5toGo: New Jersey Championship Tour
Posted Thursday April 23, 2014 by mattmurray
May 3-4th, 2014
Welcome to Joisey! Racing in the shadow of the MetLife Stadium at the Meadows beats a silly football game in February. The Jets and the Giants are "allowed" to use the parking lots, too, but the Solo community has dibs the first weekend of May in the The Tire Rack® SCCA Solo® Championship Tour Road to Lincoln. One of the more unique sites in the country, the competitors will be able to see the New York City skyline, complete with the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the newly topped at 1,776 feet, Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.
The site regularly hosts events with the Northern New Jersey Region of SCCA in addition to several marque clubs and specialty driving events. Plus there is Harness racing on the north side of the complex after the Solo runs are completed each day. Even after the Tour on Sunday the WWE is coming to the IZOD Center next door! Our home for the weekend, Lot E of MetLife stadium, has already hosted two Pro Solos since the total renovation of the stadium (2011 and 2013). Ironically, both events had Super Challenge winners from Connecticut (Matt Murray and Nick Barbato). The surface is smooth and though there are some undulations, it's generall a wide open site with good grip. It allows the designer, Dave Newman, to have his way with providing a challenging and fun course.
Some match-ups to watch for during the weekend will be... Super Stock R will be seen as a preview to Nationals with Sam Strano, Grant Reeve and Jason Burns in their Corvettes and reigning Super Stock National Champion, G.J. Dixon, in the Randy Petschauer Porsche GT3, all duking it out. SSM has PJ Corrales in his G-Fab "Panda" Nissan 240SX (version 3) going up against Jake Namer in his Mazda RX-7. Debuting in STR, will be Nick Barbato having decided to move on from B Stock territory. No doubt the strong showing in STX will continue as well. As we get closer to the event and more people register, we'll know more about what to watch. The following videos are from the 2012 Northeast Divisional (as driven by PJ Corrales in his SM "Panda v.2") so you can see what you be running:
After all the runs are done each day, should you want to hit some interesting local restaurants, East Rutherford offers food choices that range from Thai (Ploi Thai) to Indian (Clove Indian) to Italian (Caffé Capri). Being this close to a melting pot like NYC means that most local fare is authentic. If you show up a day or two early, there’s a lot of things to do nearby with Manhattan minutes away via the Lincoln Tunnel. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden are some of the sites you can visit. If you want baseball, the Yankees are hosting the Tampa Bay Rays all weekend (The Mets are out of town).
With all the ammeneties of a metropolis like NYC sitting next to an awesome venue like MetLife Stadium, the New Jersey Championship Tour is a great event to run as well as stick around afterwards (or show up early) and spend a few days with family and friends taking in the local attractions.