Region News

2018 Solo Nationals

Over the past few weeks you might have overheard people talking about or seen an endless number of social media posts about the Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals and wondered what it is all about.  To put it simply, and accordingly to Donour Sizemore, it is “THE autocross” in which cone avoiders from near and far converge on Lincoln AirPark in Nebraska to compete at the year-end Championships.  It is truly an impressive event that overshadows any of our local events at MetLife Stadium with its 1375 entries and four days of competition.

It is a little murky when it comes to counting how many NNJR members participated in this year’s event, so let’s just say there were a lot of familiar faces from Lot E.

All competitors were met with challenging conditions no matter which days they competed.  They were either affected by torrential downpours or changing conditions.  For a few unlucky ones, they even had to deal with car problems and an off-site accident that totally hampered their first Nationals experience.  I even witnessed a car self-disassemble while it was being trailered to Nebraska.  It was that wild!

Onto the good news, this was the year of many “firsts” for NNJR.  We had 11 first-time Nationals competitors (out of 23 officially registered under NNJR), 5 first-time trophy winners, and 2 first-time National Champions.

We would like to congratulate the following individuals on their achievements in the 2018 Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals:

2018 National Champions

Evan Schickel - D Street Prepared

This was Evan’s fourth trip to compete at Solo Nationals.  From 2015 to 2017, he competed in B Street and Super Street R driving Corvettes and finished in the trophies all three times.  This year, he picked up a ride in a 2002 BMW 330Ci that had just won the class in 2017.  Evan adapted to the car quickly, with only two events in the car, and was able to drop 1.4 seconds on his last run on Day 2 to clinch the title, beating the car’s owner in the process.  

Evan Schickel 2018 Solo Nationals West Winning Run

James Vincent Tatad - Street Touring Xtreme

This was James’s third trip to Lincoln.  His first trip to Nationals in 2016 was a last-minute decision, registering as a walk-up and hopping into an unfamiliar car.  In 2017, he finished at the 9th trophy spot, narrowly missing the win by only 0.9 seconds.  This year on Day 2, James took advantage of the tighter East Course to make up time, beating the second place RX-8 by 0.193 seconds.  Congratulations to the Tatad family, who have been by James’s side at every major event, most notably his father and crew chief Jose.  

James winning run

Trophy Winners

Austin Don (F Street 7th Place)

Austin was on fire in 2018.  Having won both the NJ ProSolo and the Finger Lakes Champ Tour, he was on track to do some damage in his E92 M3 against the pony cars of F Street.  His 7th Place finish is quite the accomplishment for his first Nationals appearance in a deep class.

Talha Sadhik (Street Touring Ultra 3rd Place)

Talha bought a bunch of parts off another Evo X and built his daily driver in a short period of time at the beginning of the season.  He took the class FTD on Day 2 and sling-shotted himself up from 8th Place to the podium.  A very impressive performance indeed.

Gary Tsui (Super Street 4th Place)

Gary piloted his GTR through torrential rains to a 2nd Place position on Day 1 against a field of Porsches and a lone McLaren.  The drier conditions on Day 2 gave the advantage to the Porsches, but his 4th Place finish less than 0.6 seconds behind the leader is quite the accomplishment.

Elias Roman (G Street 3rd Place)

Elias made a last minute class change puts himself in a somewhat familiar car in G Street (the class of hot hatches). He led the class after Day 1 and was able to finish in the last podium spot.

Rich Wayne (E Street 15th Place)

Rich was forced to find a ride in a hurry due to car issue.  Thanks to the generosity of fellow autocrossers, he found a seat in a Miata and finished 15th out of 60 drivers in a car that he has never driven before.

We do not wish to offend other regions by claiming the following trophy winners as NNJR members, but they have been attending our events long enough that NNJR has adopted them (or they have adopted NNJR).  Regardless of their region of record, we want to extend our recognition to the following people for their performances:

G.J. Dixon - SS 2nd

Amy Dilks - FP 2nd

Rich DiMarco - STS 8th

Elisabeth Flannagan - HSL 3rd

Ken Houseal - STS 10th

Joshua Lipman - SSR 7th

Jake Namer - SSM 6th

Randy Petschauer - SSP 6th

Pat Salerno - SS 5th

Eric Simmons - STX 7th

Daniel Stainback - SM 3rd

Tamra Hunt - DSP 2nd

Andrew Krystinik - DSP 5th

Samuel Krauss - STH National Champion

 

Regardless of the results, we hope everyone had a great time and commend you for making the trip to represent NNJR or your region.  If you did not attend this year, we hope to see you in 2019.