Usually the very mentioning of the word “rain” is enough to scare away autocrossers for the day. Nevertheless under uncertain skies 91 drivers showed up at Pittsburgh International Race Complex for the 3rd event of the 2014 season. Despite everyone’s best hopes there were sporadic rain showers during the day making the VDA quite slippery at times. Although at one point or another most every driver had a chance to run in dry conditions. The course featured a long opening slalom with two sweepers in the far corners sandwiching a tight showcase turn in the middle of the course. The run to the finish was fast & rewarding to the drivers who looked ahead.
Despite the changes in weather & stiff competition, the Gaus’s and their Evo have been nothing but consistent in their results. This would mark the second event where the Frank & Kristi would once again go 1 & 2 in the overall standings for the day. Setting up the possibility of a PAX hat trick for event #4? The 3rd place spot would belong to none other than Sam Strano who has traded up his Grand Sport Corvette for a C6 ZO6 Corvette to run in SSR. Sam would be followed by Mark Andy with the highest placing street tire’d car as his Mazda RX-8 would hold down the 4th place spot. Andrew Pallotta and his magical rain repelling giant hat would complete the top 5 using John Laughlin’s Shelby GT to get the job done. Alex Artayet’s was less than six hundredths off Andrew’s F-Street time in his own M3 and would end up in 6th. Dan Ireland’s day got off to a bit of a rough start when a plug wire worked its way loose, but in the end he was just happy to be back in his own Corvette Grand Sport and work his way into 7th place spot. Dan Foley is slowly warming up to his Evo since his return and would garner an 8th place finish. And the battle of ST cars would continue as Chris Carlisle’s STC Civic would just barely squeeze out a 9th place finish by four thousands of a second over Greg Maloy’s STS CRX in 10th.
With 91 drivers on tap there was no lack of competition across the various classes. In A-street James Stafford’s Corvette would run a 40.778 to the 40.959 of Trenton McMillan’s Solstice GXP. In B-street it would once again be Greg Vincent taking the win home with a 37.519 in his S2000 while 2nd would belong to the Saturn Sky Redline of David Peters with a 39.032. C-Street was the largest of all the stock classes with 10 drivers. While Mark Andy’s 37.077 would take home the win. He would be chased by his former co-driver Cory Robb with a 37.974 driving Joe Montuoro’s BRZ. Third in CS would belong to the FRS of Randy Pearson whose 38.037 was just short of Cory. And the last trophy spot would belong to Mike Ferchak’s own Scion FRS with a 38.212. D-Street would see the Trevor Hill’s R32 at the top with a 38.157 to the 40.525 of Kevin Lanterman’s WRX. Other stock class winners were Ted Weider in his E-Street Miata and Joe Blaha running his Focus ST in G-street.
In the modified classes most the action was taking place with the ST cars. In STX there were a total of 11 entries, but only Kyle Herbst’s BMW 128i would pull in a 38.228 to take the win. The next three trophy spots was a Mazda RX-8 parade led by none other than Brian DePietro with a 38.618, followed closely by Brian’s better half Megan Biddle whose 39.462 would net her 3rd in class. And Dan Wehrung’s 39.502 would take the final STX trophy spot. In STR it was Steve vs. Stephen again and like last week the result would be the same. Steve Vyn would run a 37.655 to the 38.199 run by Stephen Uszak in his STR Miata. Winners across some of the other classes were Mark Sommer’s flared Rabbit GTI in FSP, Matt Parson running the infamous Spongebob Miata in XP, Bryan Rawlins in a three car E-Prepared class, and Chester Charnesky in SSM. Fastest time of the day would go to Tim Vincent running a 32.869 in the KM kart.
In the novice class there were 12 drivers taking part with the trophy spots going back four positions. Leading off in first was Peter Hilton in his B-street S2000. Karen Fink would make her husband John proud as she would take their SSR Grand Sport Corvette to the second place spot. Third would belong to Reiner Goede in his Mazdaspeed 3 running in D-street. And the last trophy spot would be Nick Pekular with his VW GTI running in G-Street.
SCR takes a two week break before returning to Pittrace on June 22nd for event #4. Make sure you pre-register on STCsolo.com to save yourself some time in the morning. We hope to see you there!
Photos this week are provided by long time autocross photographer Ethan Connor!
-Videos from Event #3-
Randy Pearson – Scion FRS – 71 CS
Kyle Herbst – BMW 128i – 31 STX