Friday, June 26, 2009

'09 DC ProSolo: Hamfist Racing Honorable Mention on

DC ProSolo Coverage

"WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 25, 2009) – The 2009 edition of the Tire Rack® SCCA Washington D.C. ProSolo presented numerous challenges for competitors and workers alike, as mother nature threw everything she had at FedEx Field. At the end of two long days of competition, Sam Strano, of Knoxdale, Pa., was the last man standing.

FedEx Field is always a challenging venue, even without rain. The unconventional parking lot alongside the home of the Washington Redskins is dotted with light posts and has some dramatic elevation changes. Lee Piccone (who will be the course designer for the 2009 ProSolo Finale), was up to the challenge of fitting two courses into the unusual space, but upon set up, a new dip was discovered in the pavement that required the left course to be adjusted. Without the time to completely redesign both courses, the left course was kept approximately two seconds longer than the right course.

After overcoming that obstacle, officials were faced with rain Saturday morning, which, along with the wind, grew increasingly stronger, creating rivers along the courses and knocking over cones. When the lightning started just before the lunch hour, all activities were put on hold. Competition resumed once the weather had settled down and the timing cables had dried out, but it would make for a long day, with the final runs made at dusk.

Just when it appeared Sunday would offer no relief, mother nature took pity, and the rain cleared after the opening heats of day two.

Driving his trusty Ford Shelby Mustang, Strano’s final Super Challenge face off against Patrick Salerno, of New Milford, Conn., was the perfect climax to a dramatic weekend. Driving a Lotus Elise, Salerno coned away his shot at the win on his final run. It was the first Super Challenge win of 2009 for Strano, who also took home the F Stock win in DC.

The final run of the ChaseCam Bonus Challenge pitted A Stock competitor Brendon Bengerm, of Lutherville Timonium, Md., against Andrew Baker, of Columbia, Md., from the F Street Prepared class. Bengerm took the win in his Chevrolet Corvette over Baker’s Autocrossers Inc., Volkswagen Scirroco.

The Ladies Challenge saw Ladies Class 1 winner Carrier Snyder, of Elizabethtown, Pa., face off against Ladies Challenge 2 winner Karen Kraus, of Harmans, Md. Kraus caught a break on the first run when Snyder picked up a cone in her Toyota MR2. The deal was sealed for Kraus and her IAG Performance/Vorshlag Motorsport Subaru Impreza, when Snyder, pushing to make up for the cone, red-lighted on her right-side run. It was Kraus’ first Challenge win since 2007.

The Honda Tuner Challenge went to Ian Baker, of Herndon, Va., and his Street Touring® S-winning StranoParts/SSC/Koni Honda CRX. Baker beat out FSP winner Jinx Jordan, of Terrell, N.C., who was piloting a SoloPro Driving School/Hoosier Honda Civic.

The curious weather and course layouts produced some of the closest class competition of the season. B Stock was decided by a mere 0.081-second, as Jason Ruggles, of Margate, Fla., took the win in a Mazda RX-8 over Joseph Barbato, of Plainville, Conn., driving a Barbato Twins Experiment Ltd. Nissan 350Z. Street Touring was closer still, as Tim Smith, of Tucker, Ga., and co-driver Bill Bounds, of Atlanta, Ga., went back-and-forth in their shared RPG/Toyo Honda Civic Si, until Smith finally eeked out a 0.079-second win. The Formula 125 class wasn’t about to be outdone, turning in a 0.046-second margin of victory, which Alan Sheidler, of Rochester Hills, Mich., collected in a Renspeed Honda.

Street Touring Ultra had everyone covered on epic finishes, however. Corey Ridgick, of Allentown, Pa., Jake ..., of New York, N.Y., and Michael Neary, of Eldersburg, Md., pushed each other the entire event. It wasn’t until his final run, that Ridgick secured the win in a Bridgestone Mitsubishi Evo, by an incredible 0.001-second over (Jake's) Subaru Impreza. Neary wasn’t far behind in a Mitsubishi Evo, just 0.026-second back from (Jake).

The Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo series is hoping for a dryer event when it moves on to Hampton Mills for the Packwood Washington ProSolo on July 18 – 19. For full results from DC and more information on upcoming events, click the orange Solo tab at the top of the page."

By: SCCA Staff

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