Joel Higgenbotham drives his F Prepared Impeza (Charina Hansen photo)VIEW FULL SIZE
PERU, Ind. (August 8, 2012) – The Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Tour competitors have only the 40th Solo National Championships to focus on from here in after last weekend’s Peru National Tour served as the final warm-up to the main event.
The Grissom (Ind.) Aeroplex drew 293 entrants to the Tire Rack Peru National Tour, which doubled as the Northern States Championship for the first time since 2010. The great turn out on the final “Road To Lincoln” stop was a tribute to the Indy Region, who put effort and volunteer labor into the site to make it almost unrecognizable to those who had been there in the past.
The region hosted a work day to patch the concrete and grind down many of the bumps on the surface, resulting in an expanded footprint of usable space that was much smoother than in recent years.
Additionally, extensive work was done in the lead-up to the event to clean up rubble in the grid and other areas. A redesigned paddock gave the layout a professional feel, and a hospitality tent gave drivers a respite from the 100 degree temperatures that cooked competitors on Saturday.
The Sam Strano-designed course got rave reviews from competitors, with a good blend of technical elements and brisk average speed. That course, despite rain on Sunday morning, also left a number of classes very close at the top.
It would have been nearly impossible to be closer than the final margin of victory in F Modified. Jeff Blumenthal shared his Chainsaw Motorsports/QRE KBS Mk7 with Scott Nardin, and the two battled for the class lead. At the finish, Nardin topped his co-driver and car owner by a miniscule 0.008-second.
Still in the Modified category, Jeff Christianson Westfield SE edged out a 0.162-second win over Dave Whitworth’s Ford Mustang Cobra in E Modified.
The Street Modified category kept the pace with its Modified cousins. Jason Tipple’s Realspeed/Slomotionmotorsports Honda Civic squeaked out a 0.024-second win over John Koster’s Koster Automotive Honda Civic in Street Modified FWD. The Street Modified class was within two-tenths itself, after Carl Werner came all the way from Montreal to win the class by 0.191-second in the Perry Competition Mitsubishi EVO.
Both A Stock and the intramural battle of the Litchfield, Maine Kozlak household went to Paul Kozlak. Kozlak drove the Red Haus Racing Corvette to a 0.047-second win over his wife, Lynne Rothney-Kozlak, to take the class win. In D Stock, Wayne Onyschuk’s Subaru Impreza WRX dropped a 0.183-second gap on Jack Burns’ Jack Burns Race Wheels Ford Mustang for the class title.
John Peiffer, from Purdue, drove the Gumout/Black Magic/BFGoodrich Tires “Use Your Motorhead” Project Volkswagen Golf to the Gumout Collegiate Shootout title at Peru in a program open to area Formula SAE schools.
The next time that Tire Rack Solo National Tour competitors will be together is September 4-7 for the 40th Tire Rack Solo National Championships at the Lincoln (Neb.) Airpark. National Champions will be crowned in every class at the event, bringing the best in the sport to the middle of the country.