TOPEKA, Kan. (Feb. 13, 2014) – The Sports Car Club of America revealed the winners of two of the most prestigious awards up for grabs each year at the Tire Rack Solo National Championships, announcing the Solo Driver of the Year and Rookie of the Year in advance of the official presentations at the SCCA National Convention, March 7-9 in Charlotte, N.C.
Tom O’Gorman, of Mason, Ohio, was named the SCCA Solo Driver of the Year, while Darren Seltzer, of Orlando, Fla., capped off an amazing season with a National Championship, earning Rookie of the Year honors.
The Solo Driver of the Year award is given to the driver who produced an outstanding performance at the Solo National Championships, while demonstrating exceptional skill or overcoming a major obstacle in the process. The winning driver is selected by the Solo Events Board from nominations sent in by the general membership.
The Rookie of the Year recognizes a top-level performance at the Solo National Championships by a driver with limited competition experience.
Both awards are scheduled to be presented to the winners at the SCCA Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Banquet Presented by Mazda, March 8, as part of the SCCA National Convention.
While winning the F Prepared National Championship by a three-second margin is impressive in its own right, the fact that O’Gorman did it at 21 years old is equally as notable. Already a Solo veteran with seven years of experience under his belt, there is little doubt that this award will be one of many which he will rack up during his driving career.
Even before getting to Lincoln (Neb.) for the Solo National Championship, O’Gorman recorded some impressive stats. In his 14 meets during 2013, O’Gorman was the top driver in his class in 13 of those. When compared to the rest of the field, across all classes, he tallied the quickest indexed times in seven events and was in the top five for 12 events.
Aside from his supreme talent behind the wheel, O’Gorman is recognized as a respectful, humble and sportsmanlike competitor.
Seltzer made the most of his Tire Rack Solo National Championship debut, taking home the F Modified title by a three-second margin. While Seltzer’s background in kart racing afforded him some experience in high performance driving, competing in Lincoln presented some different challenges.
From the start, Seltzer and his car owner, Greg Shumaker, were struggling to find replacement parts and had begun looking for a different car in which to compete.
While they were able to get to Lincoln with an intact competition vehicle, once again, they ran into problems. During the test day the exhaust broke on the Raptor they were driving, forcing a repair. In the midst of the two-day competition, a large frame crack developed, but did not get in the way of Seltzer taking home top honors.
The Solo awards are just two of the awards officially presented at the SCCA Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Banquet Presented by Mazda during the SCCA National Convention and MSX Expo, March 7-9. The ceremony is highlighted by the 2014 SCCA Hall of Fame class inductions, featuring Kathy Barnes, Bob Bondurant, Dan Gurney, Dr. Bob Hubbard and Jim Downing, and Pete Hylton. More information on the Convention, MSX Expo, and the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony can be found at SCCA.com/Convention or MSXExpo.com.
The 2014 SCCA Tire Rack Solo schedule is set to start March 15th with the Championship Tour event in Cecil, Ga. Additional information on the SCCA Tire Rack Solo events can be found at http://www.scca.com/solo.
Follow SCCA on Facebook and on Twitter @SCCAOfficial.
Image: Darren Seltzer took home the 2013 F Modified National Championship during his first time competing in the event.
Credit: Perry Bennett