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Old 09-28-2020, 05:28 PM   #1
Dave Deborde
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Real Name: Dave Deborde
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Default Reno Solo Round 9 Notes - by Colleena McHugh

In a break from the summer heat and the thick, choking smoke, Round 9 of the Autocross started bright and early at the Regional Public Safety Training Center on September 19. The track, coined as Mini Monza: Mozzarella Madness by creator Michael Ufford, was just that. If you compare the two track maps, the similarities are glaringly obvious.

We had a good turn out, which is important for the success of the program these days. Being from San Francisco, I’m used to big participant numbers, but the manageable Reno Region entries means usually getting four or five runs and finish by mid-afternoon.

A Solo Safety Steward training class was held just before the event so Reno has 18 new solo city steward candidates! The newly licensed solo safety stewards of these candidates are, Raina Sobiloff, Blake Sobiloff, Ahren Renner, Izaak Eberst, Kelly Martensen, Mark Skeem, Michael Ufford, Patricia Berlant, Nathan Berlant and Travis Hisken.

Brice Redinger is heading up our new Mentorship Program, where Safety Stewards are available to anyone who would like some help navigating the courses. The mentors will be wearing bright orange vests at the events, and anyone can request information, tips, hints, and even a passenger driving coach!

I have autocrossed for 40 years, and I will tell you, Reno regions courses are some of the most creative, challenging, and exciting layouts I have ever driven. If you can navigate these things, you can race anywhere! Today’s course was just that, difficult in its simplicity, yet tricky enough in the deceiving slower spots to cause a lot of excitement.

One of the more exciting cars in more ways than one, was the Ferrari 458 Italia run by Mike & Colleena McHugh. Mike was a little too spirited at the entry to the finish straight and wiped out 4 cones on his third run, making him Cone Killer of the day (Nine people from three corner worker corners stations had to pick up Mike’s cones) “I had it in automatic and it acted Squirrely”. Run 2 was his fastest and a 27.451 took first in SSP and top time of the day! I did poorly in the slower parts of the track and didn’t finish in the top three. Battling it out for second place were two Corvettes, one driven by Bryce Redinger and the other by Ed Reichley. Bryce took the lead early with a 29.3 and Ed countered on run two with a 29.0. Redinger’s Corvette wiggled at the exit of the sweeper, then he gathered it up, steering with the throttle all the way to the end, finishing a third run with a 28.0, a full second and a half faster than his previous run. Ed cranked out a 28.4 to steal 3rd from me! Roger Jacobson in a beautiful Yellow Corvette, got sideways at the exit of the sweeper, wiped out one cone, but recovered nicely to continue on to finish right behind me with a 29.6.

Patricia Berlant, sharing a Corvette with husband Nathan, missed a cone in the sweeper her first time out, but made up for it by shaving off four seconds on a clean second run to finish 3rd in TSSM with a 31.8. Sutee Dismanopnarong started out strong in a Honda S2000, whipping out a 29.7 for the SSM win on a first run. Nathan Berlant killed a cone and got a bit lost but rallied in the end with a 30.2 for 2nd.

Tori Speicher’s front wheel drive Veloster’s swoopy turns and all clean laps finished second in the DS, with a third run 32.2. Kelly Martensen, in a zippy WRX also ran cleanly to a 30.7 last lap win.

Steve Waclo’s Hemi Spyder, with its open, raspy exhaust sounds, leaned into every cone, but only tossed one in four runs. He was super fun to watch, and a good steer-with-the-throttle last run 32.8, sealed third place in ES. Chris Kannan drove his Miata around all cones beautifully smooth, tight and tidy. He just got the car, and with four aurocrosses under his belt tossed back a 30.5 for the ES win. Christian Kannan, in only the second time in the Street Tire Miata that he shares with his dad, came within almost 2 seconds of 2nd place Chris, with a 32.6 for 3rd.

Maggie Elorza was so hard on the brakes into the short straight, smoke billowed from underneath her BMW, but she turned a 29.4 for first place in FS.

Right before the back straight, Mark Berguland’s FWD, HS Cooper’s turbo kicked in and you could hear the tire chirp a mile away! A 34.0 locked him into 3rd in class. It cost the lives of three cones for Andrew Silva, in a Ford Focus, to claim the HS 1st prize, with a 32.5 second run. Paul Gilbert snuck in between them in a Cooper, and a 33.8 for 2nd in class.

Kevin Weiss only needed one run to win TSM in his Blue Beast. A 27.9 stole 1st from Cameron Drudge. The meaty throttled STI turned a close 28.2 on his third run for 2nd. 3rd was claimed by Sean Mcmannmon in a Mustang on another fast first lap (32.4).

Anthony Tan picked up speed on lap three, with lots of lean, lots of accelerator and aggressive tire squeal, the Chevy Impala turned a 32.1 for the GS win.

Anthony Arreyque Corvette was not only beautiful, but powerful through the kink. His conservative, first lap 30.5, took top honors in BSP.

Maggie Elorza, handled the BMW perfectly, and with smooth throttle steer, she went 29.4 seconds fast for the FS win.

Ahren Renner, in his quick RWD T1FSP Trollrolla, also throttle-steer drifted to a 29.9 1st place win. Nick Johnson’s Corolla missed a spot-on lap one, but a second lap 32.2 carried him into 2nd.

Bob Williamson’s red Corvette was just beautiful, it had a nice lean, quiet tires and muffler, and was fast as All Get Out! A 30.5 last lap honored him with the AS win.

DSP Roxanne Fertitta’s Mini really wanted to lift up that unweighted wheel, but I didn’t have a good enough view to see if it actually made it. It stayed on the track and off the cones and a last lap 31.0 placed her into 3rd in DSP. Jason Lewis, in a Honda Civic R, also stayed off the cones and worked his way down to a 28.4, 1st place finish . Michael Fertitta slid in between them in the Mini with a 29.4 for 2nd.

Pat Drudge had his GTO looking just like it was on rails! Nice car control, perfect lines and no lean, so his second lap 29.0 held on for 2nd in Cam C. Boris Vujasinovic took the GTO to the win with a last lap 28.5. William Crowel’s Camaro blew by the finish in 29.5 seconds to shatter 3rd place.

Clearly not his first time, Carl Engle brought out a Super Fun Cam T Mustang, ran all clean laps and ticked off a 32.9 on his last run, for 1st in class.

STU’s Steve McLaughlin had a strong finish, powering his 350Z to a 28.0 win. Denis Savelyev Lancer Evo finished a close 28.9 for 2nd.

The Novice class was huge today, with 28 entrants, the class representing the bulk of our cars on the grid!

In Travis Hisken’s first Novice season, he is first in points and 1st in class, but even though his Silent but Deadly Tesla Model 3 AWD pushes, (It’s 4000 pounds and heavy) he loves it. His last lap 29.0 won over all other novices! The new Novice is not new to autocross, his dad raced 15 years ago in Fernley. Travis took the Starting Line Scca School at Crows Landing and highly recommends it for newbies. Mark Skeem snuck out of a tight pickle in the back kink like a pro and held on to 2nd place by three hundreths of a second! His 29.96, was just a tick ahead of the Isaak Eberst’s WRX. His smooth turns and AWD commitment turned a 29.99 into 3rd place!

MR 2 Chris Snyder pushed his MR2 to its limit in the fight for fourth. The MR2’s a sweet ride, smooth around cornerns, with great sound, just a beautiful car (I had one, can you tell?) and he missed 4th by 2/100ths! Blake Sobiloff took that spot with a careful first lap 30.1 in his gorgeous Cayman. Chris just missed it and took 5th with a 30.3. Sean McPike’s Solstice got Squirrley at exit of the sweeper on his second run but rode it out to 6th place with a 30.7.

Sedric Roque’s Camaro was the perfect picture of quiet elegance, with smooth, clean laps, and it was super fun to see whole car lift from the power when he got on it hard. It was a good lesson in the use of RWD around corners, and his 31.0 claimed 9th. Dane Weiler was a half a second back with a 31.5, the Camaro was a handful, but it stayed on the track, and after a strong finish, Dane snagged 10th.

One tenth of a second behind was William Gamoika. His AWD Suburu Impreza performed great four wheel drifts around corners, and a last lap 31.60 set off another great battle. Skip Bry, in a Porsche 911, handled the track with purposeful intention, sliding the pretty car into one off-track excursion before settling on a 31.64 and lucky position 13.

Only 2 Novice drivers got into the 32’s, Amish Anand (32.6) and (32.7) Royce Roque. Anand showed a good use of the throttle in his BMW to squeak ahead of Roque’s Camaro for 15th.

Novice Jennifer Kauble’s M240, like many, lost it in the kink, pushed a couple of cones around, and made big tire squeals in the corners, trying to stave off Kidrick Fore (270z). It was all for naught, the two of them turned exactly the same time, to the thousands of a second! Their 33.047’s were a mere half second off of Spencer Burke’s ILX. His smooth handling of the corners resulted in a slick 33.1.

The rear broke loose as Jose Estuipinan tried to autocross a Z set up for drifting! A drifter wanting to master all types of driving, the Novice used way too much throttle entering the back straight. Three cones and two tours of the countryside left one chance for Jose to get a clean lap. The Most Improved Driver of the Day drove a beautiful run for a 33.6 that did it.

Keeping all of the 34’s to himself, Troy Stansbury threw his Outback at every cone. Leaning and squealing, the wonderful, sprightly sound revealed a 34.3 third lap.

Alvin Weiler decided to make a 35.1 the creamy center of a DNF Oreo Cookie! His Camaro logged 5 points for his effort. Christian Godeho pushed into the finish cones like Mike, but his Mustang did not cream any of them! He turned the fastest time of the 36’s, with a 36.0. Running not far behind, in the same car, Chris Sceafidi found that the Mustang proved to have too much power, and, after an early course schooling, turned a fast time of 36.41. Miki Jones brought out a Chevelle and, what sweet ride! We were all treated to the lyrical whaaaaa, whaaaa, as he shifted up through the gears at the finish, wonderful fun! He kept that beautiful car off of every cone to turn in a time so close to Miki’s (36.47), I had to look twice at the results!!!

Pravine Elongo’s Mazda 6 made a big boo-boo at kink in backstraight, threw away a couple of laps, figured out what went wrong and had no more drama, turning a 37.3 to round out the class. That’s what the Novice class is for! Drive hard to figure out what you and your car can do, then whittle your times down, and move up the class ladder. We all did it! Good going Pravine and all the Novices today. Welcome! SCCA needs you!!!

Last edited by MPREZIV; 09-29-2020 at 05:04 PM.
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