The final Tire Rack Championship Tour competition of 2021 took place this past weekend in the state of Washington with more than 230 drivers gathering at an old Hampton Mills facility for the Tire Rack Packwood Champ Tour. Weather was perfect the entire weekend with temperatures in the mid-80s during the day, and cooling off into the 60s at night.
The courses designed by James Paulson were very well received, with giving competitors some good speed without too many cones, providing mostly clean runs throughout the event. Also well received was Saturday evening’s BBQ hosted by SCCA’s Northwest Region which offered all the fixin’s — from chicken and pulled pork to coleslaw and potato salad — to fill out competitors’ plates. And to top it off, a bunch of fun prizes were given away at a raffle event. And who doesn’t love prizes?
As for the competition, some would say the best battle of the weekend was in Super Street with its dozen entries. The top four drivers constantly swapped positions and ended up only 0.090 seconds apart in the end. After the dust settled, Michael Yanase came out on top followed by Ron Bauer, both driving Porsche GT4s. The last two trophy spots went to Porsche GT3 drivers as Saturday leader Monty Pack finished third and Kit Gauthier, who actually had the fastest time Sunday, was fourth.
With 15 entries, B Street was another fun class to watch in Packwood, with similarly tight competition. The top few competitors switched positions repeatedly, and it didn’t get sorted out until the final Sunday runs. Jason Bucki ended up with a victory margin of 0.095 second over Andrew Kessel, with both drivers wheeling BMW M2s. Jay Balducci, who co-drove with Bucki, finished third followed by a Chevrolet Camaro SS driven by James Paulson. Claiming the last trophy position was Piotr Szarkowicz in another BMW M2.
D Street also saw a swap at the top from Saturday to Sunday in the 15-entrant field. Lorin Mueller, driving a Ford Focus RS, had a scant lead of 0.032 second on the Honda Civic of Garrett Cogburn after they both had three clean runs Saturday. But Cogburn turned it on Sunday and came out with a 0.334-second victory margin over Mueller. Chris Beets, in another Ford Focus RS, was third. Adam Ruff drove his Audi S3 to fourth, and Ted Wood rounded out the trophy spots driving a Honda Civic Type R.
Street Touring Ultra also put on a show with Michael Carpenter, in a Subaru STI, playing leapfrog at the top of the time sheet with Doug Mikko who was driving a Mitsubishi Evo. Carpenter emerged victorious after two days by only 0.256 second over Mikko. Third was Carpenter’s co-driver, Brandon Davis, and the final trophy went to Brent Vitolins in another Mitsubishi Evo.
More Solo Fun to Come
While the 2021 Tire Rack Championship Tour has wrapped up for the year, there’s still plenty of opportunity for fans of SCCA Solo to get out and have some fun with their cars. Check out the Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo schedule that has a couple additional events scheduled in July. And of course, make sure you’re registered for the 2021 Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals taking place Sept. 6-10 at Lincoln Airpark in Nebraska.
photo by Joe Goeke