By Nigel Fenwick

Photos by Daniel Quaroni

It’s hard to believe we successfully completed four Solo events before Memorial Day! That must be some kind of record given the early season weather anomalies (aka snow) we normally experience in the spring. Event 4 took place on Memorial Day weekend and the weather was, for a change, almost perfect. Some strong winds in the afternoon blew some tents around a bit, but the winds also helped keep us cool on an otherwise sunny day.

Sunday May 26th was also the day of the Monaco, Monte Carlo F1 Grand Prix, and P.J. Corrales told me he was inspired by Monaco when he designed our clockwise course. The initial course walk suggested this could be a very tough course, and it proved to be. P.J.’s replica of the famous swimming pool chicane of Monaco proved a challenge in early runs. This was a technical course which rewarded drivers for looking ahead and picking the right line. My early impressions were that I didn’t like the course, but as the runs went by and I began to setup earlier, it became more rhythmic.

But the course was not to be our only difficulty – our timing system also proved to be a challenge. Initially it appeared that our youngest competitor, five-year-old Noah Walker, was going so fast through the finish that the timing lights failed to register his time! Then we discovered a worn cable that was causing a number of false triggers/missed finishes. This resulted in multiple re-runs which slowed down our heats (on the plus side, re-runs were a real benefit on this course). Of course, long worker stints are always regrettable, but everyone was understanding and patient – thank you. With the cable replaced, we were able to wrap up the day before the sun set!

Given the tightness of the course, it is perhaps little surprise to see that over 40% of drivers locked in their best time of the day on their final run. The course accentuated any late setup for turns, stealing precious time from runs. As a result, the gaps between first and second place in many classes were wider than we typically see. The closest battles were in H Street, with Josh Brockman (2017 Honda Civic) just one hundredth of a second behind Scott Monti (2017 Ford Fiesta ST), and in STS where Daniel McCarthy (92 Miata) won out over Chang Ho Kim (89 Civic Si) by just three hundredths of a second.

Our top Novice of the day, and no longer a Novice, was Daniel Ciota (2014 Scion Xb). In junior karts, Kimsoo Gopnik took first just six tenths ahead of Nathaniel Stanwood. And in Pro Class Brian Kuehl (2018 Civic) took first place, besting Ryan Field by 1/10th after Pax adjustments. (For all the results, see the link below.)

The final verdict from most drivers seemed to be that P.J. gave us a great course to improve our technique – something we can all benefit from. And importantly, everyone had smiles on their faces at the end of the day – thanks P.J. and congratulations to all our drivers for both working and driving hard to make this another great event.

Solo Points #4 Results

To see more photos from the event, courtesy of Daniel Quaroni, visit his gallery here.