cones with him (3). A last lap 36.9 put him in 8th, rounding out the Death Match class!!!
Anthony Arreygue’ Corvette was very well behaved, until the rear end got a little happy in the slalom and tagged a cone! A push in the small sweeper was fun to watch, as Anthony kept the car off all of the other cones, and a fourth lap 36.5 took 1st in BSP.
Bob Williamson took the AS class in another Corvette, even though the rear end snuck out at the entrance to the slalom, sweeper, and chute! On lap five, a great transition from the sweeper to the finish chute ended in a 37.0 for 1st.
TFSP’s Sean Sullivan did not go easy on his Jetta TDI, from the lean into the eyebrows, to the hard charging, rear wheel-up in every turn! Not only was the diesel’s wheel up, while it’s up, it stops rolling and skims over the cone lips!! Steady and strong in the sweeper, Sean swept across the finish lights in 37.6 for 1st.
Jess Clark fought his Scion FRS just a bit when it got extremely wide in the small sweeper (his head was looking right, but the car was going left)! The rear came out with each supercharger engagement, and he got sideways in the chute, but he recovered nicely to finish 3rd in STU, with a 36.0. Denis Savelyev played his Lancer Evo with excellent throttle-feather, keeping the car snuggled-up in the eyebrows, and keeping valuable speed at the finish, but lap four was a perfect lap! A frisky 34.3 won 1st in class and 9th overall. Michael Ufford dominated Steve’s course in his 230i, and all clean laps led to 2nd place and a 36.3.
Anthony Ta’s newish Mustang got tail-happy into the sweeper, tried to loop out of slalom, managed a bit of acceleration between the eyebrows and hit the rev limiter on his fifth run! The Muscle Car Growel explained his screaming fast finish, and 1st in DS was his (35.9).
Michael and Roxanne Fertitta are once again sharing their Mini and fighting over DSP fame! Michael rushed way too hot into the pad but snuck between the cones at the 90 degreer because the car is so small! He was so fast out of the slalom, I didn’t think he’d make the small sweeper, he did, and it was fun to watch the car hanging on! A third lap 35.2 for 1st while Roxanne followed in 2nd with a 36.4.
Father/Son team Ronald and Andrew Kauble also shared a car to test their winning mettle. Ronald hit the Corvettes Revlimiter at the finish every lap, while Andrew got it completely sideways on his first lap! Andrew recovered and on lap two, turned in a 35.3 for 1st in BS and 10th in PAX. Ronald settled into 2nd with a 36.6. Andrew’s mother, Katherine and Grandmother, Beverly also brought out a car to share, just to see what all the fuss was about!! Andrew explains, “They were just looking to have fun. They enjoy racing but have never tried anything like track or autocross. My grandpa may join in as well. They all live in the area.” My Dad is getting licensed in a ‘70s front engine dragster that my grandfather owns. Drag racing is something my grandfather has been doing for years and still does. My Dad was heavy into motocross in the mid-late eighties and even raced in the local pro leagues within the last 5 years. My Grandma and grandpa Kauble is where my corvette came from. They love corvettes and have another yellow one with extremely low miles, sitting at home. The yellow one may make it out to an event if I can convince them to bring it instead of the Sonic someday. My grandpa, on my mom's side, was into racing drag boats. For quite a while, we had a flat bottom Sanger hull with a big Cadillac motor and V drive setup. Lots of fun, but boats are a lot of maintenance. They just came out because they thought it would be fun. My mom, dad, and grandmother all signed up with SCCA memberships and plan to attend more going forward. I am loving all of it and it’s been so much fun for me to have them there. My grandpa asked if I would give drag racing a try, so I’ll be doing that the second week in June in his Willys, with a bored and blown motor. I don’t think drag racing is really my thing, but we will see!”
Patrick Drudge’s beautiful, vintage Camaro is so fast, I had to make sure I didn’t blink when it went by or I'd miss it!!! It always sounds like it’s going to take off, I wish I could attach sounds to this column! It was such fun seeing it get sideways in the Winky Dinky straight, and it did not hurt him at all, as his third lap 34.4 collected 6th in PAX, 10th in O/A and 1st in CAMT. Logan Toles tried to keep up with Drudge in his Truck, which was tricky, as it was as long as one of the eyebrow elements!! Not only that, He had that truck so close to the cones, you couldn’t see daylight between them, how can he tell where they are? You could tell he was trying, the rear came out in the chute and he laid down rubber as the rear swept around the small sweeper! In the end, a nice 39.7 took 2nd.
Jennifer Kauble in another BMW gently guided her M240 past every obstacle today for a 1st in FS (37.3). Mark Skeem, in a Grey Mustang he has had for two weeks, started out reticent, then, the tail swung out left, then right, before he reigned it back in! His careful, first lap 39.5, dropped him into 2nd.
After a wild first lap (he got lost) Chris Rochefort, in a fun A4, turned a 36.7 for 1st in STH.
Four Novices joined us today from Vetmotorsports.org (an organization for former and active military, with a service-connected injury) to experience autocross!! Three men and a gal came out to see what it was all about, and it looked like they had a blast! All four kept our Solo Mentors busy, and, in the end, they all did very well. 23 other Novices showed up, and as usual, we were all very excited to see them. We had all kinds of new cars and all kinds of new drivers, and hopefully, we showed them all such a great time, they’ll be back!
James Moffatt in an exciting Exige, got things rolling by turning the fastest first Novice lap and he never looked back. His fluid driving style hid his speed, and the supercharger whine betrayed it! The Lotus pushed wide past the second eyebrow, had squirrley oversteer after the slalom and, although his third lap was fun to watch, it wasn’t terribly fast. His last lap 34.5 was almost a two second improvement over his first, and a 1st in Novice was his with all clean laps!! Zach Ferenz , in Cameron’s STI, pushed hard out of the small sweeper on his first lap, but kept it tidy on his last, collecting 2nd place (36.1). Erik Hertel came out in a beautiful, maroon Camaro, with an aptly positioned black racing stripe, to take his spot in the Novice top three! A push after the slalom on lap three collected a cone, but a agil lap four made up for it. That lap was so sleek and quiet, it looked like he was standing still, but the loud growl at the finish explained that he was not! A fourth lap 35.2 grabbed 3rd. Just a few tenths away, Mike Huml, in a stunning Cayman, swung the rear end around into the straight and just kept sliding toward all the left cones in the chute! The Porsche also did a little squiggle into the chute on lap four but got away with a 35.6 for 4th. Rowell Mascardo, in a Civic that looks more like a kids toy than a car, flew hot into course, slid onto pad, killed a Cone in the slalom, and, after all of that, took 5th on his last lap with a 36.6. Skip Bry has been taking full advantage of our Mentor Program (we paired him with Boris!) and his lap times have fallen as a result. Flying around Steve’s course in his 911, the Porsche displayed pure power in the straight and a loud Revlimiter exposed an aggressive finish! 6th place was Skip’s with a speedy 37.6. Troy Gundle, in an older generation Civic, looked like he was having fun sliding the thing around! Without much weight in the back, the low, long, front wheel drive Honda, slid its rear end around the sweeper and eyebrows, but a strong, revlimiter pounding finish slid Troy into 7th (37.96). Cassidy Hebert, in a pretty, little Miata, did everything he could to catch up to Troy, but in the end, he was a tiny fraction of a second behind. Cassidy employed every skill he had, which was obvious by his aggressive throttle (keeping his speed up), precise rotation out of the small sweeper and zippy finish. His 37.99 grabbed 8th, just an eyelash behind Troy. Hayden Hauserman also brought out a Tesla and, again, you heard nothing but tires, tires, tires! You could hear a pin drop except for tire squeal, but a big skid into the chute got everyone’s attention! He got away coneless, with a 38.05 for 9th. Jose Hernandez Najera could be seen inside his WRX, forcing the rear to rotate around every corner. His effort was so intense, he hit the horn in the small sweeper and, on his next lap, overcame a huge push at the sweeper exit, to pick up 10th with a 38.07in another close finish! Mathew Mudd’s Focus looked quiet, calm, like it was ready for what was to come, but maybe not! You could hear Mudd pound the accelerator pedal hard into the chute, engaging the Ford’s wing for maximum performance, and clinching 11th with a 38.54. Talk about a gal and her bling!!! Tamala Gilliland had her Honda Civic gold glitter wrapped! One announcer argued it was, “Dijon mustard color,” but I saw 24 Carat, Glistening Gold! A tight fourth run 38.59 beamed Tamala into 12th. Eric Rush looked effortless in his snazzy, newer Miata, until he got sideways after the eyebrows and into the small sweeper! After that, he was careful and slowed a bit, but, when he saw Cameron’s fourth lap time, he got totally sideways on the pavement transition in the back trying to beat it! His third lap 39.393 stayed ahead in 13th. Cameron St Pierra threw his 325i right into the course, working the steering wheel hand over hand and seesawing from left to right. He finally hooked it up on his fourth lap and it looked like he was going to take Eric down. He finished a very close 39.394 for 14th. Dan Plinski brought out a beautiful, lively (0-60/2.4), convertible M240 and he just kept shifting! He shifted in between the eyebrows and since he had his foot to the floor at the finish lights, he shifted there, crossing in 39.4 seconds, putting Dan into 15th. Like many, Adam Holguin almost didn’t make the entry, so was too hot into the sweeper and his Miata got sideways in the slalom, which made everyone squeal. The car looked like it was having fun sliding here and there, but on his fourth lap, Adam highlighted a stunning entry into the eyebrows with a 39.9, 16th place finish. Emily Spaulding, in a very professional looking FRS, stayed in the 41’s for four laps until she’d had enough! The Scion’s supercharger made the car sound like a rocket ship and an improvement of over a second gave her 17th with a 40.3. Roman Mudd’s mastery in the chute and speedy finish, placed his Ford Focus ST in 18th (40.. William Medley’s Charger looks like a handful, tearing through the straight and skidding through the chute, with a 41.1 rewarding him a 19th. Adam Parent kept everyone's attention with energetic Mustang sounds and handling prowess. To everyone’s excitement, the rear came out into an eyebrow, but finesse with the throttle and good feathering saved it and a 41.44 swept him into the top 20. Luis De La O’s Corolla started out a bit rough, he slid onto pad, then cut in early and missed a cone, but an improvement of over seven seconds, effortless speed in the straight and a dramatic finish, snuck him into 21st with a 41.49. A blink slower, Robert Rinck’s crafty Corvette claimed 22nd (41.7). Katherine & Beverly Kauble (Andrew’s mom & grandmother) brought out their Chevy Sonic for another weekend of fun! Kat showed massive improvement, with wonderful lean and fantastic recovery when she got into trouble. She came in 23rd with a 42.95. Beverly showed great improvement and on a foot to the floor finish, on what looked like a perfect lap she rolled into 27th (66.5).
Wonderful fun was the real prize today, and another is due in a few weeks!!! See you all next month!!
2021 Round 1 Wrap-Up by Colleena McHugh (Part 2)
Novice is always a fun class, meeting new people and welcoming them into the sport is exciting for everyone! Rob Paulson did exactly what he was supposed to do. He worked his Audi TTS down lap after lap, to finish 1st with a last lap 30.9.
In the 31 second battle for 2nd, James Moffatt’s Exige was the first to hit one. On run two, he came up the hill, the car got light, settled down, and spun big time while he waved to the peanut gallery! A 31.1 won James the 2nd spot. Brian Snow, in a beautiful 350z, was so smooth, it looked like it was standing still! Perfectly Controlled rear slips, ever so lightly around each corner, is what it took to bring home 4th with a 31.6.
Another three guys were fighting over the 5th spot with a bunch of 32.’s. Sloan Plumbridge (Focus RS), after one DNF, turned two 32.2’s for 5th. Brandon Smith’s Miata MX5 also got lost on his first lap, but after all, he just got the car and it’s his first time here! An ever so close 32.3, put him right behind Sloan in 6th. Corey Marshowsky kept his Integra off of all of the cones and on the track, to turn all clean laps and a 32.9 for Novice 7.
You could tell that William Gomolka was pushing his Impreza well beyond what is normally expected of those cars! Throaty exhaust sounds and tire squeals made it clear that the car was trying to keep up with Will’s demands. He performed better and better each lap, until a 33.4 treated him to 8th. A nice, conservative 33.5 was the first lap that Glenn McKinnon’s Ford Focus awarded him and, even with noticeable rear end bounce, all 33’s followed for 9th in Novice. Skip Bry came out again with his exciting 911 on new tires! Winding it up in the slalom and shifting at the exit to get the most out of the Porsche, a last lap 33.8 put him in the top 10.
Tyler Hartmann (Subaru WRX) led the fight for 11th place, when he turned the fastest first lap of the 34 second group. Cameron St Pierra was the next guy to best his time, and even though he chucked his vintage BMW at every corner, the 325i stayed tight, so tight, he found a cone on lap two. On lap three, Cassidy Hebert threw his hat in with a very fancy, fun, red, VW R32. He had a good right foot at the finish of lap three for a 34.6, but cut the corner leading into the finish slalom on the last lap. He didn’t need that lap, because 12th was the spot for the first timer! It looked like another cone was inevitable, but Cameron turned it around on lap four when he tucked it in at the last slalom cone and crossed the lights in 34.3 seconds for 11th. Hebert claimed 12th and Tyler grabbed 13th with his second lap 34.83. Adam Holguin snuck into Club 34 with a last lap 34.84 for 14th. But first, his Miata performed a beautiful J Hook fishtail into the slalom that looked super fun, but probably not too fast! Not to be outdone, David Davidow’s Camaro was well behaved and quiet, until he hit the gas! Sliding left, then right in the slalom, he threw away lap two, but a last lap 34.9 rounded out the race for the 34’s (15th).
The next eight novices duked it out over the 35 second, 16th spot! Jose Hernandez Najera also took advantage of our Mentor program, and his WRX did everything he wanted it to. He started out cautiously, and worked his times down over 4 seconds to come in at the top of the pack with a 35.13 for 16th. Troy Gundle followed Jose’s example and worked his Civic perfectly down to a 35.19 for 17th, so close!!! An exotic car disguised as a normal Z Car, David Salls’s Scarab (240z) should have everyone scared, as Greg, from Datsonforum.com explains, “A car that would stroll past a Corvette in a straight line and hold its own in the corners, and a Ferrari-eater without the Italian price tag”. Good thing I’m not driving the 458 today!!! We all could hear every throttle push escaping the shiny, tuned exhaust. On his last lap, he looped it at the slalom exit, hitting the rev limiter at the finish and escaping all danger!! His third lap 35.23 landed the rare racer in 18th. Errol Smith took advantage of our Mentor Program and Chief, Bryce Redinger, showed him the ropes! Due to some great coaching, Smith pounded his Golf TDI down over seven seconds to swing across the light in 35.28 seconds for 19th. Rounding out the top 20, Eric Rush’s beautiful Miata, loose around every corner, looked like it was having fun! After a careful second lap 35.34, on lap three he was in a rush and missed a cone, so his second lap was his best. Brian Starbuck was also sliding all over, challenging all others to take on his Civic SI. A very aggressive little Honda, he got a little wide, missed the slalom, hit a cone, but also drove over a cone, and it stayed in the box!! His prize was a 35.35, just a tick behind Rush! Spencer Burke had a similar ride in his very nice Acura ILX. Also striving to join Club 35, he got into a bit of trouble (two cones, a DNF) but, his last lap was deliberate and purposeful, resulting in a 22nd 35.4. I Love a good fight between car mates!!! Dana and Montgomery Uhlhorn shared a very nice, red Miata, but only one of them wound up in the club! After a tricky, wide at the entrance to finish slalom DNF, Dana pulled off a perfect 35.6 for the last Club spot.
Montgomery Uhlhorn started the fight for the finish with a clean first lap. He kept that clean record, and, with a good transition from the first slalom to the wing, and overcoming a little looseness in the finish slalom, bounced the Miata past the lights for 24th with a 36.0. The last three racers hated their first laps! All DNF'd, but Adam Parent copied Uhlhorn with a perfect second lap, his Mustang Claiming a 36.1. Ever so close behind, Kurt Thompson slid his Pontiac G8 a bit in the slalom for his DNF, then smashed out a 36.3 to make it into Club 36!
Rounding out the field, Timothy Contreras’ Impreza joined the first lap DNF club, but threw in a couple of clean laps for a skillful 38.3.
Much fun was had by all, to be repeated next month!!! See you all then!!!
2021 Round 1 Wrap-Up by Colleena McHugh (Part 1)
A long, white winter separated us from our last autocross, and, as tradition dictates, the first course of the 2021 season, will be the same as the last "Butterfly Effect" course of 2020. Designer Ahren Renner’s idea is that racers can compare their first event’s times with their last event’s times to see how much they’ve improved over the season.
Imagine, if you will, a butterfly with two wings and a body, but, instead of alighting gently into the course, the insect is shot from a cannon!!! The green flag dropped at the exit of the paddock and racers negotiated their way into the first slalom from west to east, uphill and past the Timing lights that were at the skidpad entrance. Once in, the first slalom cone had a pointer to mark which side you needed to be on to send you to the proper wing, but of course, you couldn’t see it until you crossed the start lights at Mach speeds!!! This caught many people out. From the first wing, back into the slalom you went, headed for the other wing. By now, you have an idea of what’s what, but the incredibly long slalom gave most a false sense of security and many people missed a cone, got sideways or clobbered something!
Again, we had a lot of newcomers, Kurt Thomson, Errol Smith, David Davidow and Cassidy Hebert were here for the first time ever and Brandon Smith was new to us today. As the new season revved up, the Novice Mentorship Program was in full swing, helping many of us negotiate the tricky parts of the track and identify where we could improve.
This year, we tried to ease the burden of corner working by doing a “Hot Swap” halfway through the groups, minimizing the time spent out in the elements. The first attempt at that today went smoothly with Boris Vujasinovic at the helm. Everyone got four runs and, two laps in, racing was stopped and the swap was made quickly. It was wonderful fun to see people taking a break and watching the competition, and, as an added bonus, Blake and Raina Sobiloff got our FM transmitter working, so everyone heard the announcer on their car radios!!!
A new, voluntary, “Death Match” class was created to skim repeat winning drivers from their various classes into a PAXed class, so they can all fight over a trophy and the rest of us have a chance to get one! It was quite something to see, as the fastest guys didn’t have anything sewn up! It forced all of them to the absolute limits of their cars, and a lot of very exciting runs were made by people who are usually calm, cool and collected. You can identify this new class by the “D” leading their regular class designation.
Seven men and one woman entered the new Master class today, all of them former Reno Solo Class Trophy Winners. First laps started and Kevin Weiss came out hot, leading the pack with a 29.08. Steve Mclaughlin responded with a 29.09. Still fighting over first, Kevin turned a 28.8 for another top time of day. His next lap 28.5 earned him 1st overall and 5th in PAX. With one lap left, Weiss threw everything he had at the slalom, but the rear slid out at the exit, leaving the front of the Blue Beast pointed at a cone. He squiggled out of it, finishing a corrected 4th place. Calmly gliding through the slalom, Mclaughlin’s 350z looked so smooth and stuck to the ground that nothing could possibly go wrong. However, on the second lap he was too hot at last slalom cone and it slowed him down a bit. Steeling his nerves, he turned two 28.6’s to make sure he won the inaugural DeathMatch Class as well as 1st in PAX and 2nd overall. Once Ahren Renner’s tidy second lap, 29.3 sealed 2nd place he let go on the next two laps! The rear of the Trollrolla never seemed to follow the front and two cones couldn’t get out of the way! No matter, his second lap also delivered 2nd in PAX and 4th overall. Boris Vujasinovic worked his times down his first couple of laps, then in a rare DNF moment, the GTO spun before the slalom! With one lap to go, Boris forced the rear of the GTO around both butterfly wings and hit the rev limiter at the finish, crossing the light in 29.4 seconds for 3rd in class, 4th in PAX and 5th O/A. Roger Petch was one of the few people who had the course figured out on his first lap. His Mustang was smooth-like-buttah on that lap, turning a 29.5 for 5th in class, 6th in PAX and 7th overall. The next three laps were full of fun, and a wide fishtail after the slalom on lap three, made everyone smile. Maggie Elorza did the same thing, flying up the hill, her BMW bursting onto the course hot, negotiating the Butterfly effortlessly and clinching 6th in Death Match with a 30.5.
Bryce Redinger’s aggressive throttle uphill made it look like the Corvette was slung from a catapult onto the course. Once in, he was deceivingly smooth and so fast it looked boring! On his third lap, the rear end came out and he corrected, but never got it back, definitely not boring!!! Then, he cut in too early heading into the final slalom, but instead of a DNF he miraculously caught it! Four clean laps ended in a 6th overall, 29.4 and 7th in class. Nick Johnson bobbled his Corolla on lap one but a fourth lap 31.8 rounded out the Monster class.
Andrew Silva brought out his Lightning Bolt Ford Focus to challenge James Waltz in a Fiat Abarth! James put up a good fight, you could hear tire squeals and see a rear wheel up at every turn, but Andrew was in good form. In every corner, the Ford’s inside rear wheel was never on ground, and it stayed away from all of the cones! Andrew improved almost a second over the course of four laps, crossing the finish lights in 32.4 seconds for 1st in HS. James slid in with a 33.4 for 2nd.
In another surprise attack, Bob Williamson’s AS Corvette also found a cone on the first lap, got squirrelly after the slalom on lap two, ran a parade lap to get a good time with a powerful exit on number three and got almost sideways at the finish on lap four!! A 32.7 and 2nd place was his on lap three. Roger Jacobson’s Corvette was very chatty but it looked like he was having a good time. There always seemed to be a rear wheel skipping along, then a wide wiggle at the finish lights looked like a handful, and all the while, we heard chirp, chirp, chirp, and then Varooooom!!! A last lap 30.7 stood for 1st in AS.
Ed Reichley’s bright yellow Corvette was another talker, shouting out tummy grumbling, Rap-Em sounds every chance it had! The racer complained a bit when he
missed a shift at the end of the slalom, but a fast, last lap 30.1 took 1st in TSSM. Nate Berlant and wife Trish, in a gorgeous Z06, shared first lap fate when the zippy little car gave them both grief and DNF’s! The rear skipped out at the top of the Butterfly and Nate cut inside the bottom of the right wing, tragic! Patricia Berlant looked calm, confident, smooth and so close to cones in what I call a great “Snuggle up”! Her beautiful, blue Corvette turned a last lap 33.6 for 3rd place, and Nate’s 31.8 grabbed 2nd.
Travis Hisken ‘s super fun Tesla Model 3 kissed one cone and then turned a silent 30.9 for 1st in SS.
Patrick Drudge’s Vintage Camaro acted just like you’d want it to, it took huge braking effort to manage the huge speed, and inevitably, to everyone’s delight, a lock up at the entrance to finish slalom, produced plumes of tire smoke! Two 30.5’s in a row made sure the "small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs” scored 1st in CAMT. Logan Toles brought a CAMT truck out today, thrilling us all with his Shark Bite Chevrolet 110. As if to show us all how it should be done, the truck was incredibly stable and, even with the inside rear wheel up, the long bed didn't lean much at all! I was wondering how he kept from spinning, then on the last lap he did, winning style points for keeping his foot in it after he spun. That special truck came in with a 34.3 for 2nd!
In a class all by himself, Sean Sullivan decided that he didn’t need any clean laps to win, so that’s just what he did!!! His Jetta was outta control as it went on holiday the first two laps, clobbering the first cone after the straight, and finding a cone on the next lap, then, on an aggressive third lap, found a 36.1 and another cone. 1st in TFSP was his, after all that fun.
Cameron Drudge’s STI entertained everyone on lap one with a huge fishtail in the slalom, even though he had new tires!!! The powerful AWD leaped like a grasshopper with every acceleration, so much so that he flew over the lip of a Butterfly wing cone without penalty! Then, he leaned on the last slalom cone and got away with that! His last lap 29.5, 9th overall finish also sealed 1st in TSM. Jason Copper’s Audi+ burst onto the course shockingly fast and totally controlled, and, since one rear wheel was always up, it seemed like it had more rubber than everyone else! Of course, he doesn’t, but the brakes were smoking every chance they got, so there was an awful lot of speed going on! A last lap 29.8 slipped Jason into 2nd. Troy Stansbury, driving his self proclaimed, “MomWagon,” showed lots of aggression on the second half of the course, which, on lap one, cost him a cone. Something plastic under the front of the car was also dragging so, if it is Mom’s Wagon, he’s got some explaining to do! Troy turned a 37.3 on his third lap for 3rd in TSM.
Chris and Christian Kannan brought out their shared Miata again for another father/son shootout! Last year Chris swept the points championship, so Christian has his work cut out for him. Knowing this, Chris was especially forceful with the little car, and you could tell by the incredible lean and first lap DNF. Once he got that out of his system, he forced it to rotate into slalom beautifully and a last lap 30.2 (1st in ES) gave Christian something to shoot for. Christian Kannan was heck bent on controlling that Miata, and peeking inside we could see his arms all crossed up when the car pushed! His second lap was smooth, and crossed the lights with a tidy 32.5. Then, back to juggling the wheel, staying off all of the cones, but at one point the turn signal was blinking and we were trying to figure out what he was trying to tell us! Lap four got a bit out of shape but Christian gathered it back up and finished with all clean laps! His second lap kept him in 2nd in ES.
Donald Pingrey, in a super sporty blue Mustang with white stripes, was too eager to finish his first lap and skipped a cone, ending that lap with a DNF. He bounced back with a second 31.1 insurance lap, then he was free to have fun. Every lap, he was too hot at the last slalom cone and almost didn’t make it, but each time, he tucked it in at the last second without hitting it once!! That second lap provided 1st place points in CAMC. Alex Vujasinovic took out Dad's GTO, got it wide in the slalom, and just when it looked like it was gonna end in tears, he tucked it in at the last moment for a clean lap! Two more clean laps and his fourth time out, the car just fluttered through the Butterfly wings, neat and tidy, finishing in 31.4 seconds for a CAMC 2nd place. Dad had to be proud!
First time out, Anthony Ta, had the fastest time in DS and kept everyone else at bay in his Mustang. Feeling good about that lap, he got sideways after the slalom on his second lap, but a last lap 31.3 kept him in 1st in DS. In the fight for 2nd, Mark Skeem turned his fastest time on lap one, so the rest of his WRX’s laps were stress free. Dallas Colodny (Ford Focus) waited until his last lap as well to get awfully close to Skeem’s time. After working down to a 34.8, he gave it one more try and squeezed out a last lap 34.3, just a tick off of Marks 34.2 and 2nd place was settled.
In one of the closest finishes of the day, Jason Lewis’ Shark Civic R turned two 29.5’s to make sure he won 1st in XSA and 8th overall. Just after Jason’s fast time, Sutee Dismanopnarong’s Honda S2k looked like a rocket ship flying into the course, the only thing keeping it on the ground was the rear wing! He turned a 29.6, sandwiched in between a couple of cones, for 2nd place in class and 10th overall.
Ian Mcintosh was another racer kept busy juggling the steering wheel of his BMW 135i. There was a bit of tire rub smoke from a bit of lean, then a mysterious mechanical issue, leading to a DNF, but a second lap 33.0 was perfect for 3rd in XSA.
Michael & Roxanne Fertitta brought their Mini out to play today, both fighting for the DSP win. After a first lap cone, Mike sealed the class with a 30.2 and stayed in the 30’s the rest of the day. Wife, Roxanne, improved over a second on lap four, to bring the Mini in with a 32.6 and a close 2nd.
Anthony Arreygue brought out a pretty Corvette with nice, shiny wheels, and he didn’t abuse it!! Anthony employed gentle, smooth throttle and the chrome was sparkling in the sun when he ended his third lap in BSP with a 31.0 for 1st.
Jerome Gomolka (Impreza) was on a tear right from the start! You could hear the throaty, aftermarket exhaust explaining to the tires what was going on, but the leany, grocery getter wasn’t listening. Two DNFs were followed by a very zippy 32.8, for 2nd place in GS. Kelly Martensen, in a BMW 325i, was too hot into the finish slalom on his first lap and lost bunches of time, but, the king of, “Take a set, ride it out” worked it down to a 32.4 for 1st.
Mike Waltz followed Kelly’s example, and after two DNFs his Camaro started fighting for position. Meanwhile, Andrew Kauble was battling with Hunter Colodny over 1st, his Corvette hitting the rev limiter at every finish! Andrew‘s car had no lean, the perfect flat attack, and was in 1st on the first and second laps, but Hunter gained over a second on lap three for the top spot. Andrew retaliated with a 29.9 but Hunter’s smooth, shiny Camaro still had a 29.8 in it for 1st in BS and 8th in PAX. Andrew’s 29.9 collected 2nd in BS and 9th in PAX. Mike earned 3rd in class and a 10th in PAX with his 30.1.
With everyone always talking about tire contact patches and wider wheels for better traction, I just can’t wrap my mind around guys (or girls) who always drive with a wheel up. Denis Savelyev is one of those guys!!! His Lancer Evo always had a wheel up inside all of the corners, and it was still slowly rolling along, waiting it’s turn to be used again!! He took a couple of practice runs, then ran two 29.2’s in a row to win STU, 3rd overall and 7th in PAX. Dusty Brooke hit a cone, steeled his nerves and turned a 3rd place 33.8. He then threw two passengers into his Audi, and, even though he had good speed up the hill and into the course, sliding and pushing resulted in a DNF and slower times. One of our star corner workers today, Tori Speicher (Veloster) also turned two times to get it done!!! Two 32.4’s sealed 2nd in STU for the cone catcher of the day!!
Having no equal, Jennifer Kauble sure knows how to take a finish!! After turning a couple of 35.6’s, her strong and powerful BMW M240 improved almost three seconds, to cross the lights with a 34.1 for 1st in FS.
We were all very excited to have two karts join us today! It’s thrilling to see these little mosquitoes zip and buzz around the course. The two karting men seemed to be challenging each other to perform the craziest stunts and we were all thrilled to see it!!! Not only are these little racers fast, but they were very tippy and spent half the lap on two wheels! One half of the vehicle was always in the air! James Waechter, in a speedy Tsunami, flew up the hill, looped it after the slalom, then got sideways between two slalom cones! After three DNF’s, he took 1st in KM with a clean 31.7. John Burns took one impressive lap in his KGB Kart. He spun twice, missed the first slalom cone and then the chain came off! A 82.5, DNFed first lap, claimed 2nd.
Solo Round 12 Wrap-Up by Colleena
A Replay of The Butterfly Effect, Ahren Rennes reconfigured yesterday's track and we ran it backwards. Small changes can have large consequences, and everyone seemed to find more than a few cones! The last race of the season, Halloween spirit permeated the event. Strange things happened and ghosts showed up in the oddest places. The second slalom cone was haunted and many of us hit it!
Lap after perfect lap, DSP’s Roxanne Fertitta leaves the cones right where Ahren placed them and makes it look easy. The little Mini she shares with husband Michael, looks so fast because she’s so smooth! A nice 30.9 tallied 3rd place points for her. Michael Fertitta also executed what looked like a perfect lap, scaring the competition. He drove over the lip of the apex cone in the small sweeper and tipped it, but no foul. Pushing hard, the Mini’s back end stepped out at the exit on his first lap but a second lap 29.3 took 2nd. Fast right away, Jason Lewis, driving a Honda Civic R that looks like a big, grey bat, crossed the start lights faster than me in my Ferrari! He had his foot in it way before the course even started! He found two cones on his third lap, but his class winning 27.9 was scored on his first.
Tori Speicher’s beautiful, powder blue Hyundai Veloster, let us all know what it was going through! Loud tire squeal, deep into the small sweeper, set her up for first lap drama, first killing the Haunted Cone and logging a DNF. Her last lap 31.4 regained her confidence and picked up a 3rd in DS. Izaak Eberst charged into the first lap like he was on fire, his WRX getting bouncy in the hairpin and tagging a cone. All four laps were 29.’s, and a 29.1 took 1st in DS. There were eight first run DNF’s, but Kelly Martensen wasn’t one of them. She ran four clean laps, but couldn’t get out of the 30’s, as the very leany WRX ran the course in 30.2 for 2nd.
Looking like a transformer and Buzzing past the start lights, Boris Vujasinovic’s GTO burst onto the track like a Bumblebee! Sliding sweetly through the slalom, so smooth and close to the cones, then feathering the throttle at the exit of the small sweeper made for four successful laps. Boris crossed the finish line in 28.3 seconds for 1st in Cam C and 2nd PAX. Pat Drudge, in a Black GTO, drifted around the small sweeper and suffered a bit of bad luck. Unable to reel it in, the Grim Reaper hit the Haunted Cone and spun on the last lap. Before that lap, though, he nicked the small sweeper apex cone and 98% of it stayed in the box! That lucky lap awarded him a 29.8 and 2nd place.
The fight between the TFSP Corollas commands everyone’s attention, every event, but today was particularly pugnacious! Nick Johnson, looking for a repeat of last races win, suffered huge tail swing-around into the big sweeper, a step out in the slalom, and drift around the small sweeper, all keeping him in the 31’s. He even drove over the lip of the apex cone in the small sweeper with the wheel up, and even though it was not quite enough to clear it, there was No Penalty! A tidy third lap 30.5 claimed 2nd. Ahren Renner was driving so smoothly it looked boring! Two 29.3’s sandwiched a beautiful 29.2, and the Trollrolla Boo Mobile took 1st.
Denis Savelyev had such a head of steam at the start, he hit the rev l imiter and forced his Lancer Evo to use the big wing at the back! 28.7 was his quickest, and 2nd STU points were his. Fast with or without a passenger (maybe they weren’t really there, like in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland), Steve McLaughlin turned four beautiful, consistent laps in a zippy 350z for the top spot with a 27.6 and 1st PAX, 1st Overall.
Bryan Brown showed up in a very fancy Cadillac and my first impression was that it looks like a hearse (all hearses are Caddys, right? Except when they are Jaguars!). The plush, luxury car had a mind of its own, and on lap two, “Drove through the only gap in 1 million cones,” according to Announcer Aaron. Rebounding nicely, a 34.7 put him in 2nd place behind Maggie Elorza, who drove her BMW to 1st place, on her first lap (28.9) and 3rd in PAX.
The Haunted Cone had it in for the ES Miata driven by Chris Kannan and son Christian. Chris was so aggressive in the slalom he slid right into it, but he had three more laps to bring in a 30.0 for 1st. Christian got it out of the way early and killed the Haunted Cone on his first lap and the cone got its revenge when he clocked a 31.666.
Andrew Silva’s Ford Focus, along with almost everyone else, killed the Haunted Cone because it deserved it (great crew work getting the cone back up)! Swapping leads with Joe VanSickle in a VW Beetle that looks like a Halloween popcorn ball (remember those?? No? Just me?) the final lap had Andrew in an HS 1st with a 32.6. Joe had a wheel up on that yellow bug, trying everything to push his time down, and a 32.7 put him 2nd.
Bob Williamson’s gorgeous, Vampire Red Corvette roared and clung to the track on three perfect laps to cross the lights in 30.7 seconds for 1st in AS. Not to be left out, on his last lap he killed the Haunted Cone like everyone else!!
Our intrepid photographer, Anthony Ta, in a Black Impala, made a deal with the underworld and missed not only the Haunted Cone, but all the rest!!! A 31.7 took 1st in GS.
Another way to deal with the Devil is to drive the wrong way around Haunted Cone! Roger Jacobson’s Candy Corn Yellow Corvette was smooth as a whisper on lap one when he turned a 29.6, but then all heck broke loose! When he swung the rear out at the exit of the small sweeper, it was all over! No matter because he had SSPT all sewn up on his first lap.
Bryce Redinger tippy toed his Corvette carefully around everything on his first lap and sped past the finish lights in 28.059 seconds. Then, a couple of cones and a wiggle leading to the finish slalom gave Mike McHugh a chance at the win. Mike, in a red-hot Ferrari 458, drove it like he was escaping a burning building! Sideways at the Haunted Cone on lap one and threatening to spin it on lap four, he relied on a smooth, textbook, third lap 28.1 for 2nd place.
Sutee Dismanopnarong, in a ghostly white, Honda S2000, was on a rampage! Everyone could hear the supercharger winding out at the finish, as the SSM racer crossed the finish line in 1st place with a 28.9.
Smoke billowed from the flame-colored Corvette, as Andrew Kauble nailed the brakes after the straight! Trying to slow it down going into the slalom, he snagged a cone in the effort to best his third lap, BS 1st place 29.8. George Loyd’s silver Corvette let out Spine chilling tire sounds as he earned his 30.7, 2nd place finish.
Jonathan Kelsey drove a typical, careful, Miata race. He started with a 34., worked it down to a couple of 33.’s, and finished with a 32.9 after four clean, perfect laps for 1st in CSP.
Cameron Drudge, in the Silver Shadow STI, tried so hard to escape the clutches of the Haunted Cone he looped it on lap two! The rear wing kept him earthbound as he kept his foot in it for a fast finish, the third time around and a 28.0 captured 2nd place in TSM and 5th O/A. Once in a blue moon does a driver like Kevin Weiss come along! Not only does he win every race he enters, he makes it to the top of the Overall list time and time again! I don't know how he does it, mostly through sheer will, because the Blue Beast is just that! It's always in the air, there's always a wheel up, it’s always bouncing along and it always looks like it's flying! Even with that handful, the STI captured 1st TSM (27.6), 2nd O/A and 4th in PAX.
At the drivers meeting, Ahren asked who was new today and almost all of the raised hands were women! Out of the thirtyone novices today, six were women! Solo is such a wonderful couple sport and such a great way to meet men if you're single! (Did I just write that?!)
Rob Paulsen did everything he had to, to finish at the top of Novice class today. He kept the little white ball of lightning Audi TT, tight around the apexes and close to the cones in the slalom. On his last lap, he slipped the rear around the small sweeper in 29.6 seconds for 1st in Novice and 17th in PAX.
Turning up in the coolest Super Car of the day, Dan Powers, formerly of Corvette fame, brought out a beautiful, red, white, and blue Lamborghini Hurracan! What a wonderful treat!!! Not only were we excited by the naturally aspirated sports car rumble, Dan drove it like he didn’t care if he smacked it against a cone or two! He didn’t, of course, but there was a squiggle at the exit of the small sweeper, and he got it sideways in slalom, twice! A third run 30.0 slid the exotic racer into 2nd.
Ian Collins’ foot to the floor acceleration through the slalom at the end of the small sweeper gave him as good a chance as anyone to catch the Hurracan, and his first lap was a little faster than Dan’s. In the end, one tenth is all that separated the Ford Focus RS from 2nd place, and a 30.1 slipped him into 3rd. Skip Bry, always a hard charger in his Porsche 911, also clocked a first lap edge over the Lambo (obviously the car to measure against today). The steel gray bullet stepped out at the exit of the small sweeper, but Skip recovered with a smooth 30.7 for 4th. It’s always fun seeing, or rather, trying to listen to, a Tesla Model 3 make its way around the track. Abhishek Rao treated us to his winged wonder and, after a tricky first lap, flew around the last lap in 31.0 seconds for 5th.
Finishing at the top of the Novice ladies, Wendy Loyd came very close to, but missed the Haunted Cone! Her Ford Mustang came in 6th with a 31.4. Acting like the Black Cat it resembled, Ian McIntosh’s BMW ran off course, but it had another life, and three more laps! Ian had a smooth foot, but the skittish car threatened to take off again at any moment as he held it back. Lots of raspy pops betrayed his effort, and the skeleton in the back seat held on tight, as Ian turned a third lap 31.6 for 7th. Brittany Barats, sharing Izaak Eberst’s Subaru WRX, came in 8th with a 31.8 on all clean, careful laps!
James Goldsworthy looked like he and his Toyota 86 owned the track. Smooth, tight lines at the exit off the small sweeper and no tire squeal means no problem, and a 32.1 came in just ahead of Jennifer Kauble for 9th. Jennifer, in a beautiful BMW M240 (I wanted one of those) grabbed 10th with a 32.3. Spenser Burke, sporting his skeleton white Acura ILX, kept it snuggled up to the small sweeper cones, but it got away from him a bit in the slalom! The rear stepped out on lap one, but a last lap 32.4 swung him into 10th. Trying ever so hard to catch Spencer, Anish Anand’s sleek BMW, killed the Haunted Cone and another innocent bystander cone. By lap four, he had it all figured out and a 32.6 slid him into 12th.
David Davidow was brave enough to sport the number traditionally known as the number of the devil, but in this case, it represented “Skillful Play”. Hard on the accelerator at the exit of the small sweeper, the Red-Hot Camaro threatened to spin but he tucked it back in, fantastic! Keeping a tight Apex around the Haunted Cone, he spooked everyone with perfect lines, then he decided to send that cone straight to HE double toothpicks! His 32.8 snuggled right up to Anish and 13th place!! Jose Estupinan’s 350z is always fun to watch as he tries to keep the drift car squarely under him. As many of us do, he got a bit lost and ran yesterdays course on lap one (I've done that more than once). He followed that lap with a big lose-it in the slalom (he took the last slalom cone with him) but nerves of steel brought in a 33.2 for 14th.
It's always entertaining when a car other than a FWD gets a wheel up, and Andy Ross pushed his Impreza so far, his laps were all about tire squeal and lean. Tight and tidy through the slalom and aggressive use of breaks put him right in the middle of the Novice pack with a 33.4. Mustafa Hafeez had such fun in the slalom, he kept his foot in it at the exit and drove too deep to turn! He killed the Haunted Cone in a zippy, fiery Red Altima on an aggressive last lap, but a second lap 33.56 pushed him right behind Andy. Nick Williams, in a “BAD NV” VW, also had a bit of a leany, pushy ride! He got the Golf to take a set and stay there, all while applying good use of the brakes (I need to get a lesson from him). The Silver Slither turned a 33.57, finishing just behind Mustafa in one of the closest finishes of the day.
MakKenzie Guilliams, in a little white popcorn ball of a Miata with a black Witches hat hardtop, had a similar fight with Kurtis Bell. They both struggled, having gotten lost on lap one, but rebounded nicely on lab three to turn in clean times, a mere tenth apart. Bells 33.91 was a blink faster than his nearest competitor. In the meantime, Royce Roque, in a Camaro, got it right on a very careful lap one, with a 33.98. After that, all bets were off and the Silver Surfer slid the rear end 180 degrees, rode it out, and coned the last lap.
Trying to, and just barely keeping ahead of Castor Jacinto, Brian Starbuck went sightseeing twice before his Civic SI scored a last lap 34.05, leaving Castor in his rear view mirror. Starting out in a blood red Mazda RX8, Castor Jacinto came out today for the first time ever, and finished in a Corolla!!! On lap two, he slid out a bit at the exit of the sweeper, did a 360 in the slalom, ran over a cone, backed up, and set it back up! But it was out of the box so it counted as a penalty. Tragic. His following lap, he drove the Boo Mobile perfectly and so close to the cones in the small sweeper I swore he flattened a few, and scared the little ghosts on the fenders! He drove it as a replacement car because his RX 8 blew a fuse, and a 34.06 slipped him in just behind Brian. Emily Spaulding response to friend, Ian, who posted on Instagram that he was auto crossing and he asked if she wanted to come watch, was, “Can I race?” She brought out her supercharged Scion FRS today for the first time ever! The big wing on the back didn’t help when it wanted to step out in slalom, but she got it back, and it only cost her one measly cone! She worked down to a 34.1 to threaten Castor for his spot. Lots of growling could be heard from LaShonn Ford’s Werewolf Gray Camaro, as he pushed it harder each and every lap to drive his times down. So smooth in the small sweeper it was a joy to watch this Ford in a Camaro! I didn’t ask him if he has a Ford at home, but my uncle‘s last name is Beamer and he’s never owned one, so maybe not! A nice 34.3 had him breathing down Emily’s neck.
Tyler Wood brought a nice looking, upscale, sporty hybrid Lexus CT200H, to prove it's not all about horsepower. Ok, it did push a little at the end of the slalom, but a 34.5 with all clean laps stuffed it in between a Camaro and a Subaru! Troy Stansbury, in what looked like a grocery getter, mom wagon Subaru Outback, came out fighting with cones and out of bounds. A big push in the small sweeper, and a good recovery left a last lap 34.9, just behind Wood.
Crash Ross (what a great racing name) took a passenger with him, but it didn’t slow him down, (or maybe it wasn't a real passenger, but a Haunted Mansion passenger?!). The Impreza hung on for dear life, only pausing once to pick up a cone. A 35.2 was half a second ahead of competitor Jeromy Iansworth. Talk about “Run what you Brung”, Jeromy brought out his Great Pumpkin, orange Civic, and was very hard charging for a guy on snow tires! He’s great at, “take a set, ride it out” but pushed a few cones around before he got it right. That came on lap four, when his 35.7 went into the books.
Talked into driving her bite VW Bug by Cadillac driver Bryan Brown, Shannon Cronk showed up for the first time ever, to see what this was all about. The non-butter version of a Popcorn ball was very leany, bouncy in the hairpin and rolled right through the course, twice, but a good right foot produced a nice 36.9 and lots of fun!
Sharing the Civic pumpkin, Joakima Hillyard just came out to watch today and got talked into driving at registration! She started out strong, got a wheel up in the small sweeper and used all the pumpkin power to her advantage. The front wheel drive kept her busy at the steering wheel and a beautiful slide around the small sweeper brought her in with a 38.1 and all clean laps! Another first time driver and most improved today, Cristina Roque, in a Camaro, drove like a pro! On an incredibly hot lap, she pulled a 180 and wound up pointed in the right direction, right at the Haunted Cone! Then, she accelerated to the finish in 38.5 seconds, an improvement of eleven seconds over four, all clean laps!
A wonderful close to a great season was in the books, and the day couldn’t have started more perfectly. Ahren likes making fun of the fact that I can’t speak in public. He told everyone during the drivers meeting that I would sing the Star-Spangled Banner and I froze up, so he sang the whole thing along with everybody else! It was really funny and the perfect end to a perfect season! See you all next year!!!
Meeting Frequency and Re-Formatting Proposal
Proposal to modify Reno Region, SCCA meetings
Attendance at our monthly meetings is sporadic and it has become difficult to conduct the business of the Club, especially when there is no representation form one or more of our ‘programs’ at the meeting. This has resulted in calling ‘special’ meetings specifically for the purpose of planning and organizing individual program activities. These ‘special’ meetings are conducted on an as needed basis. Solo has held two of these planning meetings using a virtual meeting platform. I propose that we hold similar ‘special’ meetings for all Reno Region programs on an as needed basis.
Our By-Laws as amended in 2013, Article III defines meeting requirements. I propose amendments to Article III, Section 2 and Section 6 as follows:
Please submit your YES or NO vote on each proposal (Proposal 1 and Proposal 2) no later than March 23 by email to email@example.com for your vote to be counted.
ARTICLE III - MEETING OF MEMBERS
Section 1. The annual meeting of the members shall be held in December of each year, for the election of officers, directors and committees, and for such other business as may lawfully come before the meeting.
Section. 2 Regular meetings of the members’ shall be held monthly with the time and place to be at the discretion of the Directors of the Club.
Proposal 1 ____
Section 2. Regular meetings of the members shall be held periodically, but not less than three times per year; with the time and place to be at the discretion of the Directors of the Club.
Section 3. Special meetings. Special meeting of the members may be called by the Regional Executive, or by a majority of the Directors.
Section 4. Notice of meetings. Notice of regular and annual meetings shall be in the Club Newsletter. Notice of special meeting shall be given by the Secretary by means of a written or printed notice, stating the place, day, hour and purpose of such special meeting of the members, not less than seven (7), nor more than thirty (30) days before such meeting, to each member to the address appearing upon the records of the Club.
Section 5. At all meetings of the members, twelve (12) members or 5 Directors shall constitute a quorum. All action, except amendment of the Articles of Association and Amendment of the By Laws, shall be by a majority of those voting. Voting shall be by full members, in good standing, either in person, by signed proxy, or by absentee ballot. Ballots shall be distributed with the notice of meeting.
Section 6. The Board of Directors shall meet at least monthly, separate from the Annual, Regular, and Special Meetings described above, at a time and place designated by the Regional Executive. The Board of Directors may meet by conference call or other electronic means, when appropriate.
Proposal 2 ____
Section 6. The Board of Directors shall meet at least monthly, separate from the Annual, Regular, and Special Meetings described above; at a time and place designated by the Regional Executive. All action, except amendment of the Articles of Association and Amendment of the By Laws, shall be by a simple majority of the Directors. The Board of Directors may meet in person, by conference call or other electronic means.
I further propose that we hold monthly Board Meetings (Online or In-Person) and that we hold Regular Membership Meetings a minimum of three times per year and make them combined social/business events as follows: April – brief business meeting and activity; August – brief business meeting and activity: December – Annual Meeting, business meeting/election of officers and Awards Banquet.
Reno Region, SCCA
Solo Round 11 Wrap-Up By Colleena
October 3rd invited Reno autocrossers back to the Regional Public Safety Training Center for another fun filled weekend! The Course was designed by Ahren Renner, and was a repeat of the first event this year. Dubbed “The Butterfly Effect”, because it looks like one, it was beautiful and very tricky in its simplicity. On the first swoop to a slalom (you must force yourself never to forget to slalom), first you go to the right and then you go to the left, back to the slalom and a fast finish. Knowing it was challenging, Ahren applied good use of cones around the course, in an effort, I’m sure, to make it slightly easier for racers like me!!!
Bryan Brown, in his “B Awsom” Camaro is gonna need new pads after this weekend! The Vintage racer threw plumes of brake smoke up in every corner, turning his class winning 35.6. Awesome!!!!!
Jordan Catalano, in an Arrest-Me-Red Mustang, sped through Ahren’s course like he stole it! Jordan knew exactly when to reign it in and the sporty racer turned quicker and was tighter in the slalom than I thought was possible. A cone and a slight off-track excursion didn’t stop him from scoring a 32.2 for 2nd in FS. I looked up from the wall just in time to see a silver streak that turned out to be Maggie Elorza’s BMW. She flew by with blinding speed, then she lifted a wheel up in a corner, in a rear wheel drive car!! 1st was her destiny and a 29.3 sealed the FS win.
Jonathan Compton controlled his Ford Focus ZX3 passionately, from its precise lean and tire squeal to his forcefulness in the slaloms. A wheel-up exiting the first slalom, the huge break lock up entering last slalom and a perfect finish slalom awarded Jonathan 1st in STH (31.380).
Three generations of Kannans, in two cars and classes, joined us today, adding to the excitement of the day! Although not really a twisty small car course, Pamela Kannan’s Focus ST sure loved the slaloms! Only the sound of acceleration betrayed her effort, but the sight of her wheel-ups gave some indication. She took GS with her first run 29.35 and a 2nd in PAX! Chris Kannan Sr. shared the racer and had at least one wheel up through all slalom cones. All of his laps began with a 29. but a third lap 29.38 crowned him 2nd in GS and 3rd in PAX.
Bryce Redinger’s Corvette turned a fast 28 before anyone else in the class, but a squiggle in the slalom and a tiny push, let Mike Mchugh squeak ahead. On the last lap, the Vette battled a little slip at the entrance of the last sweeper, but Bryce pulled it back in to finish 1st in SSP, with a 28.339. McHugh seemed to struggle with the Ferrari 458, blowing the last slalom on lap one (DNF & many, many cones), sliding wide in the comeback corner and shifting up to third and down to second before the last slalom. A third lap 28.6 put him just behind Bruce for 2nd, while Mike’s wife, Colleena’s first lap, in the same 458, took 3rd with a 29.4. (In my defense, on lap three, I shifted into third on my way into the course, but I forgot and then shifted into fourth, thinking it was third and then had to downshift and I got lost. On my fourth lap, a fluffy bunny ran across the finish line and I was so distracted and concerned, that I lifted before the finish!!!) Everyone turned their heads when they heard the roaring power sounds coming from Roger Jacobson’s Corvette in the sweeper. On his fourth lap, Roger took control (the car looked like it was on rails) and, pushing the racer, he hit the rev limiter before the finish lights for 4th in class with a 30.2.
Mark Berguland, in a front wheel drive Mini Cooper, spent most of the time in every turn with one rear wheel up. A bobble in the small sweeper made it seem like he’d stay in the 35’s, but a clean 34.7 slid him into 3rd in HS.
Andrew Silva’s Ford Focus joined the Wheel-Up Club with a nose dive into the small sweeper. He swept up the class with a 32.4, while Gary Lencioni grabbed 2nd with his Mini Cooper and a 34.190.
Izaak Eberst had a strong start flying uphill to the first green flag, but, sliding wide in the small corner and a couple of cones thwarted that effort. He made his WRX use all four laps to earn his 29.3 and 1st in DS. Kelly Martensen (WRX) didn’t drive too deep in that small corner like many, and she zipped through the finish slalom perfectly, to grab 2nd in class with a 30.6. Tori Speicher kept the baby blue, Honda Veloster completely flat, no lean, until a push in the small corner brought a wheel up, making the run exciting and rewarding. A 32.1 snagged her a 3rd place in DS.
Cameron Drudge hit the Rev limiter heading into the first slalom on lap two, stayed tight and tidy through the rest of it, and then got sideways in the last slalom, to prove he was in it to win it! Strong acceleration sounds gave away his effort, and the radical wing on the STI kept the rear end planted long enough for Cam to tear off a 28.7 for 2nd in TSM. Kevin Weiss, in his popular BLUE Beast, rotated around apex cones like they weren’t even there! He brazenly shifted in the slalom for a good, strong finish and the win. His 27.7, 1st overall lap came sandwiched in between a couple of cones, so don’t worry...even the fast guys tag 'em!!!
Ed Reichley seized 1st in TSSM and 3rd overall when his Miata crossed the lights in 28.1 seconds.
Sean McManmon drove the stripes off a Mustang SVO, but perfect car control and a smooth third run won him 1st in SM (32.6).
Sutee Dismanopnarong’s Honda S2000 hit the Revlimiter at the entry of the track, every lap! In another car with a gigantic rear wing, Sutee was able to perform a gorgeous side-slip to the line, and just barely missed the last cone (unlike many others). Two 29.5s were divided by one 29.327 and a 1st in SSM was his reward.
Steve Waclo pitched his classy, 1987, E-Street, Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio against Christian Kannan in the family Miata. There was magic on their third runs, as both cars did their best, the springy, Hemi Spider landing the win with a 32.0, Chris trailing a tad behind (32.4)
Steve McLaughlin’sbeautiful 350z[/B] crouched low, lean and tight in the finish slalom on his first lap, and that’s all it took! The smooth 27.8 landed him 1st in PAX, 2nd O/A and 1st in STU!!! What a ride!
In another winged wonder, Denis Savelyev put his Lancer Evo through all of its paces. Bouncy in the small sweeper and wheel-hopping everywhere, hard braking in the sweeper kept the car in control and a 2nd in class was his (29.32.
Boris Vujasinovic, in a fun, but deadly serious yellow GTO, had a huge head of steam at the start lights, and the car lurched forward with aggressive acceleration, at every opportunity. Charging hard, the GTO pushed like crazy the last lap, sliding everywhere and stepping out at the start of the slalom and into the sweeper. His third lap 29.0 stood for 1st in CAM C, 2nd in PAX. After cranking out a 29.5 on his first lap, Pat Drudge, trying to catch up with Boris, took a shortcut and slid the GTO sideways through the first gate. No improvement was had, so he took home 2nd in CAM C.
CAMT included Carl Engel’s Mustang, which is always such a wonderful site, a beautiful car that lifts with every throttle push and leans on every apex cone. No wonder a 33.7 and 1st place title was Carl’s reward. My favorite boyfriends all had Mustangs, but none of them sounded like that one! It demands all the attention whenever he runs!!!
Sticking with the CAM classes, Mark Heinrics, in another silver Corvette, kept the sleek racer tight and tidy in the first slalom. Then, he decided that sideways in the slalom at finish was fast and more fun! A second lap bobble at the exit of the last sweeper didn't deter him at all, and the slippery supercar finished 1st in CAMS with a 29.1.
Jason Lewis spent most of each lap on three wheels, the Honda Civic R hopping side to side in each corner. He pushed the DSP racer so hard, you could hear the tires gripping the concrete, and he was so tight in the slalom, it looked like he was going straight!!! He crossed finish lights in 28.4 seconds for 1st in DSP and 5th overall. Going so fast it looked slow, Michael Fertitta, in a beautifully prepared Mini, fought with wife Roxanne for the second spot. Every lap, he got a wheel up under braking, and, looking for a fast finish, he went wide at the last slalom cone, ruining the lap. Totally controlled in the same car, Roxanne worked her times impressively down to a 31.2 (3rd), but Mike’s third lap 30.3 claimed the 2nd spot.
Daniel Hayward, in an Audi TT, spent an awful lot of time shifting! How, with all of that distraction, he managed to turn two 31.8’s is beyond me, but the grippy STX took the checker with a final 31.3 for the win.
Nick Johnson had a screaming fast, lap one start, then TFSP Corolla got a bit unruly! Nick was just hanging on, as the car looked like it was on ice! He was sawing at the wheel, sliding around every corner, and crossed up through the slalom. He was so crossed up, I couldn’t tell if he was driving the car or the car was driving him! Then the cones, oh, the cones, cones all over, cones everywhere! A 29.8 was a welcome, last lap achievement for the win.
Another consistent competitor, Ahren Renner sandwich two fast laps with two ever so slightly slower laps to come out on top in FSP. After starting with a nice 29.4, the next two laps were experiments, which included being crossed up at the sweeper exit and missing a shift in the small sweeper, but another 29.4 closed the deal. The Trolrolla sped through the finish slalom so tight, it looked like it hit every cone, but the orange soldiers escaped unscathed.
Bob Williamson stomped on the gas and crushed the brakes in an effort to bend his Corvette to his will. The Vette listened to every command and obeyed (except for a little slide into the gate) and a last lap 30.9 locked up 1st in AS. Amazingly, Bob has had 22 Corvettes, “Cut my arm, and I bleed Corvette!” When asked how he got started in Autocross, he said that in 1967, while in the Air Force, he had a ‘67 coupe with a 435 hp, 427. He was based for four years in Minot, North Dakota, and when he and his buddies could, they autocrossed at a nearby mall parking lot, but in the winter, they autocrossed on frozen lakes! They called the autocross club, The Random Sports Car Club, because, “You brought whatever you had!” When asked what he did in the service, he said he had his finger on the Minuteman missile launcher button, and smiling, he said, “You could shoot them over the pole if you had to!”
Ten newbies negotiated nicely around the exceptionally difficult track. Vlad Radulescu, in a Tesla Model 3, was smooth and tight everywhere, and, except for the tire squeal, you wouldn’t know there was a car out there!! Looking for the next car to enter the track, I didn’t hear the silent Tesla coming, the black car charged (get it?) up the hill to the start line like a panther! His fastest lap 31.6 placed him 1st with the only 31 second lap, in the eighteen Novice field.
Driving the perfect car for the slalom, David Davidow cautiously negotiated the bright red car through the line of cones. The Camaro copped a squat and stayed there, as the confident driver turned a 32.21 on run four. Thank goodness an off-track, lap three excursion didn't faze him and 2nd place in Novice was his.
Cedric Rogue brought out his totally cool Camaro Z28 to see what the silver sports car could do. Lap one saw it sideways through the first gate, the wide rubber just barely making it through. As if to rethink the whole thing, Cedrick was much more prudent the second half of that lap, but brake smoke into the small slalom, a little fish tail out of it, and wiggle into the second slalom, kept him from besting his second lap 32.28 for 3rd.
William Gomolka's Impreza squealed as he flew into the slalom on a screaming fast first lap! Even a little push in slalom didn’t stop him from improving on lap three and he took the novice 4th (32.7).
Jerome Gamolka came flying through the first lap, got sideways at exit and missed a spot, so it didn't count. No matter, the silver Corvette had three more laps, so he swung a fishtail out of the small sweeper which looked like fun, but it didn’t help his time. He only needed another lap to turn a 32.90, just ahead of Ian McIntosh’s Corolla (32.9 for 4th.
Jose Estuipinan, in his epic Nissan 350Z, has decided to own his piece of Solo by turning at least one perfect lap each event! That lap came his second time out, so when he slid wide around the first corner, he decided to just keep drifting his last two laps (he’s known for that)!!! Five Novices finished in the 33’s, and coming in on top of that fight was Jose’s 33.1. Skip Bry’s 911 was beautiful to watch out there today, delicate lines and graceful cornering made it look easy, but strong, controlled finishes resulted in first and last lap 33.4’s. Roaring power sounds reported a much more aggressive third lap, and a 33.3 put Skip in a Novice 8th. Tortured tire screams announced Spenser Burke’s sporty Acura ILX as it flew fast into the small sweeper. A little FWD push would have rattled anyone, but not the guy driving the car advertised as having, “Edge-to-Edge Fearlessness”. That’s what it took to work up to his fastest last lap 33.4. Michael Rea's Camaro leaned into every apex, powered out of every corner and was incredibly nimble in the slalom. He kept it from sliding wide and drifting (the powerful car really wanted to) and Michael rounded out the top 10 with a 33.5. Rodney Lewis' Hundai Veloster, had a wild first lap and a controlled third, but his last lap was so smooth it was fast! His 33.6 was one tenth out of the top Novice ten.
“Thrilling Power” was how the magazines described Jennifer Kauble’s M240! The rear-end of the feisty BMW scooted around exit cones like it was on ice! Tire squeals revealed the effort it took for her to finish one/one hundredth of a second ahead of Royce Roque with a 34.47. Even with huge, wide wheels and lots of stick, Roque proved you can still get it loose if you're trying hard enough! On his last lap out, a big spin in the slalom ended in tears, but a clean third lap 34.48, ended in another very close finish. Eric Rush could be seen working at the wheel of his MX-5 and steering with the throttle everywhere, but the car never stepped out of place. The Miata just loved that last slalom cone, sliding past it (wheeeee!) every lap with ease and ending the day with a 34.9.
On his first lap out, LaShonn Ford threw a Camaro (why not a Ford? I’ll have to ask), too fast into the small sweeper, taking a wild ride and scrubbing off time! A careful third lap sandwiched a 35.45 between two 36.6’s giving him a tiny edge over Pravine Elango’s Mazda 6 (35.46). Everyone could hear Pravine working his throttle up the hill and into the entrance of the fast track, but the grocery getter wanted it too much and the last lap got away.
Cullen Sloboda’s Corolla had a wheel up around every corner, every lap, and, bonus, you could hear it skipping along the ground! Sure, the Toyota pushed here and there, but what can you expect when it’s always on three wheels! He was sideways at the finish slalom on his fastest lap and a 36.1 finished just a tic ahead of Veera Vakkalagadda. Veera showed up in a nice, convertible Mustang and had the same luck on his last lap, and his fastest 36.4 rounded out the group.
2021 Board of Directors
Voting for the Reno Region, Sports Car Club Of America 2021 Board of Directors took place at the Annual Meeting on December 09, 2020. The 2021 Board Members are:
Regional Executive - Dave Deborde
Asst. Regional Executive - Sam McCord
Secretary - Anthony Ta
Treasurer - Brittany Barats
Activities Director, Solo/Rally - Cameron Drudge
Activities Director, Track Event & Time Trials - Andy Ross
Director-At-Large, 2 Yr Term Expires Dec 2022 - Ahren Renner
Director-At-Large, 2 Yr Term Expires Dec 2021 - Cory Davis
We wish to thank outgoing Treasurer, Doug Driver for 14 years of excellent service to the region, Scott Knauf for multiple years in various positions including Asst. RE and Don Smith for serving in multiple positions including Regional Executive and Past RE; and also a big thank you to everyone who ran for office. Hopefully 2021 will see a significant decrease COVID-19 and a resulting reduction in restrictions.
Nomination of 2021 Officers
November11, 2020 Membership/Board Meeting – Reno Region SCCA
The November Membership and Board of Directors Meeting will be held at Mimi’s Bistro Café beginning at 6:30 PM
In addition to conducting normal business we will be accepting Officer nominations for Board position in 2021. Ballots will be distributed to the membership at least 10 days prior to the Annual Meeting on December 9, 2020 along with voting instructions. Officer terms will become effective on January 1, 2021.
Following is a list of Officer Positions open for nomination. Nominees must be full members of the Reno Region and the Sports Car Club of America. If you are interested in nominating for any of the positions, you may do so in person at the November 11 meeting or send a message to Dave Deborde (Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 775 450-1394) indicating which position. A brief explanation of why you wish to run and what you would like to accomplish would be helpful.
2021 Reno Region Officer nominations: (Includes previous nominees and incumbents wishing to run for another term)
Regional Executive – Dave Deborde (incumbent)
Assistant Regional Executive
- Sam McCord
Secretary – Anthony Ta (incumbent)
- Brittney Barats
- Kim Wilcox
Director, Solo/Rally Activities – Cameron Drudge (incumbent)
Director, Track Events/Race – Andy Ross (incumbent)
Director at Large 2 Yr. Term (Expires Dec 2022) – Ahren Renner (incumbent)
- Eric Broili
- Roger Jacobson
Round 10 Wrap-Up by Colleena
Round 10 wrap-up – by Colleena McHugh
It was a beautiful, cool, clear Sunday, September 20, at Regional Public Safety Training Center. A full grid of Solo Round 10 entrants were treated to Mini Monza… Mozzarella Madness, the Sequel. Those who did well yesterday didn’t necessarily do well today, as the driving skills from round 9 didn’t always translate to the reverse track. Michael Ufford made some little tweaks to his course and what resulted was incredibly challenging. More Mazzarella than Monza, after the green flag, a hard left to a thread-the-needle swoop, a big right sweeper to the only straight on the course, back to that straight with a kink, or the M turn as some called it, back to the freeway on-ramp sweeper to the finish chute.
SM’s Kevin Weiss wasn’t intimidated a bit and his BLUE beast was aggressive right out of the gate. His race prepared Suburu STI was a bit bouncy in the sweeper, but he didn’t hit one cone in 5 laps! He pulled out a 32.5 on his last lap for 1st in class.
Kelly Martensen had the kink all figured out and she took her WRX to 1st after a great, strong finish. She shaved off two and a half seconds and took DS with a 35.7 on lap 4. Dan Hayward, in an Audi TT, didn’t need 5 laps to turn his fast lap. One of the many wheel-up in the sweeper rides, his turned a 36.0 for 2nd in class.
Ahren Renner, in a TFSP racer he’s dubbed a Trollrolla, blew back a black spray of off-line tire rubber every lap! Smooth everywhere, entering the sweeper, the car took a set early, and Ahren kept it there throughout the whole turn, textbook!! A zippy 33.8 set the bar pretty low for competitor Nick Johnson. Nick answered with a valiant effort in his Corolla (2nd 35.4) and Ahren claimed 1st.
Bryce Redinger employed smooth use of his Corvette's accelerator everywhere, even on lap three, when he wiped out in the finish chute and when he got sideways after the start! He killed three cones and then calmed down and ran a 32.3 fourth run for 2nd in SSP. Mike Mchugh, in my Ferrarri 428 Italia, was right behind him, and, after a cone and a DNF, cranked out a 32.6 for 3rd. I beat them both with a 32.2. I asked Mike what he thought about me beating him, since he’d been driving the car for a year and a half and I’d only driven it once. He answered, “I think you deserve a smack!” True story. I was also 3rd O/A in case anyone was keeping track!
Always fast and smooth, Maggie Elorza, in a BMW, locked up her brakes into the first turn, then had a big wiggle at the finish and struck a cone. Not to be rattled, she recovered on lap 5 to a final 34.2 for 1st place in FS.
Jason Lewis improve over a second on his second lap, but went even faster his third, coming in at 33.0 for 1st in DSP. After two coned laps, Michael Fertitta slid into 2nd (33.5). Always an incredible show, Roxanne Fertitta’s Mini got big air between the left rear tire and the pavement, but she didn’t need that tire patch to win 3rd place with a 35.7.
You just can’t beat the great American Muscle sound that Anthony Arreygu’s Corvette makes as he rounds the course! Especially as he heads for the finish, this time in a 34.0 second lap for 1st in BSP.
Carl Engel came out, once again, to entertain us with his beautiful, classic car. Black pieces spewed from his Mustang, as the exhaust blew all of the rubber off the outside of every turn! Five perfect laps left a 37.8 on the record books for 1st in CAMT.
Can you say Powerful? Can you say Aggresive? Can you say Boris Vujasinovic? Well, you have to after he turned two winning laps (32.959 after a 32. 961) in his GTO for 1st in CAM C and 2nd in PAX. Pat Drudge, in another one of the best performing GTO’s ever built, had such great acceleration between sweepers, I didn’t think he’d make the turn! The limited slip allows a fair amount of slip, so the tires could heat up and smoke and with the left rear wheel hop, it’s amazing that Pat held on for 2nd in class, 3rd in PAX. That’s driving!!!
Bob Williamson’s beautiful red Corvette was as sleek and smooth as his driving, and the results prove it. No cones were harmed in Bob’s effort to turn a 35.3 for 1st in AS.
I can’t say enough fun things about Andrew Silva’s Ford Focus. I just love watching his FWD squeal the tires every turn, lean ever so far around the corners and flash past me, emulating the lightning bolt on its side! He turned his 37.2 on his first lap to take 1st place in HS.
Anthony Ta, in his graceful Impala, ran smoothly through the swoop, slipped a little in the sweeper, and explained to us all how hard he was running with tire squeal that sounded like a wounded gazelle. After leaping over all the cones, his last lap 36.9 declared 1st in GS.
Chris Kannan and son Christian shared the same Miata, but not the same times!!! The black bra on the sexy car repelled the cones, so none were harmed in the making of this result! Chris stuck that little car very close to every cone, rotated around the sweeper apex, and on his second run, turned a 34.8 for an ES 1st. Christian recovered after getting lost, and improved over a second on his third lap and ran a very decent 36.7 for 2nd, in his second race ever! His first time out was yesterday, and I don’t envy him losing his training wheels on such a tricky track, but after this, he can race anywhere!!! Mike Goldsworthy, in another Miata, had second place until that third lap, but a 37.2 landed him in 3rd. Steve Waclo’s Hemi Spyder was so fun to watch, with its lean and wheels threatening to lift up! He murdered three cones trying to best Mike's third run but was a little wide on the last lap and DNF’d that attempt. A very close 37.4 sealed Steve 4th in ES.
Michael Ufford’s BMW 230i Won Kone Killer of the Day when it had to kill 4 cones in order to earn 1st place in STX with a 34.2.
Andrew Silva, in a Ford Focus, performed perfect car control everywhere, then let it rip, hitting the rev limiter at the finish for an exciting end! His first run 37.2 claimed 1st in HS.
Steve McLaughlin sure knows how to use the accelerator pedal! His zippy Datsun 350z ran over the lip of every cone, earning him top time of day! The beautiful blue car made it look easy, even with one bobble coming into the transition. His 32.0 drove him into 1st in STU, 1st overall in PAX results, and 1st overall in Raw times! Denis Savelyer’s Lancer Evo let both rear wheels trade off resting! One seemed to always be in the air! He got down to a 33.0 for 2nd in STU.
Andrew Kauble looked great, and his maroon, T-Top Corvette was smooth everywhere, and, except for a little push in the sweeper, his lines were perfect. A last lap 33.7 took 1st in BS.
Ed Reichley’s Miata produced big rubber smoke and oversteer, but it didn’t stop him from 1st in TSSM and 2nd in raw results with a 32.1. Sutee Dismanopnaro’s sleek, winged Honda S 2000 rounded out the class in 2nd with a 32.3. Corvettes dominate the show, with six showing up at almost every event and today was no different. Bob Miles’ Corvette proved purposeful through the sweeper, gave us a little wheel spin around corners, and oversteer into the finish straight showed he wasn’t giving up. The cars wide wheels were so close to cones it made everyone nervous, as did the squiggle at exit of the sweeper, but amazingly five clean laps reduced a 34.0 for 3rd.
Novice is always the biggest class, and there were twenty entries today!!!
Travis Hisken came out again in his Tesla Model 3. The Quiet Thunder produces nothing but the tire squeal, but it looked like it was stuck to the track. The Blue Streak doesn’t seem to lean, and the pretty car quietly crossed the finish lights in 33.5 seconds for 1st in Novice. Blake Sobiloff’s Cayman couldn’t stop the rear tires from hopping over a very uneven part of the pavement! Blake dove deep into the sweeper exit, to a strong, fast finish and sped past the lights in 33.6 seconds for 2nd. Izaak Eberst took a wild ride in the finish straight, hanging on to his WRX to come in with a 33.8 for 3rd.
Rob Paulsen (Audi TTS) and Erik Hertel traded fast times until they both landed on a 35.0! Laps one and two, Erik led, until lap three, when Rob’s Camaro (love the American muscle sound) decided it’d had enough and brought in a 35.00 for 5th in class. Erik got his time down to 35.1 on his last lap, for 6 th in Novice. Skip Bry was aggressive in his approach to Uffords track, handling his 911 with force and purpose, and a 36.0 was his reward. Jeremy Trujillo kept control of his GTO, forcing the muscle car into tight and tidy lines and a 36.3 was his bounty.
Brittany Barats drove her husband's WRX today. Poor girl, I browbeat her into driving! She came out yesterday with her husband, and today was the first time ever driving in an autocross. I told her I’d give her a ride on one of my laps in the Ferrari if she did it, so I guess I owe her one!! She led the race for 9th her first two laps, then James Crawford, in the same GTO as above, challenged her for the win. In an effort to find a few extra 10ths, the GTO was speedier but pushier on his third run, but Brittanys 36.46 came in ahead of James’ fastest third lap 36.48.
Jose Estuipinan handled his Nissan 350 Z smoothly, sternly and skillfully. When the Z snuck in a big squiggle at the exit of the sweeper, and every time the passionate ride stepped out, he nudged it back in line, as if to say, “No, No, No”. Tippy toeing through the course and lighting it up at the finish, Jose’s final 36.9 was just a tick ahead of Kidrick Fore, who also showed up in a 370z. Fore had a hot and heavy competition with Austin Reaves’ in a Tesla. Austin had the Tesla’s wheel up in the sweeper, that seems a little aggressive for a grocery getter! His smooth handling of the quiet car clinched 12th on his first lap, his fastest second lap (37.4), and on his third, but Jose took it away on lap 5 with a 37.2.
A fun day was had by all, see you in two weeks for Round 11!!!
Reno Solo Round 9 Notes - by Colleena McHugh
In a break from the summer heat and the thick, choking smoke, Round 9 of the Autocross started bright and early at the Regional Public Safety Training Center on September 19. The track, coined as Mini Monza: Mozzarella Madness by creator Michael Ufford, was just that. If you compare the two track maps, the similarities are glaringly obvious.
We had a good turn out, which is important for the success of the program these days. Being from San Francisco, I’m used to big participant numbers, but the manageable Reno Region entries means usually getting four or five runs and finish by mid-afternoon.
A Solo Safety Steward training class was held just before the event so Reno has 18 new solo city steward candidates! The newly licensed solo safety stewards of these candidates are, Raina Sobiloff, Blake Sobiloff, Ahren Renner, Izaak Eberst, Kelly Martensen, Mark Skeem, Michael Ufford, Patricia Berlant, Nathan Berlant and Travis Hisken.
Brice Redinger is heading up our new Mentorship Program, where Safety Stewards are available to anyone who would like some help navigating the courses. The mentors will be wearing bright orange vests at the events, and anyone can request information, tips, hints, and even a passenger driving coach!
I have autocrossed for 40 years, and I will tell you, Reno regions courses are some of the most creative, challenging, and exciting layouts I have ever driven. If you can navigate these things, you can race anywhere! Today’s course was just that, difficult in its simplicity, yet tricky enough in the deceiving slower spots to cause a lot of excitement.
One of the more exciting cars in more ways than one, was the Ferrari 458 Italia run by Mike & Colleena McHugh. Mike was a little too spirited at the entry to the finish straight and wiped out 4 cones on his third run, making him Cone Killer of the day (Nine people from three corner worker corners stations had to pick up Mike’s cones) “I had it in automatic and it acted Squirrely”. Run 2 was his fastest and a 27.451 took first in SSP and top time of the day! I did poorly in the slower parts of the track and didn’t finish in the top three. Battling it out for second place were two Corvettes, one driven by Bryce Redinger and the other by Ed Reichley. Bryce took the lead early with a 29.3 and Ed countered on run two with a 29.0. Redinger’s Corvette wiggled at the exit of the sweeper, then he gathered it up, steering with the throttle all the way to the end, finishing a third run with a 28.0, a full second and a half faster than his previous run. Ed cranked out a 28.4 to steal 3rd from me! Roger Jacobson in a beautiful Yellow Corvette, got sideways at the exit of the sweeper, wiped out one cone, but recovered nicely to continue on to finish right behind me with a 29.6.
Patricia Berlant, sharing a Corvette with husband Nathan, missed a cone in the sweeper her first time out, but made up for it by shaving off four seconds on a clean second run to finish 3rd in TSSM with a 31.8. Sutee Dismanopnarong started out strong in a Honda S2000, whipping out a 29.7 for the SSM win on a first run. Nathan Berlant killed a cone and got a bit lost but rallied in the end with a 30.2 for 2nd.
Tori Speicher’s front wheel drive Veloster’s swoopy turns and all clean laps finished second in the DS, with a third run 32.2. Kelly Martensen, in a zippy WRX also ran cleanly to a 30.7 last lap win.
Steve Waclo’s Hemi Spyder, with its open, raspy exhaust sounds, leaned into every cone, but only tossed one in four runs. He was super fun to watch, and a good steer-with-the-throttle last run 32.8, sealed third place in ES. Chris Kannan drove his Miata around all cones beautifully smooth, tight and tidy. He just got the car, and with four aurocrosses under his belt tossed back a 30.5 for the ES win. Christian Kannan, in only the second time in the Street Tire Miata that he shares with his dad, came within almost 2 seconds of 2nd place Chris, with a 32.6 for 3rd.
Maggie Elorza was so hard on the brakes into the short straight, smoke billowed from underneath her BMW, but she turned a 29.4 for first place in FS.
Right before the back straight, Mark Berguland’s FWD, HS Cooper’s turbo kicked in and you could hear the tire chirp a mile away! A 34.0 locked him into 3rd in class. It cost the lives of three cones for Andrew Silva, in a Ford Focus, to claim the HS 1st prize, with a 32.5 second run. Paul Gilbert snuck in between them in a Cooper, and a 33.8 for 2nd in class.
Kevin Weiss only needed one run to win TSM in his Blue Beast. A 27.9 stole 1st from Cameron Drudge. The meaty throttled STI turned a close 28.2 on his third run for 2nd. 3rd was claimed by Sean Mcmannmon in a Mustang on another fast first lap (32.4).
Anthony Tan picked up speed on lap three, with lots of lean, lots of accelerator and aggressive tire squeal, the Chevy Impala turned a 32.1 for the GS win.
Anthony Arreyque Corvette was not only beautiful, but powerful through the kink. His conservative, first lap 30.5, took top honors in BSP.
Maggie Elorza, handled the BMW perfectly, and with smooth throttle steer, she went 29.4 seconds fast for the FS win.
Ahren Renner, in his quick RWD T1FSP Trollrolla, also throttle-steer drifted to a 29.9 1st place win. Nick Johnson’s Corolla missed a spot-on lap one, but a second lap 32.2 carried him into 2nd.
Bob Williamson’s red Corvette was just beautiful, it had a nice lean, quiet tires and muffler, and was fast as All Get Out! A 30.5 last lap honored him with the AS win.
DSP Roxanne Fertitta’s Mini really wanted to lift up that unweighted wheel, but I didn’t have a good enough view to see if it actually made it. It stayed on the track and off the cones and a last lap 31.0 placed her into 3rd in DSP. Jason Lewis, in a Honda Civic R, also stayed off the cones and worked his way down to a 28.4, 1st place finish . Michael Fertitta slid in between them in the Mini with a 29.4 for 2nd.
Pat Drudge had his GTO looking just like it was on rails! Nice car control, perfect lines and no lean, so his second lap 29.0 held on for 2nd in Cam C. Boris Vujasinovic took the GTO to the win with a last lap 28.5. William Crowel’s Camaro blew by the finish in 29.5 seconds to shatter 3rd place.
Clearly not his first time, Carl Engle brought out a Super Fun Cam T Mustang, ran all clean laps and ticked off a 32.9 on his last run, for 1st in class.
STU’s Steve McLaughlin had a strong finish, powering his 350Z to a 28.0 win. Denis Savelyev Lancer Evo finished a close 28.9 for 2nd.
The Novice class was huge today, with 28 entrants, the class representing the bulk of our cars on the grid!
In Travis Hisken’s first Novice season, he is first in points and 1st in class, but even though his Silent but Deadly Tesla Model 3 AWD pushes, (It’s 4000 pounds and heavy) he loves it. His last lap 29.0 won over all other novices! The new Novice is not new to autocross, his dad raced 15 years ago in Fernley. Travis took the Starting Line Scca School at Crows Landing and highly recommends it for newbies. Mark Skeem snuck out of a tight pickle in the back kink like a pro and held on to 2nd place by three hundreths of a second! His 29.96, was just a tick ahead of the Isaak Eberst’s WRX. His smooth turns and AWD commitment turned a 29.99 into 3rd place!
MR 2 Chris Snyder pushed his MR2 to its limit in the fight for fourth. The MR2’s a sweet ride, smooth around cornerns, with great sound, just a beautiful car (I had one, can you tell?) and he missed 4th by 2/100ths! Blake Sobiloff took that spot with a careful first lap 30.1 in his gorgeous Cayman. Chris just missed it and took 5th with a 30.3. Sean McPike’s Solstice got Squirrley at exit of the sweeper on his second run but rode it out to 6th place with a 30.7.
Sedric Roque’s Camaro was the perfect picture of quiet elegance, with smooth, clean laps, and it was super fun to see whole car lift from the power when he got on it hard. It was a good lesson in the use of RWD around corners, and his 31.0 claimed 9th. Dane Weiler was a half a second back with a 31.5, the Camaro was a handful, but it stayed on the track, and after a strong finish, Dane snagged 10th.
One tenth of a second behind was William Gamoika. His AWD Suburu Impreza performed great four wheel drifts around corners, and a last lap 31.60 set off another great battle. Skip Bry, in a Porsche 911, handled the track with purposeful intention, sliding the pretty car into one off-track excursion before settling on a 31.64 and lucky position 13.
Only 2 Novice drivers got into the 32’s, Amish Anand (32.6) and (32.7) Royce Roque. Anand showed a good use of the throttle in his BMW to squeak ahead of Roque’s Camaro for 15th.
Novice Jennifer Kauble’s M240, like many, lost it in the kink, pushed a couple of cones around, and made big tire squeals in the corners, trying to stave off Kidrick Fore (270z). It was all for naught, the two of them turned exactly the same time, to the thousands of a second! Their 33.047’s were a mere half second off of Spencer Burke’s ILX. His smooth handling of the corners resulted in a slick 33.1.
The rear broke loose as Jose Estuipinan tried to autocross a Z set up for drifting! A drifter wanting to master all types of driving, the Novice used way too much throttle entering the back straight. Three cones and two tours of the countryside left one chance for Jose to get a clean lap. The Most Improved Driver of the Day drove a beautiful run for a 33.6 that did it.
Keeping all of the 34’s to himself, Troy Stansbury threw his Outback at every cone. Leaning and squealing, the wonderful, sprightly sound revealed a 34.3 third lap.
Alvin Weiler decided to make a 35.1 the creamy center of a DNF Oreo Cookie! His Camaro logged 5 points for his effort. Christian Godeho pushed into the finish cones like Mike, but his Mustang did not cream any of them! He turned the fastest time of the 36’s, with a 36.0. Running not far behind, in the same car, Chris Sceafidi found that the Mustang proved to have too much power, and, after an early course schooling, turned a fast time of 36.41. Miki Jones brought out a Chevelle and, what sweet ride! We were all treated to the lyrical whaaaaa, whaaaa, as he shifted up through the gears at the finish, wonderful fun! He kept that beautiful car off of every cone to turn in a time so close to Miki’s (36.47), I had to look twice at the results!!!
Pravine Elongo’s Mazda 6 made a big boo-boo at kink in backstraight, threw away a couple of laps, figured out what went wrong and had no more drama, turning a 37.3 to round out the class. That’s what the Novice class is for! Drive hard to figure out what you and your car can do, then whittle your times down, and move up the class ladder. We all did it! Good going Pravine and all the Novices today. Welcome! SCCA needs you!!!