2011 Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Tour Begins With Dixie National Tour
CECIL, March 16, 2011: The 2011 Tire RackŪ SCCA Solo National Tour officially opened this past weekend, bringing 240 competitors to the South Georgia Motorsports Park in Cecil, Ga.
The Dixie Region hosted the event for the fifth consecutive year, making use of the available space in the paddock of the multi-use facility that hosts drag races and oval track events and including a Friday night participant party with help from the Atlanta Region Solo group.
Multiple-time National Champion John Thomas designed the opening-round course, setting up a fast and flowing layout with some technical aspects that could bite the inexperienced or those who lost concentration for even a brief moment.
In a field that featured many defending National Champions, in a series where margins of victory are measure in tenths of a second (or less), those brief moments can be the difference between going home with a trophy or going home empty handed.
While it may not have been a lack of concentration that decided it, one similar example came in the B Stock class, where National Champion Marc Pfannenschmidt, of Louisville, Ky., drove his 2008 Gods Blessings Honda S2000 to a 0.103-second win over Jadrice Toussaint, of Charlotte, N.C. Toussaint lowered his time on the last of his six runs, but fell just short of Pfannenschmidt’s tally.
With 29 cars in the Street Touring R class, each competitor knew it would take his or her best performance to finish in one of the eight trophy positions, let alone to win the class. The effort was evident in the number of cones hit in the early runs in the class, but as drivers settled in and made clean runs under the sunny skies of the weekend, the times began to drop.
At the completion of the six runs over two days, Chris Harvey, of Osceola, Ind., had landed his 2010 Tire Rack/Grassroots Motorsports Mazda MX-5 on the top position with a 0.460-second margin of victory. Geoff Walker, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., finished second in a Honda S2000, followed by Michael Casino in his 2008 Honda S2000. Each of the top three was shoed with different tires, with Harvey’s Dunlops topping Walker’s Toyos and Casino’s Hankook.
While Defending National Champion Matthew Braun, of Northville, Mich., held serve with a Super Stock class win in his 2007 PowerPlug Lotus Elise, Jinx Jordan, from Terrell, N.C., was reminded that everyone is gunning for you when you hold that title, especially your teammates. Marc Osgood, of Simpsonville, S.C., took the F Street Prepared class win by 0.381-seconds over Jordan, with both driving Jordan’s 1993 SoloPro Driving School/Hoosier Honda Civic. Osgood thanked TDC, Moton and SPS for his class win.
Times for each run were more evident than in previous years, as the Tire Rack National Tour’s timing display got a facelift. The displays are now twice as large as the previous units and were popular amongst all competitors and observers.
Discussions are already underway for a sixth-consecutive Dixie National Tour event at South Georgia Motorsports Park in 2012.