Sorry we didn’t get any photos for this event. Brace yourself for videos!
Andrew Moore – Homebuilt Locost – 60 DM
Here are a couple of stats from Sunday. 98 – Number of drivers on file. 40 – Size of the largest class, the tire index. 3 – National champions present. 1 – Hour at the end of the day used for fun runs. 5 – The time in the afternoon the last autocrossers left the site!
With the sun shining brightly and engines roaring Steel Cities event #2 kicked off with another record sized field of drivers battling out in Wampum PA at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. Thanks to the hard work of the Solo board and countless other volunteers who stepped up the entire event went off in a shockingly quick fashion. Things went so well that this event marked the return of fun runs for all competitors at the end of the day. Adding to the depth of talent that showed up that day was several members of Ohio’s NORA racing program. National Champions Sam Strano and Andrew Pallotta also showed up to throw their hats into the ring. Course designers for this event were Dan Ireland & Michael “Figs” Figliolia who laid down and interesting double crossover course with some heavy technical sections tied in.
SCR event #1 would see local SS driver Dan Ireland take his first PAX win at SCR. Any question whether or not Dan planned a repeat performance were immediately put to rest after pulling in a 38.889 in his morning run. However the Gaus Evo was back with a vengeance after leaving event #1 with a frozen brake caliper and blown turbo. Right out of the hole Frank Gaus would run with a 38.890 to take up the 2nd place position in PAX behind Dan. While the first two positions belonged to SCR regulars, that’s where the party ended. Sam Strano & Andrew Pallotta brought out their respective Scion’s to sharpen the FRS’s ability to run in STX. Local STX competitor Brian DePietro co-drove Andrew’s car. Meanwhile Danny Kao came all the way from his home DC region to co-drive with Sam for the day. The initial morning runs between Andrew & Sam were down to the same tenth of each other. Andrew would emerge from the morning just a mere tick of the clock ahead with a 40.983 to the 41.134 of Sam’s fastest run. This would pin the two FRS drivers in 3rd & 4th respectively. Coming in the number 5th spot was Travis Hill with a 40.922 in his Porsche 968. Of the race tire’d cars that were left in the morning index was the fast Z06 of Randy Pearson running with a 40.152 in 8th position. An Ethan Connor would hold down the 10th spot with a 40.586 in his DSP machine.
Mike Ferchak – Scion FRS – 11 CST
If you were paying attention in the last paragraph you caught the reference to the “race tire’d” cars and the gaps between them in the top 10. The reason for this was due to the sheer speed that some of the Street Tire Index cars and now exhibiting. It’s no longer uncommon for some of the faster tire index cars to work their way into the top 10. A heated 3 way battle for lead the gigantic class ensued between three lead C-Stock cars driven by Mark Andy in his RX8, Mike Ferchak in his FRS, and John Ryan in his BRZ. Mark & John immediately started out running in the 42 range with John eventually pulling a 42.386 over the 42.436 of Mark’s RX8. However it was Mike last run of the morning where his last run dropped him out of the 43’s and down to a 42.160 to hold the rest of the field at bay. This put Mike in 6th place over all respectively with John directly behind him in the #7 spot. Mark was still well within the top 10 in 9th place overall. The next closest tire index car way Ohio native Kyle Herbst driving his BMW M Coupe down to a 42.278 with was good enough for 14th in the overall PAX index. From the 17th position back the list of tire index drivers looking to move up was long. Bruce Wesley, Alex Artayet, Nick Phillips, Jonathan Paine, and Bill Schaefer would all have to wait their turn till the afternoon to take a stab at moving up.
In the afternoon the course line cleared off significantly, but many drivers still struggled to find huge gains in time. And in a very odd turn of events neither Dan Ireland’s Corvette, nor Frank Gaus’s Evo, would be able to make the course give up any more time. Giving Dan his second SCR PAX win for the season while Frank would hang onto second. While Andrew Pallotta did improve on his morning run with a 40.915 in a bid to hang onto 3rd overall, it would be Sam Strano would finally find the 40 second run he needed to creep ahead of Andrew and take over the 3rd place overall position and take the win home in STX. Sam’s 40.869 was almost quick enough to take 2nd away from the Gaus Evo. In fact the PAX time between Frank, Sam, and Andrew was within a tenth! Travis’s best time was able to weather the afternoon runs and help him remain in 5th overall. Randy Pearson jumped down into the 39’s in the afternoon with a 39.744 that would take the big Z06 up to 6th place overall. Below 6th place the dogfight in tire index ensued. On his first afternoon run, John Ryan ran an identical time to Mike Ferchak’s 42.160 but tipped over a cone. Mark Andy took advantage of the situation and passed John with a 40.170 to take over 2nd overall in the index. But in the end Mike Ferchak would hang onto his morning run to take him his first ever win in the tire index! The final result in the overall standings put Mike in 7th overall. Followed by Mark in 8th and John close behind in 9th. Ethan Connor dropped a few tenths off with a 40.336 that would shore up his 10th place position against Mike Ancus who climbed the whole way up to 11th in his FSP Civic. Bruce Wesley made an afternoon dash to pull his B-stock S2000 up into the 13th overall spot and 4th overall in tire index. Another Ohio driver, Joel Higginbotham, pushed his evil looking F-prepared Subaru Impreza to a 39.474 that would be good enough for 14th overall. Joel would be followed by SCR’s own Michael Figliolia who is starting to get along with Dan’s Corvette and cracked off a 40.316 to end up in 15th. The final five positions in the top 20 would be filled by Tim Vincent in his kart, Danny Kao running Sam’s FRS, Jonathan Paine (who would also end up 5th in tire index), Jay Storm in his FP Impreza, and Kyle Herbst rounding out the top 20 in his M-coupe.
Andrew Pallotta – Scion FRS – 4 STX
Of the nine novices on file for the day, Ben Heald led the pack in his B-stock Mitsubishi Evo with a raw time of 43.911 which gave him a 21st place finish in the competitive tire index class. Not far behind was DSP Neon of Michael Smith’s who clocked in a raw time of 43.813 and would end up 23rd in the tire index. Paul Cunningham pulled a repeat performance being the 3rd fastest of the novices with a 47.186 in his Nissan Maxima. Tim Demetrio used his Pontiac Solstice to pull in 45.397 which would be 4th for the novices. And Michael Falvo would round out the top 5 with his Jetta GLI.
In other class battles ESP continues to be one of the better subscribed classes with four drivers squaring off. Gibby Bozicevich would face the familiar face of Paul Lynd’s WRX again. However a mechanical issue with Gibby’s Camaro would leave the door open in the afternoon for Paul who would take his first win in ESP for the year with a 42.445 to Gibby’s 43.218. STR was well represented with four drivers. Steve Vyn would use his S2000 to keep just a few steps ahead of the competition with a 43.306 that was from his morning’s runs. Steve would be followed by the Miata of Zachary Stover whose 43.765 would firmly secure 2nd place for the day. The familiar pairing of Tim Ward and Brian Buchanan would preside over the four driver STU class. Tim’s 42.049 would take the win for the day in his STI. Meanwhile Brian’s GTO with its 44.368 would just hang onto 2nd place. Jordan Kulik’s almost eclipsed 2nd place with his final run of 44.413 in his BMW M3. Manfred Woodall was having a blast driving around the V8 powered Spongebob Miata of Don Fazekas. Also new to the grid was Pete Kowalik’s BMW 335ix prepped race tires and ready to roll in D-stock.
Come join us for event #3 at PittRace on Sunday June 23rd!
Brian Huber – Corvette Z06 – 58 SS