Solo Airways - Event Recap
The return of April also meant the return of New England Region SCCA to the runways and taxiways of the former Moore Airfield at Devens. Despite some timing issues at the beginning of the event, and some of the first event bugs that always pop up, 161 drivers got 5 timed runs on the Nate Whipple designed course. Additionally, the karting program held a junior driver’s school for both new and returning junior drivers.
The weather was dry, which is always a good thing, but the wind, combined with a sun that chose to play peek-a-boo with the clouds made for a chilly day. Cold enough that Wiley made a rare appearance at a Solo event wearing pants instead of shorts.
Whipple’s course was easy to follow, yet challenging to drive. While for many, it walked ‘tight’ in spots, proper lines opened it up considerably and the reward for patience and being early the slaloms was a fair amount of on-throttle action afterwards.
Overall the 161 drivers were spread amongst 34 classes. Novice Class had the most with 25 entries with Eric Deutchman in his Nissan 370Z taking the win. He set his fast time on his third run of the morning, then had to sweat it out as he coned his two afternoon runs away, opening the door to a charging group behind him. Jon Funk, Sean Goudreau, Michael Caporello, and Thomas Soja all put down their fast times in the afternoon, and while all four were within three tenths of a second of each other, none could find that last second needed to catch Deutchman.
As tight as the 2nd through 4th spots were in Novice, Pro class was even tighter. How about .218 from first to that last trophy spot in 6th? Even closer were the top four spots being separated by a mere 5 hundredths of a second. Nate Whipple piloted his DS Acura Integra Type R to the win on the strength of a factored 42.329, holding off a late charging Ben Wagstaff who took off a second off on his last run to leap into the trophies in style.
This was the first event for the new Road Tire classes – indexed classes based on Stock Classification rules, but limited to tires with a UTQG of 140 and above. With 18 entries, spread over three classes based on drive configuration (Front Wheel, Rear Wheel, and All Wheel), these classes accounted for more than 10 percent of the total. While one Corvette driver was heard to say; “I think I’m going back to my Hoosiers”, overall the turnout shows that there has been a hidden need for road tire classes at the local level.
In All Wheel Drive Road Tire, Andrew Barrette pulled it out on his last run, beating co-driver Kenneth Johnson in a 2011 Subaru WRX. Bryan Mancuso set down his fast time in the morning in Rear Wheel Drive then had to watch Barbara Seeger chip away at his lead, Seeger ended up a tenth behind. Finally, in Front Wheel Drive, Brent DeWitt took the lead on his second run of the day, and like Mancuso, could not improve. Meanwhile Paulo Sathler could have taken the win if any of his second, third, or fourth runs had been clean, but he coned on all of them. Coming down to the last run, he had trouble on course and gave DeWitt the win.
This being the first event of the year, class was in session for the Junior Karts. A total of 10 junior drivers attended the school and 8 of them still had enough energy at the end to take three runs on the main course. In FJA, it was the battle of the second generation as Evan and Adam Woodsom took first and second over Jacob and Jessica Arsenault. It was a family affair in the trophies in FJB as Isaac Miskoe took the win over brother Garrett . Kimsoo Gopnik, jumping up this year from FJC, took third, with Hannah Cox in fourth.
With 27 contested classes there was plenty of tight racing. Look for Eddie Savage's full write-up in an upcoming Pit Talk. Full results from the event can be found at http://www.ner.org/solo/event/20120407_solo-airways-points-event-1
On board in Hank Wallace's STU BMW.
See more videos from this event at: www.youtube.com/NERSCCA
Photo Credits - Ed Savage