ProSolo - Thorne Becomes First Time Gumout Super Challenge Champion At Lincoln
LINCOLN, June 1, 2011: Robert Thorne, from Littleton, Colo., was able to successfully do what so many road racers have not been able to Tire RackŪ SCCA ProSolo competition over Memorial Day weekend at the Lincoln ProSolo – capture a Gumout Super Challenge title.
Thorne, already a road racing veteran despite being just 21 years of age, grew up in racing karts and spent his later teen years in the Formula BMW program in Spain. Thorne has also earned a top-10 finish in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
In his first ProSolo start at El Toro in April, Thorne won in Street Touring R but red-lighted on the start of his first elimination round run, failing to advance. The second time would prove to be a charm on the concrete at Lincoln, where 242 drivers participated in the first weekend featuring both the Tire Rack ProSolo and the Tire Racing SCCA National Tour at the same site.
Like at El Toro, Thorne won the STR class behind the wheel of a 2008 SCR performance/Autoparts Warehouse Honda S2000, topping James Yom by 0.295-seconds. Thorne earned the 14th seed in the 32 driver Gumout Super Challenge bracket, knocking off Street Touring Sport winner Ian Baker (1988 Toyo Tires/Strano Parts/SSC Tint Honda CRX) and three seed and Super Stock winner Matthew Braun (2007 PowerPlug Lotus Elise) in round two.
The round of eight featured five drivers from Colorado, but Thorne faced off with Appleton, Wis. native Chris Fenter in a 2007 Mazda MX-5. After dispatching of Fenter, Thorne was in his first ProSolo semi-final.
While Thorne matched up with A Stock winner Anthony Savini, from Cochranville, Penn., in a 1999 Stranoparts.com/JSC Speed Chevrolet Corvette, C Street Prepared winner Matt McCabe (1994 949 Racing/ProEFI/Meyers Auto Mazda Miata) squared off against Matt Smith in the other final four battle. Smith, the D Stock class winner driving a 2008 3Zero3 Motorsports/Ska Brewing/KW Audi TT, advanced to the finals to face Thorne.
Thorne earned his first title against Smith, while McCabe topped Savini to earn the consolation win. McCabe earned the number one seed in the bracket based on his qualifying efforts.
Barbara Leroy-Boehme, from San Diego, won the Ladies 1 class in her 2008 Mini USA Mini Cooper and went on to capture the Ladies Challenge by defeating top qualifier Christine Berry, driving a 2006 Berry Family Racing/Hoosier/OS Giken Mitsubishi Evo after Berry clipped a cone in the final round.
The visit for the Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo was the first of the season to the Lincoln Airfield, and served as a preview to the August 26-28 ProSolo Finale at the same site at the end of the summer. The ProSolo schedule continues with the Oscoda ProSolo at the Oscoda-Wurtsmith (Mich.) Airport, June 18-19.