Drivers flocked from all around to experience the warm concrete of Blytheville, Arkansas this past weekend for the Tire Rack Blytheville ProSolo®. Throughout the weekend, competitors discussed the speed maintenance courses, with nearly all drivers going at least 0.5 second faster on the left side compared to the right. There is some dispute as to weather the difference was caused by distance, grip or some other mysterious causes, but the difference was very apparent, especially in the challenges.
In E Street, Eric Peterson and Matt Waldbaum came in as the favorites, and didn’t disappoint in the early sessions, swapping the lead multiple times. As all eyes were on them to see who would come out on top, Bartek Borowski was lurking. On his last pair of runs, Borowski found the speed needed to take the lead over Peterson, who stood on his Saturday afternoon runs. Waldbaum had to settle for third, standing on his first run from Saturday morning and a run from the afternoon. Steven Hughes claimed the fourth and final trophy position.
Social media was full of heckling before the weekend as Josh Luster came into the weekend as the favorite in Super Street R, but reigning AS Champion Jason Frank decided to mount up some Hoosiers and give him a run for his money. Luster started the weekend a little dirty, with a total of four cones on the left in the first session but kept it clean on the right and spent the weekend knocking off time on that side. His fastest and cleanest left run came on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, Frank faced similar cone perils as he adjusted to the grip beneath him, finally finding clean speed on Sunday morning, but it wasn’t enough as he fell to Luster by 0.499 second.
Although it was a small class, Street Touring Xtreme brought great competition as Ron Williams debuted his new Mini Cooper S against Craig Wilcox and his matching Cooper S. In another great example of close racing and swapping leads, it was Williams who took the victory by a mere 0.057 second over Wilcox. It’ll be fun to watch this battle unfold through the season, at least until Wilcox jumps into his new F Prepared Miata.
Street 1 has become the indexed home to all things Street Modified. The battle at the top between Matt Glagola, Randall Wilcox, Erik Strelnieks and Eric Hyman was a beautiful sight to behold as these are some of the fastest-launching cars in SCCA ProSolo competition. Glagola took the early lead in his Lotus Elise, but the GT-Rs of Strelnieks and Hyman came back strong Saturday afternoon, looking to take over the top. They fell just short, while Wilcox was also looking for speed and trying to recover from a pair of red lights on the left from the morning. After Sunday morning though, it was Glagola holding onto the top spot by 0.096 second over Wilcox who saved his best for his last pair of runs. Strelnieks claimed the final trophy position.
If you’ve watched C Street Prepared in recent years, you’ve seen Neal Tovsen chasing the goliath that is Billy Davis. This year, he comes back to competition with a brand-new car, a 2001 Mazda Miata, hoping the updated chassis is enough to claim victory. With an unproven car, he took to the course Saturday morning in Street 2. The raw time was there from the beginning. As he acclimated to the new car, he cleaned it up and continued to find speed. The new car took the win over Joe Tharpe’s SSP Chevrolet Corvette by 0.163 second. Chris Edens, Todd Cochran, and Matthew Hodges claimed the remaining trophies.
The ladies of L1 came in with high hopes, but the sentiment after Saturday morning was disappointment. Cindy Duncan led, but a stall at the start line cost her. Hilary Anderson Frank struggled with cones and the 2-step launch control on the Porsche Boxster. Dana Gill recorded no Saturday morning times as she had a clutch issue on her K Modified Honda Pacemaker on her first run. Andrea Albin recorded two runs before losing the engine in her F Modifed Doofwagon. Saturday afternoon runs brought greater success for Hilary and Dana as they stood in first and second respectively. But ProSolo always proves that it’s not over until after Sunday morning. Dana found over two seconds of time to take the L1 lead and Hilary knocked some time off the right side to finish second, just 0.035 second back. Andrea Albin claimed the last trophy spot, finding 2.5 seconds after jumping into different FMod seat.
Complete results from the 2018 Tire Rack Blytheville ProSolo can be found here.
Super Challenge: Kevin Dietz (SSC)
Ladies Challenge: Kim Whitener (L3)
Bonus Challenge: Tracy Ramsey (CS)